Diary – Kraftwerk, Legal Doping, Speed

It has been well over a month, but I won’t apologize. Weekly entries: were an aspiration. Not, dear diary, a promise.

The election was now almost two months ago, and I only mention it so as to maintain a complete record of the times in which I live. Theresa May went to the country and asked for a mandate for the harshest Brexit feasible, and was, generously, allowed a majority of ten or so, including a handful of bribe-by-ballot Irish terrorism-apologists. It seems unlikely that this unpopular front can continue in office for a full five year term, but what worth are predictions in the times in which we live?

Jeremy Corbyn defied almost everyone by polling over 40% and coming a close second, and calls for his resignation have been few and quiet. How times have changed. Yet, he and his team still lack credibility on the details. But, given the choice between mediocre socialists and mediocre capitalists, this diarist found it not just easy but enjoyable to vote for the Labour Party this year. I still lost though, and this maintained my 100% record in elections and referendums since I turned 18 in 2002.

I have just finished watching the Tour de France. I also recently saw Kraftwerk at the Royal Concert Hall. These two things have inspired me to improve my cycling abilities. So I made up a few new cycling training programmes for my turbo trainer. I made a vague training plan.

Dear diary, I did not manage to keep to the plan. I have prioritized sleep when I should have been doing hard sessions at threshold power. I have opted for ‘recovery’ rides when I was meant to be working on low-cadence high-torque drills to build leg strength. I have even went hillwalking on days when I could have cycled long routes into the hills.

So I had no option. It was clear that honest training would not work. So I have invested in shortcuts. I have:

  • purchased a power meter (to help pace my efforts better)
  • taken to drinking beetroot juice shots before rides (which apparently increases nitrogen oxide levels in one’s blood and improve performance during endurance efforts)
  • increased my intake of BCAA (branched chain amino acids) to 10g a day, in powder form
  • been taking 2g a day of l-carnitine, because I read that Mo Farah’s coach had been drugging his athletes with it (it is legal in this dosage, but banned in higher dosages)
  • and last weekend I even shaved my legs with Steph’s razor (who knew they got stubbly so fast)

I got a new fastest time on the short hill past Bonnyton Golf Club, so clearly the drugs and technology are finally working.

The next step in my grand plan is coffee. Coffee has always been part of my fitness regime, but just today I acquired an Italian stove top espresso maker. I figure that by taking my pre-exercise coffee in espresso format, I will be able to dramatically increase the amount of caffeine I consume.

Chris Froome says that at the age of 32 he still has up to five years of grand touring in him. At 33, but with much fresher legs, I can only believe that I have a genuine shot at winning in 2020.

In the rest of my life, I have recently read The Establishment by Owen Jones, which I enjoyed—I imagine as a nun may enjoy a mass on a Sunday. I am presently reading His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet and In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I am also watching Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, Love, and Master of None.

Since I last wrote, I have finished watching Six Feet Under. The final episode, which I remembered as being very powerful, felt different this time. But still sad. Because death is sad, mainly. Overall, the series didn’t live up to my expectations. I spent too much time being annoyed that the characters consistent refused to ever behave like normal people. But maybe normal people do just behave irrationally. I mean, obviously they do (see: Brexit). It was alright, but not the top-tier drama that I hoped it would be.

I also watched Speed, starring Keanu Reeves, which surpassed itself:

  • it was dumber than I could feasibly imagine any movie could be
  • Keanu Reeves is a terrible actor
  • like, seriously, the train track hasn’t been finished and you are going to speed up and try and jump the tracks… wasn’t that the plot line that happened just fifteen minutes ago?
  • it was still pretty good and I watched right to the end


I am an amateur novelist, an aspiring tax advisor, a cycle commuter, and a graduate of philosophy, politics and law

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