Sauce Wars, A Very Tired MAMIL & Damned Referendum…….

I can only presume that the fresh Cumbrian air, countryside, copious amounts of beer, wine and bacon and home made tomato sauce has led to an energy surge and even more extreme sporting challenges for himself.


Yeap, he is enjoying life far too much in the Cumbrian countryside and is adapting far too well to the life of a local.

This is not helped by the weather. According to the radio this morning the rest of the country is being drenched by torrential downpours – well not here. I am sat outside with the sun burning the back of my neck writing today’s missive. The birds are singing, the sheep are baaaarrrrring and the bees are buzzing.


Just to paint the picture a little further the cake making genius that is Katie’s Cakes next door is clearly producing another baking masterpiece while juggling life with two very small children as the smell of yummy cooking is wafting from her open windows to where I am sat and quite frankly making me feel a bit peckish.

So, onto himself. Well, anybody who perused my last set of ramblings will know that finally life has slowed down a bit here in Cumbria and we are able to take stock. Well, yesterday himself was slightly unsettled by this new found down time and announced out of the blue that he was going to pack his rucksack, put his walking boots on and was going to go off up Whernside.


Without any more procrastination he was off, out of the door and away. I ought to mention that Whernside is actually pretty much on the doorstep and so literally within minutes he was on his way.

No problem I thought to myself as I was off to the gym and swimming anyway.

It was a few minutes later that I remembered that himself had been planning a surprise trip over to school on his bike last night to take the Strawberry Blond Hand Grenade out for dinner and I did question how he would be with the two way bike trip of quite a few miles after climbing Whernside.

Anyway, having decided that he is a big boy now and in any case I could not get hold of him to ask I went about getting ready to go out and thought nothing more of it.


I was at the gym and pool for sometime and timed my return to call in at school for the small man.

As I stood chatting to his teacher in walked the MAMIL. Yeap, he had climbed Whernside and then cycled to school for the surprise visit to the daughter.

Two thirds of the trips done, but I have to admit to being slightly concerned about the final third.

Oh well, I wasn’t going to drive back to pick him up, there was a G&T with my name on it and I was not going to sacrifice that.


Well, for all my doubting I have to say he did it. He appeared back at the cottage mid way through the Italy V ROI game, flopped onto the settee and there he remained. Well for a while anyway, when he tried to pick himself up he flopped back down again.

Eventually he succeeded, showered and then reappeared with a beer before reinstating himself on the settee.

I did ask how he felt and was greeted with those immortal words, ‘my legs hurt….’

Enough said. But on the plus side the strawberry blond hand grenade was completely taken by surprise and they had a lovely daddy/daughter meal out.

So today I have a tired MAMIL on my hands. Well to be fair not really a MAMIL, more of a middle aged man in shorts and t-shirt. However, the bike is still the focus of his attention, even if he does not have the strength to ride it at the moment.

Yes, this morning we had to go to the bike shop and buy ‘essentials’. Spare inner tubes, a water bottle with holder, a lock holder, a tool kit, a pressure gauge, pump……

All I can say is you never see Bradley Wiggins with all these extras on his bike.

Anyway, sorting out all these gadgets is keeping himself busy and out of the way. Long may it continue.

So, its referendum day. I don’t tend to get involved in politics and try to avoid controversy on the blog. The main reason for this is that I try not to cause angst – after all people are less likely to donate to the cause if I upset them.

The other reason is that quite frankly politics bores me to tears and while I appreciate whole heartedly the relevance of the IN/OUT shake it all about vote of today, I honestly do not know which is the best way to go.

My first concern is the quality of information that has been given on all sides. I am more than slightly taken aback that people honestly still think the Referendum is about voting to leave Europe. We are NOT leaving Europe! We are not geographically going to shift, it is the EU – something completely different!


You see I do not trust any of the leading lights in either campaign and more to the point I honestly do not think that anybody, (not even the most learned scholars of European Policy), actually know the true implications of either staying in or legging it out of the EU quicker than Tim Peake re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.

In short I am firmly of the opinion that in both cases we going to be groping our way in the dark but either way we will be fine in the long run. I think it is just a case of whether or not we are more copy with a grope in the dark accompanied by Boris Johnson or David Cameron – to be honest neither light my fire.


So, it is probably a good job that despite my best efforts I cannot vote today. I tried, believe me I tried. I registered before the deadline and was duly sent an email saying ‘Congratulations, You are now registered as an overseas voter’, you will be able to vote as of July 1. Anyway, after a subsequent email conversation with a lady who was clearly beleaguered, hassled and overworked with referendum questions it was clear that yes I could vote but she was bound by red tape and bureaucracy, (from the EU perhaps??), that said she had to send the standard email out that did not make it at all clear that actually I am able to vote in the Referendum.

By this point this very polite but obviously hard-pressed council employee at Wiltshire County Council had my unquestioning sympathy, so I thanked her for her time and backed off my attack – I had after all got the information I needed.

A few days ago I wondered where my ballot card was and on further investigation I found out – it is in Riyadh. Yeap, despite me making it clear that I am actually in the UK at the moment, my ballot card is somewhere between Wiltshire and Riyadh and lets be honest about the with the Saudi postal system, (which on a good day barely exists), then it is unlikely to be in our post box in anycase.

So, I am scuppered. Even if I knew the implications of the IN/OUT shake it all about vote, even if I had a vague sense of trust in any of the figures on either side, even if Nigel Farage wasn’t a sneaky, smarmy so and so, even if Boris Johnson hadn’t chosen the ‘Out’ Campaign just to further his own Prime Ministerial ambitions, (gee that’s worked – not), and even if David Cameron did know the price of a pint of milk, (or was it a loaf of bread, I honestly cannot remember), then to be honest I would not feel particularly well informed in anyway.

Then of course there is Jean-Claude Juncker – well isn’t he a little bundle of laughs…..

So, it is probably a blessing in disguise that my ballot paper is currently somewhere in the land of sand and I cannot vote. I do not trust any of them.

OK – enough of that boring stuff, onto training!

Yeap, fab training day yesterday, hours in the gym followed by consolidation of my learning last weekend in Lake Windermere. Loved it, had a great time and shoulders ache.

My resistance bands have arrived for shoulder strength work and my slam balls are down the hill waiting for me having been delivered today. I think I may need to enlist the help of himself to get them up the rather steep hill in the car, about 25KG of slam balls are not going to be carried up a steep Cumbrian hill any other way and somehow I think even the ever resourceful Katie from Katie’s Cakes would struggle to find a way of getting them up here without some form of motorisation – it would I am sure even be a step too far for her usual ‘Modus Operandi’ of balancing things on the pushchair and power walking up the hill.


No, best get in the car and head down to get them in the near future.

Right, himself has retired to his iPad and is currently googling the best way and position of attaching a bike lock holder to his bike. I expect I will see him in due course having watched several YouTube videos and joined several cycling forums on the subject and he will be completely genned up about bike lock positioning in relation to tyre pressure, chain wear, gear ratios and lycra wear and tear.

I would love to know if Mrs Wiggins has to put up with all this…..

You will, I am sure, not be surprised to hear that ‘Sauce Wars’ is continuing with no major shift in stance from any party. That said the small man did inadvertently admit yesterday that he does like himself’s homemade piccalilli – a mistake that he rapidly tried to cover up and he has since refused to even eat that.


No, the homemade tomato sauce and barbecue sauce remains untouched by the small man, (good job really with the state of his hands), but is being enjoyed by everybody else.

The Heinz Tomato Ketchup aisle at Booths remains unfrequented by us at all costs.

Right, off to fetch the slam balls…..


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