Stretching mind and body

Something interesting has happened (it occasionally does to me). 

I had a straightforward and simple title for this little musing - just the one word - but hesitated when I went to write it, as I thought the original version would put many people off from reading onwards.

I suppose that's because the word is very divisive, some people loving it and being almost addicts, others immediately shutting down their ears the moment it's aired.

Anyway, all that's a new record in itself, a digression to begin a blog, instead of at least having the decency to wait until I'm a few sentences in.  However!

The word I was thinking of is exercise.  And it came to mind yesterday, when I was thinking how much I envied Dan.

It's at this point of the year I really yearn to have a dog.  It's such a great time to go out on walks in fair Devon; not yet too cold, often just right in fact, and all that beauty in the countryside with the palette of autumnal colours, the spiralling leaves, the wonderful sunsets (they're my favourites in spring and autumn).

But, for now at least, this often chaotic lifestyle of mine doesn't allow for a Rutherford of my own, so it'll just have to remain a dream.  But this I have promised myself time and again - as soon as life settles down, one of the first things I shall do is go out and get myself a dog.

Anyway, all that was a bit of a digression too.  The main point of this was a little musing on how exercise helps me to write.  I went to the gym yesterday morning, and I can't claim to look forward to and enjoy it, but I do have a strategy to cope, one which works well with writing.

I find if I've got some issue to resolve in a bit of writing, my teaching work, or even just the scary business known as "life", then if I fix on that during the self-flagellation session it helps me to notice the pain rather less.

Interestingly, it usually also gets the problem solved.  Which is why I titled this blog the way I did - I find forcing the old and weatherbeaten body to get moving does likewise for the brain.

Maybe it's the blood flowing, perhaps it's just the space to think, but I've become a convert to exercise, and not just for the simple reason that it stops my bottom from expanding too much into middle age!

One final thing to mention here - if you're around Weymouth next Thursday evening (27th Oct), I'm doing a talk at the library.  Dorset is where I began my broadcasting career, so it's always a great pleasure to return.  There are more details on the News and Events page -