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, every Februarysince, 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 2010, accompanied by the previous statistics and some deep, meaningful pondering.
Count 5 (Nights out): Four. That's a bit pathetic, isn't it? An average of only once a week, and a reverse of the slight upturn in sociability I've managed for the last couple of years. One of my nights out was a trip to see a comedian in town (went in, laughed, came home). Two of my nights out were meals round at BestMate's place (went over, munched, watched TV, came home). And only one was a 'proper' night out (featuring friends, bars, beer, stumbling home at three in the morning, that sort of thing). I used to do that far more often, but now I look back at the heady days of 2003 and wonder if I was living in some crazy different world. I am, officially, a hopeless hedonist and a happy hermit. The number of nights in February 2010 I went out and was vaguely sociable: 4 (2003: 21) (2004: 7) (2005: 2) (2006: 2) (2007: 3) (2008: 7) (2009: 7)
Count 6 (Alcohol intake): Maybe I'm going to the wrong pubs, but I swear it's harder or get hold of a bottle of Becks these days. All too often I hear "Ooh no, we don't do that" and have to choose some other lager I like less from the selection available. Or I hear "We've only got that on tap" and have to buy a pint, which fills me with gas quicker and leaves me hiccuping like a crazyman by the end of the evening. Or I hear "We've only got the non-alcoholic version", which is usually accompanied by an apologetic shrug from the bartender as if to say "yes, I know, who'd drink that?". If it hadn't been for that last excuse, my February Becks total would have been six. But instead it's three. I'm really not trying hard enough. Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2010: 3 (2003: 58) (2004: 17) (2005: 0) (2006: 7) (2007: 1) (2008: 28) (2009: 4)
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 2010: 136 (2003: 135) (2004: 135) (2005: 81) (2006: 128) (2007: 137) (2008:134) (2009: 129)
Count 8 (Trains used): My train ridership used to be as consistent as my tea consumption, but not any more. Since last February I've downgraded from a two-train commute to a one-train commute, and that's knocked my monthly total well below 100 for the first time. If it wasn't for an excess of weekend engineering work requiring me to take far more trains than usual, the figures would no doubt be even lower. Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2010: 83 (2003: 103) (2004: 109) (2005: 117) (2006: 107) (2007:100) (2008: 117) (2009: 103)
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. Trouble is, I'm not meeting so many escalators in my life at the moment. Changes in the nature of my daily commute mean that I only face the occasional flight of steps every morning, which isn't anywhere near as energetic. But fear not, I've not put any weight on over the last twelve months as a result. Total number of escalators I walked up in February 2010: 13 (2003: 73) (2004: 72) (2005:38) (2006: 35) (2007: 31) (2008: 33) (2009: 28)
Count 10 (Mystery count): Sorry to disappoint you all, yet again, but the legendary diamond geezer Mystery Count continues to be zero. I had 672 hours to make a difference but, no, a positive count never looked a terribly likely option. Just like all those previous Februaries, it seems, 2010 has thrown up yet another big fat mystery zero. Ah well, maybe next year... Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2010: 0 (2003: 0) (2004: 0) (2005: 0) (2006: 0) (2007: 0) (2008: 0) (2009: 0)