Monday, 9 September 2013

August 2013 Review

August was another of those months that I thought sucked, and on careful inspection it turns out it did. I don't know anyone who likes August: it's a long month, not much happens, and it's usually humid and hot with no sunshine. So this one was different: at least the sun shone. August is review-the-finances-month, and it took a while to find anyone paying even 2% for savings. My Cash ISA stayed put, and it turns out that The Bank actually offers a decent one-year bond rate for the money I can't get into a Cash ISA, so there I am. I don't need to rant about savings rates - you know what I'm talking about.

Sis and I had supper at 1701, the upmarket super-kosher restaurant attached to the oldest synagogue in the City, hiding off Bevis Marks behind an ornate gate with a bouncer in front of it. The food was worth the visit, and we both took some photographs of City towers in a magic evening light.

Tired of being tired and having no fun in the gym - being hot and sweaty before you've even lifted will do that - I changed my gym routine around without really thinking about it. I'm now doing fewer exercises but with higher weights. At the start of the month I raised eyebrows by doing 3x10 box-jumps on a heap that came about six inches above my knee. The jump was okay, but on trying to do abs later, I found that I'd hit my lower abs really hard with the fast knee-raising needed to get the height. So having proved the point, I stopped doing that and graduated to 100lb+ deadlifts with the big wheels, which I'd been working up to slowly with some regular bar weights. I hit a lifetime best 2x3x80 kgs with a spot one Saturday, and started again on the pull-ups after my shoulder recovered. This time I'm going to focus on reps to exhaustion and decrease the support only when I can knock out 3x10 and still breath afterwards. I I started swimming on the non-training days, for about fifteen minutes, mostly as an excuse to shower and change before going home so I feel better. And as a way of trying to get tired enough to sleep.

On the night of Monday 12th I didn't get to sleep. Nor on the Wednesday, nor on the night of the Bank Holiday. I was fine during my week off at home. There's another post about that, but having insomnia is no fun, especially when it's the no-sleep-at-all variety. 

I met my nephew at the Tate Modern cafe after work one Friday to help him with a statement for university application. He still wants to go and he still wants to study some combination of History, Politics and Philosophy. Since he's working and doing all sorts of interesting stuff - webmaster, architectural photographer, marcoms production - his desire is strong. I would have, I think, given up. The idea of explaining why one wants to study a subject at university strikes me as silly, but maybe the world is full of kids who know they need a piece of paper and don't really care what it is, along as it says Upper Second.

I tried using the Overground from Calpham Junction to Shoreditch High Street. It takes longer, but it's restful and doesn't have the crowds. I won't use it all the time, but every now and then it's a change.

I watched a bunch of DVD's, including Big Boys Gone Bananas, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, Pumping Iron (finally!), Of Time and The City, Chris Marker's Level Five, Park Row, Howl, Godard's Film Socialisme, and the two programmes about Sylvie Guillam: Portrait and At Work. I read The Swerve, The Pop Revolution, Future Babble, Paris Peasant, The Night, Octopus, a couple of short studies of Rothko and Jaspers, and two books of pop-ish sports psychology: Mind Gym and Peak Performance Every Time.

And then it was over, and September is almost over already.

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