Rough as old boots - In the name of Thiago - Day 29

 Woke up feeling like death, which frankly came as no surprise. Glyn and Janine pictured here with Angelica and I, were terrific hosts. It was an evening of fine dining and of Elisa discovering her liking for the melodica (the instrument in the foreground). I absolutely love Glyn and Janine’s place. They are both such warm and welcoming people and their house embodies that sense of home. It is unmistakably their place.

It was wonderful to catch up with old friends but once again as so often seems to be the case, it was Elisa that made the evening. I love that cheeky little toerag so much: she has an incredible character just like her little brother did. One of Elisa’s highlights last night was the pleasure she took from telling our hosts about the star jump penalty system she imposes on me.

Essentially, if Elisa hears me swear, she penalises this behaviour by giving me 20 star jumps. I don’t have to do them immediately and until last night I was up into four figures for star jumps ‘owing’. I managed to bang out a few inspired by one too many craft ales and somehow Janine managed to get Elisa to knock off a further 100 for reasons I can’t quite remember. Persuasive lady Janine.

On to today and Angelica and I had a serious heart to heart while out walking around Tittesworth Reservoir, where my Dad was the main topic of conversation. Since I brought him back from Chester on Wednesday, he’s not been well at all. I was getting really frustrated with him and I’ve had the same conversations with my sister Holly and my brother Judd about how his health is very draining for the family.

But I’m aware that this makes me sound like a right dick. So the first step was that I’ve made my peace with Dad today as he’s lying in his sickbed. The main problem with Dad is that he’s never taken any responsibility for his health. He experiences terrible pain through a case of diverticulitis that he was hospitalised with in Melbourne before he returned to the UK in October, which comes coming back. Because he’s not so good at helping himself, it’s then left to other family members to pick up the pieces.

I’ve been showing a terrible lack of compassion though, which isn’t good enough. I’m sure my personal grieving has had a lot to do with this but it’s time for me to do the best I can for my Dad and just hope against hope that he starts to help himself. Whichever route he decides to go down, at least now that I have recognised the error of my ways, I will be able to live my life with a clear conscience.

The inscription on the bench reads 'Walking 10,000 steps a day can help you get fit, burn excess calories and improve your health.' 

Lying bastard bench was all I was thinking having clambered up here only moments earlier, an incline that just seemed to go on and on and on! I felt absolutely shattered after the walk today, which I put down to the hangover above anything else. It was only a five miler but with some good climbs in places which has done me no harm at all. I got home just in time for the Spurs game, which improved my mood. That certainly wasn’t something I was expecting!

On the drive home from our walk, I had another really sad moment. The realisation that I’ll never see my boy again just overwhelmed me completely and I started crying my fucking eyes out. And that made me think again about everything that had happened with my Dad this last week.

I think I simply have compassion fatigue. I know it’s far more common in people who operate in extremely challenging environments as say paramedics do, but it does partly explain my irrational behaviour. Sometimes I just feel that I’ve got nothing left to give. But I’m going to fight it and show more kindness and love because that’s me really. And you know what, when you are compassionate towards people, it don’t half feel good.


  1. Elisa definitely made it a superb night. Axel F has never sounded as good as her rendition on the melodica and Pass the Pigs was a resounding triumph.

  2. Ha-ha. Well she's barely put down the old melodica since then. Just hope the cello doesn't take too much of a hit!


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