Saturday, 31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012...

So ends 2011.

How was it for you?

Was it fun, or fumbled?

Factually interesting or a fictional bore?

As the Earth is about to end next year, London will be the centre of the world. Some lady who has adorned my cash will be celebrating the fact that she has smiled upon Sterling for sixty years.

There is also a modern day coliseum of blood to take place on a former waterlogged marsh in the East of the city, complete with out own smiling Nero looking over the celebrations while the army of illeagal immigrants, the poor and the destitute will continue to work through the whole year, slowly seeing the value of our cash drip away as we struggle to survive, while our glorious leaders bathed in the blood, sweat and tears of those they trample underfoot tell us, we are in it together.

So I an off to work, agai, tonight. Am I bitter? Nope, just peeved off again that it will be a lousy way to enter 2012. Somewhere in South London I will be seeing the rest of humanity celebrating while I bitterly mope in my cup of tea somewhere.

Oh, then there is January, traditionally my holiday month. Although this year, my holidays will be spread out towards November, so I will only be jetting off for a weekend here and there. Yes, I have booked a ridiculous amount of flights this year, so far five of them. I have another two planned before the end of the year, and if the price is right, maybe three. I am looking to build upon my life, to try and achive something better and of course, by this time in 2012, I wil be saying the same old bull s**t as I was, predicting that 2013 might be better.

No, life is not bad, it is just me being cynical. But why not? After all, we are all in this together.

So, to those delusional with an extra amount of holiday time, a very Happy New Year to you. To those working throughout this 'festive period' I appreciate your pain, because it is also my pain. And to all of those not looking forward to Tuesday 3rd January when you all shuffle back to work, just take a moment to stop and realise that it is my day off since Christmas Day, so I am actually quite looking forward to it! I need a break...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Really, that was Christmas 2011

For those that are back to work today already, I feel your pain. But I was working through Christmas, busy as hell. But it was fun, really fun. Really. Honest. I am smiling! Really!

Haha!

Yes, it was hellish in some respects, and I lost out on far too much sleep over the Christmas period. But it was one of the most entertaining festive periods I ever had. There were old faces and new at the dinner table and it was one hell of a dinner.

Not only was it eating and making merry, but it was rushing around town. Meeting people, fr too many and trying to link up with as many loved ones as possible. TO be blunt, I have never had a Christmas as busy.

But you know what, despite the fatigue, I really miss Christmas. All of it. The hullabaloo, the panic, the hassle. After all is said and done, you miss it because the loved ones are no longer there. The fantasy, suspending yourself from reality disappears. For just a few brief hours, the world is good, for those lucky enough to enjoy Christmas. It is a one day dance that takes the best part of three months to plan for and to spend and get in to debt for. But, despite the hassle, the hustle, I will do it again this year.

It is probably why Christmas only come once a year, as we need time to forget the stress and look back fondly at the memories.

But one thing I will repeat. I HATE STANSTED AIRPORT. Nothing will change my mind with regards to that!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Waah!

I got knocked off my bicycle when coming back from work th9s morning. Another SMIDSY, but this one hurt! My knee is in agony, but I will survive. I just want to feel sorry for myself for now.

Waah!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

So that was Christmas 2011

For those that are going back to work today, tough luck. I have been working throughout the Christmas period. And entertaining, and bending backwards for other people, and spending like crazy. And now it is officially over (yesterday was a public holiday) I can state that how glad I am that I will not be seeing this jolly time for another year.

Really, how does the rest of the world put up with it. I do not know what is worse. Pretending to enjoy other people's company, the little children milling around or the crazy amounts of cash being spent. Enforced family get-togethers, airport runs, or having to really think is that other person all right, well fed, watered, looking after this and that person accompanying you when, let us be honest, for the rest of the year, you would not give a hoot about them. Phone calls to and from foreign lands to people in a lot of places far nicer than myself and a Christmas Pudding that just did not come out all right. In fact it was disgusting. Uninvited guests popping in and doing very little use apart from being an extra mouth to feed, a lack of private time with intimate ones and fun that really is not fun.

Sounds familiar? Well, that was my Christmas, and it was not a blast. Really, I think that some of the bet parts of Xmas 2011 was being at work. It was a lot more relaxing than spending it around my family and loved ones. Oh yes, that phrase, loved ones. Bah, bloody, humbug. I do not know what is worse. Actually getting a present and trying to keep it a surprise (spectacular fail this year) or receiving a present and trying to feign interest in it - I m terrible to buy gifts or, I just do not want anything. And subsequently I am terrible at buying gifts - why aren't people happy with cash?

