Monday, January 17, 2011

Coining it in...

I had to abandon my loose-change-carrying fitness regime due to treacherous conditions underfoot throughout December ; but I’m now very much up and walking again.
I carried £70 worth of change 2 miles today, including up and down Dundas Street.
It left me feeling sleepy afterwards and my back was aching slightly, but “no pain, no gain” and all that sort of thing.
In addition, psychologically, it feels good to get a cash payment at the end of the workout.
It’s as if I’m not only avoiding gym membership fees, but am getting paid to do my alternative workout.
Of course, I realise that it’s my money to begin with, but it seems to assume a different status when it is magically transformed into cash.
I don’t know how I managed to accumulate such vast piles of loose change.
I definitely didn't rob any charity collections...well, I certainly don't remember doing so?
It’s ridiculous…I don’t know where it all came from.
By the time I’ve finished carrying it all to the bank, I will be greasing up and appearing in my nearest “Mr Universe” heat.
I won’t win, but as is the case with comedy competitions, it’s all about taking part.
I walked past one of these slightly dodgy looking “cash loans/cheques cashed etc” emporiums today on the way to work. It hadn’t opened yet, but there was a queue of about 15 people waiting outside, looking a bit down on their luck. It all looked very grim, and reminded me of old black and white photos documenting the Great Depression in America in the 1930s.
As well as feeling physically uncomfortable carrying a rucksack full of loose change, seeing this depressing scene made me feel a bit guilty. Although, in fairness, it’s looking increasingly likely that I’ll be back to being a “full-time” comedian next month, so I’ll probably need my converted cash to supplement the haphazard comedy earnings.
I’m definitely vulnerable to attack though when I'm carrying this burden.
I'm like a wildebeast with a torn hamstring shuffling across the plains.
It’s hard enough walking with a rucksack full of loose change, so running is right out, and I tend to avoid walking along the canal paths, or break dancing on harbour walls.
It’s all about being aware and adapting accordingly.
In other news, I reckon I’m now saving approximately £100 a month by giving the deli shops a body swerve and making my own deluxe sandwiches.
I’m not saving money overall though…I’ve been splashing out buying snow shovels, various gardening tools, more than one lifetime’s supply of dvd box sets and comedy stuff on Amazon.
You know, stuff that’s ultimately a little bit more rewarding than a sandwich.
The other benefit of making your own sandwiches is that you avoid the temptation of buying a jumbo-sized bag of
kettle crisps to supplement your lunch sandwich.
I find crisps difficult to resist when I can see them fluttering their eyelashes at me from behind the counter.
But now that I don’t see them, I don’t think about them.
So that’s about 1500 calories a week saved in one fell swoop.
I’m scared to weigh myself though, in case crushing disappointment acts as the catalyst to an outburst of comfort binge eating.
I thought I was doing really well in the first week of the year by not eating between meals, exercising regularly and doing a lot of long walks.
However, I was surprised to see I’d put on 3 pounds.
The moral of the story seemed to be that not eating between meals and exercise are good things, but if your meals are dustbin lid size portions, then you are still going to put on weight.
So anyway, it’s all about “portion control” now.
This had better work.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy New Year

Whenever I was in an Art Gallery as a child, I was always more impressed by the picture frames than anything else on display.
From my perspective, the actual paintings were upstaged by their intricately, carved golden frames.
I can’t remember if I actually thought they were made of real gold , but this is a distinct possibility.
Around the same time, I remember watching some heist action film on television, and being totally confused when I saw
the robbers cut out the paintings from the frames with stanley knives, rolling them up and then make their escape whilst leaving the frames in situ.
One one level, I could present this as a touching tale, illustrating how an innocent child can find beauty in an unexpected source.
Alternatively, you could present this as a demonstration of an early indicator of my somewhat confused and idiotic view of the world.
I’m sure Picasso and Dali would be raging if they found out that I was more impressed by their painting’s frames than the work itself.
To make matters worse, it was likely the case that neither of these artists had any input in the actual selection of frames
for their paintings at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
It would have been an interesting finish to this anecdote if I went on how to describe what a talented painter and artist I have gone on to become in later life.
Alas, I remain completely useless at arts and crafts, to this day.
Although, it is still one of my remaining ambitions in life, to present an exhibition of picture frames during the Edinburgh Festival.
It would be a dream come true.
It would to a certain extent, mitigate the disappointment I felt when the tv series “You’ve Been Framed!” appeared on our screens.
I didn’t want to see people falling off hammocks or kittens playing a piano, I wanted to see a documentary on picture frames.

Coincidentally, I remember at school there used to be great big fights between all the boys called John against all the boys whose proper name was John but who were in practice referred to as "Jack".
It was as if the Jacks were seen as a threat by the rest of the Johns to the integrity and survival of the John forename.
I always got on ok with the James and Jimmys, but found the Jamies a bit odd.