Showing posts from August, 2020

As you were – In the name of Thiago – Day 240

Wowzers, yesterday was a bit of a bastard wasn’t it? Everything was going relatively smoothly until a request from a neonatologist blew me out the water. The truth of the matter is that even though I am feeling much calmer today, I am a very long way from feeling right. The emotion of yesterday is still tingling around my arms and making my head feel all fuzzy. If this makes no sense to you, then you’re one of the lucky ones I guess.It’s been a walk-free couple of weeks but I’m fairly relaxed about that. I definitely need to get out next week at some point but I know I’m ready for my mission now. I wouldn’t say I was in peak physical condition but I reckon the only people who say that are either Olympians or people with shit for brains. I’m going to do it, and that ladies and gents is really all that matters. By hook or by crook, I’ll walk those 300 miles even if I finish the bloody thing on all fours crawling to the line!

Yesterday’s sudden outpouring of emotion meant that I missed ou…

Happy yet destroyed – In the name of Thiago – Day 239

I’m going to try something a little different again tonight. Hold your horses don’t worry, I’m not going to allow Bulldog to guest edit again. That way lies pain and plenty of references to a time of my life that I’m probably best not to put back in the public domain. The Christmas trees on Eastbourne’s memorial roundabout have never been quite the same. Anyway, yet again I digress.To today. I was asked by one of the neonatologists at Royal Stoke University Hospital if I would like to write something for their Facebook page to help them publicise my walk and, I suppose, to just create some positivity when there often only seems to be darkness. I was happy to do this of course but Christ alive, doing it has absolutely knocked the stuffing out of me. I feel completely broken again. So the following was what I wrote for the hospital and will be your blog for tonight. Enjoy.

The photos on this page are of a very special little boy called Thiago Gibbs. Thiago was born in our hospital in Feb…

Done by a young gun – In the name of Thiago – Day 238

It has been a really shitty week, there’s no other way of dressing it up. So, for the start of this August bank holiday weekend, I was very determined to at least get it off to a good start. This morning at the relatively early hour of 8.30, I headed to the tennis courts at Draycott to take on a lad who can play a bit and is half my age. He’s a good lad is Joel, but I was determined I had enough about me to beat him today. I didn’t.Having eased through the previous round of the paper plate tournament (a competition designed to maintain the interest of everyone who got knocked out in the first round), by disposing of my mate Rich 6-2, 6-2, I approached the morning in very confident fashion. Then I started by serving and losing the first game without so much as troubling the scorers. I did serve like a sack of shit and Joel must have been sensing a straightforward morning. But luckily he started like a sack of shit too. Well to begin with anyway.
Here we are, the two iconic athletes. Me …

There’s no word for frustration in Russian – In the name of Thiago – Day 237

When I lived in Moscow in the early 2000s, someone told me that there was no accurate translation for the word frustration in Russian. But that’s absolutely fucking ridiculous I said to this chap, whose name I cannot recall. I think he was a septic. At about 4-5 months into my time there, that was without question my overriding emotion. On a daily basis. Well that and falling for yet another phenomenally good-looking woman. Also on a daily basis.Now it might have been a wind up, but it’s a nice line to kick things off with tonight and has plenty enough relevance. I’m in pretty bad shape at the moment, though I am somewhat happier for speaking to Birmingham Children’s Hospital at lunch time. There are some things, which even I, yes even I(!) will keep private but it was a bit of a weight off my mind to have a chat. And it made me happy to know that with any luck I might see a few familiar faces in October when I arrive at the front gates. That gladdened my soul, for a time.
Gladdening A…

Form is temporary – In the name of Thiago – Day 236

As a man of outstanding class, I am obliged to write that form is indeed temporary. Aside from Monday – which for me was a non-working day – when I was really happy to catch up with my friends Tinny and Saira in Lancaster, the stars just haven’t aligned since this week.I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed by everything going on I think is the main thing at play here. The walk is just over three weeks away. Three weeks tomorrow after Elisa finishes school, the three of us shall drive down to Eastbourne and crash at my brother’s new gaff before getting underway the following day.
Until then I will still be able to allow my mind to be distracted by questions such as why does a delivery driver ask you where you would like the stuff that is so heavy that it has to be carried in on a pallet truck and then just dump it on the driveway and do one? The good lady, as you can see from the picture, was none too impressed.Until fairly recently I had visions of everything being pretty much done …

Dust to dust trap – In the name of Thiago – Day 235

I can barely fucking breathe. I am also developing a fear of trying to tidy anything up at the moment, (yes I realise that sounds pathetic) for fear of dislodging any more muck and filth. I’m even thinking that when I open the window now it’s simply going to blow all this filthy air straight back into my lungs. Other than that, I’m in pretty good spirits today!I really feel for Angélica too. Our current living arrangements would be enough to test anyone’s patience. As has been well documented before, she has the patience of a saint, but even so, she must be teetering on the brink. I reckon there’s some kind of force field pushing me back whenever I’m ready to project myself over that brink, as I’m not convinced that it’s my willpower keeping me the right side of the line.
It seems fairly apt to be writing about a skip and whether we can fit any more shit in it before we inevitably have to get another one. Here’s something I learnt about skips: the price for hiring them is not proportio…