Oh, and do not talk about the driving this year. It was painful. A colleague of mine is married to a Polish Lady, whose family always uses Stansted as their choice of entry to the UK. Living, like me, on the other side of the city to that accursed airport, he once spent 12 hours of his life, going to Stansted from his home, waiting there because of delays and getting back to his home. As a result of this single event, he sold his car and told his in-laws to find their own way to his house. No joke, true story.

I spent eight hours on Friday doing the same thing. Longer than my shift at work that night. I have never been so intimate with the backstreets of Tooting as I was over the past few days.

And I just had to be up at 3am this morning to get to that airport by 5am.

So, just to reiterate the obvious in this post, let me sum up my thought of Christmas 2011.

I HATE STANSTED AIRPORT.

I HATE CHRISTMAS FUN.

I HATE TAKING PEOPLE AROUND LONDON TO SEE THE FRIGGIN' SIGHTS THAT I HAVE SEEN A MILLION TIMES.

I HATE BUYING LOUSY PRESENTS.

I HATE GETTING USELESS STUFF IN RETURN.

AND I HATE STANSTED AIRPORT. I REALLY HATE THIS GOD-FORSAKEN STRETCH OF ESSEX.

So thank goodness Christmas is over. I have had enough, and I need a holiday from all this shit. I think January is a good time to get away from it all...and I do not want to see anymore than one loved one on my travels...bah humbug!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Wishes and Kisses to All

I will be out of the loop for the next few days. Just to wish all the visitors to this humble (and of late patchy) blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that 2012 will be happy, LOADED and healthy for all of you!

cmd

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Bicycle Diaries - Midwinter 2011



It has not been cold winter. And I have cycled like crazy, but being ill for a couple of weeks earlier this month means that I have not been as active as I wished (hence the patchy blog output this month).

But I got back in the saddle a couple of days ago and it feels great! Beating the Christmas Rush and filling out my lungs with exhaust - hey it is London, so the air is not too fresh. But it does feel great to ride and weave through London and to know it is my own legs doing the work not some internal combustion engine powered by fosilised sea life.

Hopefully the mild winter will hold up, as cycling at this moment is an absolute joy. Bouts of sun and cloud, but no major cold spells. Hell, I was cycling without gloves last night. Mid-winter cycling does not get much better than this!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Life? Not yet, but getting there...

The Kepler Mission is possibly one of the most exciting satellites launched in recent years. Its mission, to discover new planets orbiting around distant stars, in the hope of finding planets like our own, that could harbour life.

The mission has been incredibly successful, and today, the announcement that two planets, one just a bit bigger than Earth and the other, smaller than Earth represents a truly significant milestone. Although they are too close tho their host star to have liquid water, the fact that something the same size or smaller than the Earth has been found means that it is probably only a matter of time until a truly Earthlike twin is discovered...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Xmas Busy-ness

I need to do my emails.

Eat some food.

Get more sleep!

Complete my editing tasks.

Clean up.

A lot of cleaning up.

Off to the dump - again. Probably tomorrow.

More cleaning.

A little writing.

And - work! Ugh...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Deathly Times

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il dead. I will shed no tears.

Unlike yesterday, when one of the world's great statesmen died, Vaclav Havel, the first leader of the post-Communist Czechoslovakia and after the country's peaceful separation, the first leader of the Czech Republic. A great leader who led his country trough the turbulent Post-Communist years of the 1990's so today it is one of Europe's most wondrous places.

Two different leaders, two countries that have gone in such different directions. Both products of the Cold War, how funny the twist of fate can be...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

London Diary 50

The heat coming from the heater warmed my hands. The soft hum of the engine dulled my senses. And the rhythmic rocking of the car through the streets of London almost sent me to sleep.

I looked across at the driving seat at him. Once upon a time I loved this man. Or so I thought I did. But we had a child together, our son. No matter what our differences were, we still had a bond that transcended all our divisions.

He was a god man. Let me rephrase that, he is a good man. Despite what I put him through, he rescued me, tonight. Whether it was serendipity or just a happy coincidence, I do not know. But if it was no for him, life would have got very sticky.

