11am - In the name of Thiago - Day 57


What a smashing day!

I woke up today with a real sense of purpose. Then I realised that it was my Mum’s birthday and quickly scrambled a Zap Zap call. She lives in Melbourne (the Australia version not the one in Derbyshire or indeed the bizarrely spelt one in Cambridgeshire with the missing ‘e’).

My mum turned 65 today but you’d never know it. She is an incredible bundle of energy, always bounding around doing something. Whether it’s a weekend away with the motorhome, Tai Chi classes, swimming or long walks: she is constantly on the move. It’s the other parent I need to work on…

Having said that, I am slightly disappointed in her today. Mum was wearing these absolutely phenomenal 90s rave glasses during our video call. Think Ali G only with orange lenses rather than yellow and you won’t be far off. Naturally I’d love to be sharing a picture of this magnificent sight but on this one point I’m afraid she has failed me. A picture was not forthcoming.

So after scooping up the herbert from the Williams’ house this morning, it was off to Ilam or as some former colleagues of Steve once referred to it comically in their confused Kiwi accents; 11am.

We got to 11am half an hour early and it was no bad thing as many people had clearly decided not to trust the weather early doors. Well it had been smashing it down all week I guess.

We met with our Brazilian friends, the Pastas, there. Remarkably for Brazilians they were running to time and I had let the side down and made my lot late. Leo is a tennis-playing friend, his wife is Dani. Their two children are Caio (pronounced kye-oh since you haven’t asked) and Livia. This is they.

Dovedale is a gorgeous spot but today we were getting blitzed by some high winds climbing up the peaks. Being an absolute knob, I managed to leave my hiking boots outside our back door and so was committed to doing the walk in my ‘soft as a slipper’ feel trainers.

Remarkably I completely got away with it despite the river being flooded and the climb being moderately slippy. I even managed a proper stumble, which was followed by an epic save when I clasped a rock, which didn’t lacerate my left hand. Get in – I really am getting the hang of this shit!

It wasn’t a long walk by any stretches but I’m not worried about that today as I did a biggie on Friday and anyway this was much tougher terrain. Besides, the point was to see friends and simply to enjoy each other’s company. We certainly did that.

And then this.

I told you I was having a good day. Thornbridge Jaipur really doesn’t ever seem to lose its magnificence. It simply warms my cockles whenever I see it. With my cockles warmed, we ordered some food from the menu in The Old Dog, which is just across the border into Derbyshire.

And then, a trip to the dunny. What a world of weirdness greeted me. The Old Dog is a lovely free house, excellent beer, pretty good food and is very welcoming with knowledgeable young staff. But what the fuck is going on in their khazis?

There is a loop of music consisting of whale sounds, what seemed like someone being strangled and forest tunes which reminded me of the opening three minutes of ‘Breaking into Heaven’ by The Stone Roses. For the record, that’s not the good bit.As Elisa said afterwards, “it’s all a bit distracting when you’re trying to do your business”. These things matter to Elisa you understand.

But it was a belting day and I shall sleep well tonight especially after the magnificent paella that Dad slaved over today, bless him.


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