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Tuesday 22nd June 2021

6779/19699
I got to the end of the White Ship audio book. I wondered if Stephen of Blois diarrhea had actually saved him from death or if it had in fact doomed everyone else. The White Ship was not on an unstoppable destiny to crash into the rocks, but did so due to a combination of factors. Stephen holding things up by getting off the boat or just interacting with people as he left will have subtly altered their actions and perhaps meant the boat left seconds or minutes later than it might have done and the actions of the crew and passengers were altered by him leaving, just as they would have been altered by him staying. Perhaps the ship would still have crashed, but perhaps a different wave, a different stroke of the oars, a bit of luck, might have meant the boat did not crash or didn't sink or that the heir to the throne managed to get away on his rowing boat.....
The diarrhea might actually be to blame for that huge change in world history and the years of anarchy that would come after it and the many extra deaths that resulted from civil war. Stephen's life might have been much better had he not got the shits. He wouldn't have been king, but then he didn't have a great time as king anyway.
I moved on to Alice Roberts' Ancestors next. I bought the book, but I do prefer audiobooks now and so bought that too. I had been overwhelmed by the words on the page, but the audiobook is very accessible and Alice reads it in a very engaging manner and I was straight into it. It's as interesting to learn about what we know about our prehistoric ancestors as it is to find out about the people who discovered their bones and in the case of the Red Lady of Paviland (actually a man) how an attempt to reconcile the find with the Bible led to all kinds of incorrect conclusions. And the most recent developments in archaeology and genetics are equally fascinating. Can't wait to hear about Cheddar Man.
I had a pretty good day of book writing, though coming up with Emergency Questions is much harder than it seems and it turns out getting 30 or so good questions done in a day is an achievement. I still have about 100 more to do. But I appreciate that this is a ludicrous way to make a living.
I did my 7th half hour row on the rowing machine (around about £121 a row now) and am finding the Apple Fitness videos a great motivator. I am not sure I'd see out a full half hour without them. And despite two meals out over the weekend my plateau had definitely been left behind. I am back to losing about a third of a kilo a day. My first target was 87 kg and I have smashed that. If this keeps up I could be at the weight that I'd be happy to stick at 83kg in a fortnight or less (I am sure it won't be that easy), but I am determined to push onwards and see how low I can go. I am still technically obese.
My wife was out tonight so I drank a non-alcoholic beer whilst watching the football. I am finding Heineken surprisingly good - and I am not a big fan of the alcoholic version, but that might be because it was the first lager I bought (from a shop) on a school band trip to London at about the age of 15 where I manage to get away with buying a warm six pack for me and the trumpet section and then recoiled from unpleasant taste of the prize that I had so bravely won. What was the fuss about? I wouldn't be having any more of that.
England had a bit more fizz to them tonight, but am amazed that the fans are generally fairly depressed and negative about this unbeaten team, who haven't conceded a goal and ended up top of their group. There was less pressure on for the team as they'd already qualified and they played with spark and invention and I am pretty sure the ridiculous expectation and snidiness of the fans is a huge factor in them clamping up and getting nervous in other matches. They end up having to play a big team next, but you have to play those teams at some point.
It's coming home and when it gets here I am going to make millions re-releasing 3 Lions but saying "It's come home, there it is, it's over there, it's a football and it's home."


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