Wobbles all round - In the name of Thiago - Day 196


After two days where the over-riding emotion has simply been one of great sadness, today was a little different. Energy wise, today was the lowest I’ve felt for a very long time, I woke up feeling groggy almost as if I’d had no sleep, lolled around in bed for too long watching a Godawful Australian reality show, which nonetheless had me in thrall. Suffice to say, it was not the start I’d had in mind.


Despite this unshakeable feeling of lethargy, I still managed to form a plan. Not a difficult one by any means, but a plan. Even after considering the lousy weather, I was determined that with the girls, I’d introduce Dad to Longton Park. If it wasn’t for Angélica and I, the only places that I think Dad would visit are his reclining chair and Tesco. The virus has of course reduced all of our options but I’m not getting any kind of vibe from the old man that things would be any different if we weren’t in the position that we are.



It’s only really this year that I’ve really become a little bit more outdoorsy and by outdoorsy I guess I really mean just spending more time outdoors rather than suddenly having become a convert to the great outdoors. But whatever it is I am – and I appreciate that really is a very open-ended thought – I am most definitely a lover of Queens Park in Longton, more commonly known locally as simply Longton Park.


It’s quite glorious. Admittedly persistent rainfall today made it not the best day to see it in all its natural wonder. People tend to flock to Hanley Park, which is a proper city park and a darn fine one at that, but it’s here that I would come all the time, certainly if I lived a little nearer to it. Then again saying that, I lived in Moscow for about 9 months and not once did I visit Lenin’s Tomb so maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part.



I’d alluded earlier in the week somewhat ironically, to how I needed to make the most of any unfortunate outbursts with Angélica, and so it was today. It was more – as is often the way – an unfortunate misunderstanding. I’d booked us somewhere for lunch at 2 and we had to get dad first. It just so happened that our walk in the park coincided with a slightly heavier downpour. I knew we weren’t ever going to convince Dad, or for that matter ourselves, to go for a wander after a meal so the time was fixed.


Somewhat remarkably and really encouragingly, it was Elisa who was the least complaining about the hand we’d been dealt. After the last couple of days, that for me was really something. Just for the briefest of moments, I felt I had an ally.


And so, after what only amounted to about half an hour and just over a mile doing one circuit of the entire park, we rolled up at a pub for the first time since February. Now I reckon this little man would have been fond of the great British boozer. The way he’s chomping away on his hand in this picture also says he would have had a very healthy appetite.


I certainly did today, and unfortunately it wasn’t sated after I’d left. The menu was very limited – I should have checked first – but that said it was still nice to get Dad out of his bungalow and seeing something that the real world has to offer. It’s just a shame that he has no interest at all in exploring what’s on his doorstep. But that is absolutely his business and not mine.


I’m going to end with another big thank you today to my work colleague Matt Tyrer. FAB (full apocalypse beard) shaving donations now stand at £360. If any of you donors for this particular charitable venture are reading this, then I want to say from the bottom of heart, thank you. Let’s keep going though, as the beard removal is being live-streamed tomorrow. Time is running out! Our total raised so far is almost all the sevens: £7,776,75. Well done everyone. You've all been well FAB!


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