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 looking masterful in the foreground wearing my Thiago heart, the apprentice hovering anxiously behind. Whatever, Gibbs you twat. After that abysmal start, I started to think about all my usual appalling gamesmanship tactics. Joel plays the game with a relaxed insouciance so typical of these young guns. He gives the serve a right proper biff, makes some pretty improbable shots but overdoes it plenty too.
The wind was up, making things tricky but I won the first set on a tie-break, benefiting from a few close calls. He just missed the lines by fractions at times but at critical times nonetheless. But back he came this young hoon, to win the second set 6-4 and force a champions tie break for the match.
At 6-5 to the whippersnapper it was still anyone’s. And then came the moment that turned the game against your brave correspondent irretrievably. Gibbs volleyed magnificently pinning young Paxton to the baseline forcing a defensive lob, which then swirled horribly forcing a horrendous hash. In no time 7-5 had become 10-5. Sportingly I offered my congratulations: ‘well played you bastard’. He’s going to play Bill next. I offered my advice: ‘Just fucking smash it’. I’m considering a career in coaching.
I am building up quite an array of socks this year but there are none as impressive as my Croatias. My brother has a friend Nicole that has a clothing range called Bam and these are they. They’re starting to go a bit unfortunately, but I shall do the usual bloke thing of wearing them until they are completely destroyed. Who said you can’t have too much of a good thing? Yes, I know I’m setting a pretty low bar here, but then again at least I’m reducing the likelihood of being disappointed. Managing my sock emotions – fuck a duck is this what it’s come to?
I spent the afternoon cutting wood. If we can still afford it – and the jury’s most definitely still out on that – after all the building work has been completed, we’re planning on having a woodburner for the winter. So, hence the wood chopping has started in earnest. I’ve got a load more out in the garden which I need to bring out the wet, I’d probably best crack on with that in the morning.
We’ve had to make a few changes in personnel with the build project. I’m not going to go into any details here – it wouldn’t be right – but I have a great degree of frustration. Christ it’s that word that doesn’t translate in Russian again. The money’s running out but at the end of the day, it’s only bricks and mortar, it’s not like losing a fucking child or something. Well quite.
The start of my walk is now just three weeks away and I need all your help with donations and social media shares of what I'm doing. Let’s make a big effort as the starting line approaches. With your help, I know I’ve got this. Thank you and good night.