"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Sunday 25 July 2021

'Freedom' Day

From today, Monday, the Government has removed all Covid restrictions. Although this is a month later than they intended. Apparently it is now up to us to take ‘personal responsibility’. The problem is, of course, that our safety relies not just on ourselves but the actions of everyone around us and when you’ve got England football fans sticking flares up their backsides... it probably won’t end well.

Everyone was behaving just the same in Sainsbury's with 90%+ wearing masks as usual which suits me, I like to covertly mouth obscenities at people who get in my way. They have taken most of their screens down and had made both doors in\out again. Personally I thought having one for in and one for out was an improvement they should have kept and a few days later they revert back to this system.

While lots of pubs make a big thing of 'looking forward to serving you at the bar' before back tracking when everyone says how much they like the table service.

I cycle on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s not too painful despite my dog induced injury. The weather is still warm even without it being as sunny.

Problems with the Mango App continue with everyone being told to update the App without anyone knowing how you do this. Their post on FB about it now has dozens of negative comments under it.

After taking my parents’ shopping round I see that my Mum has got a very swollen leg. I ring her GP about it and they send someone straight round to see her. I’m impressed.

On Saturday L marshals at Wollaton Parkrun on the legendary golf course corner. I’m over in Oakham for the Lad’s debut in proper Kennel Club classes. As we drive through Melton we see a few dogs heading for their local parkrun.

His debut ends with four out of four Eliminations. So... very much a work in progress.

(Sunday 25th July)

Sunday 18 July 2021

Un-environmentally Friendly

My fitness week starts with the Monday run with the Lad and continues with two days cycling, Wednesday and Thursday. In between is a night on the beer on Tuesday.

L goes over to Dad sit, listen to 70s music and cut the lawn, so I get a lift into work and manage to avoid Mango App embarrassment.

On Wednesday there is also dog training after seperating the Lad from the packaging off the ‘posh ham’ I got L for making her lunches, which he was up the garden with. I assume he helped himself to that.

On Friday L goes over to visit Son in Leamington but the trains don't seem to go directly from Derby anymore and they’ve doubled the price. So she takes the car. We’ve a long way to go to make this country environmentally friendly haven’t we.

Talking of which. I am sent sixty rosettes for our dog show from our governing body, as un-environmentally friendly as ever, when I only needed about a dozen as I have so many from last time that I could reuse.

L hands the car back to me with the tyre pressure warning binging away. I ignore it assuming that an actual flat tyre would probably trigger sirens and all sorts.

For the second week in a row we are up at the dog show in Bilsthorpe. The Lad is a little calmer, but only a little, he keeps all the poles up in the Steeplechase but bizarrely he missed two tunnel entries. So that’s ten faults but it’s our first that isn’t an elimination. Then he head butts me in the groin which isn’t pleasant.

Somehow I still manage the Sunday long run although it is only 11.5km this week. Then I visit my folks and take my Dad for an outdoor pint at the White Hart in Aston in their marquee.

Later we try to go for Sunday lunch at the Hand & Heart but they seem to have closed again, so once more we end up at Pierre's but this time they are out of Sunday Lunches. Daughter meets us afterwards in the 6 Barrel Drafthouse.

(Sunday 18th July)

Sunday 11 July 2021

Locked Out

On Tuesday I unexpectedly end up spending the day working from home after the living room door handle comes off in my hand, rendering the entire room inaccessible.

I rung a local locksmith and who sent someone over straight over. The chap, who had a special gadget for opening it, was only here about twenty minutes. That’s two minutes fixing the door and the rest playing ball with the dogs.

The Lad is thrilled to have me at home again and wants to sit on my knee all day long or perhaps he’s just can’t wait to go to dog training.

I cycle on Wednesday and L, who when heading to the gym usually looks like one of those army types doing the London Marathon with a full backpack on, finally rents a locker at the gym.

