7km (4.3 miles) on Monday morning – no more than a steady pace but hard and hot. I then started on the last section of stone wall – adding to a poor (even by my standards) section of existing wall.
One of the foundation stones (in the wrong place for what we now want) was so large that two of us could not even roll it, let alone lift it. Eventually we edged it into its new place but that set the tone for the day – relentlessly hard. It wasn’t helped much by even greater incompetence than usual which led me to repeatedly pinching my fingers between heavy stones or dropping stones on my feet.
I mixed a load of concrete later to fill a gap between some flagstones and the front porch. It’s something my wife asked me to do months ago. I agreed to do it and have suffered regular reminders – becoming more and more pointed – ever since.
I don’t know if we are typical but the biggest issue is always that, for me, ‘Yes I’ll do it’, comes with no commitment as to timescale – but I think she takes this to mean ‘Yes I’ll do it and it is the most important thing in my life, such that I will not be able to rest until it has been done’.
One way or another, it is now fixed and I was completely wiped out by the evening.
On Tuesday our son and I played shopkeeper/cycle mechanic. The charity we set up a few years ago as a development of the cycle club has managed to get the loan of some shop premises in the town for a month. The owner plans to open a restaurant later in the year and was happy for us to open a pop-up store for a few weeks before the place is gutted. We take in and refurbish bikes and biking accessories to be sold, and help cyclists out with repairs to their own bikes.
It’s a great idea and although it relies entirely on the goodwill (and time) of members of the group, it is surprisingly enjoyable. I took in one donated bike just after 2pm and spent a bit of time attending to the bottom bracket, the brakes and the gears – we sold it for £120 (nearly $160) before 4pm. About an hour’s attention to a donated Raleigh folding bike has give us another item worth rather more.
The downside is that there is never quite enough time in a volunteered afternoon so I brought another bike back with me that needs attention to a buckled rear wheel and dodgy rear bearings.
Wednesday followed a familiar pattern – an early run followed by wall building. The run was a short but tough 5.3km (3.3miles) – even before 9am it was over 26℃ (nearly 80℉). I fixed the bike I’d brought home from the shop and then we had a glorious thunderstorm which cleared the air, watered the garden and reduced the temperature – a triple win.
Back to the gym Thursday morning on full, pre-lockdown, weights. It’s good to have a third string to my exercise bow (especially with the cycling string not getting enough use at the moment). Back to the wall later and another couple of hours taking cycle training session on Friday, followed by a pub lunch and supper at friends.
A generally gentle Saturday but a solo run on Sunday morning – 13.75km (8.5 miles) @5m 47sec/km. A bit further than the normal runs at the moment – very hot and pretty hard but good to have got out there for longer, even if it’s just to prove to myself that I can.
Still ticking over at the moment – 15-20 miles a week running and a ride and/or a gym session.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African proverb: You cannot build a house for winters gone by
2. In Somalia legislation is before parliament that defines a forced marriage as one where the family (not the individual) does not consent.
3. China restaurant apologises for weighing customers: A restaurant in central China has apologised for encouraging diners to weigh themselves and then order food accordingly.
The beef restaurant in the city of Changsha placed two large scales at its entrance this week. It then asked diners to enter their measurements into an app that would then suggest menu items accordingly.
The policy was introduced after a national campaign against food waste was launched.
That story about the Chinese restaurant owner is a perfect side note for communism.
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Sounds like a good week to be honest. You can only pinch your fingers laying stone walls by actually laying stone walls. A noble pursuit. Charity work, pub lunches, getting jobs done (on a list that never ends, as you know) is all good stuff.
And Jim, that ain’t communism. Restaurants wouldn’t be a big feature of old-school communism. And if they were, you would all have to eat the exact same portions 😉
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Party officials only, of course.
I wasn’t sure if the restaurant was going to serve less to the heaviest diners, as a dietary plan, or more to them on the basis that the thinnest didn’t need as much.
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