During February 2003 on diamond geezer I kept myself busy by counting things. Ten different counts, to be precise, in a none-too thrilling daily feature called 'The Count'. My 28-day tally chart may have been deathly dull to the rest of you, but I've continued to count those categories again, everyFebruarysince, just to keep tabs on how my life is changing. This year's figures are also available in graphical form, via Daytum. Below are the remainder of my counts for February 2009, accompanied by the previous statistics and some deep, meaningful pondering.
Count 5 (Nights out): Well, seven doesn't look too bad. I may never regain the lofty social heights of 2003 but at least I've managed to maintain last year's score. Alas, most of these seven nights out are a bit of a sham, and not desperately sociable at all. One was a cinema trip where I spoke only to buy a ticket. One was an Olympic consultation event where I was the sole representative of the local population. Two were public gatherings with speakers, where they spoke to me but I spoke to nobody. One was a swift drink down the pub after work, but brief enough that I was home before six. And one was eating fish and chips on BestMate's sofa. Which leaves a last minute last-day-of-the-month bar excursion as my singular sociable February night out. I am, officially, a hopeless hedonist and a happy hermit. The number of nights in February 2009 I went out and was vaguely sociable: 7 (2003: 21) (2004: 7) (2005: 2) (2006: 2) (2007: 3) (2008: 7)
Count 6 (Alcohol intake): I thought 2008 was too good to be true. My Becks intake has collapsed since last year, from an average of one bottle a day to an average of one bottle a week. In fact my four bottles were both consumed at the extreme ends of February - two in the first hour after January, and two in the last hour before March. The rest of my February has, alas, been disappointingly teetotal. Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2009: 4 (2003: 58) (2004: 17) (2005: 0) (2006: 7) (2007: 1) (2008: 28)
Count 7 (Tea intake): Apart from one dodgy year when workplace kettle usage was banned, my tea consumption remains wonderfully consistent. I am, it seems, a four-and-a-half cups a day man. Milk, no sugar, thanks. Total number of cups of tea I drank in February 2009: 129 (2003: 135) (2004: 135) (2005: 81) (2006: 128) (2007: 137) (2008:134)
Count 8 (Trains used): My train usage remains almost as consistent as my tea consumption. With ridership figures at these levels, you can tell I live in London, can't you? Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2009: 103 (2003: 103) (2004: 109) (2005: 117) (2006: 107) (2007:100) (2008: 117)
Count 9 (Exercise taken): Unlike the majority of wimpish London travellers, I still attempt to walk up every escalator I ascend. I really don't know how some of you stand there on the right when there's a perfectly good means of exercise to be gained by striding up the left. Indeed, having lost a stone and a half since last February, my escalator climbing is now more powerful and less breathless than this time last year. Alas, recent changes in the nature of my daily commute mean that I no longer get my escalator workout every morning. Somehow the occasional flight of steps just isn't the same. I hope I don't end up putting that stone and a half back on. Total number of escalators I walked up in February 2009: 28 (2003: 73) (2004: 72) (2005:38) (2006: 35) (2007: 31) (2008: 33)
Count 10 (Mystery count): Sorry to disappoint you all, yet again, but the legendary diamond geezer Mystery Count continues to be zero. It shouldn't have been zero this month, indeed there were several occasions when I thought it was going to be rather higher. But, in the end, not. As I repeatedly discovered, with a mixture of relief and disappointment, this February has thrown up another big fat mystery zero. Ah well, maybe next year... Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2009: 0 (2003: 0) (2004: 0) (2005: 0) (2006: 0) (2007: 0) (2008: 0)