An Abrupt Broadening Of My Horizons, Rain, Flying Camel Poo & The Dude Doc….

So, as I sit in the deserted waiting room of the orthopaedic department here at the hospital for the Doc and his Indian sidekick to pump my foot full of pre-marathon numbing juice, I contemplate the week thus far.

Undoubtedly the main focus has been and will be for another 11 days, 3 hours, 27 minutes and 38 seconds be the quick jog from Greenwich up to The Palace but in the meantime life has been hurtling on.


The dust, wind and flying camel poo continues as do my sinuses as they try to evacuate the general crap from the cavities like a toddlers bottom after eating a 2lb bag of grapes. (You are probably scratching your head at that one but it did happen.  Yeap, as a toddler the Strawberry Blond Hand-Grenade snaffled an enormous bag of grapes into the lounge as I was distracted by unpacking a rather large Tesco order. She scoffed the lot with rather dramatic consequences – especially as we were just out of nappies…. A traumatic experience for all, not that I am emotionally scarred or anything).


So, as the wind, dust and camel poo continues I do feel justified in my decision not to run outside. Especially as these meteorological factors, (plus the camel poo), have now been joined by rain and plenty of it.

As I have mentioned in the past it doesn’t rain here often, but when it does then it is all a bit over-exciting really.

When the town planners thought about Riyadh they somehow overlooked the possibility of rain and pretty much forgot about drainage and so when we get torrential rain it has nowhere to go – except the nearest buildings or underpasses – yes, people routinely drown here when they get caught in the flooded underpasses.

Take a look at this video that was filmed yesterday – look carefully at the bridge.

So, today the schools are closed and everybody this trying to piece everything back together, dry out and lose the smell of wet camel. Not sure why anybody is bothering as they are forecasting the same for tonight.

That said the rain does have its advantages. At the best of times you never know how long it is going to take you to get anywhere considering roadworks, accidents, brawling workers, fuel tankers exploding, picnicking families, roaming camels, cranes randomly parked in road, drifters and wheelchair users in the middle lane – among a whole host of reasons as to why a 10 mile journey can take anything up to 2 hours, all these are pretty unique to Saudi Arabia. So combine that with the rain chaos it meant that this mornings trip  to the hospital could be a long one, or not as the case may be.


Nope, despite setting off early with the wonderful Venkat, (yes he of ‘was fat, now thin ma’am fame), we got to the hospital in 20 minutes – I am not sure how but we did. But as always the legend that is Venkat got me there in extremely efficient fashion, dropped me of at the door of the hospital and disappeared off to wait. Would somebody mind telling me why I would want to drive myself here among all the traffic chaos and then struggle to find myself a parking space before doing it all in reverse to go home again when the lovely Venkat drives, drops me off at the door and on receiving a text as I finish my appointment appears like Mr Benn at the hospital door so I have to walk, (well limp), the 5 yards from the door to the car? No, I am quite happy not being able to drive out here thank you.

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Sometimes progress is fast here and sometimes it is incredibly slooowww….








Sorry, another digression there.

So, as you know I started penning today’s blog as I sat and waited in the deserted hospital waiting room, 40 minutes before the clinic even opened. Eventually the Doc wondered in complete with Starbucks Coffee but still no sign of anybody else. After a few minutes he called me in as he knew I was waiting and that is the sort of guy he is, pumped my foot full of numbing juice and despatched me back out to the watery world of Riyadh.

All in all I was done and dusted 15 minutes before my appointment time. Well happy!

My only regret was that I was so early that his legendary Indian side-kick hadn’t arrived – she is a legend!

So, how does the foot feel? Pretty damned sore – as I said last time, It Didn’t Hurt Until…., (click on the link to learn more).

I have to say that the Doc is a dude – he grinned as he uttered the words ‘enjoy your marathon’ as I left – not sure if that was genuine encouragement or just plain sarcasm.


So, to tapering. Hmmmmm……What a pain. I have managed to convince myself that even while still training to a certain extent most days I will be completely unfit by the big day. Yes, I know it is complete rubbish but hey ho.

Will see how the foot feels later and may go swimming.


So, off to Abu Dhabi tomorrow to see my buddy Mrs M, (and for the small man to see his best buddy as well – Mrs M’s equally cheeky small man), for the weekend before flying from there to England in the wee small hours of Sunday. We were meant to be going to see Tom Jones on Friday night but as Mrs Jones has gone to a better place this week the concert is cancelled. Guess that pair of over sized bloomers will be staying in my case then. Will save my rendition of Delilah for another day….

Well, the socialite in me made one of it’s rare appearances again last night. Between going to the Am Dram show last week and last night this could become a habit!! Anyway, last night was a bit of an eye-opener on many fronts. It was a meal out for the mum’s of the small man’s class. The class teacher came along and all in all it was a lively evening of banter and wild conversation. No, no discussion about the kids but all sorts of other interesting and hair raising discussion topics.

Now, anybody of a weakened or nervous disposition should not read the rest of this paragraph or anything after the fours hashtags and not start reading again until after the second set of hash tags.


You have been warned.

#### Firstly a good deal of the conversation focused on the three in a bed, (or allegedly in a paddling pool with copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil), legal injunction bid by a very well known UK celebrity couple to stop the tabloids publishing the story. Good job is wasn’t in a jacuzzi as it could have been a bit bendy on the jets. The fact that it has already been published in other countries and all over social media seems a little like shutting the furnish door when the horse has bolted to me.


Now the next problem I have following last night’s eye opening conversations is the dilemma for next week. You see the small man and I are travelling up to Lincolnshire on Sunday and in particular to the oh so exotic location of Boston as the small man is going to spend time being spoilt rotten by Grandma and Grandad while his Dad and I slog around the London Marathon course. One of the highly educational topics of last night revolved around the explanation of a Boston Pancake by some of the more worldly wise revellers, (I though I was worldly wise until last night). Now If you are of a nervous disposition or easily offended DO NOT Google what this is. Anyway, I now have a problem as if Grandma offers to make the small man pancakes for breakfast in my presence as these will be pancakes from Boston in the most naive and innocent sense of the word.

Finally, I may have a problem when Grandma makes a cup of tea – I always thought tea bagging was squeezing the teabag out to get all the hot water out of it. Again, if you are of a nervous disposition or easily offended DO NOT Google the meaning of this.



Yeap, in short I really need to mentally prepare myself before the next meal out for the mums of the small man’s class mates, I am still slightly taken aback. To add insult to injury I have just downloaded the hit song, ‘Cake By The Ocean’ to add to my running playlist for London. A particularly catchy song which a good beat which will undoubtedly keep me going. However, now that I have downloaded I have just listened to the words. Oh dear! How shocking! Oh well, should go nicely with all the other expletives in my running playlist that even the Strawberry Blond Hand Grenade commented on while listening to it the other day….Good job I am heading to Abu Dhabi tomorrow, I can have a glass of vino to calm my nerves. ?


Right, that pretty much covers it for today. Think I might adjourn to the pool in a while for a bit of cardio work if my newly refilled foot allows and then I suppose I really ought to start packing for tomorrow.

The legend that is Mrs M, (yes she has featured in several blog posts since the inception of EIOT – usually involving alcohol and me dragging her to the gym against her will), asked me to go shopping for her to take over several typical Saudi items for her to remind her of her time here – hence the trip to Dyrah last weekend. No problem says I, except somehow I have got to transport a camel stool and two Saudi Arabian doors to Abu Dhabi tomorrow. Good job we are flying Saudia – there may be a hint of sympathy there with the Saudi Arabian artefacts – on the other hand……

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Right  – laters!

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