Meeting Myself Coming Back & Other Euphemisms That Mean I Am A Bit Busy…..

Please would you do me a favour? Yes, you sat there with a nice glass of white wine and a bacon butty, next time the legend that is Tommo suggests we do another Spinathon just remind me of how manic everything is today. Even more so if he dares to suggest it and I take it upon myself to fly back from the UK 3 days before and then back to the UK again 3 days after…..


No, only joking – I work best when I am busy and under pressure so I am in my element today and even more so because we are making stacks of money for Tommy’s!

So, what has today brought thus far – bearing in mind at the time of writing this first tranche it is still only 1129.

Well, I ought to point out that today I am walking a tad gingerly. Last night I went for my final pre-Spinathon run. Mrs G was unavailable for fartlek last night and so I donned my kit and went for a run on my tod. No problem and nothing new there.

Regular readers will know how bored I get running round and round the compound and even the excitement of making pretty pictures on my MapMyRun report by running through the inner roads of the compound has worn off.  There are not enough variants of roads to create a decent Darth Vader or Minion.

New readers may be pleased to know that the monotony of running around the compound is the reason behind the blog name – I really do know every inch of tarnac – as well as every dog poo bin, recycling point, tree and bit of perimeter wall.

So last night off I trotted with the thought that the Spinathon was only 2 days away. I galloped around the compound and then with the prospect of more beige walls I went home, grabbed my training skipping rope and headed outside.

I should have realised something was wrong after a few minutes when my left calf went ‘ping’. But no I stretched it out and carried on. Next my right calf went ‘ping’. A few more stretches and another attempt – the left calf had decided that there is strength in numbers and had joined forces with the one on the right. Oh dear!


So into the house I hobbled to be greeted by some hilarity from himself. 3×90 sec of planking, stretches and Nurofen later I flopped down in a heap.

That is the reason why I was hobbling today – but more of that later.

Much of this morning was spent with much hilarity recording a short promotional video with the Salwa Swimming Club who are joining forces with the Tommy’s Fundraising campaign to promote the forthcoming March Swimming Challenge. Mrs VDW and I seem to form a great improvisation team and the video is going to take some editing…….good luck on that one Mrs VDW! I will mainly be busy on a Spinning® bike while you do that…..

So, my trip out, off compound today was to see the dude who is the orthopaedic consultant for a check up on my foot. Regular readers will know that he comes as a professional pair with his Indian side-kick nurse and together they are a bit like Morecambe and Wise. I like them.


So, I had managed to get to the hospital early and as his side-kick and I get on well I was very quickly ushered into the office next door to wait to be shown into the man himself.

That wait was also very quick and the nurse quickly called me forward – a mere 15 minutes early for my appointment.

However, this is where it all started to go wrong. Just as I was about to walk over the office threshold I was unceremoniously pushed out of the way by a local chap, in full thobe etc, brandishing a piece of paper and speaking in a very animated fashion in Arabic.

Side-kick nurse rolled her eyes and I nonchalantly asked her if he was staff or patient to which she again rolled her eyes and said patient but not one of theirs and he had just wondered in.

The conversation between the dude Consultant and the waif and stray who had just wondered in got very animated indeed in Arabic, with arms being flung about and what I can only assume were expletives in Arabic. After a few minutes the local guy stormed out past me.

I was a little concerned at this point that I may suffer the aftermath of this meeting with the dude Consultant, but as I hobbled into his office, (I refer you to my calf strains of last night…). I was met by a completely relaxed Consultant – smiling and joking – as if he had just had coffee with his oldest friend. No need for concern there. He did however look at the hobbling expat in front of him over his glasses, take a breath to ask why I was hobbling and then clearly thought better of it – he knows me too well already….wise man that Doc!


The consultation itself took roughly 15 seconds, with a smile and request to make another appointment 2 weeks before the marathon  to pump the foot full of numbing juice again.

The side-kick nurse was somewhat surprised when I appeared back so quickly – so much so that she almost fell off her chair, but hey ho, appointment made and off I went – leaving the hospital before my actual appointment time, result!

This is where life started to get interesting. I decided that as I was so far ahead of schedule and more importantly before everything ground to a halt for prayers, to call in at the big hardware type store for some tennis balls for the Spinathon, (that’s another story).

As I walked down to the sports section I spotted a local guy apparently testing out the dumbbells. I didn’t think much about it. I wondered off, to return about a minute later to see him ‘testing’ the dumbbells with the other arm, gazing lovingly at his flexing biceps.

At this point I did start to wonder what he was doing.

I browsed down another aisle to come back to the sports section to now find the guy doing bar raises on one of the plinths….

By this point I wanted to come back to see what he was doing next….

Quads bench….

The guys was working out on the equipment that was for sale – in full view of the check outs. Not that anybody was bothered.

By the time I went to the tills he was doing squats with the weight lifting bar…..I am surprised he didn’t go to the water filter area of the store to get a drink of water……


But hold on, it got better. As I was standing at the female only check out, (I had gone to the male one by accident and got told off), watching in bewilderment the guy doing his full workout, I realised that the queue had not moved for sometime. I looked round to see the cashier and who I assume was her supervisor having an intense conversation about the portable card reader – having a card from the customer in front of me.

Then suddenly the apparent supervisor grabbed a chair, climbed up, (bear in mind she was wearing of course her abaya and niqab, it was reminiscent of the post ‘Dart Vader On A Surfboard’ – 16/01/2016 – which people are still talking about ), and pointed the card reader to the heavens. A few moments passed as she waved it around, I assume in the hope of getting a signal, before stepping down again and clearly being frustrated at not having any success. This happened twice more as I found myself in the slightly surreal situation of on one side of me a local guy enjoying a full weights work out in the sports department of the DIY store and on the other side of me the supervisor balancing perilously on a chair with arm outstretched to try to get a signal on the card reader.

On attempt number three there was success and the machine spewed out a receipt. The customer legged it out of the store.

It was with some trepidation that I handed over my card – the last thing I wanted was to be responsible for an accident at work that resulted in broken limbs just because I wanted to buy some tennis balls.  Yes, the same process was followed, supervisor climbing onto the chair and waving the reader around hopefully in the air. However, a signal was picked up immediately, much to my relief, my receipts were handed over and I was able to leave – without anybody suffering any injuries or mishaps.

Right, Spinathon kicks off tomorrow, the timetable has turned to chaos, (positive chaos I hasten to add), best I go get myself sorted out. If you are on the compound this weekend, come and say hi, hurl some abuse at Tommo, be nice to me, feed himself and humour everybody else. All visitors are more than welcome and let’s face it you will not be able to avoid us as we are taking over the area outside the supermarket for 24hrs.

So, come and see us, bring your wallets and come and have some fun.


Don’t forget to donate, this is all about raising money for Tommy’s

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