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Saturday, 3 February 2018

Book review - Bryson and Mortimer

Inspiring ageing, coffee, book reviews, time away from home
So the old steps to achieve in a session are coming under attack, care of BBC's Michael Moseley. No need for the pedometer. It's now HIIT - high intensity exercise - short but breathless activity like a minute star jumps (x2), static sprinting and squats (x2). So 5 minutes, three times a week. Apparently as beneficial as a machine-type workout and no equipment required.

If you want to learn more, clic on the following link Hiit at home

It looks a bit of a stretch for the average oldie, but we are up to date with the latest thinking. A good walk seems to me the most acceptable way to get going. Fit and sociable, unless you walk alone, like my brother. We met at the weekend and despite illness and weight loss, he appeared well.

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The Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England - Ian Mortimer. It's the latest in a programme of more factual and historical books, written in accessible style. I've gone off crime fiction for the moment. It started with Longitude - David Sobel. Then This Thing of Darknesby Harry Thompson (who also wrote Penguins Stopped Play, a splendid cricket book).
  Just finished A Short History of Everything by Bill Bryson. An amazing book by a non-scientist. Incredible small numbers (sub-atomic particles) and unbelievable large ones (infinity and the universe). Geologists and fossil-hunters falling out in lumps. People discovering stuff they didn't realise they'd discovered, only to have their thunder stolen later by guys who did realise what they had discovered. Many were not believed by colleagues, again only to be vindicated many years later when their efforts were corroborated by others. It's quite a grumpy book.
 Life and the structure of matter is indescribably complex. Hard to take in as random and purposeless, but the other explanation isn't very helpful.
  Back to Ian Mortimer. Life in the 14th century. History as the experience of visiting a village, a monastery, a manor house and so on. Not a dusty tome off a library shelf and plenty of references. People were young, and took on responsible tasks, like commanding armies, in their teens. Hygiene was dodgy, crime common and food basic, except for the toffs, who as usual had all the best bits. The social hierarchy was strictly followed. You didn't dress, eat or behave above your station. Women were not highly regarded. The plague was massive, wiping out half the population.
  They did have manuscripts and plays and poems - and Chaucer. Carols were a popular form of entertainment. Like puppies, not just for Christmas. Gaudy and licentious, sung while dancing around in circles together.
  Ian has written in January's BBC History Magazine - Did Medieval Women Carry a Purse? Same issue as Medieval Sex Doctor by Katherine Harvey.
  Everyday life on the face of it has improved enormously since the 14th century. Discuss.

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Upperthong has a good set of facilities, defib, pub and library in a box


      This was one of our weekly five yesterday afternoon. Upperthong has most things, like a pub, a defibrillator and a library in a telephone box. It's a set.
       I'm tired today. The break with 'flu can put you back a bit.

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