lets not forget, that without fail, whenever I am road tripping and there is a car so close behind that I can’t see the number plate it always turns out to be Belgian. I have tried to figure out why the Belgians always drive like complete cunts and the only reason I can think of is that someone told them the Germans were coming again and they are trying to get out of the country before the Bosch arrive.
I also want to have a little rant about the English too – more precisely two sloth like employees of Johnson’s Cleaners on Clifton Road. I was looking for someone to replace a zip on my travel bag and originally was hunting for the old sewing shop on Albert Street but it looks like that is long gone and been replaced with a stottie shop. I tried Johnson’s as a last resort, took the bag in and asked if they could fit a new zip. The first girl I spoke with was actually quite pleasant and referred me to the two sloths in the corner. This is where my problem began. Clearly I had interrupted one of their many ‘chin wag’ breaks throughout the day – imagine, the inconvenience of a customer needing assistance ! I showed the bag and explained that I didn’t want to buy a new bag just yet and could they fit a new zip.
Oh no – she said, my sewing machine won’t sew around the corners where the zip turns. To say that I was a little bemused by this would of course be an understatement. My mind was already thinking about the old fashioned way of stitching, BY HAND!. I had a back up plan though – I asked if she could simply stitch the zip closed so that I could keep using the bag. The younger of the sloths, slightly more slug like in demeanour very quickly quipped ‘ the material is too tough, we won’t be able to get our needles through it’
It was at this point that I really wanted to drop my pants and coil a big steamer on their desk. Naturally, being a gentleman, I just pointed out that I, yes me, a man, had managed to make temporary stitching repairs to the very same zip with a sewing kit I found in a Russian Hotel room without any problems or specialist equipment but her only response was to to repeat herself again, the material is too tough for what I would assume will be their professional seamstress equipment. Now, call me old fashioned again ( I am sure you will) but women will never be equal in my mind when a man is better at sewing than they are – after all, it is womans work isn’t it.
The only saving grace for my little trip was that they suggested I try the cobblers behind the Squirrel. My bag is there now being repaired, in fact the female cobbler reckons she may even be able to get the original zip working again but if all else fails, she will stitch the pocket up for me. RESULT
More of a milestone, yesterday I competed in my first Park Run. For those not in the know, Park Run is a volunteer operated 5 kilometer weekly race which happens in public parks across the country every saturday morning. It is timed and posted on the internet so you can see how you compare to others and of course how you are improving. I was a little nervous at first, not at the distance, I can run 3 times that, but just the fact that there must have been 300 people there and this would be my first time running competitively. Officially it is not a race, unofficially, everyone is racing, regardless of age or ability. I have to admit, it was quite a buzz. At the start, I stayed probably two thirds of the way toward the back of the pack, strategically I thought that’s where I fitted based on my judgement of those around me. It was a gaggle and tricky not to be treading on other people’s feet, the first two corners were more of a mess really but then I started to find my pace and slowly started passing people. I kept telling myself not to get dragged into running too hard too soon and it worked. By the end of the first lap, I had settled into a good pace and the field had opened up nicely to give me more room to run without shoulders bashing or ankle kicking. I crossed the finish line in 23′ 44′ which I was impressed with. Certainly I had lost time at the start to slower runners in front of me but that time was still a new PB for me. It is around a minute quicker than the 5k I did on a flat running machine in Moscow but also 3 minutes quicker than my 5k route in Belgium that I have been running in preparation. So I am happy. I have two more weekends in blighty this month so I am planning two more. Next weekend I may head for Royal Leamington Spa, before returning to Coventry for a last spurt. For my efforts, I finished 89th out of 316 people with the oldest runner being in their 70’s and the youngest just 14.
I am finding it a little weird today, the weekend and I am sitting in Rugby with both of my biking playmates out on holiday. Steve and Nic are back in Africa on safari and Rue and Claire are in Turkey. Last night I went into town with Sex Pest. It is startlingly clear that over the last few months, I have turned. Into what is your question. Into a grumpy old twat would be my simple reply. I am at the stage in my life where I look at the youth of today and really find their outlook boring, their conversations mindless and their strive to look like and sound like chavs, exasperating. Maybe it happened a long time ago but certainly over the last couple of months I have noticed it more. I also caught a classic episode of One Foot in the Algarve this morning, and it did leave me wondering if I am going to become a real life Victor Meldrew.
But before I sign off, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A new series called ´I’m Spazticus`courtesy of channel 4 that I caught on Thursday night. The politically correct brigade will be hot on the heels of this programme so be sure to watch it before it is gone for good. The next showing is on Channel 4, Wednesday night at 10:50.