Back to work; well sort of – In the name of Thiago – Day 234

I’ve had a few days off, so I can’t really have any complaints but gees, I really found it hard getting back to it today. And of course, that’s in large part because I haven’t got anywhere to get back to.It’s nearly September and there’s no threat of getting back to my office any time soon. Frankly the way things are going that’s looking less and less likely to happen this year, if at all. I fluctuate between not particularly giving a shit and suffering from terrible frustration at how things are. If I had somewhere to sit that wasn’t also my living space and where we have our meals at home, I’d probably be in better shape. Today though, I have been gripped by a terrible lethargy.
I should have been doing my yoga session this evening but as there isn’t a physical space where I can put my yoga mat, that’s had to slip by the wayside. So instead for a bit of relaxation, I’ve been trying on some fancy new face coverings today. I’ve got to nip down to Tesco in a bit, so will be giving this …

Lancy, Lancy Lancy Lancy, Lancashire – In the name of Thiago – Day 233

Today was the last day of my annual leave and I definitely made every last moment count. After making sure that the builders and fitters were settled in, the girls and I jumped in the car and headed 18 junctions up the M6 to meet our friends Tinny and Saira in Lancaster.Tinny and Saira are friends from Eastbourne but they’re currently staying in Tinny’s converted VW Transporter on the far western edges of the Lake District, so it was a case of finding somewhere reasonably pleasant to meet that was roughly halfway between our two starting points.
Lancaster was the chosen place. Aside from its slightly annoying one way system, Lancaster is somewhere I really enjoy visiting. I think it suffers slightly from its location, as The Lakes are just a junction or two further up the motorway. In that respect, Lancaster is like the north west equivalent of Devon – somewhere you go passed on your way to your end destination.The photo above is from The Sun Inn. Angélica and I have stayed at this lov…

Loafing to my heart’s content – In the name of Thiago – Day 232

Friday night was ace catching up with a friend, yesterday was a day well spent with my sister and her family, today after Holly had gone home late morning I just stared out the window and did well, pretty much naff all if I’m honest.I dabbled for the first time on Facebook’s marketplace today but I’m not all that hopeful I’ll get very far. I put three glass panels on there today after getting some advice from a mate. It’s good quality triple glazed glass, but as it’s been to cut to a specific requirement –which was ultimately incorrect as I had to get new panels – it’s a fairly niche audience. It seems an awful waste to just chuck it on the skip but we might end up doing that anyway. Ah well, we’ll see I guess.
This is pretty much how it’s been for most of the day in north Staffordshire. I spent a long time today just gazing out the window listening casually to England struggling to bowl Pakistan out in the Test Match in Southampton. I didn’t feel bad for not doing anything though, as …

My sister arrives – In the name of Thiago – Day 231

It’s been a wonderful day, although it started a little ominously. I went out on the sauce with a good mate last night and although I had a bloody good time, I didn’t ‘arf feel it this morning. So much so, that I ended up going for a mid-morning snooze. Bloody hell, it was well needed.The snooze and the night out were both well needed frankly. I hadn’t had a drink all week and although I don’t crave banging a few down me these days in the way that I would once have done, there is a part of me that says; I’m on holiday I’m going to have a few jars. My man Mindaugas also came back to my gaff afterwards to thoroughly clean out my remaining supplies. Outstanding work Mindy!
My sister Holly, husband Pete and their two children Millie and Tristan arrived in the Potteries around lunch-time. They turned up at my Dad’s first: allowing me to extend my mid-morning snooze into lunchtime. I then took a call from Quinton – a chap who will be joining me on the walk on the Richmond to Uxbridge stage. …

Late summer blues – In the name of Thiago – Day 230

It has to a large extent been a fairly uneventful day. There was a morning rush while I bought some laminate flooring and fought with the perils of a fairly sloppy B&Q website but there was joy to be had for the struggles. I got a 20% discount today, which I wasn’t entitled to last week when Angélica and I went into a local store originally last Sunday to place our order. What a wonderful way to spend your holiday!It seems a strange thing to say but as a result of not doing all that much today, I am feeling weary. Angélica is feeling a little below par as well. This blog isn’t the place to be discussing how my good lady is but one thing we’ve always been good at as a couple is lifting each other when the other’s having a bit of a shit day. It’s my job to be the ‘lifter’ today. Crikes the boot’s been on the other foot often enough!
In spite of not feeling her best and having a broken hand, it really is impossible to keep Angélica down for long. She has this incredible ability to jus…