Saturday, July 01, 2006

Back in the old routine

It's a bloggers bind; you have to have a life in order to blog but if you have a life there's no time to blog. Routine does not a good blog make, but routine is what I currently have. I've spent three years at work developing a department that functions so well we literally get to the end of the day having no idea what else to do... we're a bit like that now, Big Brother and the World Cup are a ubiquitous presence on the TV, even Millie has settled into a routine. I went to the O2 Wireless Festival to see Depeche Mode last week, and the week before we went to see Gifford's Circus. Great though both were, we knew what to expect, because we've been to both before.

It's not that I feel in any way restricted by the routine, on a meta-level there are many non-routine things happening, but you don't want to know that Millie has developed a phase 2 sleeping pattern at night that's different to the phase 1. As perfect as she is, I know you're not going to be as interested as I am.

The most routine of all is the gym. For a year now I've been going regularly in the morning. Up at 6.30, on the bike at 6.45, forty-five minutes and I'm out again, in the winter I'm sixth in, in the summer I'm 12th. I started going five times a week, but that's dropped to three. I'm a stone and a half lighter and people are starting to notice. Women in gyms are made up of two types; those who pull their trousers up after they get off a machine, and those who pull them down. The former are there to work out, tone up and burn calories, the latter feel the gym is an extension of their Heat inspired image, they buy the latest sexy skimpy gym-wear, including the low slung trackies that reveal their 'just above bum crack' tattoo and then use each machine on the lowest level for about 45 seconds each abandoning them when they feel an minor ache. When they've finished they leave swigging on bottled water dabbing the sweat off their forehead.

The 6.30am crowd is made up wholly of the former. Serious gym-bunnies. We're all acquainted in an eye-brow raising, half smile kind of way. Those who do the Spin class on Wednesday and Friday seem to talk to each other, everyone else just gets on with what they're their to do. I, being I, now know everyone only by what I've observed. So, in an occasional series, for this read, will get bored and/or forget about it before long, let me introduce you to some of the people from the gym:

Miriam T - can be quite abrupt and rude, especially when people leave the doors open rendering the air conditioning useless. She once commented that I'd really started looking good since coming down the gym. I said I'd lost over a stone, to which she replied 'Wish I could': I wasn't sure whether to give her a hollow reciprocal compliment or to laugh weakly. I did the latter. Actually, I don't think her name is Miriam T at all, it's a name on the signing in list, but I think that might be another women who gets in early. Miriam T will always be Miriam T to me.

The Kid From Fame - The Kid from Fame has a dizzying array of elaborate 80's-chic gym-wear. Cropped lycra tops under a t-shirt made of netting, three quarter length leggings and matching trainers is not unusual. The trainers change with the outfit. Serious about working out, serious about what she looks like when working out.

Tumble Turns - You can tell which of Tumble Turns' many routines she's going to do the moment she walks in the gym. Cycling shorts and she'll be on the bike for ages; running shorts and you know she'll be running. One morning I saw her head for the pool, which the gym overlooks. I couldn't see her in the pool until I worked out that the women powering up and down in a Speedo swimming hat, googles and doing tumble turns was, indeed, Tumble Turns.

The Robot - The robot is a woman who has been put together by a computer calculating the perfect female form. She's 5ft 6", slim, with pert breasts and a round, though not fatty bottom. She has long silky hair, white teeth and a symmetrical face. Her gym kit is subtly colour co-ordinated and fits perfectly without creases. There are no bulges anywhere. However like Laura Croft in Tomb Raider, she doesn't seem real enough to be attractive. She's being gently wooed by the Sales Rep, a man who looks like a sales rep. His tactics so far include writing 'nice bum' on the signing in sheet next to her name, and turning her running machine up whilst she's on it. It's horrible to watch.

Moby - Short and bald, probably not a sexually ambiguous Christian, vegan, techno rock behemoth. Not that it stops me thinking he is.

There are more, lots more...


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