There’s a storm on the horizon. Storm Doris in point of fact – and I can feel the wind picking up to herald it’s arrival.
I’m particularly concerned about the disruption to ferries in Warwick – but mostly because as far as I know there aren’t any – and this storm is going to be so bad that even things we don’t have will be under threat.
However – this is all rather good timing. ‘Bring it on!’ I say.
Uncharacteristically (after thinking endlessly about where my next amount would come from) I parted with some cash the other day. After my weigh in on Saturday I went back to Debenhams to once again look at the coats.
You may remember I purchased a cheap one a couple of weeks ago online – and will have seen the after effects if you follow me on Instagram.
The truth is that sometimes you really DO get what you pay for.
I disliked my coat from the moment it arrived – especially when in a freak incident after I hung it on the metal coat rack in my hall it snapped the coat hook in half – and immediately fell on the floor.
Now I have a razor sharp reminder of it’s presence in the middle of the row of hooks until I decide to buy a new coat rack.
The coat itself was inoffensive enough – if you have arms long enough to qualify as a silverback gorilla and don’t mind getting totally drenched when it rains.
I have (it seems) arms more akin to a T-Rex and for the record I have no love for rivers of cold water running between my butt cheeks.
So – as I stood in Debenhams at the weekend contemplating the potential for further inclement weather I also began to think about other purchases I may have made in the past without blinking.
£40 for a video game? Seems reasonable. I’ll buy it. £299 for a new console? Yea – why not! iPhone? Yea – I’ll take it!
Of course – my income was different then and my attitude to a lot of things has changed since I was made redundant – but the point is I’ve always considered clothes and my appearance as something of a secondary concern.
If I’m completely honest the word is actually ‘inconvenience’.
All of a sudden though I’m actually feeling a bit different about this. It’s a nice feeling to look smart and wear a completely new outfit of nice things rather than resenting average looking clothes that you’re forced to buy because they’re the only ones that fit.
Then – in mid contemplation I spotted the sign. 20% off all coats.
‘Maybe it was meant to be?’ I thought. I went to see if they still had my size.
They did. Once again I took it off the peg and put it on.
It’s a 3XL and I’m still frankly stunned that not only can I do the zip up but that there’s some room in there to move about – and (I think) it suits me. When I last tried it on it just felt right.
Before I knew it caution had not only been thrown to the winds, but fed into a blender, boiled into a paste, dried out and had its ashes spread on a far away field. I strolled out of the shop with my new (and very first) 3XL item of clothing.
By the time this morning rolled around I still hadn’t had a moment of regret – not about the coat anyway.
I’d realised (after waiting in the cold for 40 minutes) that I had stupidly arrived a day early to meet someone at the park for a walk. Without realising it I’d added the meeting time incorrectly in my calendar (damn my stupid sausage fingers) and my friend wouldn’t be arriving until tomorrow.
It was also starting to rain.
However supercoat (dun dun deeeerrrrr) had me (literally) covered. It’s breathable, windoproof, waterproof AND warm. It’s got more pockets than space-time and each one is lined as well as being in just the right place.
Supercoat absolutely reeks of quality.
I decided to do a couple of laps of the park anyway – after all the whole point of being there was exercise right?
So it blew a gale, rained, gusted a bit more, stopped, threw a bit more wind at me with a bit more water and then delivered a stiff twenty minute shower to test the coverage and integrity of my hood.
The expression you’re seeing on my face is that of a man who just walked three miles in the wind and rain and enjoyed every totally dry minute of it – secure in the knowledge that he and supercoat would be very very happy together.
It’s also the face of someone that (so far) has kept the promise that he made with himself at the beginning of the week to establish a ‘new normal’. This was to get on his exercise bike first thing every day in preparation for doing the same when he starts work next week.
I’m not going to lie. At the moment I’m not feeling any huge degree of joy during this activity. It’s nothing like going for a walk – which for me requires zero motivation now. I do it because I love it.
Getting on my bike is a brute force decision that goes against what I really want to do – which is anything but pedalling for six miles over half an hour.
This makes me wonder if I can keep it up long term. I’m not sure. At the moment I have the willpower – but when I’m working? When I haven’t slept properly the night before and have to drive to a job?
I don’t know.
I still feel driven though. I’m being propelled forward by the documentary I wrote about last week (about people that lost it all and then put it all back on).
It’s a terrifying thought – and one that has honestly been with me every day ever since.
I need a new normal.
There was a phrase in Trainspotting 2 (I went to see it recently – it’s a worthy sequel and highly recommended) when Renton is discussing Spud’s continuing use of heroin 20 years on – and offering a suggestion about how to channel his impulses.
“You’re an addict – so be addicted; just be addicted to something else.” He says before taking spud on a punishing run up a hill.
Drug addiction is arguably very different to an eating disorder – but lots of us have habitual behaviours that we’d like to consign to the past. I’m no different. I have obsessive patterns that occasionally develop and that I can’t seem to switch off from.
I don’t think it’s particularly unusual.
However when I manage to re-focus them (like Renton does) and turn them toward an obsession with losing weight and getting fit they become useful to me rather than destructive.
It’s this side of me that’s climbing on that bike in the morning – and because of that an element of me that I once disliked now has my respect.
I rather like it in fact Internet. Long may I have an obsessive side. It’s useful.
And my coat. Long may I have that too. It’s ace.