Sunday, March 20th 2011

Hello there, happy readers.

In my last entry I said I’d tell you about ‘Me in the Gym.’
If you are given to laughing easily, I suppose you’d laugh your socks off. Even in my best suit, I’m nothing much to look at. But in a white T shirt, black jogging trousers and rubber soled moccasins I look funnier than Lady Ga Ga.

As I have said, I’m not doing this exercising out of choice, I’m doing it to avoid an operation. ‘Exercise is medicine,’ somebody once said. Whoever it was should be shot.

Anyway, I arrived at the gym by arrangement and was duly interviewed, weighed, had blood pressure check, and blew into the cardboard middle from an empty roll of lavatory paper. I was then told that I was an appropriate subject for a weight loss and cardio vascular something or other programme, that the club would be happy to accept me, and the NHS would pay for me. Well, readers, what could I do? All I had to lose was my pride.

I started a week later on February 1st, and I was met by Andy who had already worked out a programme of exercises for me. It comprised different lengths of time on five static machines: a mix of walking, hand pedalling and cycling. The length of time actually working totalled 38 minutes. I found out that that wasn’t too strenuous. I noticed that just as I was getting bored, tired or fed up with a particular exercise, the time had run out and it was time to change to another machine. So the session passed quite easily. My forehead was moist, I was a little short of breath and I had a tiny trickle of perspiration run down from my temple. But I was OK.

I have been going there twice a week for seven weeks now. Well, as the sessions passed, I upped the time on each machine to 10 minutes, (that was 50 minutes), then to 11, then to 12. I found that 12 was a minute too far, so I am back to 11 minutes each machine (that’s 55 minutes). I may try to up the time again soon, I’ll see how I feel.

There are silent TV screens to watch while you are exercising. I can watch the news and read the moving strip of words across the bottom but the blaring noise from loud speakers of pop music (I think that’s what they call it) is ugly and annoying. The staff are very nice, so are the other inmates. They are a surprising mix of both sexes: young, old, fat, huge, colossal, thin, skinny, ugly, average and beautiful.

One member of staff came over to me and quietly asked if I was the Roger Silverwood, the writer of Inspector Angel. I was pleased to say that I was. He spent some time talking to me about Angel and the business of writing books while I was on the machines which helped to pass the time. When I next went to the gym, he produced a copy of THE CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM and asked me to sign it for him. Amazon had delivered it in 3 days! He has since ordered THE MAN WHO COULDN’T LOSE. I told him that there was no need to buy my books. He could borrow them from the library for nothing. Anyway he has since kindly bought several. He said that he wanted to own them and perhaps read them again. Nice man.

I haven’t been weighed since the Weight Wise course finished on March 8th. I hope to see the Weight Wise session leader, sexy Linda, at a check up on April 1st. when I will be weighed again. Whatever the result: good, bad or indifferent, I will let you know as soon as I can.

On the writing front, this weight reducing lark has sent my writing schedule completely to pot. I am miles behind with my current Angel book, hopefully now for next year, and provisionally called THE CHESHIRE CAT MURDERS. I don’t know when I will finish it. My latest book, THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS, will be published on March 31st. I hope you will enjoy it.

Well, I must leave you If you can stand the meanderings of this old writer, keep looking in.

Take care.