One of my last treats in London was a medical pedicure to try and get my goat hoof feet back to some semblance of normality. My podiatrist was from India and my nail technician from Bulgaria and they were asking the usual polite questions. What do you do? etc. I explained the story – that I am retired and living between Italy and London. They were both intrigued at the Italian bit and said that they enjoyed Italian food and what did I think of it. I said I loved it, but really enjoyed coming back to London to eat something different.
At this point the nail technician said her favourite Italian restaurant was Bella Italia. Mr JCR and I have a word for this type of Italian food and we call it Shitalian as it bears no resemblance to any proper Italian food we’ve ever eaten in the country. I tried to explain as politely as I could, that Bella Italia was an English chain restaurant version and not authentic, at which point the podiatrist, said it was the same for her and Indian food. Most people have no idea what authentic Indian food is, because the regions are so diverse, and the famous curry cuisine in Brick Lane is mainly Bangladeshi, not Indian at all. Chatting to the nail technician, I asked her if her experience was similar with Bulgarian food, but she pointed out that Bulgarian food is not at all common in the restaurant scene in London, so she couldn’t comment, but the next time she wants an Italian meal, she is going to do some research locally to see if she can find a ‘proper’ Italian experience, as she doesn’t want to eat Shitalian any more.
Back in Le Marche, and it really is authentic Bella Italia now – it’s scorchio, blue skies, cicadas singing, sunflower fields in bloom, moped riders wearing flip flops, and impossibly cute little children in seaside outfits. Funnily enough this morning it’s substantially cooler than London, so I am up and out to take advantage of a nice cool morning.
Having broken the 1100 km barrier, my next mini challenge is to beat the half year target km by 100kms. Off I trot down the slope of hope, it’s very quiet as it is now school holidays, so no school buses or parents on the school run. This makes running that much easier. Onto the bendy scary road, ah yes I had forgotten – one set of dangers are now replaced by another. The tractors and big agricultural ‘things’, I cough and splutter my way through a dust cloud created by a mechanical monster, which was grubbing up earth around an olive grove. A little later I saw the sunflower fields, now nicely in bloom and an encouragement to keep on going.
The upside of the agricultural machinery is that one of them has very kindly cut down the vegetation on the verges, which makes me feel a lot safer, especially as the last time I ran the verge grasses were much taller than me, leading to a few close shaves with the oncoming traffic.
I have a nice pace today, and enter my local village of Royston Vasey, I buy the now customary water from the wobbly fridge, exchange a euro and a grazie to the non-speaking lady and I’m on my way.
There’s a lady I see regularly – not Dame Duvet, but another one who looks similar from a distance and we’ve now progressed to nodding terms. She’s on her way towards Royston Vasey and I’m leaving there.We almost have a Mexican stand off as we are both on the same side of the road and an on coming driver decides that two pedestrians only deserve as much clearance as one, and so we both have an unnecessary close shave. That thank heavens was the worst it got, I run down to the Fish Shop village, order my fish for collecting later and continue on my way.
Up bin lane, and thankfully because it’s not that hot I don’t need to take shelter near the smelly bins. Now on the home straight, I take the ‘all road leads to Rome’ road, and here I am traffic dodging juggernauts once more. I don’t like this part of the run, it’s quite nerve wracking and certain types of drivers delight in getting really close to you when they drive past.
I see Mr JCR in the distance turning into the cafe car park, and I’m not quite at 9kms, which means a mini run around the streets until that milestone is met. Done and dusted, in fact done and dusty truthfully describes my physical state. And I met my new mini challenge – at the half way point I am 100kms ahead of target. Oh and my pace not bad either 6.09 minutes per km – definitely a reflection of the cooler weather.
Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers
World In Motion – New Order
Dancing In The Dark (twice) – The Boss
(Forever) Live and Die – OMD
Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
Hungry Heart (twice) – The Boss
Master and Servant – Depeche Mode
Everything Must Go – The Manics
Maid of Orleans – OMD
It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
Common People – Pulp
Girls on Film – Duran Duran
When Doves Cry – His Purple Highness
Boombastic – Shaggy
Glamourous Indie Rock and Roll – The Killers
Average Pace 6:09 (mins/km)
Elevation Gain 39 metres
Kms Run 1109.21 that is 100.21kms ahead of my half year target
Kms To do 908.79