Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Auspicious? Or not? Or irrelevant?

As I write, I am in Poznań's Hotel Rzymski. On my way to my room from the restaurant, I catch sight of Venus and Jupiter, very close together in the western sky. From my bedroom window, looking east, I see a (nearly) full moon. Do these heavenly portents mean something - or not? Probably the latter. Time to kick out the jams on these old superstitions; instead let these phenomena trigger deeper reflections about purpose and fulfilling one's potential - and being grateful for all that we should be grateful for.

The first half of the year is over, and I can tot up my life-log. More walking than this time last year (average number of paces each day: 10,855 this year, 10,473 a day in 2014). Lower alcohol consumption in first half of this year than during the same period last year (weekly average 21.5 units per week this year, 24.2 units last year - NHS recommended limit for men: 21 units per week). Fewer sit-ups a day that last year (82 a day, compared to 130 a day last year). And new this year - I've started logging intake of fresh fruit and veg - it's 4.6 portions a day every day since 1 Jan. The target is five, hell - seven, nine, ten even.

Like my father, I like to put things down in spreadsheets, then I can analyse and see trends, take corrective action. I've been doing this daily for 18 months now. The aim of all this is long-term health and activity into old age (and my nonagenarian father is a great example for me to follow).

Determination is so important.

Well, that's it - the end of the first half of 2015 will be over in 90 minutes and one leap second; and so many unresolved issues around the world - Russia in Ukraine, ISIS at large, the Greeks with one foot in and one foot out of the eurozone, the UK's EU membership still in the balance. And probably the least of all these worries, Poland about to ditch PO (Civic Platform) in the autumn elections. What next? We live in uncertain times, but then mankind always has. May things not get any worse...

It's been a long day. I woke at 03:50, left home at 05:00, caught the Pendolino to Wrocław at 06:05, took part in a half-day training seminar for Polish exporters, visited a Polish factory in Dzierzoniów, returned to Wrocław in time to catch the 17:43 train to Poznań, arrived at my hotel at 20:45 - and had a splendid dinner (sorrel soup with poached - not boiled - eggs, and duck pierogi with chanterelle mushrooms) at the hotel restaurant.

Below: The Electrification of the Villages. Somewhere between Wrocław and Poznań.

This time last year:
Down the line from York

This time two years ago:
Cider - at last available in Poland

This time three years ago:
Despondency on Puławska
[A year later, still no S2 Southern Bypass]

This time four years ago:
Stalking the stork

This time six years ago:
Late June lightning

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