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I have always felt that idling is man’s natural state. I can coast along in neutral for hours. My favourite book when I was a child was called ‘How to do Nothing with Nobody all alone by Yourself’.  I never did any of the things it contained – too idle – but the book itself represented my preferred state of being. Sarah finds this incomprehensible – and is, I suspect, a little envious of my ability to lie on the sofa and snooze, or watch meaningless trash on the television, or even to walk slowly. She walks fast. Very fast indeed. And to illustrate just how fast, and how far, she has bought a pedometer.

This is a small plastic thing that sits on your belt, and, once you’ve calibrated it to your average pace (itself an exhausting process), you march about with it all day and then it tells you how far you’ve marched. Or it will tell you how many paces you took (utterly pointless). Or how many calories you’ve used up. I expect this one is so you can then stuff yourself in order to replace them.

Apparently Sarah walks an average of six miles a day. And that’s without actually going for a walk! It’s just walking about doing things. Which she does a great deal, and I do very little. She bought me a pedometer, and it’s perfectly true, I don’t seem to get anywhere at all.

All this is quite worrying because Sarah is also very keen on keep fit. She has progressed from the early days of seeing ‘Scott’ (oh yeah?), in his ‘shed’ (really?) once a week, to ‘train’ (pull the other one), to going to his newly opened gym, and a weekly visit to something called Box Fit, on top of yoga, and of course six daily miles of marching. And last week she came home with a punch-bag and asked me to hang it on a beam in the barn so she could do boxing at home in between all the push-ups, jogging, pad thumping, skipping, marching and lifting that fills in the rest of her time.

So I am now married to an exceptionally toned, aerobically superb woman with utterly unnatural upper body strength and thighs like stands of hornbeam. That is not to say she doesn’t look good like that – she looks incredible. It’s just very, very scary when you know that the woman you love is a good 14 inches shorter than you, several stone lighter, and could floor you without drawing breath. Then march six miles with your senseless corpse slung over her shoulder.

Which reminds me – it’s getting to that time when we lift last winter’s logs from the wood, haul them back to the yard and stack them to season. I think this year Sarah can do all that on her own.

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