Thursday, 3 February 2011

Training Again

The Beast is back, sort of. I got out on the bike yesterday for ninety odd minutes and tackled a few hills without total collapse. Pleasingly I seem to have improved immeasurably in the vital skill of eating and drinking whilst on the move. What made this discovery doubly rewarding was that the food in question was a cheapo muesli bar from the multi-pack I acquired at my absolute favourite retail emporium, the 99p Store at Mere Green, an enterprise risen from the ashes of the Woolworth unit. Twelve bars for 99p ie 8p a throw. The packaging announces that they are manufactured 'in the EU' so child labour can probably be discounted (or does that assumption make me naive or, worse, credulous?) but you have to wonder how anyone makes a profit. Anyway get down there while stocks last for your sports nutritional needs. Check out the toiletries as well. My various kit bags are now furnished with knock-down (knock-off?) deodorants. I smell lovely and have funds left for other vices. Should I take up smoking? Or is pornography more suited to a post-structuralist? I bet Roland Barthes smoked. The French all do.

As I look at the 99p Stores logo it occurs to me how dangerous inflation is. As we tolerate inflation so my favoured shop will be able to stock fewer and fewer items or will have to change its name - to Woolworth perhaps. There is a serious point in this. We poor buggers who remember the 70s and their early 80s hangover can tell you just how pernicious is uncontrolled inflation. There is a misguided notion in our current politics that a bit of inflation is no bad thing. I heard it neatly described the other day as a mechanism that transfers the burden of lifting recession from reckless borrowers (and that description definitely includes feckless governments) onto savers.

Enough special pleading. It's not just the cycling that's back in focus. Swimming as well. Fortified by my new economical stroke (courtesy of Sue's Swimming School - seriously that's what they're called) I set a new distance PB at lunchtime today and did so at a better than average pace. Still slow but not drowning. That should be my motto although I am also tempted by 'Per ardua ad Vauxhall Astra' which nicely sums up the struggle to achieve mediocrity. I'll get there some day.

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