Sunday Sunday here again in tidy attire - In the name of Thiago - Day 218
Well it wasn’t quite in tidy attire, but the occasional Blur reference never hurt anyone I suppose. I didn’t emerge from my slumbers until gone nine today. I deliberately left my phone and watch downstairs last night determined that I would then sleep for as long as I needed to sleep. After the long afternoon and evening of various tipples, it turned out that I very much needed a lay in. And so I did, without even a modicum of guilt.
With no particular plans for the day other than to get out for some fresh air to blow the cobwebs away, I thought I’d do a bit of the walk planning admin and catch up with a couple of people. One of the fellas I caught up with is a chap called Rob Shearing.
Rob is a fine photographer and has very kindly offered to take photos of the first day of our walk – not just the ceremonial setting off from The Vic but the whole day. I’m constantly overwhelmed by what people will do to help and this gesture is remarkable, especially coming from someone that before today I’d never spoken to.
As I know a lot of people have been, Rob has been touched by my experience and my way of tackling life this year. As a father himself, he wanted to get involved. So, Rob, if you’re reading this, I just want to say a huge thank you to you for volunteering your services for the day. I think you’ll have a great day meeting the collective group of nutcases that I am proud to call my friends.
The cobweb blowing for today took place trundling around the glorious surroundings at Keele University. I certainly haven’t always seen eye to eye with this place as it does come across as a bit elitist at times, but it’s a bloody lovely place for an afternoon stroll and one of the best things about it in August is that there are no bastard students to ruin it!
I’m no tree hugger but ever since my sister gave Angélica and I a sapling to plant in memory of Thiago last year, I’ve become more and more interested in these remarkable living pieces of history. As we were strolling around, I set eyes on this giant redwood and found myself completely drawn to it.
From remarkable living pieces of history to remarkable people in the present. Wowzers, ain’t she a magnificent sight. I’ve been married to this fabulously good-looking woman for 15 years now and as you can well imagine, I have absolutely no regrets. I'll always remember the words of my old mate Simon Clune: "Gibbo, you are punching so far beyond your considerable weight!"
The build project has encouraged Angélica and I to talk a lot about the future, and whereas the first half of the year was pure pain and suffering for us both, we are starting to see that there truly is a light that never goes out.
After an hour wandering around at Keele, we popped back home, time enough for a snooze for Angélica and another episode of Stranger Things for me. I’m finding it quite addictive, then again, I’ll pretty much watch anything with Winona Ryder in it – I do find her completely fascinating.
Longton is making a bit of a recovery I think, at least I hope so, as it’s where the old man’s living now. The indoor market is a good place and as you look around, there are definitely vestiges of hope. But there’s also places that stick out like sore thumbs. What is it, ten years now since Woolies went bump? You’d have hoped that someone else would have taken up this space by now.
I took a short walk with Dad this afternoon, which nearly killed the poor bastard. He’s not getting out as much as he should but I’m at peace with myself now knowing that I’ve done my bit and given the appropriate advice. He’s definitely putting a lot of the weight he had lost back on, but while it’s frustrating that he lives in a permanent place of self-denial, it really isn’t my business. More importantly, he’s finding some direction for his life, and that’s really encouraging.
That’s it for today folks. I hope you’ve all had lovely weekends and are not feeling too despondent about the prospect of another Monday morning. It’ll pass. Keep the donations coming please and savour every moment.