The phoenix rises – In the name of Thiago – Day 228


Figuratively speaking, I was on the floor yesterday, on my knees waiting for the count. Yet as widely predicted – well predicted by me yesterday, which admittedly isn’t all that widely – I’m right back on my game today. The world just seems like a much better place. Still a place which doesn’t have my son in it granted, which is utter shit but a better place nonetheless.


Despite being on leave this week, I keep waking up well before 7am, which is really starting to get on my tits. And whereas, I would once have found it fairly easy to just lie there getting a little more rest, probably aided by the fact that I’d be waking up accompanied by a humongous hangover, these days I always seem to have an overriding urge to get on with the day. Angélica doesn’t buy into this theory at all I might add.



First up today was a trip to Draycott for an hour’s coaching. This isn’t a regular thing for me – unfortunately it’s not really something that my budget will stretch to – but I really enjoyed it. Just look at that lovely high elbow on the follow through. Exquisite. Well that’s probably pushing it as the hips haven't properly rotated through, but in places it felt pretty good. Without exception, of course, the moment I try to apply anything that I learnt today in a match situation, it will quickly turn to shit. Just for a moment though I felt like a king and that was very nice.


As I recount this morning’s activities now, I am reminded of a moment in a Sunday cricket match I was playing in, where remarkably someone came on for a bowl, who was worse than me. As the poor bloke finally landed one on the strip we were using rather than the adjoining one, my good friend Nuns turned to him from where he was fielding and helpfully added, ‘Now try to remember how that felt’. Sadly he didn’t remember how it felt after several more attempts and I suspect his amateur cricket career may have ended on that sunny afternoon in Ashburnham.



It started raining fairly solidly about half an hour into my tennis lesson and it got to a point not long afterwards where it was smashing it down so badly that we had to call it a day. I was due to meet my mate Jim for a brew in his garden after the tennis, but the weather put paid to that sadly.


That did at least allow me to squeeze in another six mile walk which I wasn’t expecting today, so even after that initial disappointment of not seeing my mate, there was still a positive to come out of it. Ironically it brightened up briefly while walking from Draycott to Forsbrook, when I came across the wonky sign. For some reason I do find these sorts of things somewhat amusing. For wall and Coyney read Caverswall and Weston Coyney – that’s a significant amount of place name missing for someone not too familiar with their whereabouts I reckon.



I found the sign as you enter Caverswall equally intriguing. I don’t have any particular enlightening comment to make on it I’m afraid, I just think it looks alright, a slight talking point if you will. It was a really enjoyable two-hour stroll this morning and I caught Angélica slightly unawares when I rocked up at my Dad’s unexpectedly.



I also wandered passed a couple of churches on my leisurely way from Staffordshire Moorlands back into Stoke-on-Trent. This was the Anglican version in Caverswall – the one for the left footers was just up the road. Both very fine-looking buildings to be fair, just not necessarily places you’ll find me again in a hurry. I had a dabble after the death of Thiago and I can easily see how people draw comfort from going – I even did myself for a while – but I could never make a regular thing of it. I just find swearing so enjoyable, which is a tricky juxtaposition for a church-goer I fancy.


I’m heading out this evening with the girls to celebrate Dani Pasta’s birthday. Dani is Leo’s –  my Brazilian tennis playing friend’s – wife. Dani said not to worry about bringing anything for her birthday but Angélica always thinks that’s a dangerous thing to hear, so we’ve gone with a kind of halfway house. I said to my good lady, “Is this kind of like when I ask you if you’re fine, when I think you might not be and you tell me that you are fine but actually you want to kill me”? It’s exactly like that apparently. I’m learning!



Just before I go and make myself look completely irresistible for the evening’s proceedings, allow me to do my usual fundraising pointer. All donations are incredibly gratefully received, so please don’t stop. I still need to raise a further £1,600 to reach my target. Thank you one and all and I look forward to writing for you again tomorrow. You’re such a lovely audience..


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