I turn, and look back through the rear window. I know no one is following us, but I still got to make sure. I am in a lot of trouble. I could get him to help me, but, I do not want his help. I cannot do it, I have taken enough from him already. I have taken him from his family, his work, his pride. I do not want to take anymore from him, he has given enough to me.

It is wet outside. Winter. Cold, damp, the rain still fresh on the tarmac. We hit a couple of puddles as he negotiates through the traffic. The nice thing about being driven is the fact that I do not have to sit outside in the cold. My cash in my bag is safe, plus the cash I got off her.

Yeah, I left her. I do not know if she is still alive, but she deserved what she got. Junkie. But what choice did I have. Stick around, call an ambulance and wait to get thrown in a cell. I got too much stuff on me for that. here is no such thing as a happy ending. Anyway, she made a choice, I just supplied the goods. She was already past it long before she met me. I was just a cheaper supplier, that is that.

In the end , it is just business. No thoughts, no personality. Just the cash in my bag. And her pills. That was a lucky find, but maybe I can make a couple of extra pennies by flogging it. Or maybe they will dull the pain in my head.

I need to sleep. But I cannot. My mind is always racing. Everytime I close my eyes, it feels as if a movie is playing on my eyelids. Maybe I should stop taking this stuff, but it keeps me going. Alive, and I can pay off this debt. He probably suspects what I am doing, t is why he picked me up. Not serendipity, not fate. These things do not happen in London. He just knows me, what I am capable off. We were once intimate, we were once in love. But that love is long gone from me. I have someone else. More important in my life. And he has to get over that. No matter what his kindness is like.

I know that he will try to sweet-talk to me. And I will have to placate him. Rub his neck a little, maybe kiss his cheek as a thank you. But that is as far as it goes. To leave him hanging. After all, I may need his help again sometime.

The night continues along. People spilling out of the clubs. Waiting for a Night Bus, trying to get a cab. I suppose I am lucky, warm, dry, getting ferried to somewhere for free. In need to sleep, and the heat makes me drowsy. But even though I can trust him, I still do not want to let my guard down. I keep my eyes open and watch the city flow by from the passenger seat. Slowly into the night...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Legend of Zelda - Link's Sexual Awakening

Definitely not work safe, but a lot of fun. Combines the puerile need for video games and cheap sex. Ahh, if only life was this easy - Legend of Zelda Simdate Game recommended for those with a sense of humour. It also helps to be a bit of a Zelda Geek...just a word of common sense, the game is not worksafe.

(Oh, the best bit is once Link has pulled, is to actually refuse the sexual advances of the girl characters. I think Saria's over-the-top reaction to Link's impotence has got to be the best).

Legend of Zelda
Legend of Zelda

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Inching Closer to Shanghai - The Croxley Rail Link

At 250 miles long, the London Underground is the second longest metro system in the world, after Shanghai at 270 miles long. The total rail network in London is one of the largest in the world, only Tokyo with, Crossrail being the latest extension to London's rail map.

However in a small corner of Hertfordshire, just outside the Capital, lies Watford, gateway to the north of the country and on the edge of the Metropolitan Line. But after a long fifty year wait, the Croxley Rail link is finally getting built. At some 4 miles long, London's Underground network slowly increases in size again. Who knows, we may catch up with Shanghai yet. But this plan was twenty years in the making...




Wiki Link.


Project Page.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

To infinity and Beyond - the Voyagers keep Voyaging!

Voyager 1 about to leave the Solar System.



I grew up in the 1980's and space has always fascinated me. I have a telescope (shocking as in London light pollution makes star gazing crap, but I still love it), I have always watched the Sky at Night and as a kid, books about the Universe engrossed me long before Wikipedia entries became standard internet browsing fodder.

And when I was a kid, the Voyager Spacecraft where amazing. They enthralled my imagination and I was hooked on all things space because of them. Two long distance probes that had shown us the wonders of Jupiter and Saturn. And where hurtling to distant Uranus and Neptune. I do not remember the coverage of the Uranus flyby, but I do remember the news reels of Neptune's visit. The Great Blue Spot, Neptune's rings and Geysers on Triton, Neptune's largest moon. These things fascinated me.

