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Sunday, 20 March 2016

365: Food or fitness

Where on earth I found the will-power to go out for a run this morning I will never know but I found it somewhere and I'm now back home and waiting for my breathing to settle back to normal. I think I was trying to figure out a logical pattern for the day after my Skype lesson 0700-0800 turned out to be a no-show. Did you know that for Skype lessons only the top half of the body needs to be dressed. (But for God's sake remember not to stand up.) :).
Bruce Tulloh's zero to hero chart that I showed in my last blog is OK for the younger man, or woman, but I don't think it's quite as good for the more senior plodder like me. It suggests that at the end of week 1, having run for 1 minute and walked for 90 seconds and repeated that 8 times, then it is all right for the next week to run for 2 minutes and walk for 1. Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think so. You're changing both variables at the same time. I found that running for 1 minute and then walking for 1 minute repeated 10 times is a much more suitable transition and more suited to an unfit person like me.
Back to the main reason for running - my predilection for food and drink. Living on my own for most of the time, what and where I eat and drink is down to me. Since I started teaching, back in 2008, I've slowly got the hang of this cooking 'business' and, when I have time, I like to 'dabble'. Here is a picture of yesterday's lasagne. Yes, I know it could almost feed the five thousand but that's what freezers are for.

During the week I sometimes call in for a big boy's breakfast at Galeria Wypiekow. They do a very nice breakfast (three fried eggs, with ham, cheese, tomato and a couple of rolls and butter thrown in for good measure). No wonder I have to run to burn off these calories. I was there last Thursday and impressed by their Easter decorations.

Last night I was motivated by WWF's "Earth hour" to turn off my computer, and indeed all electrical devices (apart from the fridge/freezer), half an hour earlier than usual in a forlorn bid to help save the planet. I do realize, of course, that such a gesture can only succeed if everybody does it and the chance of that happening can be expressed as a round number. Who remembers the exhortation "if we each save a little, we'll all save a lot". I suppose the opposite would be "if only a few of us save a little, it won't make a blind bit of difference".

The breathing has returned to normal. Time to shower, and dress both halves of the body, before Dorota arrives for her English lesson and finds me inappropriately clad. Enjoy the rest of Palm Sunday. Here is a picture of the painting by Pietro Lorenzetti entitled "The entry of Christ into Jerusalem"


Thursday, 10 March 2016

364: Spring has sprung

According to the latest issue of SAGA (Sex Annually, Generally August) magazine there are three dates that are used to suggest Spring has arrived. The first is meteorological spring, based on temperatures. That is 1st March. Then there is the more familiar astronomical spring: this year March 20th is the day the earth's tilt on its axis is neither towards nor away from the sun. Thirdly, Solar seasons are based on how much sunlight there is: the first day of solar spring was February 1st. 
I would like to contribute a fourth: the day I put on my running shoes after the winter! Today, to coincide with a rare morning off, I donned running shoes (and various other items of clobber) and ventured out onto Warsaw's streets. My last run was on 31st October so it was back to the very beginning of this fitness chart. I very much doubt that I will be at 30 minutes running, no walking, after 8 weeks but surely I'll be a few steps nearer returning to a reasonable level of fitness.

 I was in London a couple of weeks back and, to ring the changes, I decided to use the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) for part of my trip. This is a modern, driver-less, system that runs on rails to many parts of East London. Here are a few of the pictures I took on my journey from Lewisham to Bank.

What else has been happening. Not very much. 16 lessons this week - meeting myself coming back. Would have been 17 but yesterday evening's lesson was cancelled. Thankfully I shall still get paid for it as if it had taken place. I plan to take some time off on Saturday and go to see the new action film London has fallen. What a bonus that many foreign films here are shown in the original language with subtitles in Polish. The other bonus is that I get a concessionary rate by virtue of being (a little bit) old.
To finish, naturally enough, the Spencer Davis group singing "Keep on Running" from 1965.