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Average Joe's

It may be called Gordon's Gym but it looks just like that place in Dodgeball, the one that Ben Stiller's megalomaniac gym master wants to ruin. Old equipment, creaky floorboards, turn up in your gear, cos they don't have showers or a changing room, but it's £3.50 a day, you can pop in and out, and there's none of that membership faddle that puts people off. So it will definitely do.

The clientele includes a lot of body builders, male and female. There are these very ordinary looking people who have just worked and shaped their muscles over years. Pictures on the walls show their pumped up idols, men whose thigh muscles are so huge that their crotches look strangely tiny. It is very odd, grotesque rather than ugly. And faces are interesting too; I saw a couple of women tanned and yellow haired with really well shaped shoulder muscles and torsoes, not a peck of fat on them...but their faces were drawn and lined, the sort of look my mother would dismiss as 'smokers...or girls who lose weight too quickly.' Many of the men's faces were utterly forgettable, and I marvelled that they didn't try harder with their hair and eyebrows,having gone to such lengths with their bodies. It was as though male narcissism could only be expressed freely from the neck down.

It wasn't all narcissism though; there were punch bags everywhere, and one guy was attacking them with such ferocious noises you couldn't help wondering if he was working out some issues.

If I can keep going until my body is the right shape to please me on my wedding day, I'll be very proud of myself. Ab crunches though; barely managed 10, still got aching muscles now.

This may take some time...

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