No Weekend Jolly For The Sports Kit…………Impressed?

Well we are back – yeap, we survived another trip to Abu Dhabi or more to the point Abu Dhabi appears to have survived us – not really sure which way around is the most appropriate really.

Firstly, and most importantly, I am pleased to report that our efforts paid off and the sports kit did not just have a jolly over to the UAE and a weekend away, no we used it – training took place. Yeap, it saw the light of day. Impressed? I was!


Yeap, after the post of the other day when I commented on Mrs M being a bad influence, well that prompted her to go to the gym and so off we trundled on Friday morning. Now I am not going to say very much more about this, but I am sure that those readers who know Mrs M will appreciate the positive utterances that sprung from her mouth all throughout our joint gym session!


Anyway, we are back. My planned run for tonight is on hold – I appear to have returned with the lurgy and feel like I have been hit by a bus. Hopefully a good night’s kip will see me right and I will be out pavement bashing again tomorrow morning.

That said this not training when I was planning on training is almost tougher than the training itself – more beating myself up again going on here! Major panic is rolling through my head – only 11 weeks to the marathon, how will I ever be ready……aaarrrghhhh……………


Common sense please kick in – no I am not running tonight, I plan to run tomorrow morning….

Oh yes, some good news – the official, ‘proper’ metatarsal pads have arrived – hurrah! Well chuffed. No more making them out of cotton wool and zinc tape. They will be called into action tomorrow and I will report back in more detail tomorrow night.

Right, sleep well world, a full, normal, chaotic and dysfunctional service will be resumed tomorrow – make the most of the peace and quiet.


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Darth Vader On A Surfboard……

As I sit and ponder the day’s events while waiting for the magical Saudia big bird to whisk us off to Abu Dhabi, I reflect on what an odd day it has been so far.


The major focus of this morning was undoubtedly the visit to see the Orthopaedic bod at the hospital. Those who were reading earlier in the week will know that I was very dubious about the visit and in some ways I was proven right and in others I was proven wrong.

Over the years that we have been in the land of sand I have come to the conclusion that Saudi Arabian hospitals are organised chaos. Organised and completely understood by the staff, but presenting itself as complete chaos to the patients.

imageAnyway, after the usual initial difficulties of finding where I had to go, (there are sign posts in the hospitals for all the departments, but an experienced head knows to ignore these, ask for directions and then follow your nose), I arrived in the right place.

I was shown in to see the doc and was greeted by a dude who was more than happy to listen to my ramblings, accepted without hesitation that I knew what I was talking about, agreed entirely that’s the problem is Metatarsalgia with Morton’s Neuroma, (it is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds, trust me), and did not even attempt to tell me not to do London. Good man, I like this man!


He even agreed whole heartedly that there is little point in doing anything other than managing the pain till after London – what a dude! He even didn’t disapprove of my home made metatarsal cushions, in fact I think he was quite impressed!

So x-ray done, MRI next week then see the doc again. Then, all being well see him again a couple of weeks before London when he will shove a big needle into it and fill it with numbing juice – result!

After London he can do what the heck he likes with it, he is on side and willing to play ball for London!

Now that was the good side of the visit, the side that proved me wrong in my scepticism.

Now to the other side. You may recall from earlier this week the tale of the questionable internal ultrasound to assess whether or not I had gallstones. Well, today I had to have my foot x-rayed. No problem there, I have had my feet x-rayed many, many times over the years thanks to over enthusiastic sporting activities and the possibility of concern over this never even crossed my mind.

So, imagine the scene, I was shown into the x-Ray room. The two phillipino radiographers greeted me with the question, ‘we do foot yeah?’, to which I nodded. They then continued with, ‘which one?’. OK, I thought to myself and pointed to my left foot.

It was at this point that radiographer number 1 pointed to the bed and said ‘bed’. I looked round and lo and behold the was a bed, with a bashed up looking wooden box on it with a slit down the middle creating two upright rectangles held together in a wooden frame.