And as I mentioned previously on this blog, what is amazing is that after all this time, the Voyagers are still Voyaging. The Interstellar Mission, to find out the edge of the Solar System. The two spacecraft are still continuing to discover and amaze humanity. Who could have thought that 1970's technology would still be working usefully today, as our most far flung ambassadors, as a symbol of the hope and prosperity of America at the time and as a statement of hope. That we, as a species will keep on exploring, pushing the boundaries of our knowledge further, because we can, because there are questions to be answered because of our innate curiosity. And why not? In an age when budgets where abstract concerns and when there was a hope of looking far beyond the petty view of humanity. The Voyagers represent the very best of what we had to offer to the Universe.

The amazing thing is that they are running, and they look like they will continue to discover more about the Interstellar Medium, the universe beyond our Solar System, some forty or even fifty years after they were launched in 1977. A remarkable legacy for the pair of spacecraft. Far beyond what their creators could have ever hoped to have achieved. A legacy to great design and of course due to expert planning which included the Pioneer Probes - without them, the Voyagers would not have gone beyond the orbit of Jupiter.

One day, the Voyager Spacecraft will cease to function. Like all good things, they will come to an end. But for now, against the turbulent boundary of our Solar System, they are telling us about what lies beyond our Sun's bubble. It is a fascinating privilege to be witness to this, and there will probably not be another spacecraft in my lifetime that will be able to do such a thing. So I will enjoy this moment, along with the rest of the world, and voyaging with the Voyagers. It is thrilling to be on the edge of something so great and it really puts into perspective, despite our petty bickering and disputes, just how small we are in the cosmos.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Europe vs UK



So I have seen the news yesterday and today that Britain (or our glorious Prime Minister), for the first time wielded the UK's veto during a European negotiation. Some have cast Britain and the PM as a pariah amongst the nation's largest trading partner, and some have decided to break out the warm beer and wave the Union Jack that we have stuck two fingers to the dirty continentals.

Now before I go in, let me state that I am a great believer in the EU, but I think that the whole institution is rotten to the core and really needs to be gutted out. Great ideals, horrible implementation of the practicalities. While some fantastic ideals such as free markets, the free movements of people, free trade, the interlinking of culture and exchange of culture has all been huge positives of the EU. A bloated bureaucracy, an ineffective Parliament and a wasteful sense of spending. The fact that the EU has not signed off its own books in over a decade, it does beggar belief that the EU is now going to sign off the books of its member states. And seemingly, without a whiff of democracy - a dangerous maneuver. I think a strong, Confederate Europe, with democracy and free trade at its heart would do wonders for the continent. Instead, an institution, encumbered by the baggage of World War II and the corruption of the 21st Century, holds many people with disgust in the UK, and increasingly, across the rest of the continent. It is more a meeting of the elites rather than a project for peace.

But David Cameron is no diplomat, and he played right into the hand of the Franco-German axis that has for so long dominated the Union. It is quite clear that removing Britain from the negotiating table made a lot of European leaders happy. And that it left Britain open to blame if there was a failure in the Euro. He could have played his hand far smarter.

What Uncle Dave, our glorious PM did, was play to his own political party. He wanted to avoid a showdown with his domestic politics. So while he returns to backslapping, and good show Dave, the guy took the easy route out.

The Germans, the French and the rest do not care about the Conservative Party (think of them as a nice version of today's Republican Party in the US or a less cuddly version of the current incarnation of India's Congress Party) to which David Cameron belongs to. Few people in the UK care about it too. But the EU do care about an electorate of 60 million people. Dave could have played his hand far more deftly. He could have said that he would be happy to have a new treaty, and then put it to referendum if it did not protect Britain's Interests (read that as the banker's interests, but that is another story). He would have also solved his domestic political problem in one fell swoop.

That would have really knocked heads in the EU together, as everyone knows how Eurosceptic this country is. The EU leaders would have tailored a deal to ensure that David Cameron would not call a referendum. It would have also brought Britain far deeper into the negotiations, and some real progress would have been made.

Instead, David swung his handbag, and lost. Poorly.

The ego of a few pigs at the top trough have left the world's largest (and arguably its most successful) trading bloc split. 26 nations against its 2nd/3rd biggest member (depending on where you stop counting). Dave may have won this round, but it is not in Britain's or Europe's interests to be divided by the English Channel.

