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

Sunday 31 July 2022

As Nice As These Things Can Be

Just the one day at work this week which is Monday and which I do WFH. 

Tuesday is my Mum’s Funeral which goes well and is actually a really nice day. As nice as these things can be. The funeral at Markeaton Crematorium is bookended by big band dance music from my Mum and Dad’s youth, Stardust by Artie Shaw and Skyliner by Charlie Barnet, with a bit of Robbie Williams’ Heaven From Here in the middle. My brother delivers a great eulogy and we all manage to hold it together, just about. Given the fact my Mum would have hated us making a fuss, I think she would have approved.

The wake at The Farmhouse goes well where and, as is often the case at funerals, you get to meet up with people you haven’t seen since a previous major life event. This is perhaps not quite true of my three cousins on my Mum’s side who turn up not having seen two of them since the early 1980s and the other not since my Gran died in 1998. It’s a surprise but a nice one.

Wednesday and Thursday is spent setting up my Club’s dog show at Locko Park but punctuated by Wednesday night’s The Run at Breaston. There is some confusion as I rush home to pick up L without telling her while she was in the process of getting the bus to meet me at the race but we get it together in the end.

This four miler that we’ve done several times before, this is my 6th time, starts and finishes at the Navigation pub where we set up my Dad up to watch. It’s not the most exciting of routes but it’s a good leg stretch for those of us trying to get back into running. A long leg stretch in my case, nearly 34 minutes worth. Slower than the 29 I did last time in 2019 but I wasn’t hobbling as much then and way off the 25s I did back in the day when I was a ‘younger’ person.

Friday to Sunday is the actual dog show which goes well from an organising point of view but less so from The Lad point of view. It’s all a bit too much for him and he gets progressively agitated by the whole thing which ends up on Sunday with someone rather unfairly reporting him for going into the next ring. Not that anything ever happens when anyone does that.

My Dad comes every day and has a great time, particularly as he gets a free meal every day.

(Sunday 31st July)

Sunday 24 July 2022

Sounds Like A Pleasant Afternoon Out

This week they promise us two days of temperatures in the high 30s Celsius. Pretty much everyone waits it out by staying at home and indoors. The Lad finds it a bit tough but we do manage to pop and do a few weaves from time to time. Tuesday’s dog training is cancelled. 

L is the rebel in the office and even goes to the gym. Although she avoids the pool which she expects to be like Ibiza. Then the building she works in closes, which she isn’t happy about, and send everyone home at the hottest time of the day.

Despite the heat I head over to Derby on Wednesday evening for a not-so-wild night out with my friend from school and by Thursday it’s even cool enough to play Tennis.

Then on Friday it chucks it down as I cycle in to work as the light drizzle they forecast becomes rather heavy.

On Saturday we ponder going to our local music festival Splendour, which is on for two days this year, but don’t as there’s only two acts I want to see and no one L wants to see. We did go four years out of five up to 2015 before we then did three years at Thunder Run instead. Now it just seems a lot more expensive than it used to be and presumably the beer tent still sells out as soon as you arrive.

Wollaton Parkrun is cancelled because of Splendour, so we run at Beeston instead which was always a nightmare with a dog because it’s so narrow but it isn’t too bad without one.

In the afternoon Derby have a friendly against Leicester and although I hate friendlies I offer to take my Dad, who is thrilled. L says it ‘sounds like a pleasant afternoon out’ but she doesn't mean that.

On Sunday we are at another dog show this time in Rutland. We open with an E but a not too horrific one. Then he gets around a course with just 10 faults which was due to him not even considering his contacts but the rest of it was good. Which was promising for our next run but it’s the hope that kills you as he reverts to being a nutter again.

In the evening we walk to the Good Fellow George for the drink I badly need.

(Sunday 24th July)

Sunday 17 July 2022

Winning By Being Last

Wordle gradually takes up more of my mornings. Today’s previously unheard of word was toughie and I only cracked it by basically spending an hour typing in random letters from the few I had left to find a valid word. 

Spending the time on this was only possible because our FY23 Kick Off, no me neither, which I was supposed to be watching online didn’t happen because the technology collapsed. So I missed out on watching fitness guru Joe Wicks who was the guest speaker, no me neither. 

The Lad is at the vets on Tuesday for his Kennel Cough jab so that we can put him in kennels while we’re at the Commonwealth Games. Then I find out that our usual kennels are not free. This is due to it being August and we never usually need the kennels in August. Luckily our back up plan, Babbington Kennels, can squeeze him in. He looks thrilled.

I bike to work on Wednesday and find that we finally have new neighbours where my brother’s company was. They didn’t bother coming back after lockdown. Our new neighbours aren’t really using any car parking spaces which used to be the main problem with having neighbours but then nor are we these days. Today there’s just three of us in the office.

I do my gym workout at lunchtime and then in the evening it’s dog training.

On Thursday we meet up with the Celebrant who will be conducting my Mum’s funeral and we finally get everything sorted. One prayer, three poems, three pieces of music and my brother doing the eulogy. We’ve also chosen five photos for the Order of Service but as I point out there’s nothing from the last 40 years which is a shame but my Mum would certainly approve.

In the evening with the outdoor tennis courts being closed we play tennis in the big bubble thing where my opponent nearly dies of heat exhaustion. Personally I didn’t think it was too bad at all.

On Friday another person jumps ship at work and hands in their notice. They’ll be no leaving do in Derby though as they are based down south.

I receive my renewal documents for the RAC and while I’m not quibbling about the overall cost it is priced in a very odd way. It’s £4.98 a year plus a £33 admin fee.

On Saturday we don’t Parkrun because L and Daughter are running the Crich Monument 10K. Which isn’t actually 10k and is more like 11K or something like that, they don’t seem sure. I spectate because as I recall this was one of my least favourite races of all time and my least favourite races list is a long list. I still have nightmares about it twelve years on.

