Too good, too bad

Too Good: Built up a bit more confidence with a 20 mile walk today that took in a number of steep climbs and descents. The route included the Itchen Bridge on a day when there was some football match on nearby. A few fans were milling about. All I can say is – striped shirts don’t make fat people look any thinner. That apart, it was an enjoyable and worthwhile afternoon, and I felt a lot fitter than I have done in the last few weeks. No issues with Achilles or knees and that can only be a good thing. I did feel the soles of my feet becoming sore and I will need a little cushioning to help me along. Another similar distance next Sunday, perhaps a shorter midweek evening walk too, and I will be ready.

It was breezy enough and cool enough in the shade for me to have a thin fleece, and warm enough in the sun to be, er, warm. The day was one where you didn’t want to spend too long either in the shade or the sun, but to alternate where you could. For the second time in two walks the coffee shop staff forgot my order and had to ask me again once they saw me waiting for longer than people behind me in the queue. What was the Alison Moyet song? “Invisible…… I feel like I’m invisible…..” But I can laugh at that. Gone, or hopefully gone, are the days when I worry about mistakes that others make, when there is no real harm done.

Too Bad: Come 3pm, and the start of the last day of the Premier League season and all I was interested in was Fantasy Football. My little blue radio, over 15 years old, called to me. Of course, on the big day when I really needed a big performance from my chosen ones, very little went right. I am now doomed to finish no higher than 2nd in the ONS league, out of 44 so it’s not a bad return. It is even quite possible that I could do a Spurs and be overtaken into 3rd. Frustrating that the Man Utd – Bournemouth game had to be postponed with some of my three players quite likely to be rested for the rearranged match, given the FA Cup Final, but it is hard to know what could have been done differently given other terrorist incidents. Fantasy Football should be the least of the worries, and thankfully the incident was not serious.

If you remember the BBC programme 999 from the 1990s, you might remember narrator Michael Buerk uttering the words “…and worse was to follow…”, normally after an unwitting member of the public had been trapped under a large number of bales of hay spilt by a large truck. The condition of the victim then worsened as either the paramedics had forgotten or broken a key piece of equipment, or a herd of wild and hungry horses gathered for a bonus meal, threatening to trample the poor person to an early grave. Anyway, worse was to follow, after I reached home. I don’t go to watch Portsmouth anywhere near as often as I did, since as you get older you sometimes find different priorities, but it still hurt like hell when they lost today in the last minute of their play-off match. There has been a big turnaround this season and the future is brighter if everyone can just keep calm and support the manager for next season. Still, it will take a bit of time to recover. People who don’t follow football, or sport at least, cannot understand how much some defeats can hurt.

Two Weeks: The only bright shard from that loss is that I won’t need to think about travelling back to London on the day after London2Brighton, in a fortnight’s time. But I would have much sooner had a very painful trip on the Monday if it meant seeing us (again) at Wembley. Sorry but I’m simply trying to find a positive. So let’s concentrate on this walk. Accommodation booked, waiting now for the final check-in information and attempting to get both my head and rest of my body right for this challenge.

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