31 July – Four Greetings And An Effing Hell



With apologies to Richard Curtis’s screenplay. After a Sunday invitation by P, M, L, W and little P, for dinner and drinks,  a day of rest was called for. Although Monday was potentially a running day it didn’t convert into an actual running day. Let’s be honest, it didn’t convert because I didn’t convert my plans into any semblance of reality.

Tuesday arrived and lo and behold, I was up and about, c/o a Mr JCR wake up call – 8.00am no less, this getting up early is becoming a habit. The usual routine followed, through Mill Lane and my vee sign at the water pumping station, I trotted to Lovers’ Lane and there, for the first time in months, I saw Albino and Anouska. 

Whilst it felt quite warm to me, Albino hasn’t yet unbuttoned his shirt fully, therefore full-on scorchio weather has not yet arrived. There are ways of knowing the temperature and Albino’s outfit choices inform my runs and water stop strategy. They wished me a good run – I did my usual Villa Bali loop and passed them again. Anouska waved and wished me a good day. They are such nice people, I don’t think they have any idea how much when I first started running, seeing them kept me motivated. That was 2 greetings in the bag and I made my way to the bendy, scary road onto Royston Vasey.

I entered the cafe and bought my usual water from the wobbly fridge, I explained to the lady that I didn’t have the correct change and well, what can I say? The hitherto non-speaking lady, then totally astonished me by starting a conversation, in which she asked me;-

  • how many times a week did I run
  • what was my usual route – she hazarded a guess at where I lived,
  • how did I cope with the heat
  • did running give me a ‘free mind’

She wished me a good run and that she’d see me again. The word count I estimate is 100 times more than I’ve had in 5 months of visiting her cafe! That was a third greeting, par excellence and utterly unexpected.

Having left the cafe, I was picking up the pace to continue and a Dutch registered car went past and the driver waved – I did the same. This was J, one of our friends and also the father of my two MCP’s. About 10/12 minutes later on, I was approaching the fish shop village and J was there again driving back home. He made a generous offer of giving me a lift if I needed one, or as a minimum, a coffee stop. I thanked him and explained I still had some kms to run, so would continue. That was my fourth greeting and what a fab offer too. Sometimes your runs just seem really nice, whilst it wasn’t an effortless run, the goodwill from friends and strangers really helps.

Then back to a more prosaic reality – the Bin Lane run. I was pootling along quite happily and saw in the distance, our car. Now that was weird, our car was supposedly being washed at the car wash with Mr JCR in attendance. From a distance I waved, expecting a response from the parked car – the problems of middle aged eye sight being there’s a certain depth of field that is pretty much no man’s land. I couldn’t see the necessary detail to inform my next move. Not a flicker of recognition, no horn sounding, no lights flashing, nothing. Two reasons for that, firstly the car was parked up and empty; secondly, even if it had been occupied, it wasn’t actually our car. It is our car’s doppelganger, an Italian registered version of ours, which wouldn’t be so strange, except that Italians just don’t choose bright blue German convertibles.

Effing Hell JCR , you are so stupid at times, it’s not as if I don’t know this car exists – I’ve been confused previously, thinking someone was stealing our car, as the tell-tale bright blue passed me. Second part of the effing hell came up, I had hoped I might just scrape through the 1300km mark by the end of July, but I hadn’t achieved that target, mainly due to the Monday impromptu resting.

That was my four greetings and an effing hell run – no Hugh Grant to sweep me off my feet, just Mr JCR in a mint clean car and that was just fine.


Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals

I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles

Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats

I’m Free – The Soup Dragons

Take It To The Limit – The Eagles

All Together Now – The Farm

Money – The Flying Lizards

Dirty Harry – Gorillaz

Caravan Of Love – The Housemartins

Hippy Hippy Shake – Rockin’ Robin, The Blue Jays

Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime – The Korgis

Dancing On The Ceiling – Lionel Ritchie

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

What Have I Done To Deserve This – Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield

Who Let The Dogs Out – Baha Men

Black Betty – Ram Jam

Crazy – Seal

Don’ t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran

Union Of The Snake – ditto

Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag – Pigbag

S-S-S Single Bed – Fox


Distance 10.69km

Time 1:14:58

Average Pace 7:00 mins/km

Elevation Gain 47 metres

1.5 litres of water, if Albino unbuttons his shirt more, then it’ll have to increase.

Alzheimer’s Challenge

Kms Run 1296.16

Kms To Do 721.84







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