---

From what I have read about the proposals in the press, it seems there is no real plan to Save the Euro. No fundamental addressing of Europe's real problem. Bloated, spendthrift governments that ran out of money and a population boom/immigration supply to support this. Europe is stagnant, trying to hold onto its past glories instead of using its heritage and history to be creative and dynamic in the 21st Century. It is a problem that all countries in the EU face (including Britain) and it will not be addressed by a few pen strokes in closed rooms, but a fundamental shift in the attitudes of Europe's people. What is happening in Greece now, is going to repeat itself across Europe, as populations fall, tax incomes drop and populations age. This is an old continent, that despite its history, of looking beyond its borders is becoming increasingly inward looking and incestuous. There is a brave new world out there, and fundamentally, the EU is far better than a bunch of competing nations. But Europe is lazy. Too much resting on its old money. If Europe want s to thrive in this century, its governments and citizens have got to be prepared to work harder, and smarter...

Friday, 9 December 2011

Waving a Flag or Isolated

Well, big news in the UK is Britain's Veto in the EU discussions. It will be interesting to see where this one goes...

Keep waving that flag Dave!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Editing Update on 'Amigos Amigos'

Not a long post, but just to add to the teaser I released earlier this week. There will be a few updates like this over the next few weeks as I finish off this documentary based on Country Music in the Seychelles.

First of all, apologies to the bulk of the people reading this blog. I know that half of that teaser was spoken in Creole, the language of Seychelles, but it was mainly targeted for the Seychellois community. The next teaser will have subtitles, I promise, so everyone (well, a lot more) will be able to understand.

So I have got half an hour of footage under my belt and I am on target to getting between 45 mins to an hour of documentary edited. Then I will trim down the documentary to something more like 35-45mins, subtitle it and clean up the soundtrack. As it was shot on an old VX-2000E, it is in lousy SD, but as it is a documentary I think (or hope) I will be forgiven for the poor picture quality.

I am aiming to get the bulk of work done by the end of January, which will leave me with the remainder of 2012 just spent cleaning it up, trying to clear music copyright before sending it to festivals. Now, it has taken me a while to get into the documentary, but so far it feels all right. I am getting back into the groove of editing, and it really is the last thing I have on my plate with regards to old stuff needing to get done. Throughout Autumn, I have been beavering away, clearing my slate for next year. Tying up loose ends, making sure that Irfan, for better or for worse, gets distributed to its festivals and making sure that I enter 2012 with the clearest of hard drives and minds to concentrate on the next project.

And yes, more will be revealed as I am already planning and writing the script for that baby. And it could be interesting. Which is why I want to make sure I have a clean slate. Onward I go...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Single vs Taken - how to spot the difference.

Taken men are impeccably dressed.

Single men look like they have been through a hedge. Without actually going through a hedge...

Taken men are broke.

Single men are broke, but they spent their cash on decent things like motorbikes.

Taken men know what a ballet is.

Single men cannot spell the word.

Taken men have a smug look on their face.

So do single men.

Taken men do not play video games, draw comics or watch action films.

Taken men do not know what they are missing out on...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Are you surprised by this latest Scandal?

And so it continues. Barely two years after the last one, we have another. The Independent covers a story about lobbyists with access to government, policy decisions etc.

This is what I pay my taxes for. Why again? That's why I do not blame the rioters over the summer...

Monday, 5 December 2011

'Amigos Amigos' - Teaser

Over the past few weeks, I have finally got back to editing Amigos Amigos, a documentary that I shot in 2008, but have only recently had the time to actually really get editing. Don't blame me! Okay, maybe I have just not looked forwar dto completing this mountain (which in reality is a molehill) but I will complete this by the end of Jan '12, so sit back and take a look at this two minute clip from the film.

Click to watch.



I will add subtitles at a later date :)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

I...

...want to do frisky things.

But I can't.

Well, can't is not the right word.

I can do anything I want.

But I shouldn't.

Do, frisky, things.

Why?

Well, maybe it is because I am usually naughty, and so being frisky is an extension of that.

Or maybe it is because I have mutilated my good self and so I am in a lot of pain.

Or it could be anything in between.

Anyhow, less frisky is not a good thing for me.

I believe in more frisky.

More is good, less is bad. Hell, more is more.

And frisky is friskily good.

So-

Look, I am not making any sense. My frisky level is at an all time low...

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Big Distraction

At the moment it is very important that some overpaid public sector worker gets a lot of free publicity for saying something not that funny but really, not that serious either.

He has probably got a book to sell this Christmas or something.

But that misses the point. On a grand scale.

