Sunday, January 09, 2005

All Around The World 

I’ve just circumnavigated the planet on my exercise bike.

It took seven 45 minute sessions. My travelling companion was Michael Palin - it took him 79 days, pah! - him setting off from Pall Mall on September 25th 1988, and me from here in my room, on the day after Boxing Day.

It was an enjoyable trip, especially when he’d get all stressed and delusional about the importance of his mission.
“It’s absolutely vital that I make my connection at Place X,” he would decree from time to time, usually to the manager of a sweaty shipping office.
Was it all that important? Well, he did it - he retraced the route made by Phileas Fogg in Around The World In Eighty Days, and on schedule. And for Palin it was the foundation to a pretty decent career in travel documentary making, and I wouldn’t begrudge anybody happiness in their work.
But for all his awfully decent chap affability, he could be just a bit - I’m not sure how to describe it - stressed and delusional sometimes. Understandable in the circumstances. I’ll forgive him that if he’ll forgive my farting.

My favourite bits were when he would try to tell anybody who would listen about the fascinating adventure he was in the midst of, only to be met with complete indifference.
It just goes to show that one man’s momentous personal milestone isn’t necessarily profoundly interesting to anybody else.

So anyway, here I am in my shorts and trainers, on the cusp of week two of my Bust A Gut For January fitness regime.
This time me and Michael will be travelling from Pole To Pole, but I’ll understand if you’re not especially arsed to hear that.

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