I split my lip the other day. How did you do that you might ask? Well… it’s a bit of a long story but let’s begin at the beginning again.
Things started going a little awry on 24th November 2015. I know this specifically because it happened whilst I was out running and I keep a journal of all my times and distances along with the date. The last proper record is on 23rd November so therefore I knew it occurred the following day.
I was having what I call a rest run which means I was taking it easy, not pushing it at all just jogging along feeling good. Then it happened! I started getting a real pain in my calf muscle. Not a big deal, you might say, but this had been happening regularly back in the spring and summer to the point where I went to the doctor about it. Normally, I don’t do doctors, I think I have only been once in the last ten years, so this will give you an idea of how painful it was and how seriously I took it. You could say, stop running. Well, yes that is a good point but I have in mind that I will do my swansong marathon (the full one at twenty six point two miles) on or around my seventieth birthday which is a little over two and a half years away. Gone are the days, back in the Regiment, when I could drink all night, do a route march in the morning followed by a game of rugby in the afternoon whilst getting through over a packet of cigarettes. I couldn’t even do one of those things now. My point being that I wanted to give myself plenty of time to prepare. Build up gradually and get my body adjusted to the stress and pain.
After seeing the doctor and undergoing lots of tests nothing was discovered. I bought new running shoes as well as some compression leggings. I rested my legs and tried again. I have to say that it was not a pretty sight. Bright blue shoes, you cannot get sensible neutral colours nowadays, and maroon compression tights surrounding the decrepit body of a sixty seven year old turned many a head. I didn’t care though. I am getting passed the stage where I worry too much about what people think of me.
I gradually built up my speed and distance doing eight miles in about an hour and a quarter. Not brilliant I know but what the hell, I was fairly pleased that I was making progress. Then the 24th November. My leg just seized up half way around my three mile course and I had to hobble home. No problem, I thought, I’ll just rest up for a week and start again.
That’s what I did and a week later, whilst doing my stretching exercises prior to going for my first run after the injury, I put my back out. This was not a simple muscular issue. This was something to do with the spine itself. When you have a problem like that you know the difference and I have a problem like that. Due to a lifetime of self abuse, I am sure. No no, I don’t mean that sort of self abuse. I mean playing rugby in the scrum, digging gardens and lifting heavy things type of abuse. Regardless, I was laid up for a few weeks, leading up to and including the Christmas holiday. After a few days I was able to gingerly walk around and generally do stuff but it was painful for some time.
During the Christmas break, Juana la Loca and I visited relatives in the Land of her Fathers (that’s Wales not Spain). We drove there in our trusty vehicle in the midst of storm Freddie or Frankie or something equally stupid. Whoever thought of naming storms like that? If you want to name a storm it should be a Rory or a Hercules. Desmond (the first one named) gives the impression it is a puff of wind. Anyway this puff of wind was hammering around during our visit. We had a great day and decided to return relatively early. Five hundred yards after leaving the car engine stopped whilst we were at busy crossroad waiting for the traffic lights to change. It would not start again. We talked to it nicely, then, swore at it amid the noise of people blasting their horns and cursing us for making their journey take an extra thirty seconds.
We managed to push the miserable hunk of useless metal to the side of the road but still on the junction. We couldn’t push it across as my back was still painful and there was no way we could manage it during one change of the lights. I put out the warning triangle which promptly got knocked over by an oncoming car. I might remind you that the wind was howling and the rain was pissing down. It was at this point I started to get the notion that I was heading down into one of my troughs.
Well, of course, I phoned the recovery people and that got us back to home sweet home along with the car. Three days later I booked it into the garage and handed over a small fortune to get it repaired. We were then at the stage of forgiving the Beast (as it was called) after all it had served us well for years, driving around Spain, hauling logs up and down the track I had cut out of the terraced land that the cortijo was situated and every year undertaking the journey back to the Mother country. On one occasion this involved driving up through France, not my favourite place despite my antecedents. In fact, I would go as far to say that those cheese eating surrender monkeys get right up my nose. I am allowed to say that being one of them. It’s like it is OK for a black person to call another nigger.
Where was I…? Oh yes, the Beast was forgiven. Well, that was until three days ago, whilst driving to Bristol to see the grandchildren, the clutch started slipping. This trough is getting deeper and deeper. And it really plunged into the depths when I telephoned the garage asking for a price to fix it. We’ve all been there haven’t we as they give that sharp intake of breath through the teeth and tell you that’s going to be a dear job. The possibility of thousands of pounds to repair it has signed the death warrant for the Beast. We’ll just have to be carless for a while.
Prior to the incident with the clutch I got infected. Tonsils the size of tennis balls along with a wracking cough did not make my life very enjoyable. Even though I was unwell I felt I wanted to get out and about in the fresh air. We had a couple of really cold days but at least they were sunny. Finally we get to see the sky. I went out for a walk during which I was contemplating the situation with the global markets.
My mind was meandering around the peaks and troughs in the markets which bought me on to that well known comment made by the infamous Gordon Brown. No more boom and bust he foolishly stated during a period of gloating at the Tories after the economy, that he had inherited, was in good shape. Now I am no financial expert, you would only have to look at my bank account to know that, but for a supposedly intelligent man to make that statement defies all logic. The markets are like a balloon, they can only expand so far and then they either have to release some air or bust. They cannot be controlled by anything other than hysteria, very much like kids at a birthday party.
It was at this point I gave myself a wry smile and, what with the cold along with the chill breeze, I cracked my lip. Frankly, I blame Gordon Brown for it all.