I think of myself as pretty fit...I cycle a reasonable distance pretty often, and manage that without too much hardship. On that basis I decided to enter the National Lottery Anniversary Run - a five mile run round the Olympic Park finishing in the stadium itself! And I get two tickets for family to cheer me on.
Not that I'm over-confident about anything, ever, but I thought I would simply put on my running shorts on the day and sprint the distance without breaking into a sweat. To make sure I would do it in style, I bought myself a new pair of running shoes. Yesterday, I thought I would try them out. What I hadn't factored in was that I haven't actually run for thirty years. By the time I'd reached the end of the drive (it's no longer than yours), I was out of breath...and my little practice was a half mile out and back another back. Oh my word. Oh my word, I thought I was going to die. No two ways about it, it was gruesome. I remembered now why I don't run. I don't like it. My legs weigh a ton each, and struggle to go one in front of the other. The rest of my body is a lead weight...and these days, my stomach bounces up and down threatening to poke my eye out. So there's nothing for it...I must practice...and I've only got until the 21st of July to get it sorted. It's going to be grim.
Talking of grim...we headed off to Secret Cinema last week...rather than central London, it was being held in West Croydon, which has a number of downside...it's a bloody long way for a night out, it's a grim suburb and the trains stop running at 11.20. That would have been fine if the event itself was good, but it wasn't. Held over thirteen floors of a deserted office building, the production was just spread too thin...so you felt that you were wandering round a deserted office building rather than being immersed in the the film 'Brazil' by Terry Gilliam. In the end, we left at about 9.15, somewhat disappointed. From what I heard, the full film wasn't shown, although there was a theatrical climax...I assume a terrorist attack. As the tickets are nearly £50 each...and then you add food and drink on top, it's an expensive evening that needs to work hard. We may skip the next one. Shame really, as I think Brazil is a terrific film.
There was also a Muffin birthday this weekend, the smallest one hitting the grand old age of eight. We started off in Delauney's Cafe, moved on to the sweet shop, before going to see the new production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is playing previews now. Oh dear, oh dear oh dear. Methinks the famous Sam Mendes has invested too much time and effort getting the technical effects right, completely forgetting that the show needs pizazz and oomph. The first half is way, way too long...full of tedious songs and lacking any sort of humanity or spirit. There were an awful lot of fidgety little bums, so it was a relief to get to the interval. With the second half set in the factory, it was obviously brighter, livelier and more interesting....although it would be hard to say that fun crept into the equation very much. The show opens 'properly' on 24th June, so they've got a fortnight to sort it out, but I'm not sure how they will make a first half devoted to the dreary Buckets more entertaining. Good luck Sam...you'll need it.
To round off the weekend we went to see Eddie Izzard. The evening didn't promise much for me...I don't like the yawning aircraft hangar that is The O2 for performances, and I struggle to laugh at stand up comedy. So it's a credit to Mr Izzard, that he did bring a smile to my face...more for the clever, intellectual parts of his surreal act which appealed. I wasn't rolling on the floor laughing, but then nor was anyone else either. Like Charlie and the chocolate factory, the second half was considerably better than the first, but it was not a bad evening out.
The biggest amusement for me, though, was The Cat's Mother's god son who was with us. He's 26, just in case you thought we were taking nippers out for a late night. He's eccentric to say the least. At the interview for his new job, he was shown into a room, and realised that there was a ticking clock on the wall. He was climbing on a chair to remove the battery 'because it's too loud' just as the interviewers arrived. He doesn't start the job (yes, he actually got it) until July, so has spent his time reading the Koran. And why not? Last week, he needed to replace his vacuum cleaner so headed to John Lewis, where he engaged the sales man in a discussion about the merits of the new Siemens for AN HOUR. Finally, the sales man had to say, "You know, it's just a vacuum cleaner. It's not going to change your life."