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Friday, May 24, 2013

Comic Cuts - 24 May 2013

Followers of Bear Alley will know that a little over a year ago I gave up smoking. I've now been clean for over thirteen months and felt it was about time to address the other growing problem I have.

Twenty years ago I moved to Colchester. No, that's not the problem. Before that I had been commuting and walking to get myself to work; even further back, I had jobs that were physically demanding, so that although I enjoyed a drink or six and had probably an average teenager's laziness level (until I was thirty-five!), I was never more than pudgy. I wasn't slim – never have been – but I was reasonably fit.

The move to Colchester initially meant walking to work each day, wandering around town and, at the end of the day, walking back home. When I reverted to freelancing after a couple of years, I didn't walk to work and, over time, I starting putting on weight. When the company I worked for sold out to a company based in Birmingham, I didn't even have the excuse to "pop into the office" any more. Everything was done by phone and fax. E-mail became the norm; the images for the magazine I sent in on a CD (later DVD).

In other words, I got even less exercise because I wasn't going into town two, three or four times a week. And I put on more weight. After our latest move, I'm usually only in town once a week to do the shopping and we're too far out to walk. Coupled with giving up smoking and, once again, I've piled on the pounds in the last two years.

For every move I've added a stone or so in weight. For every change of circumstances I've also added a stone or so in weight. The only thing that has stopped me turning into a Zeppelin was giving up drinking. Mel doesn't smoke or drink, so living with her keeps me on the straight and narrow in that respect. (I will have the occasional pint but they can be weeks and sometimes months apart.)

Being a writer I'm sat in front of the computer a lot. Most writers will know that the weight goes on at the front. When you reach the point you can do a passable impersonation of Demi Moore's Vanity Fair cover with your own pot-belly, you know it's time to do something about it.

I have taken up walking. I'm in the early stages of building up my stamina, but I'm doing around two to two-and-a-half miles a day extra walking; some days ... well, one day ... I walked an extra five miles. Last week (Monday to Sunday) – and don't forget this was my first week – I walked nearly 17 miles. I'm planning to build on this slowly as I don't want to put my back out and ruin all the good work. Actually, I'm told that walking is good for my back, hence the reason I've started trying to get a bit fitter this way rather than running, swimming or cycling. Maybe after a couple of months I'll get to them.

Now, I have no intention of banging on about this as it will quickly turn very dull for all of us. But I might keep you updated every now and then. And it has given me this excuse to run these Richard Bachman book covers as a visual metaphor for my situation ... possibly the finest visual gag you'll see today. Or maybe not.

If I get a chance on Sunday I'll hopefully sort out some more World of Wonder illustrations. Also we should have the recent releases and upcoming releases columns ... so much for me getting out for a walk.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic puns there Steve. Brought a smile to a dreary day in a drizzly grey Britain! Keep going as we need you for a long time yet!
    Norman B