Getting Wii-ly Fit

Last week I awoke, at 0510, to some rhythmic but ominous thumping noises coming from downstairs. I was instantly transported back to the Eighties and my old student digs in Edinburgh’s New Town where similar sounds could often be heard (for only a couple of minutes mind you ha ha) leaking through the floorboards from my handsome flatmate’s love parlour as yet another nurse succumbed to his droll Fife patter (translation: the usual shite). “Lucky bugger” I’d mutter, and roll over as the sun came up.

Back to reality, and the present. Where was my wife at this critical moment? I wanted her to go downstairs and chase the intruders (I’ve insured my face so obviously couldn’t go…..)  But she was nowhere to be seen.  So, protected by my fluffy M&S dressing gown and armed with a fully loaded Blackberry and the mini Dyson (which does look like a Flash Gordon ray gun) I set off to make a citizen’s arrest.

As I got nearer the living room the banging got louder and I could hear grunts. Perhaps my wife was snogging him to death. There are worse ways to go.

But of course there was no intruder. She was alone and she was playing with a vibrating piece of technology (pervs, you can log off now, it’s not what you think) which had been dusted down and plugged in after six months hibernation behind the DVD rack.

The Nintendo Wii Fit, so simple and yet so brilliant. With the dark chilly foggy mornings on the rise, and winter not only just around the corner but coming down the drive,  the summertime 0500 walk with a friend and the dogs has been replaced by a 45 minute workout on the Wii. Like so many aspects of fitness you get out what you put in, and boy oh boy she was going for it this morning. The iPod was on, she was ‘glowing’ (women don’t sweat apparently) as the on screen avatar tackled a challenging road circuit in bright sunshine with lots of cheery other runners joining in the fun.  The clock counted down and finally it was over. The machine worked out the timings, assessed her run against previous efforts and declared she was a ‘roaring fire’ or something equally daft lost in translation. She was delighted. (However I remember in the early days she returned to the bed chamber with a heavy heart having been called a ‘wilting disappointment’ or similar.  “Bloody machine’s broken” she pronounced. And that was it…..back in the box for three months.)

And so  my message to the circuit boards in the Wii Fit is a straightforward one. If you want to stay active, remain ‘front of house’ and not behind the DVD rack, then behave yourself and call my wife nice names. And if I ever do decide to stand on you, do not emit smoke and  remark ‘no coach parties porky’. Or else you’re up in the loft with the burger maker, bread machine,  fondue and other duff technology acquired on a whim. You have been warned.


Where’s There’s Muck There’s Brass

All dignity out of the window...

All dignity out of the window...

I have just cleared out the loft. Not a voluntary act, but forced on me due to new insulation being installed.

Lofts are fabulously spooky places….and not for the faint hearted. If it’s not the shadows in the corners and strange scratching noises (which are  always behind you) then it’s the energetic spiders and vermin droppings the size of chipolatas which define it as ‘men only’ territory.

There’s only one thing worse than putting stuff in the loft…and that’s taking it all out again. Particularly when the boxes are empty! And so this presented me with an all too rare opportunity to be reunited with household items I was hoping never to clap eyes on again.  So hello to :

Old Versace ties from my Nineties TV presenting days – yeeuch

Old jackets (are big shoulders back in?)

A mouse trap with little fluffy still in its metal vice grip

Mrs Vole’s wedding dress

and 482 random items “which we should keep…just in case”.

The loft was empty, but not for long. Two perspiring operatives from the local insulation company arrived and cheerfully carried out their contractual obligation (quote of the day “No it’s not that hot up here, Ive always been fat and sweaty”).

This was a great chance to have a brutal downsizing. So wedding dress and Christmas decorations safely returned to the loft I headed for the tip with the rest.

Civic amenity sites have always intrigued me. Every time I go there’s someone there who looks shifty and whatever they are doing it looks as though they probably shouldn’t be doing it. Despite having possibly the worst jobs in Britain the couple who run the place pretend not to be too curious about what you are chucking in the skip but you always get the feeling they are always watching…..always. Maybe their caravan is missing a chandelier and they think today could be the day.

So I threw everything into the skip…mostly old clothes, toys and rubbish. Just as I was turning away I spotted a couple of pages of Vole Junior’s first diary entries eg  “Daddy turned red in the sun. It made me laugh” accompanied by drawing of a red stick man with enormous jagged teeth and three fingered hands.

So I did what anyone else would have done. All grace was thrown out of the window as I jumped in and recovered the pages. I just couldn’t let them go.

As for the rest of my waste…well as the picture above shows they were on it like a shot. Honestly, couldn’t they have waited until I had gone?

I’ll be back next week. To see if the bloke is wearing a Versace tie.