The previous entry was a circuitous way of reporting a little enforced downtime. One lives and learns, as last week’s painful, swollen ankle could attest. The lesson? That high-speed IKEA shopping and MBT footwear are not perfect partners.
A less specific refresher lesson in imperfect pairings was the one featuring increasing age and injuries. My period of pre-training training is an acknowledgment that I’d at least thought about this one, though I suppose I’ll now have to think about it some more. This time I was let off with a warning: the damage seems to have repaired itself. And I have the consolation of a length of MDF and some kitchen implements to admire briefly before their inevitable archiving.
In the intervening period I didn’t do much beyond a spot of light local walking, once the swelling had receded. Instead of athletic endeavour, I took the opportunity to grab a long weekend in Blighty, the highlight of which was a visit to Lewes, the celebrated manor of RC’s very own running messiah – the revered @sweder — to comfort myself with the knowledge that other people have far more impressive injuries than me.
The ostensible purpose of the trip was a Moyleman update, but this somehow dissolved into a sort of watermark in the distant background of the real-life menu. The afternoon’s preliminary bonne bouche was a graphic update on the knee injury, before moving onto the starter: a most enjoyable couple of hours in the Limetree, a restaurant whose beautifully executed dishes belie its modest appearance and ascetic furnishings. I mentioned to my wife that the rough-and-ready tables and chairs could do with a new lick of paint and was advised that the mottled effect I was complaining about is likely to have taken a team of designers and artisans several days to achieve.
The day’s main course was a visit to the legendary Dripping Pan, home of Lewes F.C., though on this occasion the stage was reserved for Lewes Ladies vs Plymouth. I’d tagged along with a certain reluctance as my only experience of women’s football, several years ago, had been akin to watching a pack of kids chasing the ball around the pitch and failing to connect foot with ball to any obvious effect.
Something has changed, though I’m not sure if it’s the quality of the play or my willingness to attack a cemented prejudice. Whatever it was, I came away with a greater appreciation for the skill, endeavour and passion I’d witnessed. We spent a while in the new beach-hut hospitality boxes before I took up a position behind the goal, marvelling at (and being slightly scared by) the stream-of-consciousness ‘advice’ being dispensed by the Lewes goalie to her team mates, whose efforts were evidently unable to quite match her high demands. I then made my way round to the grandstand to witness the versatile Sweder hard at work on Twitter commentary duty, gleefully reporting the local side’s 2-0 victory.
It took a while to get away, as local custom meant I had to be introduced to every member of the footballing congregation. Well, all bar the one I had most interest in. As he stood surveying the emptying pitch, like a triumphant William the Conqueror peering across the South Downs on that victorious afternoon, 948 years earlier, Sweder pointed to a man munching a sandwich on the far terrace. “And that chap over there… see ‘im? ….he’s the bloke who does the voiceovers on Come Dine With Me…”
Dessert was served back at chez Sweder, where a lesser footballing spectacle featuring Sunderland and Manchester United was playing out on Ash’s cinematic TV, to the evident fascination of the household’s new kitten — the name of which is still being intensively negotiated. Being a dead ringer for Batman, or Batgirl, I wasn’t sure why there should be any argument. Cassandra [Cain], surely?. (Pictures to follow, of course, as posting kitten snaps appears to be what the web was invented for.)
As with any weekend trip outside my usual environment, I returned reunited with the couple of pounds I thought I’d managed to discard over the preceding week or so. Now, a few days on, I’ve possibly re-dispensed with the guilty kilo, though this operation is never as easy or as pleasant as the one deployed to acquire it.
Next time, I will try to stray into running.