I’m a Bad, Bad Patient

The cold shivers ravage your body and your spine feels like its just come out of cold storage then you realise someone is drilling holes into the backs of your eyes. Meanwhile sweat oozes from every pore and you feel like a human Niagara.

“Would you like me to fill your water glass?” She asks.

“No I’ll just lie here and die of bloody thirst.” I answer. There’s no comeback, people learn quickly, I am a terrible patient. Later I am asked if I would like some soup?

“You know what? As I can hardly swallow and my gums feel as though someone has been trying to cut them out with a Jig saw all night why don’t you rustle up me a T-Bone, FFS!!!” I’ve always been like that, I remember hearing voices outside my room when, as a kid I had the Flu. My elder sister enquired as to my well being and my mother replied, “Go in and see him if you dare, horrible nasty little demon.” Many years later after watching the Exorcist I had some sympathy for them.

So yes I am sick and have been struggling all week for a post, although I have been informed that going for a 12k run followed by a cold bath on Thursday wouldn’t have helped. But you know me, never surrender 😂😂😂😂😂

12k

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Batman and I

“One August day an eight-year old and his mum are picking blackberries, she is unaware her son is a Superhero and wearing his costume beneath his ordinary clothes. I was expecting a crime wave not a heat wave and as I sank into a lethargic state of heat exhaustion I began to have doubts about said costume.”                                                               That was an exert from an old blog Hawkboy  It was Batman’s 80th birthday last week which triggered the memory of the post. Batman was an old chum of mine when I was playing superheroes back in the day and we had quite a bit in common. I built my own Batmobile and although I was never paid, I was a Batman look alike for a while.

 

I had a den in the woods, den/cave lets not get picky. We both abhorred injustice, okay I didn’t catch the high profile criminals like he did but I did punch Micky Jackson on the nose when he stole Patricia’s packet of Smarties And of course the opposite sex found us both attractive, although I never got to screw Catwoman I don’t recall ever losing a game of Kiss and Catch 😉 There was a party last week for Batty at the Anaheim Convention Center No one invited me 😦 After all those years of watching Batman  reading Batman and listening to my Batman Soundtrack Album you would think I might have got an invite?

 

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Park Run

The sweat is stinging your eyes, your lungs are bursting and your legs feel like one of those Hartley Jellies Mum used to make. After 5k you collapse over the line,  a gasping, sweating, wobbly mass that was previously a human being.

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So why is is Park Run so popular? We are a herd animal, or is that horses? I forget. But anyway look at the towns; we all live on top of each other and I mean close together not what your thinking 😉 A new fashion comes out and we all want it, Apple, Dyson, Sky, (that’s Media, not the big blue thing) Donald Trump (ooops!) Brexit, oh okay maybe not all of us, but you get the jist. If we aren’t following what everyone else does then we feel left out, so it’s natural that as more people take to the Park Run then more people will want to? I’m generalising when I say ALL and of course you have to consider the feel good factor that you get when all those endorphins are released coupled with wanting to improve your health and body tone 😉

But where did it come from? The short version is Paul Sinton-Hewitt on 2 October 2004 at Bushy Park in London with some friends decided to have a 5k timed run. The whole essence is community, you can run, jog, walk, take the kids, a pushchair or the dog. It’s free and it’s timed, with the results emailed to you. Last week in the UK, 15 years after that first run there were: 599 Park Runs with 155,236 parkrunners and 13,189 volunteers. If you tie that to the Couch to 5k initiative (another story) It’s no wonder some GP’s are recommending both. Paul Sinton-Hewitt must be saving the Health Service a fortune! A few weeks ago at my local Park Run, the City of Hull Athletic Club brought 68 Couch to 5k runners down. These were 68 people of all ages who had never run before completing the 9 week programme. So, if you feel a little down, if you want a bit of self esteem and if you want to run with the herd 😉 Take a look, you never know what you can do until you try xxx

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Malayan Spout Hotel

The princess said oooh! lets go on the North Yorkshire Moors for half term. This hotel is doing Bed Breakfast and two course evening meal for two at £99. I agreed because…… well its easier isn’t it and I like a good old hike, but frankly I wasn’t expecting a lot at £50 each. We arrived early, left our bags at reception and set off for a little walk. First impression of the hotel was, ‘Hmm Hm (sort of Laurel and Hardyesque)