I must have looked a bit vacant, (nothing new there), as radiographer number one repeated again ‘bed’. OK, I thought to myself, perhaps she wants me to sit on the bed as I kept a wary eye on the wooden box. So, I sit on the bed in all innocence. Suddenly there was a mass arm action and the words ‘no, no, on bed’ rolled out of her mouth. OK, so she wanted me to sit on the bed with my legs up straight, but how was meant to do that with the wooden box there? I went to move the box, bad news, anybody would have thought she was storing her father’s ashes in there. Clearly she did not want my legs on the bed.

So, next she gesticulated with wild arm movements and repeated ‘on bed, on bed’. Now, if she didn’t want me to sit on the bed with either my legs up or down what the heck did she want me to do on the bed, (no wise cracks thank you). So at this point I knelt on the bed, although the question of how on earth was she going to x-Ray my food in this position did cross my mind.

Radiographer number 1 was happy with this and then said the immortal words, ‘stand now’. OK, it takes a lot to stun me to silence but this did. She actually wanted me to stand on the bed. I double checked this with her in case there had been a problem in translation, but yes she wanted to stand.

OK, so I slowly and somewhat sceptically climbed to my feet on top of the bed. As I reached standing and I subconsciously adjusted my balance, it became clear that actually the brakes on the bed were not on. As I moved the bed went from side to side lengthways with me balanced precariously on top.

Don’t forget in all this that I was wearing my abaya as I was out and about and with the sideways action of the bed I must have looked like Darth Vader on a surfboard.


At this point radiographer number 1 laughingly said, ‘sorry ma’am, I put brake on’.

It was about now that I actually became quite concerned for my own personal well-being as at this rate the foot problem was going to be the least of my problems as if I fell off this damned bed I would be having a lot more x-rayed than just my foot.

However, I remained English and stoical and waited for the next command. It didn’t come. I looked down to see radiographer number 1 stood at my feet with her hand on the wooden box.

‘Eventually the command of foot on here sprung forth. While being a little bit cautious above the vulnerability of my situation I lifted my left leg onto the block. Another pregnant pause as our friend was clearly expecting me to do something else but I had no idea what. She then starting tapping the other side of the block with her hand, at which point I took down my left leg and raised my right onto the block.

There was arm waving on a scale that an Italian mother fighting to keep a wasp away from her children would have been proud of and eventually radiographer number 1 spluttered out the words, ‘stand on box’.

Now at this point my face must have been a picture and words failed me. As I looked numbly at our friend I pointed vaguely towards the box and made a sound that to me sounded completely normal and like ‘stand on this box???’ but with hindsight probably was just a grunt.

I received a grunt in return which I assumed meant yes and I promptly started climbing on top of the box on top of the bed.

I am pleased to say I made it, the x-Ray plate was put in the slot between the two rectangles in the box, I was told to move my foot closer to the plate, (easier said than done), the X-ray was taken and I started my descent back down to sea level, well Riyadh level anyway.

A second plate was laid unceremoniously on the floor and I was told to put my foot on it. X-Ray number 2 was completed.

Well, that was all very interesting indeed and I have to say I was pleased to get out of there in one piece and without disaster.

So, MRI next week, the mind boggles how that is going to go and what I will be expected to do for that.

So off we go to Abu Dhabi, no actual running today but will be planking in a while. There will I am sure be drama and whinging as the men in my life join in and quite possibly J’s best buddy as well, but never mind. The running kit is packed and will be hauled out and into action at some point.
Anyway, the Saudia big bird is descending and that means that Mrs M should have vino in the fridge waiting for our arrival. So, best I sign off, pack up and prepare for my first vino in quite a few weeks……


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Help! The Incredible Hulk Has Imploded In The Kitchen…..

I am one of those parents who likes a clean and tidy house, but know that we have kids and as such any desire for immaculateness is completely unreasonable and unrealistic.

As such, if they are doing something constructive and in the appropriate part of the house then within reason I will let them.


