When I left the house it was pissing down with rain and I didn't feel like walking. I got on the bus at the nearest stop and changed at Muiderpoort Station.
I spent the whole day touching up and beautifying the astrophysics report for the European Council. Tables upon tables upon tables . . . Enough tables to make a civil servant happy, I guess.
When I left it had stopped raining so I walked to Celebesstraat . . .
. . . and through the railway tunnel. The train on top stood still; it was an electric train pulled by a locomotive. Probably defect.
The grafitti boys I photographed the other day were finished. Not only did they paint the fence around the building site, but also a road sign. I think they should have left the red border on the sign: rainbows stricly verboten!
The old Verheij sports hall is now disappearing rapidly. Half of it is already gone and the demolition crew is back from vacation.
On Linnaeusstraat, next to the old police station, somebody had put up an unofficial street sign: Tiananmen square.
Behind the HEMA a steeplejack was inspecting the chimney of the old factory. The factory is turned into a 'grand café' so they want to make sure the chimney doesn't fall on the customers. The process reminded me of Fred Dibnah, a steeplejack from Bolton, Lancashire, who did a series of programmes on the BBC a few years ago. They were fun to watch and I was sorry to hear Fred had died in 2004.
"I've never fell off a big chimney. You'd only fall off one of them once, like." Fred Dibnah
After dinner I went to the University Sports Centre. I had joined the fitness club last week and tonight was my introduction to the jock way of live. I put on a nerdy t-shirt for the occasion: "I'm only here because my server is down". Nobody noticed, they were too focussed on their muscles.
Marcel, the trainer, introduced me to all the machines and set up a training programme. I started with a six minute warm-up on the stationary bike. After that I was fed into the jaws of machines that did things to my pictorials, abominals, deltoids, haemorrhoids, biceps, forceps, trapezes, malaprops and gluteus maximus. Gluteus maximus, my arse! I just wanted to loose some weight. They expected me to learn Latin.
The hardest exercises were the ones where I had to use the upper-arm muscles, the biceps brachii. Walking with overweight for 40 years had strenghtened my leg muscles to the point where I could do whatever Marcel asked of me, but 20 years of push-pulling a mouse hadn't prepared me for the brutal attack on my biceps. These exercises left me shaking.
After making the rounds on most of the machines I did a 'cardio' on the stationary bike. The aim here is to drive up your heart rate for a longer period of time. This supposedly strengthens the heart, gives you more endurance and burns fat. I did 20 minutes at a heart rate of 145 and then a 5 minute cooldown. Twenty five minutes on a bike and pedalling like crazy… The last time I did something remotely similar was when I was 17 years old. Strangely enough I was sweating like a pig, but not out of breath. I could have gone on for longer, I think. Marcel told me that I could up the pace and the duration next time if I wanted to.
All in all it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. The only thing I hate is the music they play, some sort of House music. All the other people were wearing earplugs and iPods, so why switch on the music? I think I'll bring my iPod next time; I'm sure I can lift heavy weights better with some soothing bagpipe music. I only need to find a iPod sock I can hang around my neck since my shorts doesn't have pockets.