The little walk turned into 20km as neither of us are very good with sticking to paths and rules and so it was we found ourselves in the woods with a setting sun. I realised that half hour from now we would be lost to the world, reduced to mere statistics. “Two hikers found torn to pieces after three day search.” The princess reminded me that there were no wolves, witches or demons on the moors and suggested we go back the way we came. I reluctantly agreed, there’s no fun in going back

This where I can safely say that if you are visiting the North Yorkshire Moors go to a place called Goathland and stay at the Mallyan Spout Hotel. The setting and ambiance was  fabulous 🙂

The staff were so lovely and welcoming that after the walk we sat and relaxed in the bar, after 20k I needed a couple of pints of liquid refreshment 😉 But you can’t sit in the bar all night, or so I was told, so eventually we headed up to the room to get ready for dinner and what a room and what views!

Heading out for dinner once again I was surprised not only by the beautifully set out dining room, but the menu and then the food, well I had Pigeon to start and then Pan Seared Venison Loin. Yes, I know I’ve probably upset the vegans and the Disney fans by eating Bambi’s mum, but there’s no point in lying is there?

Dry January was long gone so the £99 deal was a little more than that, with the wine….oh and the beer and of course the princess was right, we weren’t torn apart by wolves, witches or demons 😉 Have a great weekend folks xx

Posted in Blogging, Freedom, Humour, Life, nature, Opinion, Travel, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Egypt

Pete’s posts are fantastic accounts of travel, but love this one, so I’d thought I’d share . Take a look you won’t be disappointed 😀

WheatyPete's World

1971, Cairo, Egypt. My Dad was at the time an academic at the university of Surrey and somehow got sent to the university of Cairo. He worked there leaving my mum to look after us three boys. He wrote postcards to each of us and some very lovey-dovey letters on thin blue specialised airmail paper that folded up to make the envelope to my Mum. Whilst there he became aware of the Egyptian government’s drive to control rural population and how it involved enforced sterilisation of women. So he came up with a scheme to initiate work projects so that the women in villages had more to do than sit around all day getting pregnant. Actually, maybe “sitting around” is not quite the expression I need here. No matter. You know what I mean… Apparently it worked and after the pilot projects he was invited back to work for the…

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Interlude in Puerto Vallarta

Five hundred feet below me the rocks of the Sierra Madre mountains appeared unforgiving, the guide called out, ‘It’s okay the horse knows where it’s going.’ I decided to leave my fate in the hands of a Mexican pony and sat back in the saddle. Eventually we came to a clearing by a stream and there was a picnic.  Many hours later, with buttocks safely back in the bar, I finally realised why cowboys walk the way they do .

 

Later that evening we found a seat in the bar and I made yet another discovery; cowboys stand at the bar in saloons. This bar had a TV I’m not a fan of TV’s in bars, it was stage right so we sat stage left.  I say sat;  I tried perching on my hip, but this made me look like male model with hemorrhoids; at least here I could see the band and the TV was obscured. These guys were not the best band in the world but they were better than me, in fact just about anyone is better than me 😉 My girlfriend and I were chatting away while the band murdered ‘Lyin Eyes’ and I realised the tempo was slowing, it was as if their batteries were running down. Simultaneously the entire band were leaning forward and right, staring at the TV. Mothers were covering their children’s eyes, angry fathers were gesticulating at the bar whilst the staff searched frantically for the remote. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and craning my neck to get a glimpse I saw the cause of all the commotion. Someone had switched the channel to a Porn site. 😉

 

 

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Too Young to Die (4 of 4)

We were surrounded by the crowd. Children always curious about fear, asked if we had been scared. I answered that we had been scared and the old man said that it was good for a man to be scared…… sometimes.

‘To know fear is to know God,’ he said.

His leathery face so close, his bright blue eyes penetrating, searching. I felt the fear I had felt earlier. Slowly he nodded and walked away.

A younger man spoke. ‘This man is the patron of the bar and he wishes to buy your fish,’ he said motioning to a short fellow with a round smiling face. ‘You are tired so we will carry your fish to the bar. When you are rested come to the bar and he will pay you, he will give you a good price.’ We agreed and the whole crowd of us headed up the hill towards the van, there was much talk and many questions.

‘Where did we find the fish?’

How deep did we go?’

The crowd left us and we brewed some tea.

