Going round in circles

Today, while La Serpiente was going to see her first film in an actual cinema (the apparently very good Zootopia) I took Destroyer to get weighed and measured. (It was Vesak Day in Singapore on Saturday, which meant my employer gave me Monday off, although it’s not an ‘official’ official bank holiday Monday, so the baby weighing-and-measuring facility was fully operational.). We hadn’t weighed Destroyer for a month. The last time she got weighed, she was underweight. That might be because the previous time, she’d been overweight and we were told not to feed her quite so much. It’s a bit much for her to be on a yo-yo diet before her first birthday, but there you are. I was quite happy to find out that she was just the right weight this time round – perhaps this is a good example of iterating towards the mean. Destroyer didn’t protest when I stripped her (usually that causes all sorts of complaints) but then had a crying fit when somebody took away the exercise ball she was playing with. It was fully five times her size, at least (I’m too tired to calculate the volumetric difference between a 75cm diameter sphere and a 71.5 cm long baby, but I leave that as an exercise for the reader.)

Destroyer is quite easy to placate – I just have to lift her into the air several times quickly (shades of La Serpiente and “Up! Down! Up!” there), whereupon she gurgles, giggles and all is right with the world. Satisfied that I’d discharged my weighing duties correctly, I went and had a coffee and an enormous doughnut at a nearby hotel, then took the bus home with Destroyer strapped to me. Of course she fell asleep after ten minutes, and then didn’t wake up for nigh on two hours. Two hours where I couldn’t sit down or unload her for fear of disturbing her, so I stood up, balanced my computer on top of a chest of drawers and read articles in the LRB about European aristocrats in the interwar period.

The eventual outcome of this was a slight improvement in my education, plus my right shoulder went into spasm and my sciatica seemed to be coming back on, so when La Serpiente and her mother returned from the cinema, I waited until my eldest was asleep then handed over my youngest and lay on the sofa for ten minutes, before going out to the supermarket. It’s all go go go on my days off.

In the late afternoon, I got changed and took a taxi over to the MacRitchie Reservoir. Normally the taxi is a Hyundai Sonata, but this time round the dispatcher sent me a 7 seater Mercedes van, which smelt strongly of citronella and was rather too bug to transport a single man and his bottle of water. Plus the driver was a mentalist, like most drivers in Singapore. I got to the Reservoir, discovered that the heart rate strap on my Garmin had given up the ghost (yes, everything fails eventually) and then went for a run, the sound of Justin Bieber in my ears.

It felt like a very long way around the reservoir. There are huts and towers and junctions at various places on the path, and every single one seemed much much further than I could possibly remember. I was wearing my compression socks, so my calves weren’t getting too pounded, but my thighs were very unhappy with me. My shoes didn’t like the greasy clay of the paths either – it seems that although the Nike Kigers are meant for off-round, perhaps they’re for deep, sticky mud or clean, dry rock, and not for slippery surfaces. I kept my base below my apex as I ran down each hill, but I was more nervous than I would have been in other shoes.

As I made it to the final couple of miles back to the end, my legs were heavy and my arms were dead. I basically staggered the last part along the dam to the end of the circuit, and completely surprised myself by not putting in my slowest time ever. That was nice. Sweatily, I staggered to the taxi stand, only accosted once by a chap who wanted to see if I had my heart rate strap as uncomfortably tight as his. I resisted the urge to tell him it will only fall apart in a few weeks anyway, and then perspired all over the seat of the taxi all the way home. I pity the poor sod who had to sit on my seat next.

I had really done my lets a pounding though. I didn’t realise until later this evening, while trying to put La Serpiente to sleep. I was sprawled on the floor next to her, giving her a cuddle (“big, big cuddles!”) and tried to move my legs to get more comfortable. It felt like they were both about to detach themselves from my hips and roll across the room, and it was all I could do to keep from screaming out loud. Exercise really is great, isn’t it?

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