So, in science today the small man learnt about convection by adding food colouring and olive oil to a cordial bottle full of water.

This clearly made quite an impression on our not so little scientist who decided to continue the experiment in the kitchen. The food colouring of choice was green, To realise the full gravity of the situation, imagine a ferocious and world threatening battle between the Incredible Hulk and Kermit The Frog involving a lidless food blender and a spray gun. Got it? Yeap, something like that was in the kitchen….


I am not sure where today has gone, it seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye.

This morning was largely spent having my monthly MOT with the compound beautician. Yeap, it was that time again when once a month she locks the door and a few hours later I emerge having been waxed, varnished, dyed and plucked…..

This evening I hit the tarmac and off I went. Now I have to say that this evening I had a major success. The physio in me used her head and cobbled together a metatarsal pad. I am not sure that it would have got much approval from the older generation of learned physios I used to work with but gee who cares.

Yeap, a wedge of cotton wool pads rolled into a tube and stuck to the appropriate area on my foot with copious amounts of zinc tape and a hastily put on running sock definitely helped. I am not saying I was pain free on the run tonight, but it definitely helped. A proper set of supports are winging their way out to the land of sand as I write so hopefully progress is being made….

Taking it off was none too pleasant though – soggy cotton wool clinging for grim death to the sole of my foot……

So, tonight’s run, the first serious run since the half-marathon. It went well – very well in fact, long may it continue!

It is at this point that I would just like to make a formal and public apology to anyone who was out running, walking, cycling, crawling or any form of travelling around the compound tonight. You see I am still taking the damned anti-inflammatories for the old foot and they are pretty potent. So potent in fact that they are the sort of tablets that you have to have other tablets with them that help to settle your stomach, these other tablets are called ‘Gasec’….getting the picture?

Yeap, you guessed it, I won’t go into any more details other than to apologise for the people behind me or overtaking me this evening….I am really, really sorry…


The plus side is that I am off to the hospital tomorrow and I really, really hope he will say I can stop taking them. No, I really, really, really hope he says that as tomorrow afternoon we are flying to Abu Dhabi, in a confined space with a lot of other people…………


So, away from all talk of flatulence, let’s talk planking. Yeap, after cooling down from the run it was time to ‘plank’ again. Himself has started joining in and even the small man has started his planking career – he clearly thinks that being covered in green food colouring gives him Incredible Hulk type powers.

I would just like to say publicly that I have never known so much moaning and whinging – all of which was from the testosterone filled members of the household. The small man was a complete drama queen and himself resorted to swearing, huffing and puffing in glorious fashion.


So, successful planking session all in all, despite the moaning. The small man did less than us, himself did the same as me as I suspect his male ego would not have coped with me going longer. That said he did appear to struggle to take the cottage pie out of the oven afterwards and there has been continuous whinging ever since.

Anyway, off to Abu Dhabi tomorrow to see the bad influence that is Mrs M. I will be taking my sports kit with me and the intention is to use it instead of giving it a weekend away as well. However, as Mrs M is a bad influence then I do have a sinking feeling.

So, if there are no blog posts this weekend, please accept my sincerest apologies but I will probably be curled up somewhere hugging a bottle of Baileys and humming gently to myself…….

Yes, I know it is a Middle East weekend - Thurs to Sat, but you get the picture....

Yes, I know it is a Middle East weekend – Thurs to Sat, but you get the picture….


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Missing…..One Complete Set Of Abdominals…..If Found Please Return to Owner…

When you were a kid did you ever do that thing when you stood in a doorway with the back of your hands on the doorframe, pushed hard against the wood and then stepped forwards – then your arms involuntarily raised themselves?

Well if you did then you will know how I feel now, apart from my involuntary muscle action is in my torso.


Yeap, you guessed it – I have been doing the ‘Tommy’s At The London Marathon Facebook Page Planking Challenge’. I have to say I am rather impressed with myself!