‘Well?’ he looked at me inquisitively.

‘I wouldn’t like to do that every day.’ I answered with as much bravado as I could muster.

‘You’ll get used to it,’ he said

That was his way. Get used to it or do something else. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get used to it. I decided to tell him about my experience. I was unsure if I had taken the challenge of the sea and won or if I had been defeated and humbled. I thought I had faced fear and conquered it. Or had I? What did that mean? He sat for a while then spoke.

‘You won,’ he said.

‘You mean I beat the sea?’

‘No, The sea is an inanimate object, it doesn’t think or feel. You defeated your inner-self. The part of us that wants to quit and go running home to mummy. Life is an experience; today was just another notch on your life pole.’ He grinned.

We headed to the bar. We took two stools at the bar and ordered beer. A woman appeared from the kitchen carrying a huge plate containing some of our catch.

‘My wife,’ explained the patron. ‘Please choose one each.’ After a while she returned with the cooked fish accompanied by potatoes boiled with garlic in a way that only the  Spanish do well. The patron smiled. As we finished our meal the men of the village drifted in. There was much talk of bravado, rough seas and of course the fishing. Very much later and after many beers we decided to take our leave and asked for our bill. The patron refused, his wife refused, the whole bar refused. On the way out I saw the old man again and he beckoned me.

‘Today you have learnt not to fear the sea. You must never fear the sea,’ he said. ‘Nor must you underestimate her. But, you must respect her. You are young and today maybe you underestimated her, maybe you showed her disrespect and maybe you didn’t, that is not for me to say. Whatever you did today she forgave you. Be careful young one. She does not forgive often and rarely does she forgive twice.’  With a grin he turned and left.

I hope you enjoyed this, it was the scariest day of my life, but I guess I was too young to die, that day, 😉

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Too Young to Die (3 of 4)

On the harbour wall a crane stood isolated, defiant as the dark foaming mass crashed over it. There was a headland to the north that made up that side of the bay and I could see the ocean rising and falling against the cliffs possibly by thirty or forty feet.

 

I had a Grouper and a Red Mullet, it was enough. I had been in the water for about three hours and the current was slowly carrying me out to sea. I put my head down and began to fin for shore. Five minutes later I was aghast to see open water ahead, the current was turning me, so I zig zagged, a slow process but I was heading in the right direction. Two hours of hard finning and legs like jelly I was contemplating my extraction when something grabbed me from behind and my heart stopped, I turned, it was him. Relief turned to concern when I saw his face – ghastly white, – he shouted – every other word drowned by the noise of the sea that he’d explain later. I was to give him my weight belt, speargun and fish – he would go in first. They say every seventh wave is a big one, I saw him count and he was gone. The wave lifted him onto the harbour wall and receded again leaving a twenty five foot drop to the rocks below. The next wave crashed in, but he was already safe. I waited, he waved I swam. Closing on the harbour wall a mass of water welled up behind me. Glancing up I saw him waving me back, I had been too slow or the wave hadn’t been big enough. Turning I began to fin back out to sea, but ‘she’ was already retreating, water disappearing beneath me. I felt what I had dreaded, my fins brushing the rocks I had to keep up with the receding ocean. I don’t know if I heard the roar of the water or saw the wave first; it was too quick, but I dived into the wave and tried to swim up and out of it while ‘she’ forced me down. I was swallowing repeatedly as my lungs searched in vain for oxygen and then suddenly I was free once more. I looked up at the shore and I swear he was laughing, but he later denied it. Almost drained of energy we began again, timing it to perfection and ‘she’ dropped me unceremoniously onto the harbour wall.

 

We began to sort ourselves out. I judged my Grouper to weigh around seventeen pounds but he had more with four Red Mullet, three Bream and a smaller Grouper. A crowd had gathered, small children with that curious look on their faces. The men were examining the fish and there was a good atmosphere. I saw the old man from earlier. The old man slapped me on the back. ‘Loco,’ he said and grinned.

