It is 8am, Mr JCR has texted to say he has ridden almost 500km, I in contrast have only run 7km, but consumed about 500 meals as a result of M&D’s extraordinary generosity with food and drink. Bologna is known as the La Grassa, amongst other nicknames and yes that is ‘The Fat’ and that is how I am feeling this morning, after spending time with these Bolognese friends, who know how to entertain royally.
Last night, M, D and I went to a local trattoria for something to eat. With it being Republic Day it was, as expected, quite busy and then we had a Fawlty Tower’s evening. Our table was lovely, the water we had was also lovely, which is a good thing as it had to last us a long while, because this trattoria only seemed to have one guy with the magic tablet to take orders.
He described himself as the Caposala – Head of The Room. M & D looked perplexed because this is a title akin to a maitre’d or similar, all of which you’d expect in a Michelin starred restaurant, but not necessarily in a roadside trattoria. And the Caposala had what M described (with superb irony) as ‘ individual contributors’ working for him. Anyone from my old company would recognise this job level description. These were the lowest levels of IC you could possibly have…. they couldn’t even answer simple questions.
As IC’s they weren’t allowed to do the ordering by tablet, which meant we were at the mercy of the Caposala. And he kept being diverted, it as as though the rest of the restaurant exerted a magnetic pull, from which our table was excluded.
He’d come magically and tantalisingly close – just as one of us was about to ask for the menu or actually order food or drink, he then would be pulled away and we’d be left contemplating our glasses of water once more.
Eventually after yet another promised 3 minutes wait (it was nearer 15!) we ordered. This is a 50 minutes plus wait over a bottle of water and we were getting hungry. The food was actually superb – M had ordered a house special. D asked me if I’d ever had them before and I hadn’t. They were I think called crescentina – a sort of big ravioli shaped pillow of dough, deep fried that you fill with ham,cheese and condiments. Sounds awful, but actually they were deliciously light and fluffy. At this point D suggested I try some and also another dough based delicacy – now you can see why I was feeling fat on Sunday morning!
The Caposala came back to our table after frantic waves and gestures on our part. D asked for a crescentina refill, the other bread type and she also chased for our second bottle of water. The Caposala looked perplexed ‘have you drunk the two bottles already?’ With great restraint D advised that no we’d only had the one but were waiting for the second one that we’d ordered ages ago. He didn’t apologise just moved swiftly on and away. The magnetic field was working again, but not in our favour.
The water came eventually, the second delicacy came, but still no refill of the crescentina basket. After another 15 minutes or so of all three of us trying to catch the Caposala’s eye – to no avail, D asked one of the IC’s where the crescentina refill was. He said he’d have to ask the Caposala. The Caposala then returned to our table and told us that we hadn’t actually ordered the refill at all! In fact, we must have imagined we did…., but he could order it now if we really wanted it. We decided at this point, that probably Lady Luck was not with us, so going home would be a better option.
The company was fab, the food brilliant and to be honest the Caposala made the evening a giggle, even though I am not sure he had any idea of how useless he really was.
And so to Sunday morning’s run. It began with me deciding to do a version of the same two squarish loops I’d previously done. The Squoops, as I called them. But the Caposala experience had left its mark. Like the night before’s experience, I just couldn’t seem to get started, to eat up those planned kilometres. I think the missing crescentina must have found their way into my stomach overnight, because I really felt sluggish.
The sun was much hotter and I sought shade as much as I could. But there’s no denying it – the run was crap, in fact it wasn’t just crap, it was Caposala level crap. I saw other runners doing a much better job than me, my music didn’t help. The fridge cold bottle of water didn’t help, nor the change of scenery. It was just a rubbish run – I could hardly place one foot in front of the other. It was so Caposala crap, that I made myself do more than the 6k planned, just to punish myself for being a Caposala.
It was a big fat mistake of a run. By the time I returned Mr JCR had cycled another 25km or so and was well on his way home to the 600kms. But then he was a man on a mission, very organised, route planned and job done. I on the other hand, had caught the Caposala virus. I am hoping recovery is swift, otherwise this challenge is doomed to be completed only in my imagination.
Second Hand News – Fleetwood Mac
7 Seconds – Yussou N’Dour and Nenah Cherry
New York Minute – Don Henley
Daydream Believer – The Monkees
Have A Nice Day – Stereophonics
Seasons In the Sun – Terry jacks
Night Fever – Bee Gees
Spring Affair – Donna Summer
Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Forever Autumn – Wayne, Hayward and Burton
Year Of The Cat – Al Stewart
7 Years – Lukas Graham
1999 – His Purple Highness
Disco 2000 – Pulp
Sunday Morning – The Velvet Underground
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
8 Mile – Eminem
Step on – Happy Mondays
One Step Beyond – Madness
Hazy Shade of Winter – The Bangles
Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones
Steppin’Out – Joe jackson
Average Pace 8:12 (Caposala….)
Elevation Gain 44 metres
Kms Done 953.38
Kms To Do 1064.62