I Wish To Complain

I got a letter from the local council yesterday reminding me that my membership to their provincial barn that masquerades as a gym will expire in March.

If I want to continue my membership I need to:

  • Fill in the same Joining Form that I filled in when I joined last year
  • Fill out the Direct Debit form again
  • Attach yet another passport photograph
  • Send it off then and wait 30 days or so for this to be processed
  • Wait by the mailbox for my new membership card to be dispatched.

Local government is notorious for inefficiency but have you ever seen such a ridiculous paper-wasting palaver!? In addition to that I will need to cough up an extra £3 a month, taking it up to £47 pounds a month. At todays rates this translates to $112 AUD, $84 US, 60 Euro, 16,372 Slovenian Tolars or 5,584 Bangladeshi Takas.

£47 is also a paltry £3 less than what I used to pay for my beloved softly-lit excellent-timetabled fancy-showered free-breakfasting internet-cafed two-dozen-treadmilled Heaven Gym back in Edinburgh! O the humanity!

The facilities at my gym are excellent by council gym standards, albeit quirky. The pool is always full of peeing kiddies or old ladies in bathing caps. The change rooms are always full of naked peeing kiddies and old ladies in bathing caps. The weights room is always hogged by steroid-pumped guys with crewcuts who talk shit to each to other in impenetrable accents, but their grunting and groaning needs no translation. The fitness class instructors are good, but the classes are held in a basketball court, so their voices blast and echo off the walls. You literally cannot understand a single word they say. At Body Pump I watch the beginners stand there with their bars, gawking at the stage in confusion. And there’s no Technique class to help people learn the moves either – so you hardly ever see them come back the next week.

On the whole the gym is perfectly fine. They manage to appeal to all kinds of people and have a good range of activities. Despite the boring timetable and lack of Body Jam, I have made it work for me over the past year. It’s the only gym around and it’s a mere ten minutes walk from our flat. Plus it’s at the halfway point between the train station and home, so it’s hard to justify skipping a workout at the end of the day.

BUT STILL, I just don’t see how the facilities on offer are worth £47 a month! I don’t see how they get away with charging almost as much as a poncy private gym. Ooh every time I look at my Online Banking and see that debit has come out I just start to glare and spit at the screen. Boo! Hiss! BAH!

By the way, there is no point to this rant at all. I raged about it to the Scottish Companion last night but thought I should rage about it again here, just to spread that pointless fury a little further!

. . .

Beckie tagged me for a meme thingy. If people post memes on non-fat blogs I usually skip over them, sneering rather righteously, "That’s lazy content!". But I always read the answers on fat blogs coz I want to know what everyone is into aside from lard busting. We all have other talents and dimensions, dammit. Plus noone had ever tagged me before! So I was chuffed about that. Cheers Beck!

So only read on if you don’t mind a meme. If you do, come back later in the week. Hehe.

. . .

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was just about to leave home to start the first year of my journalism degree. Ten YEARS ago!? Bloody hell. I had also just finished up my high school job at KFC (I don’t recommend you work at KFC if you have a problem with food). I was also learning to drive in an awful hurry (I don’t recommend trying to learn to drive in two weeks. It will make you a rather crappy driver).

2. What were you doing a year ago?
Planning a quickie wedding and frantically exercising to fit into wedding frock.

3. Five snacks I enjoy:
Avocado mushed up on grainy toast with heaps of black pepper
Almond butter on grainy toast
Fruit scone with butter and raspberry jam (didn’t have to be healthy, did it?)
Nairns Rough oatcakes with mature cheddar cheese

Arrgh! I’m hungry now.

4. Five songs to which I know all the lyrics:
A Day In The Life
by The Beatles
Six Months In A Leaky Boat by Split Enz
Anything by The Eagles (shame!) or Radiohead.
Boys and Girls by Blur. Except I get the girls and boys mixed up all the time.

5. Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:
Pay off debts for family and friends
Buy a house in Australia and a house in Scotland
Hire a personal trainer to bully me into buffness
Hire a personal shopper to fetch me a decent wardrobe
Donate money to obsure charities that don’t get much publicity

6. Five Bad Habits:
Leaving "bits" on the dishes when doing the washing up
Spraying the kitchen with low-fat cooking spray instead of the food
Leaving clothes in a pile on the bed/chair/floor
Not listening to instructions properly

7. Five Things I Enjoy Doing:
Baking cakes
Wandering around foreign supermarkets
Watching mens tennis
Arranging my boarding pass collection in chronological order

8. Five Things I Would Never Wear
Bikinis, mini skirts, capri pants, cropped jackets or anything Burberry.

9. Five favourite toys:
Harvey the iBook, Pedro the iPod Shuffle, the stab blender, the electric frypan and the Scottish Companion. HA HA!

I tag: Anyone who feels so inclined.

Til next time, Gadget.

25 thoughts on “I Wish To Complain

  1. £47! For a council gym? Nightmare. I’ve done your meme if you’re interested – see the link to my website for my answers.

  2. Okay – this is weird. Apart from the fact I live in Edinburgh and rage at having to pay £49 for my gym membership per month (which I might add is for the Fountain Park one which is pretty luxurious) I also used to work in a fast food place (McDs).

    And here comes the eerie music. Noo noo nooo nooooo

  3. Gadget? Are you referring to Inspector Gadget?
    My ex-boyfriend used to work with the wife of the guy who did the voice of Dr. Claw in the cartoon series. Apparantely he cheated on her and was an arse and she left him.

    Just pointless info… your ‘Gadget’ brought that back to mind…

  4. I don’t think your gym rant was pointless at all…….in fact, I think you should put it all in a letter to your local city government rep. The gym administrators should give you an award for pointing out how they can cut down on their paperwork costs, and maybe, in the best of all possible worlds, they would even pass the saving along to the gym clients. (I realize that’s really stretching it, but hey, we can all dream, right?

    P.S. I love the Eagles too. And another old and out of fashion band called Little Feat. 🙂

  5. Off-topic: What´s Burns Day? Just being curious. 🙂

    Also, a bit off topic, since I got a blender for X-mas, I´d be happy if you´d share your best smoothie recipes with me 😛 I´m pracitising product development and done so far so good with bananas, frozen berries, yogurt and milk. But that´s just the beginning. I can´t wait to blend organic peanut butter into things! Anyway, if you have any ideas, I´d be glad to try them. Or do I have to wait for your food blog?!?


  6. Meri – i mostly use it to blend soups, smoothies (just as you described) and i use it to mash vegetables if i am really lazy… hehe. that’s about as adventurous i’ve got, but it still rules the kitchen! i also have a wee attachment like a mini food processor and have used that to make hummus… OH i also tried to use it to chop chicken breasts (to make mince for burgers) and that wasn’t a good idea!

    anji – COOL! yes i was referring to the inspector! for some reason i always say ‘next time gadget, next time’ as a general phrase.

    Lainey – spooky eh!? i used to go to Fountainpark, i have probably got rose-coloured glasses on and it’s not as good as i described, but the timetable for the classes was soooo good… i really miss it 🙂

    oh – and Burn’s Night is the birthdate of poet Robert Burns so everyone eats haggis and recites his poetry!

  7. I use “Next time, Gadget! Next time!” all the time too.

    Also, it just occurred to me that if someone didn’t know what Burns Night was, they might wonder if it involved playing with fire, chasing people with cigarettes, etc. Not that anyone thought that, but, you know. My demented mind went that way when imagining what people might think it was.


    I need a nap.

  8. oh you soooooo have to check out Kimba’s rant on the gym thing too! Funny that on different sides of the globe u r going through the same thing!!! It sucks big time!!!!!!!!!! And here I am wondering whether I can afford the $25 it would cost to sign up for the gym here in Broken Hill ?!? What am i waiting for?

  9. Hi Dietgirl,

    Have been a lurker on your site for a very long time now. I often laugh outloud at some of the things you say. I’m a Scot (who went to college in Edinburgh) who has been in Oz for 20 something years. You’ve definitely become ‘haggised’ that ‘shite’ gives it away every time – you never hear that in Oz. Finally have decided to try the blogging thing myself – started last year then wandered off into lala land. But I’m refocussed again – trying to do a few fancy things on blog and of course just had to put in a link to you who’s provided me with so much pleasure, entertainment and inspiration -hope you don’t mind


  10. That does seem pretty steep to be honest.

    Not sure what your gym situation is (do you HAVE to use the one you are using?) and I am not sure what your health insurance restrictions are (as an aussie) but pruhealth.co.uk are doing a pretty good deal of 6 months free gym membership (at holmes place i think) if you get a policy with them.

