Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Late Post


I’ve been remiss in posting here yet again...

Saturday 27th September
It’s kakos keros today (bad weather) and, as I mooch about the house gradually getting a few jobs done (like wiping the three week’s accumulation of dust off the coffee table), I realise that this is probably a good thing.

 
A moment ago, I was gazing at one item in a list of things I must look up while next on the internet: physical exhaustion. In retrospect, walking 8 to 9 miles then kayaking twice that on Thursday, fuelled by just a bowl of cornflakes, coffee, tea, 2 beers, 2 glasses of wine and a pomegranate, wasn’t clever. On the Friday I felt drained, so didn’t walk in the morning as intended. When down in Makrigialos I did kayak, once, and afterwards felt quite ill so went home. Today, after a typically crappy night’s sleep I ate a bowl of cornflakes. Then, still feeling like I’d been tapped out by a vampire during the small hours, I realised I needed more fuel than that so ate a bowl of chilli. The usual then followed as my body used remaining resources to digest that and knocked me out on the sofa. Now, after a further bowl of chilli at midday, I’m starting to feel like I might be able to do some stuff. Luckily, it’s pissing down and, even I, nuts as I am, think that kayaking 10 or 15 miles in the pouring rain might not be the smartest move.

 
I guess I’m discovering my limitations and, one would hope, pushing against them. Flicking back through my journal, I see that most days I’ve been doing the kind of exercise that a couple of years ago would have left me wiped out for a week. I also think I’ve been led slightly along a false path by taking just a little notice of this BMI nonsense. According to that, for my age and height, my range is supposed to be 9st 13lb to 12st 5lb. At present my weight seems to hover about 12st 7lb so I’m fat? Bollocks.

 
And now onto a completely different subject... Another thing I’ve wondering about is when I last did a book signing, and which book it was. I could find out of course by opening my picture files, but then I would see pictures of Caroline and looking at those while stuck inside on a rainy day is not a great idea. Especially when feeling exhausted and weak – my resistance to my inner masochist is at a low ebb at the moment. Anyway, I’m pretty sure the book concerned was Hilldiggers in 2007.

 
The reason I’ve been wondering about this is because, what with the intervention of stuff like cancer and death, the publication of my next book, Dark Intelligence, was deferred to this winter. This will, therefore, be the first time, in about 8 years, that I’ll be physically present in England during the release of one of my books.



 
The good people at Macmillan, spotting this fact, got onto me and asked if I was up for doing something. Well, so long as it doesn’t involve giving talks or readings I am (I did not retreat into my bedroom to write all those years ago because I wanted to be a performer). I will, it transpires, be signing hardback copies of Dark Intelligence in Forbidden Planet, London, on the 29th January. Be there or be square ... or quite possibly Kindle-shaped. 

Sunday 29th September
Kakos keros still, and again no exercise. Yesterday, after eating the cornflakes, then later two platefuls of chilli and rice, I ate a bowl of meat, cheese and pickled onions then in the evening went out for a meal of lamb chops, potatoes, rice and salad. In essence, I ate about two to three times my usual. When I weighed myself that morning I came in at 12st 5.4lbs. This morning I weighed in at spot on 13st. Um, so a weight gain of 8.6lbs in one day, most of it sitting in my stomach, large intestine and small intestine. I must remember to feel no fear next time I’m on the crapper, because the world is going to be dropping out of my bottom.

 
Today, thus far, my routine has been much the same, though with one less plateful of chilli. Still I feel knackered, still my hands are slightly shaky and still my legs feel like they did 10 miles yesterday. I did rally at about 4PM when I pushed myself to sweep out the stove chimney (a rat had taken up residence in it earlier in the summer). After that I felt warm enough to take off my hoody and thought I might be able to do a bit more. About half an hour later I again ended up flat on my back on the sofa. Evolutionary imperative I guess. Your body will respond when you push it simply because the bodies that all the time went, ‘Nah I’m too knackered and I can’t be bothered,’ ended up as lunch for a passing sabre tooth.

Other things I’m noticing. A mosquito bite on my ankle that has just been stubbornly not healing up over many weeks, has now dried up and properly scabbed over. Spots that a two weeks ago appeared on my back scalp and chin are also drying up and healing. The result of rest? Or the result of not perpetually dunking them in the sea? I don’t know. I certainly need to research how to body responds to the kind of pressure I’ve been putting mine under over the last ... 7 months.

Now, if I can summon up the will, it’s time I returned to my Greek homework.

3 comments:

Dan said...

Basically, it is the opinion of this biologist here that you're pushing yourself too hard. Notice, too, what you crave to eat: protein. This is your body saying "I require materials with which to make repairs", then when said materials turn up, your body is saying "Right then, have a nice lie down whilst I get on with repairs".

What I'd recommend now is a low level of cod liver oil supplements along with the sort of diet you are eating. Cod liver oil contains nervous system insulation and is also quite good for you; apart from that make sure you're getting enough vitamin C.

Humans, along with most primates, long ago lost the ability to synthesis their own vitamin C. We also have trouble synthesising a number of other essential nutrients; I sometimes think that the first bit of biotech that we'll be building into people would be a specialised vitamin-synthesiser organ of some sort.

Neil said...

I think the book signing stopped when you got the place in Crete.

Anyway, round the corner for a drink afterwards?

I will do my upmost to be there. Missed you by minutes on the last book signing.

Any chance of Peter making it?

Bjorn Buijing said...

As much as training can help to improve your mental state, overtraining can cause depression. Been there myself and seen it in others, and it's a very easy line to cross.
There's ways to detect overtraining (morning heart rate ie.). If you enjoy the training regimen and the gains, see food (especially protein as Dan suggested) and rest as a part of that program. It's quite an enjoyable experiment to see what your body is capable of. Btw, happy to see the new book is coming out, almost finished the last book, I've not read yet, so anxious for the next.