Two significant news stories, widely reported this week but seemingly ignored by the general public. And it was not the damp squib of a National Strike that supposedly hit the UK on Wednesday.

Firstly, something close to home. The possible collapse of the Euro. Our esteemed Governor of Wonga has told the UK's banks to not pay bonuses to its staff or dividends to its shareholders, but to use its cash for possible fall out in case the currency collapses.

I, you and the rest of the world know that is not going to happen. So bonuses will be paid, a currency could well crash and come 2012, the taxpayer will have to bail out these banks again. As someone once told me, it is like an abusive relationship.

Or there will be another run on these banks.

As a saver, I am watching this like a hawk. If I think my bank is going to go bust, then my cash goes back under my mattress. Better to loose out to inflation than to loose everything.

Secondly, the expulsion of Iranian diplomat and the collapse of Iran/UK relations.

This may seem like another spat between two mutually antagonistic governments. Or is this the forbearance of something more sinister.

After the disaster that was Iraq, the close run in Libya and the continuing stagnation in Afghanistan, do we really need to go gunning for another tin-pot, oil-rich/strategic country? The UK is broke enough, plus far too weak to go on some democratic crusade?

But of course common sense and listening to its population's wishes never enters our elected leaders' minds. Otherwise, they would not have bailed out the banks in the first place. Nor would they get distracted by an overpaid television presenters carefully chosen words...

I suppose Christmas is here, and it is good to get a jolly distraction or two towards the public before the reality hits us next year. More wars, more state aids for the rich and more crap dolloped on the rest of the population. I suppose it is a gift to live in such enlightened times, when the obvious is there for us to see, but the majority of pepple are too busy jerking off on their social media to care too much.

But as I said, I will be keeping an eye on the banks. I do have a fair amount of cash that could go down the plug hole.

Oh, and a war with Iran. Nothing frightens me more. It really would make Iraq look like a picnic. But of curse, you do not see any politicians on the front lines, so I suppose it is okay then. Right?

And tomorrow, former glamour model on the television tells us that she thinks all the wheelchair bound should be denied access to air pumps so the tyres on the wheelchairs cannot be pumped up.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

You are what you eat

I am a bit of a foodie. A quick trawl through this website shows that on occasion I go nuts in the kitchen with a dodgy recipe or two. I find it therapeutic to cook. I do not know why, but I just do I know many people feel scare, even lost in the kitchen. I tell them, do not worry, to calm down.

Cooking, can be easy or hard, but it is up to the mentality of the person doing the cooking.

If the chef approaches cooking with a fun attitude, then no matter the result, the journey, rather than the destination will be enjoyed. And with practice, success will be found on the palette too. However, if the cook is stressed, not bothered or just plain panics while seeing lots of pots and pans and decides to clean the cooker top rather than observe the frying of the onions, then disaster ensues.

And there is a reason why I love cooking, it is simple. I love to eat. Well.

While I could live off junk food, for me it is an empty existence. And I do know all the best places to go in the world to get good street food. My holidays abroad abound with tales on he cheapest eateries that serve wholesome local fare. Why can't every restaurant or street stall do this simple task, I do not know.

Yes, I love to eat. And I love to ea the food I like. If I cannot cook, them I am dependent on someone else. Plus, if I cannot cook, how can I be fussy (which is rare) about the food I eat? I would be hypocritical.

And there is another reason why I like to eat, well. I like to be strong.

I am in relatively good health for a man of my age. No infirmities, I can cycle regularly, I still have what may be termed a virile existence and I can go without sleep for long periods of time. I rarely get sick. I put this down to two things. One, my own aptitude. I do believe that a healthy mind is a healthy body. Not that my thoughts are healthy, quite the opposite, but I have an outlook which is get up and go.

The second is also what I eat. Everyday I will plough a huge amount of fruits and vegetables into me. I can safely say that I eat over 300 oranges, pears and apples every year. I probably eat close to 1,500 tomatoes every year and my banana, plum, berry, cucumber and carrot intake are also stratospherically high.

And yes, while I do like the occasional pig out and gorge on junk food days, the bulk of the time, I do steer towards more wholesome options. I do not diet, I do not believe in it. I do eat well, and often over the calorific intake that is recommended. But I make sure that my activities throughout the day balance that out. After all, why starve yourself the pleasure of endorphins and food?

And at this moment in time, I am grateful that I do eat well. It helps the body far more than I realised...