Last night I did 3×1 mins straight off, with 2 mins between each batch. Tonight I did 1×80 secs followed by 2×1 min – again with 2 mins between each batch.


After this evenings challenge I feel as though I have no control over my body from the waist up, my abdominals keep twitching involuntarily and my shoulders feel like I have spent the entire day overdoing it with arms in the gym. Charles Atlas has nothing on me tonight.

I am not sure I will be able to make the small man his boiled eggs in the morning or put his toast in the toaster as it may all be a touch too heavy….

Anyway, tonight’s trot with my buddy fell apart for reasons that were nobody’s fault. So himself and I resurrected our evening walks with the small man around the compound – accompanied by a basket ball. A great time was had by all with lots of short sprints, a couple of longer sprints, (limited only by my trousers continually falling down) and lots of general running around – all of which was what I needed to get myself moving again after Friday, well all part from my trousers falling down that is!

Proper run tomorrow night I think!

So, you will be pleased to hear that last night himself passed on lathering himself with coconut oil – so he does read the blog after all! So last night was not like sleeping next to a bearded macaroon and thank goodness the smell of coconut has disappeared.


No updates from the Silver Surfers so the mind boggles on that one…..I may pluck up courage tomorrow to Facetime for an update….let’s see if the sock draw starts to vibrate…..

OK, think I will go and soak my twitching abdominals in the bath, but carrying the washing up the stairs maybe one step too far, that may have to wait….

Till tomorrow…

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Time To Stir My Stumps, Stretch Those Legs & Hide The Coconut Oil……

The time has come, I need to stir my stumps – The London Marathon is not going to run itself in 3 months time!

Yeap, my mind has started moving towards D-Day, Sunday April 24 2016.

The legs are pretty much fine, I am ignoring the foot, but the head is screaming abuse. Oh well, nothing new there – crack on and get training.


The Tommy’s At The London Marathon Facebook page has a planking challenge – guess who is starting that later today.


Am heading out for my first post half-marathon trot tomorrow night with a buddy who wants to get back into running – so a nice leg stretch then.

I think the others are starting to stir into some action, Luan was spotted cycling frenetically around the compound earlier, Hannah – well she looks fine and not at all like she ran a half marathon on Saturday with absolutely no training. She has an annoying minor niggle behind one knee but completed the run in a very impressive time – not that I am miffed or anything! Youngsters honestly! As for the others, well I am assuming that no news is good news……

So how is himself after the endeavours of the weekend? Well, much as it greaves me to admit it he is fine. It is always the way, those legs just transport him through any running challenge and away he goes.

However, he does have one other significant problem, (apart from me!). On race day, for once, the thought of sun tan lotion never crossed our minds, it is January after all. Whoops! Himself was running in his Tommy’s running vest – I will leave the rest to your imagination.


Needless to say he is glowing, similar to a nuclear accident in a red paint factory. It has settled slightly in the last couple of days but there is still considerable whinging on his part.

I have found myself questioning his treatment of the damage, as I was dozing off to sleep last night I detected a vaguely familiar odour – but one that I tended to associate more with  a bakery than a bedroom. On questioning he admitted to using coconut oil to soothe his burning skin – revolting. I hate coconut! I freely admit to being one of the easiest people around to feed – I am a human dustbin for all things edible – except for coconut. I loathe the stuff! Immediately memories of desiccated coconut and those revolting little kiddies cakes sprung to mind. I was wide awake and feeling vaguely nauseous by the coconut stench that was making its way over from the other side of the bed. As for him, at this point he got the giggles and then started laughing in his own unique way – which annoyed me even more.


Anyway, residual fatigue from Saturday must have eventually overcome me and I went off to the land of nod…………

But I am still not impressed and if he dares to lather himself in the offending oil again tonight there will be words…..

A quick update on the Silver Surfers – I assume that the other branch of the family’s technical helpdesk sorted out the one remaining, outstanding issue and all is well. There has been no contact thus far today. That could however be that I am deep in the dwang as I laughed loudly with the telephone experience of yesterday. For all I know the sock drawer could be more congested now than it was yesterday….

