Monday 24 October 2011

Uphill struggle

Treadmill fitness test,
nine-minute uphill struggle -
Energy wipe-out

We're housesitting at Sophia's in London for a couple of days while we attend to personal maintenance. After this morning's fitness test, during which my heartbeat was pushed to its cardio-fitness-promoting maximum of 173-odd beats, I can barely stand. I am fatigued to the core.

Amount of Scrabble or Monopoly or Chess or Racing Demon played this half-term: none. Number of pompoms or cornflake-packet castles made: none. Number of jigsaws unboxed: none. Number of snowflakes cut out of paper: none.

Number of attempts to encourage Lily to conjugate (or is it decline?) etre and avoir while sitting on steps of St Paul's taking in peaceful anti-capitalist vibe: four. Number of times I repeat the six main reasons why settlements arose in certain areas: a gazillion. Number of times Lily is able to give one reason why settlements arose in certain areas: none. Number of times I lose my temper: I'm not answering that.

We walk over the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern to see Tenita or Tenica or Tacita Dean or whatever she's called's film installation. Underwhelmed. We want the bubble to come to life and pop; the ostrich egg to fall on someone's head. We head to the fifth floor where I fall asleep in a film about Gerhard Richter while Lily triumphs on a screen quiz game. Wander back along the Southbank. I lose Lily somewhere around Gabriel's Wharf, where she becomes transfixed by the creation of a sand artist on the beach below. No longer can I scoop her up under one arm or induce her to budge when she doesn't want to. I give up and sit on a bench, watching the setting sun light up St Paul's dome and the boats on the north bank of the Thames.

Later: Eh? What happened? Oh. I must have fallen asleep.

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