Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Skinny Glutton ** Hidden Lea Valley near Stratford

I have spent my life being extremely bored by people who complain about "getting fat" and "not being able to lose weight". Quite the opposite, I have mostly lived to eat, and despite every effort, have never been able to get fat.

Where does it go? Who cares? All I know is that I often overeat and then lie around in a torpid state for hours and hours. An even worse habit is falling asleep soon after eating a heavy dinner, and then waking up 2 hours later feeling depressed and awful, and then stalking night hours until I get sleepy again at 2 or 3 am.

Well lately this napping thing has been killing my will to live and I haven't been able to shake it off. My daily cycle has on and off for several months being split into two waking periods.

So yesterday I tried a new regime. Eating my main meal at midday, and then a light meal/snack in the evening.

And today already the effect has been marvellous. No disorientations, doziness, or depression during the daytime. And I haven't wanted a nap all day.


Yesterday evening I started changing the front tire on my bike so that the tires would match. After taking it off, I found that the rubber rim strip had perished. This is the rubber strip that protects the inner tube from the sharp edges of the spoke nuts inside the wheel rim.

So this morning I cut out a replacement rubber strip from one of the discarded tires. Then I stripped the black rubber from the two ends, leaving the fabric base on each, and then tried sticking the ends together with Evo-Stik. The glue didn't hold, so I sewed the two ends together. Then I drilled a hole where the valve for the inner tube had to poke through the rim. The whole thing worked beautifully and stretched perfectly over the rim. I fitted the tire, the tube , and the wheel back together in no time after that.

My bike, my bike, my bike, I am so glad you're back again. You ride faster with the new slimmer tires, but not as comfortably on rough roads. But you're back for me, me, me. They can have their 4x4's. They can have their convertible BMW's. They can have their £1600 top of the line bicycles. They can have their 1200cc all-the-fairing booming motorcycles. And they'll have it until the future takes it away from them. But for me, you're my bike, and if they should laugh at you, then just think how they might lie on their deathbed one day, and like my cancer-dying dad, be unable to remember how they ever laughed at anything.


Yesteday was Tuesday and I went back to London Fields Cycles to exchange the inner tube with the Schrader valve. They had Shwalbe's inner tubes with Presta valves, which are in a red packaging as opposed to the blue packages for the Schrader valves.

He handed me the 26" size, and I mentioned how strange it was that the 26" size they had given me was so much shorter than the old tube out of the bike. Blah, blah, they all stretch, he said. So I looked at the box and Whaay-HEY the ISO tire sizes were listed for which the tube was suitable. The package says 26", but the ISO size it catered for only went up to 559mm. So I asked him for the next size up, and he had one with the Schrader valve that listed the ISO size of 584mm.

So even with inner tubes, never ever accept inch sizes. Always look for the ISO size.


On my way there I cycled along the hidden waterways of the industrial section of the lower Lea Valley. This is the part that lies between Stratford and Hackney, some of which will be used for the Olympics if London gets here.

I was amazed at how rustic some of these waterways are. You can't see them when you drive past on the roads, because they are hidden by warehouses and ex-factories. Old Ford lock on the Lee Navigation canal, is nearly beautiful as you look north towards it, and the wide open water passage beyond it. (You see signs for Old Ford when you drive up and down the ugly Blackwall tunnel approach road, and you would never believe that it referred to ANY beautyspot).

The prime waterside land is earmarked for yet more upmarket flats. Several warehouses have been abandoned over the past year and await demolition. There already is a very shi-shi block of apartments, already occupied. This appears to have been built by who are already building another 3 or 4 blocks on adjacent sites. More homes for tacky overpaid Canary Wharf Moneysucking types.

Rustically historic London is nearly all gone now. This might well be the last part. Catch it if you can, go for a walk along the waterside. Here's the best spot on Marshgate Lane from which to join the paths.


My annoying neighbours amaze me. Their central heating has come on since the 3rd week of August. Their boiler's fan is so noisy that I can hear its grating whirring from almost anywhere in my house. How they can afford the energy bill I have no idea. I can't even think of putting the heat on for another 3 weeks at least. Not to mention that their lack of appreciation of Energy Conservation for environmental reasons drives my soul to the point of despair. Who will teach them, and will they want to learn, when being from Ethiopia, they seem more interested in catching home news broadcasts on World radio?

But today I finally figured out what was that awful smell that I have caught emanating from their house. Their windows were flying wide open, and the sickly cloying sweet smell of some horrid scent was blasting over the entire neighbourhood. I think it must be incense! I was incensed, all right!

Why incense, I wondered? I would not have expected it of Ethiopians. But maybe it is the Arabic influence? Whatever.... It's a painful example of how multiculturalism can literally stink. I wish some air-headed politics or social sciences professor could have this as one of their next-door-neighbour smells.

How can you get fight back against these horrible smells without totally alienating your neighbours for perpetuity? Dale Carnegie knows, or so he claimed. Fuck it, I'd rather stink back. Stink with all my stinking might. With my own fabulous kind of stink. Something straight out of a (social engineering) stink tank.


Hetero week has definitely faded completely.

Let's go to the council library at Stratford. A modern building designed with a slightly funky and cool interior. Built as part of a complex at the same time as the Safeway's (now Morrison's) and the Sofitel that flank it. This was the site of the old Newham Finance Department's concrete 70's pyramid.

Arriving at the desk to return my book, I look up to see a very handsome man. Who seems quite keen to charm me. Shame I find it impossible to just go on looks these days.

I mention that I noticed that "There is now a collection of Lithuanian books in the library".

To which he responds with brainwashed mantra as though it has been forced upon him by peer employees. Is he Buddhist? Probably. Very cute, yes, and enough to be Love material. But I'm already sceptical about his self-possession and his Intelligence-Fire. Why else would a gorgeous gay man be doing a wimpy job as a Library Assistant?

Shit, some people don't deserve what they got. If I had his body and his looks, I'd be flying RAF helicopters or engineering bridges that span the English Channel.

Then a mechanic pulls up outside my house to fix a neighbour's car. GASP! Gorgeous! You can walk around Newham for hours and want to slash your wrists for lack of men-worth-looking-at. And then a MAN in a tow truck comes to your front door.

The gay hormones are back. Gorgeous women in my vicinity need no longer wonder if they must have mercy on my heterosexual virginity.

It's not confusing, after you blog about it. It becomes just a hormone thing.

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