    Could work out pretty cheap…

    And as a pom in sydney – happy Australia Day for tomorrow (i’ll be at big day out – yay!)


  11. Your gym sounds a bit pricey, my current membership is only $35.00 AUD per month (although its on hold at the moment so not even paying that right now) and that includes everything (including the lovely sound effects from the weight room and that unforgettable “gym” odour). 🙂

  12. Okay, I sympathise with the gym issue but am commenting on the meme issue. I too love seeing what other fatties think and do aside from losing and obsessing over weight. I LOVE LOVE LOVE boys who like girls who like boys who like boys who know girls who …. oh, who the fuck can get this in the right order. Random Blur related story. A really old flatmate and buddy of mine had been on a severe piss drinking binge and then took some magic mushrooms – all the while wearing the Blur t-shirt with the greyhounds on it. He was at a service (gas) station and saw a dog and was trying to show the dog his t-shirt (with dogs on it!!) and the dog bit him. He then tried to get in a taxi and the taxi driver rang the police cos he had blood on his hand, the police came and gave him a ride home and when he got back to our flat he decided to go next door and confront our skinhead neighbours about there day to day carry on, knocked on their door, they invited him in and he fell asleep on their couch!! And all because of a Blur t-shirt (and maybe a tad to do with magic mushrooms!).

  13. K…first things first…what on earth is endamame????

    And I can be your personal shopper you know…anytime!!!! Free of charge too!

  14. no worries zanna! will check out your site for sure!

    g’day ross – yeah this is pretty much the only gym in the area… but cheers for your suggestions 🙂

    jules – HILarious.. that made my day!

    argy – excuse my typo, it’s edamame and you can read all about it here!

  15. DG – I think the cooncil are exploiting you big time! (Evil monopolizers.)

    I’d never heard of edamame either.

    Boys who like girls who do boys who are girls who treat boys like they’re girls who treat girls like they’re boys… always should be SOMEone you re-ally LOVE… This is going to date us all so badly…

  16. And I just clicked on the link and am slightly alarmed that the nutrition info says edamame contain “ash”… what’s that all about?

  17. That is a lot of money, and a lot of ridiculous paperwork. I pay USD 31 a month for my gym, and that includes some exercise classes, though not a stunning array of them.

    Burns Night! I chaired a posh Burns Supper when I was at a posh Edinburgh school. Since I moved here I’ve been hosting a “pudding fest” around Burns night every year, serving christmas pud, haggis (chieftain o’ the puddin race) and sticky toffee pud. It might not happen this year, since everyone I know is trying to avoid sweets, or REALLY trying to avoid haggis. Even the vegetarian kind. Wussies.

  18. Clearly the coucil doesn’t know the first thing about hooking you in and paying for your gym membership whether you use it or not! I wonder how many people drop out just from inability to deal with the bureaucracy. Their loss, eh?

    Such a difference between that and most gyms (er, “clubs”) here in the US where they hook you in with a lower price for direct deposit (they automatically take the $ from your checking account every month) and then give you the runaround when you want to cancel. Oy.

  19. Ohhhh how interesting was that tid bit from Anji about her ex boyfriends workmate being married to the guy that did the voice for Inspector Gadget’s Dr Claw. I totally dig shit like that.

    Perhaps you could write a little letter to your gym like Kimba did? Give them the feedback.

  20. DG
    Find the extra £5 and go somewhere nice to work out. It makes such a difference.
    I made the move up to a gym that is £25 more per month than I was spending but the pool is nice, the changing rooms are clean and I feel like I’m enetring a health club rather just a gym. In short it makes it a more sensory and pleasant experience.
    BTW: I would do the exact same five things if I was a millionaire. In fact, I dream about that regularly. Ahhh.

  21. I pay AU$40 per fortnight for the club that I go to.
    The good thing is that it’s a ladies only club and it’s never so busy that you can’t get on a piece of equipment. It’s also very clean and very comfortable.

    There are lots of tables near the reception area where you can sit down grab a cup of coffee or tea (free) and pick up a magazine to read.

    I know it’s probably more expensive than alot of other local gyms, but it’s very close to home and I enjoy going there. Here’s the link.


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