Week Six: 2022

This week I read that three cups of coffee a day will make you live longer. How do they decide this stuff? Surely it’s like the red wine is good/not good debate that has rumbled on between scientific communities with too much time on their hands. Poppycock. Baloney. Balderdash. Observational codswallop.

I was musing on these column fillers, when I became embroiled in a debate on the benefits of a cold water swim. Now here I have personal experience and I know cold water swimming is both stupid and potentially deadly. You don’t have to study the Titanic to know about hypothermia. You don’t have to listen to an aficionado of the art who says they ‘come alive’ after such a dip to realise that, during said dip they are anything but alive and heading for the old super sharp scythe as swiftly as a soap bubble is to a two year old’s snotty finger. I’ve tried it. My heart damn nearly stopped, I began breathing like a second rate pornstar and my flesh didn’t so much creep as turn tail and try and hide in my lower intestine. It isn’t great and, yes of course it feels good when you get out: I haven’t spent long on a comprehensive study but recent testing has shown me that hitting myself on the head with a branch feels great when I stop.

I’m off for my third coffee. At least that study makes sense.

Exciting news from Oxfordshire – no, it’s not often you get to say that, is it? Apparently men and women with especially large craniums have broken a record that has lasted twenty-five years at the Joint European Torus (which is as strange a name for something stupendous as you’re likely to get). Over the course of five seconds they have created 59 megajoules of energy which is what you need to boil a standard kettle for two months. Previously it was 22 mega joules. It all sounds a bit small fry until you realise that to do it, these mega minds had to create something three times as hot as the sun. It’s all part of the ongoing hunt for the secret of fusion as a power source and is truly exciting. Speculation has it that as the big-brained-boffins scale up their ideas – France has the gig next – they will reach the happy place of being able to run a fusion reactor successfully to be a net creator of energy, maybe by 2050.

Which had me thinking. What about Health and Safety? Now I’m no scientist, but how do you keep something that hot from burning a hole in the floor? And it wouldn’t be just the floor. It would keep on burning until the super hot plasma emerged in China or wherever. You can just imagine President Xi whinging on about the sanctity of nationals boundaries if something that makes a Caroline Reaper seem tame pops out at the latest party conference on its way to turning the earth into an interstellar donut.

In some ways, I’m lucky to live in a part of the world where bumping into celebrities is common. It gives me something to focus on when walking Dog, like filling in my familiar-face bingo card. There’s the forever Irishman Jimmy Nesbit – a bit like Sean Connery this one, who always plays himself. Or those two female comedians whose schtick is to observe in minute detail the deterioration of body parts as they move through the Goldilocks zone from post menopause to pre dementia – they seem to inhabit the cafe in Dulwich park a fair bit. And then there’s the chap who died in a German disco in season one of Killing Eve and the factotum to the Dragon Queen in Game of Thrones who developed some sort of creeping eczema before pegging out in season seven.

Yes, it’s not difficult to fill up the card though disaster nearly struck coming back from seeing Hamilton the other night. I was reversing the car so I could hurry home without an unnecessary quarter mile detour when out of the gloom a dark coated figure scurried across the road behind me, head down, on his phone, oblivious to the near death experience I was about to involve him in. It took a moment before the Textiliste said in muted tones, ‘That was Huw Edwards.’

That is, perhaps the only way I will join those familiar faces on the bingo card: as the notorious, untimely dispatcher of a national treasure.

It’s been that sort of week…

London, at least as you leave the middle touristy bit, is a mix of the sublime and the scrofulous. On an unprepossessing B road, a mile or so short of Lewisham is Crofton Park. There’s not a lot here that would stop you passing by, but if you did you’d miss the Rivoli Ballroom. Some readers will know that the Textiliste and I have regular dance lessons and while Strictly it is not, I can say I do have hips for Rumba. It pleases me that the Vet and her hubby, the Pest Controller are also dance aficionados so we were delighted to join them and some of their friends for a jive night at the Rivoli.

It’s something of an Art Deco gem and it’s delightful that bloody Covid hasn’t killed it off. Jive night, with a live band Ruby and the Dukes – no, me neither – was Saturday and pretty full and bouncing.

We had a splendid time, dancing and trying to make ourselves understood over the sound system. Best of all was watching the experts jive. It’s rather sobering, watching what feels like a rerun of Happy Days to realise the best practitioners are probably WW2 veterans. But boy, have the still got it.

More practice methinks…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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39 Responses to Week Six: 2022

  1. Cathy Cade says:

    I miss London. Although when I lived full-time on the eastern verge I rarely went into its depths unless I was working. Or hosting children’s birthday jaunts, which is the same thing (and too long ago to count).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful musing on your theme

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Norah says:

    Enjoy your coffee. Hub is always keen to read those coffee stats too. Me? I’d rather dance the night away but gave dance away when I married Hub instead. I drink coffee with him. It’s not really fair that he won’t dance with me. I don’t think I could anymore anyway. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  4. willowdot21 says:

    An exciting week unlike ours!
    I have the unknown honour of nearly mowing Lenny Henry down once. A tall man stepped off the curb in front of me, in our busy little town, I slammed on the brakes , the man clad in huge hat and Australian style sheepherder’s coat smiled an apologiesed. My friend said….that was Lenny Henry…..
    The hat and coat seem to be a common denominator!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Forgot to say I guess you were listening to Radio 4 because I heard that program about creating the extra power like the 🌞. It foxed me a little how would we get close enough to the kettle to use it before we burst into flames.
    The coffee I agree, I love coffee …red wine too I like red wine 🍷….be safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the coffee stuff. First, it’s bad, then it’s good – meat, butter, lard, carbs, the list is endless. I did read about the fusion news. I think if those scientists can get a handle on it. our energy woes in the future will be gone. But it’s a long way down the road.
    I was interested to see the three nuclear reactor towers next to a downhill event in Beijing for the Olympics. Soon they were covered from view by a huge screen!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. arlingwoman says:

    Interestingly, the benefit of the coffee supposedly goes away if you add cream. As for cold swims, in my late twenties a friend and I rented a cottage in Maine for a week. Every morning, I ran down the dock and swam out 10 or 12 strokes, then swam back. I never got used to it. In Nova Scotia a few years later, I knew better, but dove into a river that was flowing into the Atlantic, thinking it would be warmer, and the only thing I could think about the entire time I was in was getting back to shore. There’s some crazy dude whose name I can’t remember who says freezing cold showers are … good for the vagus nerve. Ah, well. As for dance and old ballrooms, I like them as well. Glad you have one nearby to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If it’s true that cold showers are compulsory at Eton just look what it does to people!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “Much loved Newsreader mown down by local driver”.
    I keep wondering whether those scientists are missing a trick if, even though they are working with temperatures 10 times hotter than the centre of the Sun, they can still only create enough power for one street to make a few cups of coffee/tea before an England penalty shootout!
    Pleased you two are still good for a jive 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. L.K. Latham says:

    After all that, glad you got a night of dancing. Sounds like you needed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I enjoyed the recap, Geoff. I’m so glad I like coffee. It sounds like that indulgence will pay off.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. petespringerauthor says:

    These studies are downright comical. We get one piece of advice for years, and then it is flipped on its head. I think I’ll continue to drink my two cups of coffee per day and not worry about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. JT Twissel says:

    That’s a pink palace! I don’t listen to the experts – moderation in all things.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I read the coffee story too, and as my intake is generally three cups a day I was naturally very taken with it. If it had said coffee was bad for me I’d have ignored it completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Widdershins says:

    Heavens to Murgatriod! Live Music! Well, well, well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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