Aliveand running2013 August 9

I’ve only got four weeks to the Grunty Fen half marathon so I need to do some training. It’s a flat, open course and last year it was both hot and windy. I did just over an hours run today which included the footpath of the River Cam. It’s always pleasurable running near water. Rivers. lakes, seas and streams all have their own personality. You almost feel you are in close proximity to something which is alive and has its own sense of self. Although we are mid summer now, I haven’t seen many boats, neither narrow boats nor the white fibreglass cabin cruisers. I’m a narrowboat man! The cabin cruiser owners tend to be smartly dressed, look smug and their boats appear immaculately clean. They have the air of traditional Conservatives. Not that I am being judgemental of course. Invariably a male is at the wheel looking superior. Anyway, as my runs get longer I will get nearer, and eventually into, Cambridge. On the weekends I will see the rowing eights practicing and when the colleges return there will be many more eights on the river.

I’m still swinging my one 8 kilo kettlebell around on a daily basis. I do think it’s helping to improve my core strength. Is it really? I don’t know for definite but if I think it is then I can be assured that the placebo effect certainly is leading to improvement. Even as we speak, men and women in white coats are providing hard evidence that the placebo effect is a powerful psychological force and competitor for physical treatments with drugs or surgery. For depression, for example, some studies have found that placebos are as effective as anti depressants and without the side effects. Furthermore even if the person is aware they are taking a placebo, research has shown that improvement in some conditions take place compared with a control group that is given nothing. All you need is to believe or want to believe! And this would apply to most people, of course.

I went shopping to Tesco today and was forced to make a citizen’s arrest on a parent who, unbelievably, took two Krispy Kreme doughnuts out of the cabinet of shame and placed them in his basket because his son declared his love of them! I explained that I was taking this action to protect the health of his child which was being jeopardised by the consumption of high fat, high sugar, over refined, nutrient depleted pseudo food. His mouth dropped open and his eyes bulged. He violently knocked away my hand that I had placed on his shoulder. I hastened to explain that my actions were intended to be a little instructive drama to emphasise the unhealthiness of the product and lead him to question the wisdom of purchasing it. I didn’t want to take it any further. I hoped I had made my point. He reacted by bellowing out to the nearby security person. Despite my best efforts to offer further explanation, I was firmly escorted out of the store. As he left me by my car, the security man said “Best not do that again, sir. People have every right to buy Krispy Kremes. I sometimes have one at lunch time and I know my lad likes them.” He had forced my hand and I wasn’t going to back down. “OK,” I cried, placing my hand on his shoulder,”I’m making a citizen’s arrest for the same reasons I gave that other negligent father.” He laughed, gently took away my hand and said “Go home,sir, make yourself a nice cup of tea, sit down and read your Saga magazine. You’ll feel a lot better.” As he walked away I didn’t feel I had got my message across very effectively but I will return. Oh yes! I have a new strategy. I’m going to get some tee shirts printed and merely stand by the Krispy Kreme cabinet. I’m not fully decided on the large bold text but it will be along the lines of KRISPY KREMES ? A WISE CHOICE FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES or TUCK IN AND DIE EARLY or OBESITY…..IT’S THE NEW THIN.

HM Revenue and Customs have reissued photos of high profile tax dodgers including large scale tobacco smugglers. It’s a case of the biggest drug dealer squeezing out the smaller ones.

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