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

Sunday 28 August 2022

Swansong Deferred

The deer continue to disrupt our morning walks typically by blockading our usual way into the park at Harrow Road which forces us to do our usual walk backwards, going up to enter by the main gate into Wollaton Park and then leaving via Sutton Passeys which is at least a longer walk for the Lad. 

There is a match on Tuesday as well as on Saturday and then the same the following week. So Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday then it’s our holiday.

It’s West Brom first in the League Cup 2nd Round and Derby win. We celebrate afters in a very quiet Yard as that side of the ground is closed due to the small gate you get for cup games these days. They also beat Peterborough in the league on Saturday.

Milk and More change our milk delivery days and on day one of the new routine we get no milk at all and they send me a refund. So perhaps we actually have no milkman at all now but thankfully Thursday’s milk does turn up.

The Lad gets his very own squirrel although it’s a stuffed one. He adds it to his growing gang of stuffed wildlife.

This week the Government tried to start another culture war and went on about cyclists breaking speed limits, so I had a go today because practically no normal cyclist is capable of breaking the speed limits.

When I cycled to work, and I don't hang about, I managed to hit 22.2mph at one point while my PB this year is 29mph down the big hill in Stapleford. I must try harder or find somewhere with a 20mph limit that also has a large gradient.

L doesn’t think I take any notice of what she says but while at work I go to the gym and used the leg press in the free weights.

On Thursday I give tennis a go despite my knee. My thinking being that if tennis goes ok then parkrun might be worth a go on Saturday. Big mistake. It just makes my knee a lot worse.

So on Saturday L Parkruns at Clifton while I watch because I can now barely walk let along run. It seems that my swansong half marathon will have to be delayed and can be, as I can defer my Robin Hood entry until next year. 

(Sunday 28th August)

Sunday 21 August 2022

Avoiding Us

On Thursday I cycle into the office, get rained on but more positively I’m still alive and breathing afterwards. Unfortunately had I arrive in a less positive state no one would have noticed as I’m the only one in until my old boss arrives about an hour later. That is as busy was work gets all day. 

I meet my ex\now retired colleague in the Brunswick for lunch which was the main reason I went in.

There is no tennis on Thursday as they are closed for another tournament. Then o Saturday we both parkrun at Wollaton while in the evening we have a meal out at the Cornithian which has been long delayed for various reasons.

On the way there we have a couple of drinks in what was ‘The Good, The Bad and The Drunk’ on Derby Road but was, we were reliably informed, going to be renamed ‘The Park Tunnel Inn’ after the tunnel to the Park Estate opposite it. When we get there it appears it has instead been called ‘Mist Rolling Inn’. We have no idea why. It’s a Mist-ery.

On Sunday I go out with the plan to run 5 or 6 miles with the Lad as I built up to next month’s Robin Hood Half Marathon which could possibly be my swansong. L goes out at the same time but running in the opposite direction, clearly avoiding us and who can blame her. We pass her going round Wollaton Park lake again in the opposite direction, again who can blame her. 

Then almost immediately after that my knee goes about 4 miles in and it’s really bad. So bad in fact that we have to crawl back, one bench at a time. Not that the Lad is completely on board with the plan. 

L naturally assumes I've had a heart attack when I'm so late back. I am however well enough later to go to my Dad’s and end up in the New Inn again.

(Sunday 21st August)

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Unexpected Health Check

Encouraged by surviving Sunday’s Burton 10k I try to book into this Friday’s Castle Rock 10k which goes around the University only to discover that the closing date was Sunday night and there doesn’t seem to be entries available on the day. The whole world appears to be against my fitness regime. 

On Monday it rains! Yes that wet stuff that has been AWOL for some time.

Having had a few flutters (for want of a better word) in my chest, after cycling last week and after warming down with L post-Burton 10k on Sunday, I do the recommended thing and mention it to my GP’s surgery.

I immediately find out that indicating you could be having a heart attack is an effective way of queue jumping to see your GP.

Having been told someone would ring me back and as last time with my knee this was at about 2pm I take the Lad out for his morning walk only to get called back almost instantly as I walk through the park gates. I am fast tracked into an immediate face to face appointment.  

That appointment turns out just to be a staging post on my way to the hospital where the GP sends me without really doing anything other than check I’m still alive.

They take me to something called AMRA (Acute Medicine Receiving Unit) where they lock the door behind me and tell me to settle in for a long stretch. They do an ECG and a blood test before telling me I need to sit and wait for the results which will be a minimum of three hours. I am given short shrift when I enquire whether I could nip home, do a few hours work and then come back later for the results. I naively thought in this day and age they might give you a number and you could pick them up later. Like at Argos.

The three hours pass and then they keep saying half an hour more over and over again because apparently they are waiting for the results of one last blood until which they won’t let me leave. Having not been offered any food I begin to suspect that they are trying to starve me ahead of some surgery they haven’t told me about but then I eventually get a packed lunch out of them.

Those three hours eventually turn into six before the final test result comes through it and indicates the slight possibility of a blood clot. So they give me a blood thinning injection in my stomach before sending me home and telling me to come back tomorrow for a chest scan.

