Last night I dreamt I was younger, thinner and moving rapidly, perhaps running. I felt my belly, and it had shrunk. I attribute these good feelings to the rush of endorphins that flooded me after I kept going and going and going yesterday. I also drank much more water which resulted in my going and going and going.
Alas when I awakened, my belly was still there. Smaller than it had been, but still there, hanging out.
I haven’t mentioned my Weight Watcher diet lately, but for those who care about such things, I am still at my minus forty pound weight, which was no small feat. However, I set a new goal at Christmas to lose 20 more pounds and have not done so. I’m hoping by going and going and going, pushing through the pain, I might even raise my metabolism and begin to lose again.
Because I reached my original goal, Weight Watchers no longer charges me a monthly fee. Thus daily, I clock in and record every morsel of food. I weigh, I measure, I can look at something and ascertain “how much” I can have of whatever.
I feel better, and am looking forward to a more active summer as I will have no more surgeries for a while. Last year my summer was ruined by knee surgery, and the year before by hip surgery. The good news is that these surgeries are finally in the last stages of healing.
I’m wearing the black belt my therapist suggested to stabilize my back, because it will be a cold day in hell before I let anyone cut on it. I’m doing my stretches to strengthen back and thigh muscles. NEVER GIVE UP.
Besides, I have to get back to England and Scotland.
Currently, I am reading Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain, by John Darwin, Oxford don and leading expert in world history. Last year, I read Darwin’s After Tamerlane which describes central Asian empires in recent times. I loved that book, and I love this book about the British Empire because it pulls together much of what I’ve read before and without an ideological spin.
Real history isn’t best viewed through an ideological spin. Real history doesn’t take sides. And Darwin doesn’t take sides. Empires come and empires go, they always have. For a long time the British Empire was exceptional. People my age remember the Mercator world maps hanging on classroom walls dotted with countries colored in red, “belonging” to the British Empire.
In the 1930s, Marxists scholars challenged the view that ’empire’ was a good thing. Marxist-leaning social scientists and historians came to dominate academe until the 1990s. Depending on where you were educated, you more or less received a Marxist interpretation of why empires and especially capitalist empires were bad, bad, bad…I certainly did. But empires aren’t what you may think they are or were.
After the ‘fall of the wall’ in Berlin, when scholars could finally access “some” of the records kept by the communist authorities (Stasi and NKVD for example), scholars began to take a more objective look at what went before, including the Russian Empire under communism.
John Darwin is that kind of historian. After Tamerlane describes empires that once enveloped many of the Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Kazakstan that became part of the USSR in the twentieth century.
Well, I can’t say anymore than that because I hate typing on a laptop and an on my way to Trader Joe’s. Besides, you probably fell asleep by now.