“You couldn’t make it up …” is the traditional time-honoured opening from the tabloid newspapers when launching into a “Woe is me” report or story about the latest example of a government, or those in some measure of authority or another somewhere, introducing some new daft new policy or initiative.
It’s also the fall-back position for those of us ordinary folk who go about our everyday lives with the simple (and one would have thought not unreasonable) intention of not complicating the lives of other people in return for a general commitment from everybody else that in return they’ll leave us alone and not complicate ours … only to discover that life never quite unfolds like that.
Today I could cite the example of my car, a second hand convertible that I bought fifteen months ago as a run-around and which I have enjoyed greatly, dying on me some two months ago.
Out of the blue it suddenly announced on its dashboard screen that it had acquired a major oil pressure problem. Subsequent events – including three tows, a diagnosis by a local garage and finally a visit to a metropolis main dealer – confirmed that it wasn’t joking.
After contacting various garages and mechanics of renowned expertise I received the consensus advice that my only way forward was (sadly) to place it on a well-known ‘buying and selling’ website, advertised as “for sale or parts” and accept whatever pittance is offered me for it, which shortly is what I am going to do.
Which explains, dear Rusters, why I am currently devoid of wheels and travelling everywhere – on the rare occasions I do – by train.
But that is not the subject of my post today.
Instead I am going to provide a new bulletin upon the progress (or lack thereof) that has taken place regarding my latest fitness campaign, heralded with a great fanfare on this organ about ten days ago.
Regular readers – or those with long memories – may just remember the sad tale of the opening of my campaign. This began with me donning my sports kit, walking to a local park and – in a brave but foolhardy attempted defiance of both advancing age and all reason given my artificial hip and the long list of historical injuries – on the spur of the moment deciding to try and do some jogging:
See here – A REPORT FROM THE OUTER EDGE OF FITNESS
Then, on Friday last week – after several days of taking things easy, nursing my injury – I went out on a shopping expedition to a local village, still restricted slightly by the pulled calf muscle (or possibly the twinge to the Achilles tendon) in my right leg that was forcing me to move rather in the style of Long John Silver – that is, if Long John Silver had both legs (rather than missing one and a peg-leg replacement) and didn’t need a crutch.
After emerging from the Tesco Metro store carrying some food etc. in a now heavy bag, I began crossing the road close to a junction in the high street, only to notice that a car was approaching the junction indicating that it was about to turn left … with the racing certainty that, if it proceeded as described, it would intercept your author just as he was way mid-way to safety on the other side of the road, whilst travelling about about 10mph and accelerating.
I had two choices – the sensible one of stopping and waiting for the car (a sizeable 4 x 4) to go on its way and then continue my walk to where my car was parked on the other side of the road; or, alternatively, the more adventurous one of simply breaking into a jog for five to ten metres and making it to the other side of the road before said vehicle “took me out”.
At my age (67) it would, of course, have been best to take into account my advancing years, the decrepit state of my body and my slowing reflexes and simply “take my time”.
And yet Rusters may not be surprised to learn that – faced with two objects moving on a prospective collision path – my sporting instincts kicked in (I instantly felt about 25 years of age again) and, faced with the challenge, I instantly decided to accelerate to sprinting speed for about half a second, cover the aforementioned ground … and thereby leave my prospective assailant to continue his route towards the end of the street behind me.
As I pressed the metaphorical supersonic accelerator button the inevitable happened.
I instantly felt a sharp stabbing pain at the back of my lower right leg, right where my existing injury was living … but also incidentally (happily for all concerned) made it to the other side of the road.
Ever since then I’ve been reduced to hobbling everywhere in a ridiculous manner, i.e. one in which it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if approaching couples on the pavement were to stop me and ask:
“Pardon me, sir, but could you possibly settle a wager for us? My wife says you’re badly disabled … and I say you’re walking that way for some sort of weird bet. Which of us is correct?”