Sorry this has dragged on from 2 episodes to 4 😉 But I discovered there was more of the telling than I first remembered, stick with me please I promise next week is the finale. Love you for reading 🙂

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Too Young to Die (2 of 3)

The Spanish called us ‘Pesca Submarina’ – underwater fishermen. The name carried respect and we were proud of the kudos. We were treated well and so considered ourselves honoured and tried to live honourably when in their company. But after ten minutes in a raging sea, fear dispelled pride. I recalled his final words as we entered from the harbour wall. ‘Stay with me!’ The fuckity, fuck I felt earlier was nothing compared to what I felt now. I finned a metre out of the water and realised he was no where to be seen so I began to fish. Over weighted by the lead we sank quickly, solitary dark shapes gliding down through the gloom. On the sea bed you lay still, waiting for the curiosity of the fish to take over and hoping your lungs would last out the time. That was on a calm day with a hundred foot visibility. I attempted to dive into the gloom but mother ocean decided it would be fun to tip me upside down and return me to the surface, coughing up seawater and retrieving my snorkel and started again.

The visibility was nil and I estimated around 60-70ft to the ocean bed, but at least it was quiet. Upon my return to the surface the land appeared to be much further away, but I was intent on fishing. Several dives later I was rewarded with a Red Mullet, but on the same dive I discovered a pile of rocks. The mighty Grouper love to snuggle up in piles of rocks and there was a gap big enough to squeeze into. On my next dive, spear gun first I entered. As my eyes adjusted to the gloom I saw him. Grouper, he was big and black and deep as a Grouper can be. I thought about how long I had been under, on a good easy dive I had a two minute bottom time at sixty five feet, but this wasn’t a good easy dive and I guessed I had less than a minute left. I speared my dinner and began to edge out. Then I felt something pushing me back in. A huge force rammed against me from behind and I was pinioned against the roof of the hole. I pushed back to no avail, I started to feel light headed and knew that if I didn’t get some air soon I would black out. Then the force ceased, it ceased as quickly as it had begun and suddenly I was free of it. I pushed and scrambled out of the hole and finned to the surface with my lungs aching.

As my head broke the surface I blew hard clearing the seawater out and letting the air flood in. Fear had taken me, the pounding of my heart in conflict with the foaming mass of ocean left me weak. I needed to get out but there was nowhere to go. What was it that had just tried to drown me? I looked towards the mainland and I saw the back of it. A huge wave, the biggest I had ever seen crashed into the harbour. I had to take control I heard his voice in my head. ‘Panic and you die. Control your fear or it will kill you,’ he had said.

I’m 200 words over my post limit, so you’ll have to come back next week to see if I survived. 😉

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I Was Too Young to Die (Part 1 of 2)

The roads had a capacity for treachery and the mountains appeared complicit. Several times we had been here, gambling on the mercy of mother nature, but this was the storm season and she always forbade us entrance to the seaAs he guided the van around the final hairpin and the bay came into view I saw the weight of the ocean heave itself against the land and shuddered.

This was our third visit and it wasn’t a pleasant drive from Mogan to San Nicolas, I could see he was pissed off. A death throw of some huge storm far out in the Atlantic determined that our style of fishing was nigh impossible. I was hoping we weren’t going Spearfishing today. I put a cassette in the little Bush player we had with us, hoping to lighten the mood. ‘Take it to the Limit,’ began to play. ‘Fuckity, fuck, fuck,’ I thought, not a good choice. As Randy Meisner of the Eagles begged to be put on the highroad so he could take it to the limit one more time the Master’s expression changed from disappointment to determination. Where was Doris Day when you needed her ‘Que Sera, Sera.’ We walked down to the harbour where my cigarette was soon extinguished along with my hope of grandchildren, ‘I’m going in,’ he called through the wind. ‘You don’t have to.’ I was a kid and drowning seemed a better option than being left alone in a storm on Gran Canaria, so we headed back to the van, put our wet suits on and blew back to the harbour wall. We passed an old man sat in the lee of a rock smoking a pipe. How did he do that? I felt like Dorothy and he had a pipe lit. He called us over, ‘Estúpido, hoy no es posible, morirás,’ he said. The Master grinned at him. ‘Not today old man,’ he said turning to me, ‘He says were going to die,’

I smiled and nodded and I have no idea why. I wanted to say that in actual fact I was going back to the van to have a nice cup of tea and you’re going to die, but I followed him to the harbour edge. He explained our mode of entry. We wait for a big wave and as it recedes we jump in and I was to stay with him the whole time we were in the sea. He counted the waves, the seventh wave is usually a big one. A nod and a push later I was in the water finning like a mad man it was then that I realised that he hadn’t explained how we were going to get out. 

 


							
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