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

Monday 17 October 2022


So for the first time we drive down to Portsmouth for the Great South Run rather than taking the train as we have a stowaway onboard. The Lad is with us, forsaking his kennel for a weekend in the Holiday Inn. As they say it’s a dog’s life. Once we arrive we check our phones to see if we still have a Prime Minister. Yes we have and its still Liz Truss. 

It’s a good job that we have the Lad with us as our first evening is spent eating in the Brewhouse and Kitchen where the ham they serve me is basically a whole leg of pig. The Lad offers to help me. Then we have a few drinks in our favourite pub, the Barley Mow, although they have no Fullers ESB.

Saturday is, of course, Parkrun. L does an analysis of which Parkruns are in reach of our hotel. There is plenty of choice - Lee-on-Solent, Fareham, Portsmouth Lakeside or Great Salterns but the one across the road at Southsea is off because of the Great South Run. This will mean taking the car to one of the others and vacating our parking space that we may not get back. Hopefully we’ll be ok if we are back in the gap between check-out time and check-in time.

We decide on Lee-on-Solent which is a rather ‘nice’ jog along the promenade. We meet L’s sister there and have a coffee with them after checking our phones to check who the Prime Minister is. It’s still Liz Truss but all the talk is of the Daily Star’s livestream of an iceberg lettuce next to a photograph of Truss. The debate is who will last longer as the shelf life of a lettuce is about ten days and no one expects Truss to last that long.

During a post-run coffee two dogs start scrapping at the table opposite us. Some owners just can't keep control of their dogs. Then we realise that one of them is the Lad who last time I looked was tied to my chair. Now just half a lead is tied to my chair. It looks like someone may have bitten through it.

Having reclaimed our dog and then our parking space we go for an afternoon walk followed by a drink in the Still & West, a Fullers pub near Spice Island who also have no ESB, before meeting L's sister and her husband for a meal, as usual, in the Customs House where there is also no ESB. It must be a conspiracy.

On Sunday it’s the actual Great South Run. We ‘illegally’ attach both our timing chips to my number and then I start the race on behalf of both of us. I run the first five miles before removing my number and handing it with the chips to L who has her own now ‘unchipped’ number on. In return she hands me The Lad, hereafter known as the Baton.

While my Strava only shows half of the Great South route with me disappearing into a puff of smoke at 5 miles their tracker does have me finishing the course this year, arm in arm with L as we cross the line together.

While checking my phone I get the latest update on the PM. It’s still Liz Truss although it appears that Jeremy Hunt, the new chancellor, is now running the country or maybe the lettuce is.

In the evening we grab a drink in the Dolphin, a Grade II listed pub that claims to be the oldest in Portsmouth. Meanwhile news filters through that ESB is allegedly on at Customs House. It is a conspiracy. However we head off to the ESB-less Barley Mow again and then Spice Merchants as usual for a curry for which we have to leave the Baton in the car.

On Monday morning we head off to West Wittering to give the Baton a bit of beach before heading home. 

(Monday 17th October)

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