The two of them say with confidence that they will be last but they’re not and the guy who is last wins a bottle of Champagne for being last. They will need to try harder if they do it again. Clearly he’d ‘won’ it before because he blatantly went out of his way to make sure he was last.

I bring my Dad along to watch and he has a great time although we spend most of it in the beer tent. There’s even a WWII flypast.

On Sunday we have a night out in Canning Circus, the Good Fellow George and the Borlase, with the Lad.

(Sunday 17th July)

Sunday 10 July 2022

The Long Winding Saga

The long winding saga of the future of Derby County is finally resolved as they are taken over by local businessman David Clowes and at the same time Wayne Rooney departs. Rooney goes back to America which is a very strange career move and probably has a lot to do with him being heavily involved in the failed takeover attempt by American Chris Kirchner. Kirchner now looks like ending up in jail and has run off with about £2M borrowed from Rooney’s agent. Nothing is ever simple at Derby. 

L runs with Daughter after work, running from her place to ours from where they want to link up with the Lad and do a few km with him. Estimated ETA 6:15 aka tea time + 15 e.g. tea time needs to be delayed. He’s not going to like that.

On Tuesday morning my Dad, my Brother and I meet at the funeral directors to discuss my Mum’s funeral. I thought that this would take an hour at most but that’s my Brother and Father for you. The debate started at the funeral directors and continued for a few hours afterwards at my Dad’s place. We do at least have a provisional date - Tuesday 26th July.

Which will hopefully be ok as we are still waiting for the outcome of the Inquest which has been called because she died of something the hospital gave her.

Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak quit the Government. About time you might say. Most sane people would have quit a couple of years ago. Then again, most sane people did quit a couple of years ago.

The Prime Minister still doesn’t take the hint and it takes another two days until he quits himself.

Derby County Season tickets finally on sale on Wednesday with the start of the season just over two weeks away. By the end of the week they’ve already sold 15,000.

I bike to work then spend the morning pondering whether I can crawl as far as the gym at lunchtime and if I do whether I’d then be capable of cycling home.

L is also in work, so the Lad in on his own. From what I can see on the CCTV he is trying to looked pissed off but it’s coming over as chilled.

Daughter is going to a friend’s gym in Netherfield where she is worried everyone will be ‘hench’. Which is a new word on me. I’ll have to watch out for that one on Wordle.

L says I’m hench which makes me wonder why Daughter is worried about a gym full of old people with no knees.  

There’s no tennis this week as all the outdoor courts are closed. If they have a tournament on they’re keeping quiet about it.

On Saturday L Parkruns at Forest Rec while I’m at a Dog Show at Catton Hall.

My Dad comes along to watch the carnage. Run one is indeed hopeless. Run two is much better and in fact obstacles 1 to 11 are flawless. It was just such a shame about number 12. Run three... let’s talk about Run four instead which wasn’t bad with 15 faults.

We adjourn to the nearby Swan, to have a beer obviously and a late lunch. In the evening L and I walk with the Lad to Beeston and spend the evening in the Pottle of Blues.

On Sunday, the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay comes to Nottingham Castle and we go along to watch. It’s a nice idea but they couldn’t have made it any more low key if they’d tried. The runners appear to arrive in a bus they park out of sight around the corner, then they jog through the castle before sneaking out some back way where nobody could see where they’ve gone before getting back on the bus. It was alright but the Olympics it certainly wasn’t. 

(Sunday 10th July)

Sunday 3 July 2022

A Sad Ending

I get a call first thing Monday morning from the hospital to say that my Mum has died overnight. It’s a shock, as we didn’t expect it to be so quick, but in a way it was also a relief that it was so quick. 

My Dad and I had a pleasant evening with her the night before, although brief, where she did at least manage to acknowledge that we were there.

Overall it seems a rather low key ending to almost 94 years on this planet but that again is probably not a bad thing. If anyone could be said to be ‘ready to go’ it was my Mum.

I ring my brother who is currently away on holiday and then we go around to see my Dad to break the sad news in person. In order to lighten the mood we look for somewhere for lunch. Having failed miserably to find a local cafĂ© we end up at the Trent Lock pub at, obviously, Trent Lock. Somewhere I haven’t been since I was a teenager. We did used to go there quite a lot as kids, so it also seemed oddly appropriate.

Having taken the Monday off work for obvious reasons I am told by work to take a second day off but don’t really know what to do with it. So after giving my Dad a bit of time on his own I go over to see him and we go for a walk on Elvaston Park then go to a pub, naturally. This time the New Inn at Shardlow.

On Wednesday I do go back to work and actually into work by bike. Surprisingly I remember how to do it in what was my first bike ride of June. Good job it’s only the 29th.

Unfortunately I am now almost as bruised as L is, but from bite marks, after getting between the Lad and one of his least favourite other dogs. L is improving now and has managed to return to some of her exercise classes despite her deer inflicted bruises but not yet her yoga, which appears to be a step too far. 

I am mainly in work because I have a lunch date where I get to hear the latest about life in retirement. L is very jealous of life in retirement.

Thursday is Tennis and on Friday I go over to see my Dad again. Not to miss out L joins us as we’re bound to end up in a pub. Yep. Another evening in the New Inn.

On Saturday I Parkrun at Wollaton, while L tail walks. She has a run later in the Smalley 5 Bells race which starts at 5pm. She was a member of the Smalley club when they did a test run of this event pre-Covid and now they’ve finally managed to run it for real.

There’s another meal out with my Dad on Sunday when we take him for lunch at the Clock Warehouse in Shardlow. We’ll all be fat and alcoholics at this rate.

(Sunday 3rd July)