Time will tell…..


Till tomorrow….

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Newsflash! Newsflash! Newsflash! Newsflash! Newsflash! Newsflash!

Finally, I have worked out how to upload an album to the actual blog – hurrah!

So here you go, the link is above for those people who do not use the Every Inch Of Tarmac Facebook page, (which has its own, identical album), – the photos from The Sangcom Half Marathon….


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Floodlight Disappointment, Aching Legs, Caring Nurses & Silver Surfers – Again!

Now, either himself has suddenly developed hitherto undetected perceptive powers or coincidentally the sky is clear this evening and ideal for taking the telescope on an evening trip to the darker corners of the compound to gaze longingly at the stars and extended solar system.


Now this is quite fortuitous as I have actually been suffering from increasing levels of stress through out the course of the afternoon and into the evening so the fact that the two men in my life have disappeared off to star gaze maybe quite a good thing.

More details of the causes for my stress later on in this blog…….

Well today pretty much everybody I saw today was buzzing after the events of yesterday morning. Those who supported us all were still glowing from the experience and have already started making noises about training themselves for the event next year. As for those of us who ran, well the endorphins are continuing to flow and the feeling of satisfaction  is still fit and healthy among everybody who took part.

On the whole we are all on good form, a few aching muscles and the odd sore toe or two, but on the whole we all seem to be fairing pretty well. The money is rolling into the VirginMoneyGiving account, ( – in case you needed reminding).


The legend that is Tommo actually took himself for a recovery run tonight but actually admitted that it was rather a slow run, Emma went for a pedicure, Luan drank coffee, I haven’t seen Isabella or Hannah, Michelle went off teaching and the fellas I suspect all trundled off to work denying any discomfort at all in their macho, testosterone filled worlds.

Me? Well, first job this morning was to tackle the Lego lounge that had developed over the last few days and then I took a deep breath and headed down to the Medical Centre to start the ball rolling to sort out the foot problem. Yeap, the foot made life interesting yesterday. I made it through without a trainer change but gee did I know about it and the first thing I did when crossing the finish line was rip my trainer off. Emma, bless her, picked up the discarded trainer before regretting her generosity and handed it to himself with a comment about the trainer being warm and wet and quite unpleasant to hold…., (I hasten to add it was just foot odour and sweat, there was no other problem making them warm and wet….).



So, I braced myself this morning and ventured to our resident heroes and heroines who keep us all in one piece, expecting over the glasses stares, tutting and derision at this runner. How wrong could I be, I was greeted warmly with congratulations, well done etc etc. I admitted I would like an appointment with our wonderful South African GP and while I was expecting to be given an appointment a few days later, I was delighted to be given an appointment for an hour and a half later……I still think that they had already made the appointment last week when I ran to them asking for the strongest possible painkillers but they deny that categorically!


Anyway, the appointment was kept and I saw the fab GP and a full referral was made to the orthopod bloke in town. I am always slightly sceptical about medical services beyond our own Medical Centre here, based mainly on a very dodgy internal ultrasound of the girly kind to see if I had gall stones – my anatomy lectures and dissections at physio school did raise some doubts about the propriety of this scan but to be honest nothing comes as much of a surprise here and so I just ran with it. At least I knew by the end of the scan that I was not pregnant, but the question of gall stones or not remained unanswered for sometime.


Anyway, I am sure that there will be plenty of tales of hilarity from the forthcoming hospital referral, (Thursday is D-Day), and I will keep you updated on that one.

Anyway, massive thanks go to our fantastic Medical Centre for their patience and care – I deserved a telling off but in typical professional fashion they dealt with me beautifully.

Oh yes, small problem – the boys are back. Unfortunately they did a recce to the sports field, it was pitch dark with more stars and planets above than the two men in my life could possibly cope with in one evening. So, they had come home to fetch the monster telescope and headed back off to the sports pitch. Disaster, in the intervening 2-3 minutes of fetching the telescope the football team had arrived for practice and the flood lights had been switched on all around the sports field – not an ideal situation when you are trying to star gaze! I now have 2 grumpy and disappointed men back in the house….

