Balloch Open Mic: News From Our Headliners

image paul murdoch

Ever wondered what happened to the Old Bloke who went running? You know, the one who, conscious of his own mortality, decided to get fit by running. I haven’t been stalking him or anything like that but social media suggested he was still around and busy pursuing his many talents, writing, playing music, taking superb photos of nature in all its glory. Then recently I got a peek at a new book, a sequel to the one mentioned above.                                                 

The Vale lad goes swimming

Yes, local author, Paul Murdoch, has now extended his fitness programme and shares his journey in ‘Old Bloke Goes Swimming’ The book follows the format of the first. It starts with an account, frequently humorous and self-deprecating, of Paul’s journey to building up his fitness by swimming. We are given, again in jocular vein, an overview of his swimming experience. From learning to swim as a nipper, with memories to which many will relate, to the more sophisticated provisions of the present day. I think I’ll draw a veil, no, rather a heavy curtain, over the chapter entitled ‘Old Bloke goes Budgie Smuggling’.  

old bloke goes swimming cover                                           

The right gear

As with running the right gear is of great import, if not always absolutely essential. But the variety of aids, the pros and cons of each item is examined. That’ll be his scientific background showing through. 


Again there is a more serious section which deals with the benefits of swimming, followed by a comparison – swimming versus running. Then we have a brief history of swimming. Am not convinced that the cave drawing shows early swimmers, but judge for yourselves. Through anecdotes Paul reveals that serious lessons were learned and warns of potential dangers. One part of the book I must mention. It is Paul’s analysis of the types of people using swimming pools – not always for swimming apparently.                                                     

We do get an update on his running regime which didn’t always go as smoothly as it could have done.  Paul now combines walking, running and swimming in his keep fit routine but suggests everyone adopt a regime that works for him/her self.                          

The ‘yummy ‘part

Finally we have the advice on eating, plus some menus. Try the menus. They are easy to produce and enjoyable. I know, I’ve tried some. An easy to read book, funny but serious. Well worth the buy.

Buy Old Bloke Goes Swimming At Neetah Books

Mary Irvine, December 2021

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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