Well, I have to say that I have been delivered an epic kick up the butt and I deserved it.
No, it was not delivered by himself – although he had tried and been told firmly to get back into his box.
No, it was delivered late last week by a friend here on the compound who I had not seen for ages and who I happened to bump into in the compound’s own legendary diner – Kingpin.
You see for a while now I have been very remiss, lazy and generally not inclined to explode with energy as per normal and to be honest my exercise programme here in the land of sand has suffered.
OK, let’s be honest it has not suffered, rather curled up, died and was buried quite sometime ago.
In my defence I have to say that life is very different when I am at EIOT Towers as life there consists of marching up and down fields, ladders, hills and all sorts of other highly energetic practices that mean that by early evening I am generally a bit weary but feeling exercised and generally quite virtuous as I head for a glass of vino.
But no, life here is quite different, (not least of which is the void of wine), and since the crazy sporting activities of the EIOT Tommy’s fundraising campaign I have slowly slipped into a mire of lethargy and, let’s be honest about this, laziness.
Yeap, I have several injuries which need consideration, not least of which is the chronic metatarsalis that hampered my marathon training as well as that damned elbow, but now that there is no immediate massive pressure for any event I could, but haven’t, take them into consideration.
Yeap, here there are no water tanks to dig out, no hedges to cut, no garden to dig, no barns to clean out and no hills – well except the speed humps dotted around the place and even they have seem a little daunting of late.
So, life here in the land of sand has seen me slip into a gutter of lethargy.
The result of this is pure and simple a decline in my fitness and an increasing waist line.
Now, I have to say that prior to the kick up the butt I was starting to have some stirrings of a desire to get moving again. Last week himself and I did go out every evening for a speed walk around the compound and a few times I even succumbed to the desire to have a run and sprint some of the way.
But one step at a time, after all running around the compound is the very reason why this blog was named ‘Every Inch Of Tarmac’ – yeap I have been reacquainting myself with every inch of tarmac.
So, the rising out of the quagmire had started before bumping into my friend the other day, but an extra impetus was required.
So, in chatting during our chance meeting it became obvious to her that I was not in a particularly good place.
However, the lady in question is a northerner like me and so pulls no punches.
Now usually we meet up in the gym and between hypoxic panting on the aerobic equipment we usually chew the fat and have a natter. But no, there has been none of that for some time.
So, my fellow northern friend gave me a kick up the butt and told me to get my expanding backside to the gym, (my words – not hers, she was slightly more diplomatic). I was told that I would be at her house at 0910 this morning and if I wasn’t then she would be at mine.
I was told there were no excuses – I was going to the gym this morning whether I liked it or not, (don’t forget that Sunday is the first working day of the week here).
Now, I needed this, I didn’t realise it, but I was in dire need of somebody else taking control of the situation. Himself could not have done it – he would have been told exactly where to go.
No, I needed somebody else to do it.
Thank you my fellow northern buddy, you have done me a great favour as this morning I was at her door at 0910 as stipulated and I write this having done an hour of hard work in the gym and now chilling in the diner writing today’s blog.
Himself and I continued our speed stomps around the compound over the weekend and thanks to 5 days or so of those and a gym session this morning I am starting to feel a bit more on the ball again.
I owe you one my fellow northern buddy!
It is also with a heavy heart that I have to tell you about the departure of a legend from the compound. Yes, there will be a great big gaping hole as of Thursday when the legend that is Tommo departs the security gates for the last time and heads over the border to Abu Dhabi.
Yes, the legend that is Tommo is leaving for good and is going over to ‘the other side’
Now to say we will be bereft is the understatement. Not only is Tommo a major figure of annoyance, frustration and general irritation in our lives, but he is also Tommo and we love him for being Tommo.
He has been a major figure in all the fundraising campaigns and has usually managed to drag us into his crazy ideas – the 24hr Spinathons were all his ideas that somehow we agreed to…..
He is the one who not only ran the Brighton Marathon for Tommy’s but also went on to run a marathon a week for the next four weeks in order to run 5 marathons in 5 weeks and in doing so raised a whole heap of cash for Tommy’s. Anybody who knows the compound knows that running one marathon distance around the inside of the perimeter wall is a major achievement but week after week is something else…
Then of course there is his singing prowess……but we don’t talk about that in polite company.
So Mr Tommo, you will be missed but you are only over the border in AD. I hope that AD know what is in store for them and of course you will be joined by the ever patient and long-suffering Mrs T.
Have the spare room ready, we will be over before you know it.
So, any news from the godfather and Mary Poppins?
Well, very little – apart from photos of mayhem and fun at EIOT Towers.
Yes, it would appear that the gruesome twosome are having a whole lot more fun with the godfather and Mary than they would with us and I fully anticipate the twosome submitting adoption request papers in the near future.