So, there we go – Sporting Challenge number 1 is completed, 3 to go…….

Oh yes, my stress levels today when I should have been chillin’. Well, a combination of the Silver Surfers and the daughter.

Much of today has been spent talking the Family Silver Surfers through various iPad dilemmas over Facetime. When I say much of today, I mean most of today. Every time one issue was solved, a list was produced with the next one…….

It finally got too much when finally the more than slightly unstable wifi out here started to struggle when everybody came home from work and started to do whatever they do online. Facetime started to fall down and life got trickier than it already had been.


At this point I ought to point out that our online technical helpdesk, (i.e. me), relies on the Silver Surfers utilising both iPads at their end – one to do whatever needs doing and the other to be on Facetime and be pointed at iPad number one so I can see what is being done and what the iPad is doing!

So this afternoon consisted of one Silver Surfer holding one iPad and the second Silver Surfer doing what needed to be done with the second one.

This in itself lead to some problems, at one point I had to ask for the Facetime iPad to be held still as I was feeling sea sick. The second problem came when the wifi actually gave up the ghost and I resorted to the telephone to sort out the latest iPad dilemma.

Silver Surfer 1 was diligently passing on my instructions from the phone to Silver Surfer 2. This worked well until there was a problem when Silver Surfer 1 calmly said down the phone:

‘Hold on a minute, I will take you over to the iPad and show you’

Me: ‘I am on the phone’

Silver Surfer 1: ‘Hold on, I will show you’

Me: ‘I am on the phone, not Facetime’

Silver Surfer 1, (I suspect holding the phone in front of the iPad): ‘Oh, that’s not going to work, its the phone….’

And oh yes, the daughter………….that’s a story for another day, a day when I have access to alcohol……

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Oh What A Day……….

Even I have been humbled by today. Yes, the non-emotional, non fluffy, touchy feely author of this blog. It has been emotional as well as frustrating, painful, exhilarating & scary.


The Tommy’s Tea, looked resplendent in their t-shirts and we certainly ran our socks off – in Michelle’s case quite literally as she resorted to taking her trainers off and running the last 2 miles just in her socks.

There is an incredible sense of pride this evening among the entire Tommy’s Team here, not just the runners but also those who cheered us on – and there were plenty of them. Facebook has been buzzing with messages, posts and updates and if you go to the Facebook page you will see the album ‘Sangcom Half Marathon 2016’ which contains loads of the photos taken by various different people and all lumped together in the album.


Well, we all started and we all finished. We all ache and we all know that today we have run a half-marathon. However, we all also know that we have completed one of the Sporting Challenges and that we have already raised a pretty impressive chunk of money for Tommy’s . Those facts in themselves make it all worthwhile.

So a shortened blog this evening – I really need my bed!

More to follow tomorrow.

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A Very Special Photo….


Today has been a special day for everybody on Team Tommy’s at The Sangcom Half Marathon today, but especially so for the couple in this photo.

They are Gabriella’s Mum & Dad who ran today in memory of their little girl who was born sleeping in October.

The whole of the team here loves this photo and when looking at it we can easily forget all the aches and pains from today’s antics. Everything is put into perspective.

We were also joined at the end by Moneypenny – if you are not sure about who Moneypenny is then take a look at the post from Tommy’s of 2-3 days ago and it will all become clear.


More photos and reports of today to follow.

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Here You Go……The Official Tommy’s Sponsorship Form….


As requested by many people – here is the link to the official Tommy’s Sponsor Form that can be used for all the Sporting Challenges.

Don’t forget donations can be made online at and GiftAid can be claimed back here as well.


Please feel free to print as many copies as you need – the more that are filled in then the more money we can make for Tommy’s!

Any problems just drop us a line via the contact page on the blog or PM us via the Facebook page.



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