My workout this morning consisted of forcibly pushing my old, bust, lawnmower over tufty grass, although afterwards I did manage to do 4 km in ten minutes on my Ellifit elliptical cross-trainer. I looked at the dial. It showed 120 heart rate, and told me I was going at 24 km an hour … really? Because I was starting to have dreams of the 5,000 metres at the next Olympics.
However, another consideration broke through and I realized that would not be a possibility, as I feel I don't really look cool enough in those running shorts!
OK, enough frivolity. For today's snippet from my book, I have chosen the opening paragraphs of “Amsterdam”. The story is fictional but my experience pushing tobacco down the chutes is real, albeit many, many years ago. It's what you do when you're stuck abroad and need the fare home.
“He sat in the lounge of the bar at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and watched the departures screen flick over the flight numbers and destinations. It didn't really change much, and he wondered if it was automatically refreshed by a timer, or was there ever any actual progress to report, to lighten the leaden, boring wait of travellers.
Opposite him sat a friend whom he had not seen for many years, but due to the chance meeting of today, here in the airport, a fellow prisoner of the waiting lounges. They had shared a drink and reminisced about earlier, more penniless days.
“You lived or stayed here for a while years ago, didn't you?” his friend threw out lazily, the boredom of the airport pressing him to find some subject for conversation. He looked out over the aircraft, all neatly tucked against their accordion tubes, joining the craft to the body of the building. He wondered casually about the materials used, but it was of little note. He turned back towards James and refreshed his thought.“Yes, ... you lived here, right?”
I started using the KlarFit Ellifit elliptical cross-trainer today and, man, that was harder than I thought it would be! I was all ready to be doing maybe twenty minutes for a first day … I mean, what's the problem? I'm in fairly good shape, swimming more towards the sharp end than the other, and here I am with a cold realization that after three minutes, my legs are singing.
So it's harder than it looks but, being serious, it's probably going to be great for developing my leg power. We shall see. If I don't post a blog tomorrow, you can take it that I couldn't get out of bed, for the tightness in my thighs !! I did persevere and totalled 7km on the machine in four sets.
Anyway, here is today's excerpt from my book (you've already heard me mention its title ad nauseum), and it's from the story “Barra” about an American movie actress seeking seclusion, away from the glare, in the Hebridean Isles of Scotland.
“As the shop emptied out, with the friendly groups leaving together, engrossed in excited conversation, Ruari took the opportunity to ask the shop mistress about the 'movie star'.
“Who is she then, Maggie? Is she really a movie star, and if she is, what's she doing on Barra?”
“Och she's hiding” - she busied herself organizing the display of the morning papers - “She's running away. Joseph at the bank says she's wanting to become a reckless.” And she nodded a knowing confidentiality.
“A reckless, are you sure you have that right, Maggie? Do you mean a recluse?”
“Aye, aye that's it, a reckless recluse, exactly … she's a bit odd y'know, and you mind now just how much you're tied up with her, that's all I'd say.” And she stood back relaxed, having ordered and tidied the papers to her satisfaction.”
~ Author of fiction