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w/e 2022-02-27

This doesn’t go without saying, because I’m going to say it, but it goes without saying that all of this is pretty trivial bobbins compared to war in Europe. But the Ministry of Information didn’t design those posters in 1939 that would, sixty years later, become massive and eventually annoying memes, mugs, t-shirts, etc. for nothing.

§ Although my laptop is getting on a bit – coming up to its seventh birthday – I’d decided I wouldn’t bother upgrading until maybe next year, because it’s fine really, aside from its recently broken-in-half “d” key. Who nees “d”s anyway?

But, seeing as I have a good chunk of work on, and MacBook Pros are now Good again, after a few dodgy years, maybe I should just do it. The cost of a new one has been the biggest hurdle – a 14″ with 32GB RAM and 2TB drive (given this 1TB is nearly full) is £2,900.

Then I thought I should remind myself what previous laptops have cost and, adjusting for inflation to 2021’s prices that doesn’t seem so outlandish:

Year Laptop Cost 2021 Cost
1999 PowerBook G3 £2,330 £4,296
2003 PowerBook G4 (12-inch) £1,618 £2,772
2008 MacBook (13-inch) £1,339 £1,901
2015 MacBook Pro (Retina 13-inch) £2,129 £2,511

I’m surprised at the variation, and at the cost of that first one. What was I thinking?! And that 2008 one seems like a bargain for seven years of usage, although it was frustratingly slow by the end, which my current one, the last on the list, isn’t.

Anyway, we’ll see. This is trivial bobbins isn’t it.

§ I stopped running a few months ago, October I think, when one of my knees started hurting one evening. After a few weeks of cautious activity I started up HIIT workouts again but I recently decided that now both knees were hurting in a similar fashion maybe this wasn’t great either. Maybe the jumping, lunging and squatting isn’t the cause, but who knows.

Anyway, in the never-ending and futile effort to keep the effects of aging at bay, and to counteract the problems caused by spending too long sitting down (4½ days of work this week, if you can imagine such hardships), here’s my current routine:

  • Three 20 or 30 minute Strength workouts a week with Apple Fitness+. At the moment, Upper Body, or Total Body with minimal leg bending.
  • Probably three or four yoga sessions a week, 20 or 30 minutes, or longer if I’m not doing any other workouts that day. Usually Apple Fitness+ (I’m enjoying Jonelle and Dustin).
  • A walk (sorry, hike) every day, which is a new addition. On a Strength and yoga day, only 20-ish minutes. Other days longer, like an hour. Probably more on a Sunday.

Going for walks for exercise feels a bit weird to me. In London I’d walk, and cycle, a fair bit but just as a way to get around. I could easily walk for two or three hours just going into the centre and doing some shopping or meeting a friend. It wasn’t An Outdoor Walk and not a big deal. But, here, other than an hour-each-way walk across the common to the next village’s shop, doctor and pub, there’s nowhere I’d walk to. So, to keep the legs working, and so that I actually leave our garden and prove to neighbours that I exist, I feel I should, must, walk for the sake of walking.

To be fair, I’d much rather walk 20ish minutes every day than run 20ish minutes twice a week. So, good work, knees!

§ Writing about one’s exercise regime feels all a bit smug, much as I enjoy hearing about friends’ exercise. If it’s any consolation, this is the full extent of my self-improvement regime at the moment. I haven’t practised German since before Christmas and I haven’t opened the piano for weeks. I’m not working on any interesting personal projects. It’s all I can do in the evenings and at weekends to read the internet and magazines, or just sit in front of the telly. Talking of which…

§ We enjoyed Chloe (on iPlayer). (How does Alice Seabright, writer and director of this and Sex Education not have a Wikipedia page?) At first I wasn’t convinced the show could maintain the suspense of a character lying to everyone around her about who she was without getting found out, but I was pleasantly surprised because she maintained that high-wire act while trying to piece together the puzzle of what had happened to her old school friend.

A tiny bonus point was that the use of technology seemed pretty realistic. Which seems like nothing, but so often TV shows skirt reality for convenience of the plot. Just seeing iPhones used realistically, and people futilely trying to guess someone’s login passcode without magically guessing it, was refreshing.

Also, it was mostly filmed in Bristol, and exterior views of Bristol automatically make any drama slightly better than otherwise.

All in all, very good and very tense. Watching someone lying to everyone about their life was exhausting and proof that I couldn’t possibly do that myself.

Or could I…?

No, ha ha, of course not!

§ Over the past few weeks we’ve also watched the twelve episodes of the two seasons of Rose Matafeo’s Starstruck (on iPlayer) which was quite a fun rom-com, and a useful light chaser after a tense episode of Ozark or Chloe. There were moments I laughed out loud (rare!) and moments that were really lovely. It flagged a little during season two when it felt like they couldn’t find a way to move beyond the two close positions of in-a-not-quite-relationship and not-together-but-want-to-be. But it picked up right at the end so well done all.

It wasn’t filmed in Bristol – I guess not everything can be – but it was still very nice for these ex-Londoners to see lots of normal east(?) London streets.

§ That is all. Keep calm and, damn sorry.

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