I have met some real characters in the unit and I’m slightly alarmed to find many of them still there when I dutifully return in the morning. They pump some dye into me and scan me. Then after a more modest two hour wait they send me home having found nothing wrong with me while clearly being suspicious that I’ve been wasting their time. 

I explain that ‘they’ say you should report any ailments as soon as possible before they escalate and that us men are supposedly world class at ignoring stuff we shouldn't ignore. Problem is, as I found out, when you do this they do their best to discourage you from doing it again. Well at least I got a full health check out of it.

I am out in time to get over to see my Dad again where we got to the New Inn in Shardlow for tea. The Lad joins us and enjoys his chips.

(Wednesday 17th August)

Sunday 14 August 2022

Something Approaching Concrete Consistency

On Monday evening I visit my Dad and end up in the pub, of course. If I ever wondered where I got my alcoholism from, now I know. He looks well on it though. I hope I’m still propping up the bar when I’m his age. 

I work at home until Wednesday when I bike into work which is great as it’s nice weather and, due to the school holidays, there is no traffic. I even go to the gym in my lunch hour.

L meanwhile grudgingly has the WFH baton which she glowingly describes as ‘Ok I suppose. If you like that sort of thing’.

The weather is still really hot. It’s too hot for the Lad in the garden, it’s too hot for L’s Mum to go into town and it’s certainly too hot for my tennis opponent who cancels our match.

It’s not so hot by Saturday when we parkrun at Clifton. This is the almost all off-road one that I’ve always hated but with the ground sun-baked to something approaching concrete consistency it’s not too bad. In the afternoon there’s a match and Derby beat Barnsley 2-1.

On Sunday L, Daughter and I all do the Burton 10k. This is one of a dying breed - a local no frills race put on by a local running club in this case Hatton Darts. 


It’s not entirely no frills I suppose. There’s no medal (yay!) and you get a buff instead if you want one. I didn’t as it wasn’t my colour. You also get to finish with a lap of the athletics track, if you like that sort of thing but if you don't like that sort of thing you still have to do it. It's also a challenging course being basically uphill for the first 5k, including a really steep hill right at the start, and then largely downhill for the second 5k.

I did this in 47 minutes back in 2019. Following the great decline, I do it in just under 56 minutes this year.

(Sunday 14th August)

Sunday 7 August 2022

Commonwealth Games

On Thursday morning we drop the Lad off at Babbington Kennels as his usual hotel is fully booked up. Then we get the train across to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games. Having booked into our eye wateringly expensive Holiday Inn Express at Snow Hill (because it’s full of athletes and their supporters) we then head off, by train again, to the NEC to watch some netball.  

We see South Africa beat Scotland in a dead Pool A game then England beat New Zealand to win Pool B and set up a Semi Final with Australia who lost to Jamaica to finish second in Pool A. That however is as good as it gets for England.

On Friday it’s Beach Volleyball at Smithfield in a temporary sandpit erected in the centre of Birmingham. It’s the men’s Quarter Finals and we watch Rwanda beat New Zealand and then Australia beat Sri Lanka. 

We follow this with a boozy night out in Birmingham. We have one first in a real ale pub called the Wellington but then find a better one, a Thornbridge pub called Colmore where we stay for quite a few more before heading for a really hot Thai Green Curry at restaurant called Chaophraya.

On Saturday we head across to Leamington after finally finding a train with some space on. Free travel is available to anyone with a games ticket meaning the trains are packed and being a claustrophobe I really don’t like these modern airless trains when they’re busy.

Having arrived at Victoria Park in Leamington we miss most of the first bowls game as we can’t get a seat to watch it as they put both Gold and Bronze medal games for the Women’s Pairs on the same block of pitches leaving loads of seating unused by other pitches they could have used.

They then spread the later games out and we watch the Men’s Singles Semi Finals on one pitch before catching the end of the Men’s Fours on one of the others. At the end of play everyone falls into the Cricketers pub afterwards, medallists and us included, which is rather nice.

We then go to our hotel, the Thomas James, which is massively cheaper than the one in Birmingham. In the evening we meet Son and his wife in the Five Rivers Indian for an excellent meal before just the two us round off the evening in the Woodland Tavern on Regent Street.

On Sunday we head home via the kennels where we collect a very hoard sounding dog. They had promised they would post pictures of all the dogs on Facebook but somehow the Lad had managed to avoid the camera. So it was good to find out he was still there.

(Sunday 7th August)

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Weight Training

The morning walk with the Lad has become a serious game of deer dodging and not a lot of fun. At least Wordle is getting better and Monday brings my first ever Wordle in two. I knew my first word choice would be useful one day. 

We are off to the Commonwealth Games at the end of this week and L is lifting weights in training for the next one which would mean a nice trip to Australia. She did drop her weights this morning (blaming the wrong sort of breakfast... e.g. Weetabix not toast and Marmite) but then so did our gold medallist who dropped her 120kg last night live on TV. 

So she’s in good company even if she’s not quite lifting that sort of weight just yet. She is in double figures and it’s only four years to the next Commonwealths.

On Tuesday evening we do a bit of a parent tour. First L’s Mum’s place for a coffee then around to my Dad’s.

Wednesday is the last day of my working week and I really should do my one day a week (at least) in work but I can’t be bothered. So I do another day of WFH.

(Wednesday 3rd August)