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Friday, May 30, 2014

Comic Cuts - 30 May 2014

Today's measure of progress on the Countdown to TV Action is in pictures: I'm currently cleaning up a spread featuring The Persuaders that will be illustration number 145. I'm plodding along steadily, having now passed the point in the history of the paper where Countdown morphed into TV Action, although I still have quite a way to go. The closest to a guide I have is the Boys' World index, which had over 300 illustrations in total.

I haven't done too badly this week given that Monday was a bank holiday and I was with my Mum most of Tuesday (it was her birthday a couple of days earlier). I have also reached the age where conversations often take a turn for the medical, as today's chat with the guy who came around to do a gas safety check on our boiler proved. Poor guy has recently had cameras shoved up his most intimate holes (plural). This is not a conversation that I ever imagined I would be having with a complete stranger. I'm fairly unshockable when it comes to the genital-urinary area (I worked in a hospital for seven years and saw things that would turn most stomachs) but I kind of miss the facile conversations of my youth which tended to involve which films you'd seen recently, who you fancied off the tele or which band you'd been listening to.

It is almost precisely a year since I decided to lose a bit of weight—when I gave up smoking I piled on quite a bit of weight which was causing back problems, and this after twenty years of a fairly sedentary lifestyle. I was already overweight and the extra tummy inches tipped the balance. In the past week the NHS has been issuing new guidelines for the nation suggesting that most of us need to lose 3% of our weight.

Well, I'm here to tell you that I've lost 12 pounds—about 5%—in the last year and, more importantly, I've managed to keep that weight off. And I feel a whole lot better for it. I'm from a family who suffer from high blood pressure and I would certainly have qualified myself last year: I was morbidly overweight and in a stressful job (go write and publish a few books and let me know how your stress-levels are doing if you don't believe me!). Yet my blood pressure was (at the admittedly top-end of) OK when I had a medical in November. My weight loss has stabilised over the past few months but that's to be expected.

I'm aiming to lose at least another 12 pounds over the next year and, more importantly, try to make sure I again keep that weight off. That means eating a bit less and exercising a bit more. I'll let you know how I'm getting on.

It being spring, we've been keeping an eye on the local bird life, mostly on the two pairs of blackbirds that have their nests here—one at the front and one at the back of the house. The tally so far is five chicks (two front, three back). Above is one of the chicks at the rear, still being fed by its parents. I tried to get a shot of all three of the chicks yesterday, but the results were not brilliant. Here's one of daddy and one of the chicks... I'm thinking that the Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize is not yet in the bag!

Next week may be even more broken up than this week as as I have nothing planned beyond our monthly upcoming releases column. We shall just have to wait and see what happens.

1 comment:

Steven Docker said...

I think you'll find that that chick is a cuckoo! By the way, good luck with the weight loss. Speaking from experience the benefits are well worth it.