Tag Archives: trains

The Swimmer

I went swimming yesterday. That in itself is nothing to write home about, as I go a couple of times a week. Yesterday however I went to a nice posh outdoor pool courtesy of Mr F’s gym, which as you can imagine being a foggy November morning in Leeds was extremely quiet. This made a nice change from my usual tiny pool at a local hotel, which recently I seem to have been stuck sharing with an escaped warthog doing breaststroke. It’s not that I mind sharing the pool, in fact there are some lovely women that go to my gym and we’ll often pass the time of day whilst getting changed. However I suspect the new woman has watched a humpback whales guide to swimming. Everytime she surfaces it is as though she is trying to spout water through a blow hole. It wouldn’t be so bad if she actually made any progress, but despite her goggles and speedo swimming costume every time she does a stroke she bobs down and surfaces practically in the same place.

In the lovely empty pool of this morning’s swim it occurred to me that pretty much all my hobbies have one thing in common. They embrace the peace and quiet of solitary life. Obviously my main hobby is reading, which is done preferably without the interruptions of outside life. I also enjoy running (well walking mostly but I like to call it a run) This usually consists of just me and my latest talking book plodding slowly around a very quiet moor, with the occasional good morning shared between fellow exercisers. I also like horse riding, which is currently occupying my Sunday mornings and this is just me, Timmy the horse and my instructor so again lovely and quiet.

Of course there are exceptions to this idea, music being one. I like my music loud and heavy, and I enjoy concerts with the throngs of people milling around, but on the whole I’m a big fan of peace and quiet.

At the risk of sounding much older than my current sprightly young years, in my opinion that is one of the worst things about mobile phones. The destruction of peace and quiet. You can’t even go on a nice train journey with a good book without being subjected to someone else’s phone calls or having to listen to their music through annoying tinny ear phones. It is always rubbish music as well, I wouldn’t mind so much if they played a bit of Slash or Foo Fighters but it is always some imitation Take That, disco, house music ( whatever that is, I’m never really sure) As for people talking on their phones, unless they are a doctor and talking through a major operation until such time as they can arrive and save someone’s life, then I’m pretty certain their call just isn’t that important.

I suppose at least with other people’s phone calls or music I can try and block it out with another audible talking book, unfortunately there is no such luck with the warthog doing breaststroke. If only there was a waterproof phone and headset.

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Under the knife

Well as the eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted there has been another break in the blogging and reviewing here at acrimereadersblog. Unfortunately this time it wasn’t due to anything exciting or involving sunshine. I can however say that I’ve found somewhere that provides even more opportunity to read than a delayed East Coast train, a hospital waiting room.

I’ve recently had the dubious pleasure of a hospital trip. Now obviously that’s never going to be seen as a good thing but looking on the plus side it does provide the gift of time due to the endless waiting around.

As everyone reading this knows I’m a huge book fan. I’ve always thought there is no situation that can’t be improved by ignoring it and reading instead. Well it turns out I was wrong. Despite the saying ‘lose yourself in a book’ no matter how good a story you are reading, it’s not possible to completely disregard the surroundings you are in. This was especially true of the hours I had to spend waiting around for my operation. As if sitting around in paper pants and a back to front gown wasn’t bad enough things went rapidly downhill when across the room came the cry of ‘Can we watch Jeremy Kyle?’ Sadly the nurses refused my request to knock me out then and there.

Unfortunately things didn’t improve much after the actual operation either. I’m sure I’d been cast as a silent extra in ‘Carry on nursing’ When the nurses weren’t discussing whose turn it was to make the tea, they were pushing people round the wards in beds seemingly trying to recreate the Olympics Opening Ceremony with little success. Hearing nurses wandering round in the middle of the night asking if anyone has seen patient x does not fill one with complete confidence. In fact at some point in the middle of the night when I was accused of stealing my own notes (technically even if I had moved them they were surely mine anyway) I was convinced that I was actually taking part in some brand new reality tv show and any minute now I was going to be asked to vote off whichever non-celebrity was pretending to be my nurse (Simon Cowell – if you are reading this and want to buy the rights to Nurse Factor then do get in touch)

Of course it wasn’t all bad. I should be grateful that the hospital stay coincided with the winter Olympics. At least I was saved from the slippery slope that is day time tv by a new found interest in housework on ice. Who knew that watching people sweeping the ice whilst their friends played marbles, or a woman hurtling down a slope on a rather small tea tray would be so fascinating. 

Luckily my stay in hospital was short lived and I’m now enjoying a few weeks of recuperation surrounded by piles of books to read and enough flowers to make Kew gardens jealous.  Fingers crossed therefore that normal service has now been resumed and I can use this unexpected spare time to catch up on my book reviews (although a trip somewhere sunny also wouldn’t go down badly!)

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