I hasten to add that we have not heard anything from the twosome directly, no that would be too much to ask. No, we have just had messages from Mary who seems remarkably chilled with the whole experience – as you would expect.
Apparently the strawberry blond hand grenade has put herself in charge of washing the school kit that came back with the twosome. I am slightly concerned about this, unless matron at school has conducted lessons in how to use a washing machine the whites may no longer be white and as the great song by Belle and Sebastian joyfully sings are ‘The Blues Still Blue’?
Now, last night I had to make a confession to himself.
You see in my planning for the visit from Mary and the godfather I had questioned where everybody was going to sleep as the gruesome twosome have their own rooms, there is our room and the spare bedroom is currently a store-room for all those things that appeared out of storage that we do not know what to do with.
And yes, there is no bed in there.
One option would be for the small testosterone filled one to be booted out of his room for the weekend and either Mary or the godfather could sleep in there, but that did not seem ideal.
I could of course have cleared out the spare room and furnished it with a bed, but to be honest the head scratching due to not knowing where to shift all the boxes to would have led to a bleeding scalp and was certainly not the easy option.
No, it had been apparent to me for sometime that a sofa bed in the sunroom was necessary, not only for this visit but also other pending visits which see to be filling the diary with glorious regularity at the moment.
Now, I knew that if I posed this as a possibility to himself then there would have been comments about the cost of new windows, doors, water tanks, water systems etc and after all these years I knew that it would have led to exasperation on my part and general grumpiness on his part.
As all ladies will know sometimes it is not what you tell your husband but what you don’t tell them that makes all the difference and then when you do tell them make it a fait accompli that actually there is diddly squat that they can do about it.
So, that was the plot.
Regular readers will know I do not like mass chain stores and much more appreciate small, family run businesses with a personal service rather than some spotty teenager who does not know what they are talking about even though the products are mass-produced in some distant land and are all pretty much identical – the stack them high sell them cheap culture.
A few years ago we were going to The States on an RV holiday and before going had spent a considerable amount of time researching new Sat Nav’s. We knew which one we wanted and just had to find it.
So in the UK just prior to heading over the pond I went to a branch of a large chain of stores that stocks car gadgets, some bits of cars, bikes etc.
The name of this store sounds vaguely like Horlicks.
Anyway, I went in and spent sometime looking at the Sat Nav cabinet before a young man fresh out of nappies came over and asked if I needed any help.
I asked if they had this certain Sat Nav in stock.
The answer was no, but they had a different one instead.
I asked if that one covered The States.
No, it covers Europe
I replied that I didn’t need one that covered Europe, I needed one that covered The States
But this was covers Europe came the reply
Somewhat taken aback I pointed out to the young chap in question that neither is Europe in The States or The States is in Europe.
So, back to the sofa bed.
So, I found a small, family run company not far from EIOT Towers who produce beautiful sofa beds at a reasonable price, a person answered the phone when you called and bonus – they had a sale on!
Sofa bed duly ordered but alas I was not going to be there to take delivery.
Step in the neighbours who took delivery and guided the purchase into the lounge – albeit in flat pack form.
Now, I did warn the godfather that there would be a certain amount of DIY involved in this project and was slightly concerned as by his own admission he is not really DIY orientated and struggles to work out what end of a screwdriver actually does the job.
Not to worry he assured me, Mary Poppins would be on hand and anything short of building a house was a walk in the park for her.
Don’t forget this was all still highly clandestine as himself was still unaware of the fact that we are now a sofa bed family.
Anyway, I enquired about progress on the sofa bed yesterday and was told that it was still under construction. What!! Apparently they had been too busy having fun with the gruesome twosome and so sofa bed construction had been a low priority.
What!!! But where was everybody sleeping?
Well, the godfather had been sleeping on the sofa bed mattress on the floor (!).
Now, while this may not be ideal, it does mean that the mattress has been used and cannot possibly be sent back to the small, family run company.
Time to tell himself that we are now the proud owners of a sofa bed……
Well, the news went down remarkably well. Only a tinge of grumpiness and moaning.
I haven’t told him yet that he may well be finishing its construction next week when he is back at EIOT Towers – that may be one step too far….
Anyway, Mary Poppins will be departing EIOT Towers today to head back to Bavaria. I assume that she will be using Lufthansa and not relying on her Mary Poppins type powers which maybe slightly depleted by now.
That will leave the godfather alone with the gruesome twosome for a period this afternoon, although I suspect that it will not be too long as he will be depositing them back at school at some point and doubtless retreating back to EIOT Towers to open a bottle of red and recover from the stress of it all.
Right, my fellow northern buddy will be here anytime for lunch, so best I sign off.