It’s been a funny kind of week, mostly because of the Festival. In many ways, I love the Festival. For the three weeks that the Fringe is on, Edinburgh has a completely different atmosphere. People come from all over the world. There are street performers everywhere (the oddest I’ve seen this year is the man on Princes St who stands on his head, hands-free, in a bucket. He doesn’t sway or anything. The bucket hides his face completely, which adds to the surreal nature of the feat.) I’ve been to various shows, all enjoyable, but I’m quite tired from going out in the evenings (last night I was at a show which didn’t start till half-past midnight). In a way I will be glad when it’s finished, although the streets will seem strangely empty and life will be a bit flat.
Look what I did on Wednesday! Don’t worry, it’s only henna…
I decided to do my own design – one of the vaguely Celtic-style heart shapes that come out of my hand when I’m doodling. No, it doesn’t mean anything in particular (a couple of people came up and asked while it was being applied – which was just slightly embarrassing as I was sitting there in my vest top with my unfortunate arms exposed. It took me a long time to find a flattering angle to take a photo). I think of it as a tree of life, but that sounds awfully pretentious and new-agey when you say it out loud!
Anyway I’m pleased with it, although it’s slightly ridiculous, as nobody is likely to see it – it’s on my shoulder so it will always be concealed by my clothes. I rolled up my T-shirt sleeve for this picture! But there’s something obscurely enjoyable about walking along the street thinking “You don’t know what I’ve got on my shoulder”. I guess that might be the attraction of having real tattoos – which is not something I’d ever do. Firstly I’m a big wuss about needles and blood, and secondly I can’t imagine ever being able to choose a design and be certain that you would like it forever. Mine will wear off in about two weeks.
Our trip to the Highlands went well. We travelled to Fort William on ordinary Scotrail trains, then to Mallaig on “The Jacobite” steam train. You can see some photos from the trip if you scroll down (the earlier ones chronologically are at the top. It seemed the easiest way to do it).
“Enough of this piffle about henna and steam trains,” I hear you say. “Have you been moving and eating properly?”
Oh, OK. Well, mostly. Exercise over the weekend mostly consisted of an impromptu walk up a big hill and then down again while we were trying to find the B&B, and then a gentle wander through Fort William and then Mallaig. But I have been back to the gym twice since then and – are you impressed? – have tackled the scary cross-trainer Nordic machine thingy.
In fact I only did this because the gym was very busy and there were no treadmills left for my first burst of cardio, so I did an interval programme on the bike instead. After doing my Nautilus, the prospect of more biking just seemed ineffably boring…
I can’t say I really found it easy. There’s still the same problem of maintaining a regular rhythm, although that became easier when the resistance level went up a bit. However, I did fifteen minutes – not very fast, but hey – and it definitely reaches parts other machines do not touch, such as the top parts of the back of my thighs. Weird feeling. My abs were also involved, possibly because I found it quite tricky to maintain a comfortable upright posture. But my back didn’t hurt afterwards.
Eating has been – well, not as good as last week, but it hasn’t been entirely my fault. The vegetarian options in Fort William and Mallaig are a little limited – baked potatoes are pretty much it. As we know, baked potatoes are not low-GI, although I had them with cottage cheese rather than nice melty cheddar.
I’ll admit culpability regarding the apple pie, the Mars bar and the jelly beans.
The Apple Challenge is going pretty well – I’ve had an apple every day since last Thursday, except for Saturday when I didn’t come across any (that was the day I had the apple pie. Does that count? No, I thought it didn’t.)