Swimming Lesson #1

I learned to swim ten or fifteen times during my childhood – and forgot how to swim that many times as well. Looking back, I realise that trying to persuade a delicate child that it was enjoyable to bob around in an overchlorinated, chilly pool of preadolescent piss was quite obviously a non-starter. A bit of stress might make you pay attention to your task; constant revulsion, coupled with a fear of drowning, is probably counterproductive to any pedagogical mission.
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Resolutions for 2017

Usually I check on my resolutions on the 31st of December and then write my new ones on the first of January, but with the last couple of days being so busy, I figured I’d write my resolutions blind today, and then check on 2016 tomorrow.

So, in no particular order:

Reading I don’t feel that I read as many books as I could have done last year. I read a lot of blogs, and newspaper articles, and sundry flotsam and jetsam in my RSS feed, but (if my Amazon purchase history is to be believed) I read 16 books in the year. I’d like to read at least one book per week, but that is a it of a silly goal, given how much exercise I’m going to be doing, and also because I’m reading one book every night anyway, but the literary value of Little Miss Naughty for 28 days on the trot is questionable. So I’d like to be reading a different book every week, and finish most of what I start.

Reviewing To keep track of this, I’m going to try to review every book I read, and put that all up here. But why stop at just books? This year, I’m going to review as many of the things that I use, eat, read or experience. Then at the end of the year I’ll have a huge mass of knowledge that will probably be massively inapplicable to anyone else, but will at least indicate to me some of the things I’ve done. Also, though I tried to structure this blog in 2016 with a bit more structure (ahem) I didn’t always stick to it. In 2017, every week is going to be a bit more like every other week (and not just with me whining about being tired).

Running I’m going to run a good, strong marathon at the end of March and train consistently for it, and then after the marathon I’m going to keep my running up (at a lower volume, of course) and beat my times at the Masters’ Athletic contest in September, or whenever it happens to be. And (let’s put numbers against it) I want to be getting under 20 minutes for a 5k regularly this year (certainly after the marathon is out of the way). La Serpiente or Destroyer should be getting at least one ride in the stroller at speed every month. (I did around 80 km in it in 2016, which is pretty good for a $50 investment.) To make sure I don’t fall apart, I’m (hopefully) going to start doing pilates on a regular basis (at lunchtimes) every week.

Swimming I’m going to learn to swim. Again.

Dancing The wife and I are going back to salsa lessons. In April, because the next three months for anything non-marathon related may be a trainwreck.

Parenting As much as possible, I want to be a constant presence in the girls’ life. To quantify that, I’m going to try to take La Serpiente to school every schoolday that I’m in Singapore this year (excepting medical emergencies or anything else cataclysmic). I’d like to be around for their swimming and music classes, but I’ll probably be at the office (“making food” as La Serpiente terms it) during the week.

(bonus goal) – to try to get a first draft of Gap Year complete this year.

I’m also resolving to come back to this at the end of every quarter this year to assess progress, and add resolutions / finetune as necessary.

So, what are your resolutions? And what did I manage to do, and what did I think I would do, in 2016?

Cold days

This morning, still feeling tired, I forced myself to go for a run; one that turned out to be quite tough. I then made life harder for myself by going to work in shorts – after all, I do live in a tropical country.

But I work in an air-conditioned office, and it feels like it’s calibrated not by anything as obvious as a thermostat, but by an equation relating to the heat generated by several hundred people being in the office at once. Since there were less than ten people on my floor today, I think that explains why it was freezing cold and my body was constricted, shivering to try to keep me warm.

Or I ate too many crisps, and that’s why I felt rough when I got home this afternoon.
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Three month check in

The haze returned this evening, about 5pm, as if there’s some clown with an enormous bonfire and an even bigger fan standing somewhere in Indonesia, waiting to see when I’m about to leave the office before blasting a wave of pollution over the border. Not that I’m paranoid.
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Resolutions for 2016

I got home about five this morning, crawled into bed, and was woken a couple of hours later. All day my muscles have felt sore and devoid of energy, even following a revivifying nap after this morning’s visit to the cable car. What doesn’t help recovering from all the jet lag and the poor dietary decisions is that at eight o’clock La Serpiente started vomiting, a casualty of a bug going around her school.
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