My neighbours have garages. I have a dojo. Just my way of prioritising life.

But I'm never at a loss when training in a hotel room, or anywhere. You can always keep fit and healthy. And that boosts cognitive development (or for us less-young types, protects against Alzheimer's). One of the two most important hormones involved is BDNF, which means Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor. I guess the clue is in the name.

Resistance bands are great for strength training (which gives you a stronger immune system, apparently). I use the Bodylastics brand for the type with handles (you can look on YouTube), which is what I use for upper body work. There are other brands. For squats and deadlifts I prefer the loop type of band (I've several different brands of these). There's a guy on YouTube called James Grage who uses the latter type for everything.

He's a bodybuilder, and I don't follow any of his routines or anything, but he uses the bands with intensity and seriousness (and no barbells or dumbbells at all these days). Others don't take the bands seriously enough. (Yes, do I have a squat rack and free weights in my dojo. But I sometimes travel for extended periods of time, so I'm used to the bands as well.)

Lockdown, smackdown... Keep fit, keep healthy, keep safe.


I hope you're doing well.

In the computing world, it's been my privilege to teach millennials and Gen Yers. Final-year university students have switched to online lectures and, importantly, exams. And then there are the final year students nurses, student doctors and student paramedics who are plunging straight into the healthcare front line.

Talk about a baptism of fire.

Respect to them.

Take care of yourself. That by itself does some good in the world. Keep safe, everyone.


New book: The Whisper Of Disks

Here it is: a dazzling, diverse array of stories from award-winning author John Meaney, including "The Whisper Of Disks". How is Ada Lovelace connected with humanity's future among the stars? How can a grieving widower dream of a parallel world extruding into ours? And who is the man fighting a covert anti-Nazi war in a 1940s dominated by genetic engineering?

Nine tales of sparkling imagination...



2020 vision

Well to start, what happened in 2019? Publishing-wise, Two For Tristopolis and a rather stealthy release for Strategy Pattern, the former being two short stories set in the world of Bone Song but without Donal Riordan, the latter being a return to the contemporary cyber-thriller world of Case and his fierce partner Kat.

Physically, despite a bit of a cold, I'm still training every day. (Remind me to tell you about the time I nearly died of septicemia... Never, ever take antibiotics for granted.) Not much running, but lots of wrestling calisthenics (Hindu push-ups, Hindu squats, wrestler's bridge) and weight training (which includes resistance-band training: just as effective as barbells and dumbbells, although my home dojo has a squat rack and bench and I love them), and of course karate drills. And stretching/mobility, every day.

But the real runner is my wife, Yvonne. What did she do?

146 half marathons or longer, in 2019 alone. (Nine full marathons, one ultra, and a bunch of 15- and 16-milers in the mix.)

Yikes... Unofficially, this appears to be a world record for a female runner of any age.

So now it's the morning of 1st January, 2020. I hammered out a full-body strength-training session starting at 6:30 (big volume, loosely based on German Volume Training: ten working sets for the big compound lifts). And as I post this, Yvonne is out running a half marathon, having run half marathons on each of the last five days as well.

And yes, she's 65 years old. Mindset is everything. Discipline and focus are your most valuable friends, always.

2020? More of the same, with luck.

And I hope your 2020 vision comes true.

(P.S. "Hindu push-up" and "Hindu squat" are common misnomers for exercises more properly termed dand and bethak, not restricted to wrestlers of any particular religion or ethnicity.)



The second Case & Kat book:

An explosive cyber attack kills two hundred innocent civilians. Just miles away, an unknown assassin murders the head of IACS, Britain’s most secret cyber agency.

Case and Kat – the agency’s toughest, smartest operators – are desperate for revenge. For justice.

But they’ll need all their combat skills and cyber expertise to face a conspiracy of apocalyptic proportions, launched from the harsh Icelandic wilderness. Can two desperate people halt a global attack and avert World War Three?

From award-winning author John Meaney, another mission for Case and Kat, drawing on Meaney’s own experience of hardcore martial arts and leading-edge computing, and shadowy hints from the real-world special forces working the interzone between cyber and kinetic warfare.