It would appear that many people living in the borough of Epsom & Ewell (twinned with Gruinard) have made it their New Year’s resolution to go to a gym; MY gym.
More than a working week on since New Year my normal Saturday morning trip to the gym – where I attempt to lift three times my own body weight and chat about just how far Ian Hutchinson could throw a ball (many members are Chelsea fans – which makes talking about the 2012 Champion’s League final awkward) – have been marred.
Early on a Saturday morning, because the gym staff is not quite aware of what programming might be vaguely inspirational, one of the four TVs usually has an old film on. I caught the end credits and saw that Robert Donat was in this week’s. Perhaps it was “The 39 Steps”? It might explain why people were clinging onto the wall bars as if going over the Forth Bridge or being chased by a young John Laurie. There is always a kids’ cartoon channel on too. This has beneficial as it means I am now up to speed with every series of “SpongeBob SquarePants” (I still can’t see how he breathes).
Something vaguely sporting would be good – even if it’s an old episode of “Question of Sport” with Henry Cooper in.
My point is this: There seems to be an inordinate amount of new people at the gym. So much so, even if I’d wanted to, I would have been unable to watch the derring do exploits of Richard Hannay, as all the machines facing the TVs were taken. Where were these people last year? Probably having medicals or got the DVD “Paula Radcliffe: Live at the Apollo” for Christmas?
The same happened on the train, during this week of strikes on Southern Rail. Several Southern commuters were clearly on my train, especially one woman, who peered out the window and talked into her phone saying, “Motspur Park?” – what did she expect on SW Trains? Grand Central? Munich Hauptbahnhof? The Island of Sodor?
The problem with this (hopefully temporary) problem is that it breaks up the 5.41 am to Waterloo bridge club. You really don’t need someone as your dummy if they don’t know that Motspur Park is not one of Saturn’s moons. Also, they don’t want to play bridge, they want to play “beat your neighbour” – too many swingers parties if you ask me.