England beat Denmark 2-1 after extra time to reach the final of the Euros, their first major final since 1966, amid scenes of not very socially distanced celebrations both inside the stadium and out. It’s a redemption of sorts for Gareth Southgate who’s missed the penalty a quarter of a century ago that sent them out at the same stage in Euro 96. Which was also the first tournament I subjected L to as we’d only just met at that point.

On Friday we have our usual morning 5k and later, bizarrely, I have a committee meeting which delays the Friday revelries a touch.

On Saturday I head up to Bilsthorpe for a dog show. This is where I took the Lad for his first debut two years ago. Now it’s time to relaunch his career. Unfortunately he is so excited he launches himself more than his career which isn’t terribly helpful.

Mark Cavendish wins the 13th stage of the Tour de France, his fourth victory in this year's race and equals Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34 Tour stage wins. Some of the media notice but not many of them.

On Sunday we run 18k before England lose the Euros final on, yes, penalties. Did you really expect anything else? But it is the country’s best performance at a major tournament since 1966 and, outside of the usual racists and Twitter, everyone is united around all the players who gave their all during the momentous run to the final. There’s also not long to wait until the one that really matters, the World Cup is only a year and a bit away.

(Sunday 11th July)

Sunday 4 July 2021

The Anchor Leg

John Carroll Leisure Centre closes. A community group might take it on but it seems that wouldn’t include the swimming pool.

My Monday run with the Lad ends up being a relay as I hand him over to L, so that she can also take him for a spin. I get the impression that the anchor leg did not quite go to plan so the relay may not be repeated.

L’s run with The Lad was a trial ahead of her plan to run at least a mile a day, her route is about 1.5 miles, every day in July for charity. She practices again on Tuesday while I assist by carrying him out of the house to the ‘start line’. Given the histrionics, I get the impression that she might be doing this challenge solo.

L has also booked herself onto a weights class on Tuesday mornings with the eyewatering early start time of 7:30am. Meaning she need to be out of the house about 6.45am. She isn’t sure she could get up that early or would at best roll around in bed complaining about it. I offer to helpfully move the alarm forward half an hour. Although to be fair the Lad has already done this.

I have another day at home and go for more Physio at the Mary Potter Centre. I get a different person this time. He tells me I need to do more exercise which is the pretty much the opposite to what the other person said and he even touched me. He did say that it was good that I was cycling as long as it doesn’t hurt. Which it does. He is referring to me to a movement therapist or something like that. This sounds impressive but might not be.  

Once back home and trying to do some more work, the Lad insists on sitting on my knee. That dog has serious separation issues. I only manage to get him off my knee by taking him out in the garden for a ball session over lunch. The next problem is whether he’ll let me watch the match at 5pm. Which is of course England v Germany in the Round Of 16 and to everyone’s surprise England win. Half the nation calls in sick the next day suffering from 'England-Germany variant' more commonly known as a hangover.

What is possibly even more outstanding than England’s win, but is largely ignored by the media is Mark Cavendish’s win at the Tour de France at the age of 36. It was his first Tour since 2018, which everyone assumed would be his last, and it was his first win since 2016.

I cycle on Wednesday and it’s getting a bit nippy weather wise now. Then I cycle again on Thursday, just don’t mention the knees.

On Thursday L starts her 31-day challenge for real and books The Lad to run with her. The website for her challenge says ‘Jogging is a great way to zone-out and rid yourself of stress’. They clearly have never tried to run with The Lad.

Saturday is a total sports fest with Wimbledon, the Tour de France and England beating Ukraine 4-0 in the Quarter Finals of the Euros.

On Sunday we do the Nottingham Checkpoint Challenge again because this time they are using a different route. We start at Nottingham Castle and take in checkpoints on the Embankment and Nottingham Racecourse. Originally it was supposed to include Alexandra Park in St Anns but perhaps they decided, like us, that hanging around any park in St Anns is never a good idea.

We head into town afterwards for a socially distanced meal in Le Bistrot Pierre and a few beers in Langtrys.

(Sunday 4th July)