diamond geezer

 Saturday, February 28, 2015

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 February since, purely to keep tabs on how my life is changing. Twelve years later, I think we can agree it's changed quite a bit, and yet not changed too. Below are my counts for February 2015 (also available in graphical form via Daytum), accompanied by the previous statistics and some deep, meaningful pondering.
(Part one yesterday, part two today)

Count 5 (Nights out): That's an increase to eight nights out, or a decrease to twenty nights in, depending on how you look at it. And that's one of my better social performances, so well done me. Half of those were trips round to BestMate's sofa, where we watch telly and put the world to rights, and three involved my brother and I celebrating our respective birthdays. But the other was an actual genuine proper night out, admittedly with folk from work, but it's a start.
The number of nights in February 2015 I went out and was vaguely sociable: 8
2003-2015 review: In February 2003 I was a social whirlwind, but Best Mate emigrated three days later and a long term decline set in. You can see how things picked up a bit in 2008 when he returned, settling at a fairly consistent lower level of "once or twice a week". A special thanks to the rest of you who've dragged me out of my comfort zone and shared an evening (or ten) over the years. But nobody comes to this blog to read about London's sparkling nightlife, that's for sure.
(2003: 21) (2004: 7) (2005: 2) (2006: 2) (2007: 3) (2008: 7) (2009: 7) (2010: 4) (2011: 9) (2012: 6) (2013: 4) (2014: 6)

Count 6 (Alcohol intake): For the purposes of this long-term count, my definition of alcohol is a specific gassy bottle of German lager. I cling to Becks for familiarity and ease of ordering, plus it doesn't give me hiccups, but this month my consumption is a big fat zero. I've sunk several glasses of wine on BestMate's sofa, but those doesn't count towards The Count. I've downed half a dozen other lagers because the pub I was in didn't serve Becks, but alas they don't count either. So my rock bottom February total is an inadequate reflection of my alcohol intake... but still fairly close, to be honest.
Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2015: 0
2003-2015 review: Again 2003 is the outlier, with a couple of further uptick years in 2008 and 2011. But overall my Becks consumption is falling because considerably fewer pubs are stocking the stuff. How my heart sinks when I scan the selection behind the bar and realise I'll have to order something else. A sure sign of Becklessness is the presence of "Becks Blue", the non-alcoholic cop-out option, because if that's present the real thing is invariably absent. If current trends continue, I fear I may have to choose to count something else.
(2003: 58) (2004: 17) (2005: 0) (2006: 7) (2007: 1) (2008: 28) (2009: 4) (2010: 3) (2011: 20) (2012: 14) (2013: 2) (2014:4)

Count 7 (Tea intake): Apart from one dodgy year when workplace kettle usage was banned, my tea consumption remains astonishingly consistent. Every February other than 2005 has fallen within a very narrow range of 127-137 teas, despite very different behaviour on weekdays and weekends. My office days are always brimming, brown-liquid-wise, whereas days off tend to find me rushing around without pausing for refreshment. But I am on average, 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 2015: 128
(2003: 135) (2004: 135) (2005: 81) (2006: 128) (2007: 137) (2008:134) (2009: 129) (2010: 136) (2011: 135) (2012: 133) (2013: 127) (2014:129)


Count 8 (Trains used): This count's normally remarkably consistent too... always just over a hundred a month. That's apart from the year when I had a "one train" commute rather than two, when the total dipped a bit, and apart from the year when I upped the total by blogging relentlessly about the Bakerloo line. I'm back in the zone again this year, averaging about four train journeys a day, because we Londoners do swan around in carriages a lot.
Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2015: 124
(2003: 103) (2004: 109) (2005: 117) (2006: 107) (2007:100) (2008: 117) (2009: 103) (2010: 83) (2011: 109) (2012: 118) (2013: 139) (2014: 101)


Count 9 (Exercise taken): Rather than fork out good money to use a gym, I get my step action by walking up escalators, usually at tube stations. I always attempt to walk up every escalator I ascend, which usually works so long as there's not some tourist, suitcase or buggy blocking the left hand side. I'm not thrilled with my total this year, but my commute doesn't afford the multiple climbs it once did, so I could do better.
Total number of escalators I walked up in February 2015: 37
(2003: 73) (2004: 72) (2005: 38) (2006: 35) (2007: 31) (2008: 33) (2009: 28) (2010: 13) (2011: 32) (2012: 43) (2013: 40) (2014: 29)


Count 9a (Steps walked): Here's a recent innovation to The Count, introduced two years ago when I got myself a smartphone. By uploading the Moves app I've been able to keep track of my daily step count without the need for a pedometer attached to my waist. It's a brilliant app, if no longer free to new users, and a bit of a battery hog. It's also potentially stalky because it records everywhere I go (both when and where), plus how I travelled inbetween. I've learned that a typical working day requires me to walk only 4500 steps, whereas my weekends and days off are considerably more variable, but usually much higher. During February I've walked more than ten thousand steps in a day on nine separate occasions, and over thirty thousand once, which was my extreme day trip to Stoke. Most impressively I appear to be maintaining a year-on-year total of around a quarter of a million steps per February, which is just over 100 miles a month, which I hope makes me one of the capital's more serious walkers.
Total number of steps I walked in February 2015: 282300
(2013: 273300) (2014: 254600)

Count 10 (Mystery count): Sorry to disappoint you all, again, but the legendary diamond geezer Mystery Count continues to be nil. Admittedly at the time of writing there's still one day left, and Saturday is probably the most likely day for the Mystery Count to uptick. But I wouldn't get your hopes up, I most certainly haven't, so expect 2015 to throw up yet another big fat mystery zero. Ah well, maybe next year...
Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2015: 0
(2003: 0) (2004: 0) (2005: 0) (2006: 0) (2007: 0) (2008: 0) (2009: 0) (2010: 0) (2011: 0) (2012: 0) (2013: 0) (2014:0)


» The Count 2015


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