Category Archives: Uncategorized
Camilla and Charles in their 2013 Christmas card, looking pretty much as you’d expect them to if you stumbled upon them: Want to trade hats? Not now Charles, maybe when we get home.
2015: Have a cozy Christmas
2016: Duty callsThe Croatian on the right is, as they say, hungry like the wolf.
What blogs? you ask, if you don’t mind my conjuring you up and dropping you seemingly in mid-paragraph. Present company excluded, those would be Another Cycling Forum, since retired except for the slowly expanding l’image vidage collection, and Not Another Cycling Forum. Clearly I like forums, even when they’re not. I’m intimately familiar with the software, and prefer how threads work to posts on a more typical blogging platform.
It’s not so bad. I mean, it’s the devil’s handiwork, but otherwise not as terrible as I’ve long been telling myself.
Not that I’m really getting anywhere with it. Few of my Friend requests have been RSVP’d.
I still don’t do Likes. Viral vids give me the hives, too many emoticons a case of eyeroll. Most sorrowfully of all, not everyone finds reimagining pivotal scenes in Shawshank Redemption conducive to carrying on a conversation. (To keep that little photoshopping project from having been a complete waste of energy, I cc’d it to Twitter, to be absorbed into the public commons in the fullness of time.) So far it’s been most useful as an outlet to vent my insomnia.
Where to next? Having placed myself in exile from all the forums I’ve ever taken up residence in, I may have finally reached a social media dead end: the dreaded Zero Club, where everybody knows my name. Even Medium.com, with its almost perfect interface, offers no solace: who needs sad stats floating on the screen in silent rebuke?
Captain’s Log, supplemental. Old media is offering a balm. I’m apparently acquiring a small band of faithful readers of the column I’ve been writing for a newspaper back in Ohio.
As a kid I spent five years delivering the local paper. Wednesdays were thickest with ads, Thursdays thinnest. Saturday mornings coldest. The most replayed mental video clip of my young life was an impossible shot from the street to a postage-stamp sized porch which was surely a mile away. My final tally was 2 broken windows and countless dented aluminum doors. I never left them on the lawn, though that would have been quieter.
It started a lifelong fascination with the press.
The paper was staffed by a talented photographer who made a lasting impression. He was allowed to spill acres of beautiful black ink over countless spreads. He left around the time colour was arriving. It was never the same (and neither was he, from what I saw of his career).
Lately I’ve been writing for the media I used to damage property with. They don’t have a big budget for this sort of thing; in fact I’ll be making about what I made as a paperboy.
[Takes a symbolic 12 steps to the podium.]
Hello. My name is Sam, and I’m a sugar addict.
[Pauses for “Hello Sam.” The sympathy in the air is palpable.]
It started when I was a child. Candy bars bought with paper route money. My grandmother’s peanut butter cookies. Easter baskets with chocolate eggs as god intended. The dark bounty of Hallowe’en. Coke or Pepsi (depending what’s on sale) guzzled at all family functions and regularly in between.
Pepsi sadly couldn’t teach the world to sing
You wouldn’t know it to look at me. Always running around or riding my bike, I sweat it off as fast as I can suck it in. But true addiction is born.
Fast forward to early adulthood
Still eating crap, still mostly getting away with it. I’m in deep.
Words would be superfluous here
My wife gets a job at an ice cream shop in Brooklyn. Needless to say it comes with fringe benefits. Chocolate dipped sundries. A gummy menagerie. Ice cream by the pint. Bassetts butterscotch, OMG. By conservative estimate I gain 35lbs. I could blame my metabolism, but really, who’s kidding who.
It’s a mad mad mad mad world
We move to the UK. Not long after arriving I decide to go vegetarian (thanks mad cow disease) then vegan, also cutting out refined sugar, if not sugar substitutes (hello agave syrup). The weight falls off… then over the years, creeps back up again, though not as much as the Bassetts era. I take up bicycling in a big way, which helps. From time to time I binge. I’m never again clinically obese, but I am clinically annoyed with myself.
OK you made your point
Three months ago
After one big sigh too many I completely stop eating foods with added sugar. I’m not obsessive about it?—?things like ketchup are allowed on the table?—?but anything that can be unambiguously labelled a dessert is verboten.
The first few days are headache-ridden. I rough it out. Soon I settle into a routine. This involves savouring everything I still allow myself, which is plenty, and not giving in to psychological hunger for empty calories. As long as I’m at it I cut out snacks and keep a food diary, giving myself a reasonable caloric allowance for my activity level.
Fudge loves you too
It’s not really that hard. It helps that I often tell myself it isn’t forever; one day I will have fudge again. It’s just that today, then today, then today again, is not that day.
My pants (after 20 years in this country I still can’t quite bring myself to call them trousers) loosen their grip around my waist. No wonder, a stone and the better part of another stone has disappeared, who knows where. I’m no whippet, but I’m fighting trim. It feels good to be here again. Whenever my resolve weakens I hike up my pants and think, well, not today.
I’ll always be a sugar addict.
Thank you for listening.
[Sits down without a glance at the table of biscuits and root beer. They don’t go together anyway.]
It used to be that you’d go to the great British Museum and be greeted by lions. Now you’re vetted by security theatre ushers.