Riding tired and Baby Power


Today was a public holiday in Singapore, (it was Hari Raya yesterday, so unless you had particularly unenlightened management, you got Monday off) and to celebrate somebody had organised a big cloud of haze to float in. Fortunately for me, I had another spinning class booked at 7cycle, so I could get some exercise without filling my lungs with ash. Which was nice.

After last Thursday’s class, when I’d been the second highest on the leaderboard, I’d been feeling Charlie Big Potatoes, but this came crashing down when I saw the results of today’s session: I was twelfth, languishing at the bottom. This was probably a sign that I was still knackered from last Wednesday and the cumulative activity since then; my watch told me at the start that my recovery was "Fine" when every other time it’s said "Good": it probably meant "Fine" as in "I’m fine, yeah, don’t worry about me, it’s not like I have a life threatening illness or anything, oh, nobody ever asks anyway…" So I struggled. I struggled to pedal, I struggled to stand up on the pedals or to stand up afterwards, I was profoundly knackered. Which is a shame, because it was a very good class. The instructor, Noel (a lady from the US) was very enthusiastic, even if it did get a bit granola and introspective near the end (telling us that making a true effort to pedal faster on the bike was in parallel with living a true life outside of spinning) but perhaps that’s because I’m not used to hearing physical training instructors pointing out existentialist truths, rather than because they shouldn’t be said.

Afterwards, drained and exhausted but still pepped up, I went to get a drink on the way to meeting wife and child for pizza. Because of the holiday, everything apart from Seven-Eleven, that bastion of nutrition, was closed.

I went in to the convenience store, ignoring the two counters for placing sporting bets, and went to the chiller cabinets at the back, where I picked out a bottle of orange juice. Then I looked again, noticed it was "orange juice drink" and then saw the ingredients: Water, sucrose, orange juice, lots of blah. That’s not an orange juice drink. An orange juice drink is orange juice, that you drink. What I held was a bottle of sugar water that’s heard the Legend Of Minute Maid. Disgusted, I put it back, rummaged around some more, eventually came up with the legit stuff rather than some ersatz stuff, then rushed out to the MRT. I’m surprised you can get away with selling stuff like this that looks healthy when it isn’t (although I suppose the jury is out on orange juice…)

Thankfully, when we went to get pizza, it wasn’t a pizza meal, where you got a bottle of water with sugar in it and an extract of pepperoni pizza. We had two great pizzas, one a margarita and the other with pistachio pesto on it, La Serpiente Aquatica Negra was neat and tidy with all her food and only howled at the end when we put her back in her stroller, and the only hardship was getting from Novena MRT to the United Square mall. For future reference, there’s three flights of stairs and no lift from the underpass to the mall, and although there’s an escalator, it’s comically narrow and wouldn’t accomodate the stroller. It would have been much easier to cross the road at street level, as we did on the way back.

Back at Novena, I took a taxi to the West Coast to buy a second-hand table for our daughter (the price was good – less than the taxi ride) then rendezvoused with wife and child at Island Creamery, the ice cream parlour near Botanic Gardens.

We’d arranged to meet my friend Noel (a gentleman from the Philippines, rather than a spinning instructor) there, and it was close to where he lives, but somehow I’d given him directions for a different branch, 20 minutes away (and demolished) but eventually we caught up with each other and took La Serpiente Aquatica Negra to play in the Gardens.

We kept her out later than usual (as we only finished stuffing pizza and spaghetti into her at 3, she wasn’t going to sleep early) but then risked her falling asleep on the way home (bad, as then we’d have to wake her before putting her to bed – a sure recipe for disaster). All went well: she was enraptured by her new table (I remember her being similarly excited when we got her cot) and then she even ran to the shower herself. And then fell over and banged the back of her head, which again associates bath time with misery and pain. At least it does for me, as those yells echo off the tiled surfaces something rotten.

She forgave me though, and went down very easily tonight – the joy of a properly worn-out baby. I did walk my knee into a table as we prepared for sleep though, with disproportionately agonising results. I hope one of her earliest memories isn’t of her father doubled over in the corner of the bedroom, swearing through clenched teeth.

I also wonder if she’s a technological wunderkind though, because she got hold of the television remote and made it make an awful chiming noise whenever we turn the television on or off. This is one of Samsung’s most clueless design decisions: nobody needs a house-quakingly loud BONGDONGDONG every time the power switch is pressed. Or maybe they do in Seoul. Ten minute with the internet and the hell of on-screen menus on the TV fixed it, but that was when I was working with a clear goal in mind, not just using abstract toddler power.


One response to “Riding tired and Baby Power”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.