Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Doing it wrong

Spot an attractive gentleman at Krav Maga class. Get chatting. Promise to see each other at class next week. Decide I would be more alluring a few pounds thinner. Go on diet. As result of diet by following week feel so faint and ill that I have to miss Krav Maga class.

Learn from me. I'm the master.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

You can take the boy out of the Bullingdon

According to today's Observer, part of the current initiation ritual for joining the Bullingdon Club is to burn a £50 note in front of a homeless person. This seems a perfect symbol, in microcosm, of the current government's policies, a government run of course by ex-Bullingdon boys.

Annoyed of Tunbridge Wells has a night at the opera

Have just fired the below off into the ether:

     "On Saturday 23rd February I attended Scottish Opera's Werther at the Theatre Royal Glasgow and sat in the Balcony. An otherwise enjoyable performance was thoroughly spoiled by the amount of noise made by the Balcony front of house staff throughout the performance. Starting within minutes of curtain up and continuing throughout there was thudding about, doors slamming (presumably the bar door), rustling, whispering, squeaking (plastic or polystyrene type noises) and walky talky sounds. I can appreciate that there might be some noise 5 minutes prior to the interval opening the bar but this was throughout the performance and ruined the standout aria in Act 2. While the performance was not well attended that doesn't mean that people who did pay for tickets should have to put up with this. I couldn't see what they were doing because of the wooden barrier at the back of the Balcony seating but whatever it was should have been done outwith performance times, especially during an opera where it's all about the sound quality.

I'm currently in the habit of attending Scottish Opera performances in Glasgow rather than Edinburgh but if this happens again, the Festival Theatre will be getting my custom in future."*

Now, one could argue that all that's a reasonable response to Werther which may qualify as the world's most annoying opera, featuring as it does winsome kiddies, rustic yokels and the most pathetic 'hero' ever. But still...

The performance seems to have been well reviewed and musically was pretty blameless (what I could hear over the noise from behind me) but the staging was ugly and conceptually really creepy - what was going on with Werther continually mistaking his beloved's little sisters for her?

What's more, the production was advertised with this, which looks moody and rather romantic:

Yet the singer, while blessed with a beautiful voice, looked more like an Edwardian railway clerk with an overexposure to Brylcreem. However no-one (except followers of Jonas Kaufmann) really expects to be visually as well as auditorily stimulated by their tenors so that's only a minor niggle.

*Have I ever claimed not to be pompous? No, I have not. I own it.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

What would Bertie say?

The low cholesterol diet has not got off to a good start. I'm not particularly proud of how I took the news at the doctor's, to begin with. My doctor is Alexander McCall Smith's daughter and I keep thinking about how he would portray a middle aged, middle class woman throwing a massive tantrum because she's been told not to eat cheese.

Her recommendation was to replace butter and Greek yoghurt with Benecol products. One look at the ingredients list for the yoghurt was enough to shelve that idea - 4 different types of sugar and sucralose (which I can't tolerate even in tiny doses). There is no unsweetened version - the 'light' one just increases the amount of sweetener. How is that supposed to be healthy? I did try the spread but the 'buttery' version bears no relationship to butter - it's basically marge. Again - how is that good for you?

Before I get properly started on this low fat bollocks I'd like to lose a bit of weight (which means Atkins, which means high fat). Once I shift to a high carb low fat diet, I'll blow up like a barrage balloon. But I'm travelling quite a lot at present which also makes controlling my diet pretty difficult. I'm supposed to go back to the doctor in April for a follow up blood test to see how I've managed to reduce the cholesterol but I don't see that happening.

The only supposedly positive change I've made is to 'introduce' linseed into my diet on the suggestion of the local healthfood store. But on reflection, I already eat Vogel linseed bread (it's the only non-white bread I've found to date that doesn't worsen my IBS) and that hasn't helped clearly. Or did, given that Tesco recently seems to be using its unparalled customer data analysing powers to stop stocking anything I buy on a regular basis.

Given I'm single with no family and expect to get Alzheimers at some point over the next 20 years, frankly keeling over with a massive heart attack while wallowing in a bowl of foie gras doesn't sound that unappealing really.

Friday, 1 February 2013

It's official

I'm a vain, deluded, old fool.

I'm in the process of applying for a new passport. You only have to get your photos endorsed if you 'are so changed from your previous passport photo as to be unrecognisable'. So of course I didn't bother. I don't think I look greatly different to how I did in my mid thirties.

Apparently I'm wrong.

My application just got knocked back because I didn't get my photos endorsed.