A much needed lift - In the name of Thiago - Day 248
I had been struggling through the daytime on weekdays recently. It’s strange really. Much as me being around Angélica and Elisa during the day was sometimes driving us all potty, suddenly with them being away at the same time, I’m now finding working from home, well, not all that enjoyable at all.
The combined effects of grieving and the building project have given me every reason to want to be somewhere where there are other people. Ashley the builder’s been here a lot of the time to be fair and he is a really nice bloke but it’s not the same. My workplace is striving very hard to make sure that no-one is worried about coming back but less so about those that are anxious about being left to go stir crazy at home. It’s a difficult balance but I think there is room for improvement.
Up until about 6pm this evening – this was the actual highlight of my day, going to Lidl. That sounds desperate to some perhaps but that’s the reality in these times I think. If I got my shizzle together a little better in the early part of the day, I could, as my good friend Fiona does, get outside and create some lovely headspace. That’s perhaps the best thing about walking that I’ve found. Just me, one foot after the other, and depending on whether I’m bunting my way up the A34/500, lovely lungfuls of fresh air.
When it comes to the walk itself of course, I have moved heaven and earth to make sure that I’ve got company every single step of the way, and that thankfully is still the case. I’m a very emotional chap at the best of times, so at the worst of the fuckers, well you can only imagine. But Christ alive, who wouldn’t be, doing what I’m doing and having been through what I’ve been through.
As you can probably recall me sharing previously, photos with Elisa are like gold dust and even a semblance of a conversation in recent times has proved almost impossible. I know she’s not a little girl any more but the rate that she’s gone from being very much a Daddy’s girl to this adolescent monster – actually that’s a little harsh – is extraordinary.
The trick I need to learn is to feign interest, not appear remotely fussed about anything she says or does, but of course that’s much easier said than done. When Thiago died, and for a lot of the time when he was around, Elisa did play second fiddle. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it simply couldn’t have been any other way.
But today, with something that certainly came across as genuine pride, Elisa started telling me about her Spanish lessons at school. She absolutely loves it. It’s somewhat ironic as her ladyship has always been quite resolute about how much she hates Portuguese. I elected not to remind her about her obstinacy on that front. Imagine how she’d be flying now if she was bilingual. Enough Gibbs, enough!
This is a photo I don’t share very often. Thiago in his short life, saw Spurs get to a Champions League final. Even if I make it to a glorious hundred, I doubt I’ll see anything better as a fan of these phenomenally dedicated underachievers. Maybe the big man knew all of this when he decided to check out last November. It wouldn’t surprise me, he was a very smart little lad.
Today has been a good day for keeping up the momentum. I’ve received donations from very different sources and been asked by BBC West Midlands to go on the equivalent of their desert island discs programme next week: I’ll be recording an interview with them tomorrow evening. I’d like to say a special thank you to my old mate broadcasting mate Helen Bailey for setting that up.
I am now exactly 88% of my way to my £10,000 fundraising target but this is no time to slow up. You know what, I really won’t be far away from the target come the start of the walk let alone the end of it! Thank you everyone. I’m hoping these good vibes continue into tomorrow.