Monday, 18 April 2011

..And then we awoke to another Monday Morning.

Except this Monday was quite unlike any other.
Rather unusually I was in a lot of pain. It was not in my head, and nor was it the result of an alcoholic binge or the side effects of going cold turkey from caffeine.
For a start I had muscles aching in my bottom that I never knew even existed. From a lengthy bike ride with Frank – a story we shall elaborate upon later, my friends.
 My ankles were a bit sore too. This ache was from a bloomin’ long run (with the pooch), that was unfortunately my idea (so I can’t even blame the pain on Frank) followed by a wonderful trek around a large shopping arena.

Thursday evening saw the arrival of a particular Mr Frank. And so, he was home with my charming and delightful family when I was able to deliver some excellent news relating to a specific job of mine... in essence it was so fantastic it felt rude not to open a bottle of bubbly. It was not of the champagne variety but was a superb bottle of Cava. This was followed by a compulsory visit to the local alcoholic house, where we were able to consume cool, refreshing and intoxicating beverages in the last of the Friday evening sun.
Miss Hendo and Miss USA joined us for a rowdy few hours, only to be accompanied by Papa Dodd himself, coupled with the Pooch. Half a traditional Irish beverage later, (consumed by PD and not myself) we made it home. I was already nursing the early stages of the post-drink sleeps. And so after eating my weight in a perfectly concocted lasagne ... I fell asleep.
Would someone please locate my other-self? I feel I am missing an essential part of my being... the part that lets me drink a lot and stay awake for hours. The student half. Perhaps you subconsciously hand this part over when you collect the expensive piece of paper that states we are wonderfully employable?

Keen to prove my newfound fitness to Frank, I forced him from the comfort of the pillow and made him run with me on Saturday morning. I’d already selected a route. A more picturesque place to run, and unfortunately about three miles longer.
Frank is fitter than me. He was fitter than me before I started my regime and because he continued to exercise at the same pace, he is still fitter than me. I stopped. Whined. Ran a bit. Then moaned some more. I wiped the sweat off that was pouring down my face (I am not a woman who merely glows when participating in cardiac activity, and I despise the women who do – darlin’ you aren’t working hard enough)
I announced on a number of occasions, when running up a slight incline, that I hated Frank.
I don’t really Frank, but exercise does funny things to me. I made it home, practically dead. With a dog who’s tongue could touch the floor. We’d been out for 40 minutes and I never thought I would walk again.
After refreshing hair wash and a covering of make-up I miraculously recovered as I happily declared that Frank and I were going shopping. Up until this point he had been blissfully unaware of this impending doom.
Doom for doom it was. The sun was shining. The afternoon was full of football, there was cold beer in the fridge but I forced him to escort me in spending lots of money I just don’t have.
I was searching for the perfect pair of chinos to wear elegantly with a pair of strapped tan high heeled sandals which would also accessorise a short floral print dress. None of which I own. And none of which I found. Emerging from yet another shop without a bag of goodies after 30 minutes of rummaging and 20 minutes of prancing around a fitting room, prompted Frank into a chorus of sighing and “What? We’re going into another one?”
In each shop we had to find a man seat, perch or corner in which to leave Frank with other unhappy males while I perused. It was in one of these corners that his interactive smart phone and only tool to combat utter boredom, died. He was not a happy Frank. He joined the hoardes of similarly bored looking men. I believe there may have been enough for a football team.
Ironic really, since that’s where they would rather have been.
Now a note to the architects of these fashion mecca’s. I feel you should spare a thought for the long-suffering men. Please build them a sports bar, in the centre of each fashion bubble, where they may relax in a testosterone fuelled environment. Or build them a five-a-side pitch so they may compete against other fashion widower’s and pass 6 hours without even realising.
I feel Frank would appreciate this more than watching me hand over my battered card to pay for yet another pair of shoes. However, he did not complain. And so he was, like a young child, rewarded with an ice-cream for behaving so well... and he even got to choose it himself.
To compensate for spending most of Saturday inside, I suggested (here was the mistake which ruined the muscles in my bottom)that we venture into the great outdoors and go on a bike ride. I had chosen somewhere I knew to be flat – I enjoy calming cycle routes, where one may collate ones thoughts without having to get off and push the bike up a hill. We put the bikes in the van, lathered on the sun cream (no tan marks for me thank you very much... or as it turned out – no tan at all) and drove off.
We had packed sandwiches. I had made both sets, one for Frank and some for me and naturally Frank’s tasted better. So I ate his instead. Much to his disgust. I don’t know how far we cycled. But it was long. The problem with cycling  a straight line is that you have to come back that way. Luckily we were on a pub route, so liquid refreshment was always a target. We were doing exceptionally well, if you discredit my attempt to break both wrists by cycling over a huge pothole without suspension, the pedal grazes that I gauged in each shin, and the large number of flying insects I swallowed. But then Frank broke his bike. We won’t go into details as it is rather distressing and involved him hollering expletives across sedate English countryside.
He broke the derailer. A bit that guides the chains over the gear wheels. Basically the bit that makes you move forward when you pedal. Cycling back was not an option. We’d bypassed the first pub because I knew the second one was nicer but had conveniently forgotten how much further it was. So we turned around. I sat aboard/mounted the broken bike and was pushed along by Frank , who was riding my bike and pushing my saddle.  My instructions were clear “keep going straight and do not peddle”. Why is it, when you’re told not to do something it makes it so much harder to resist?

Anyway, resist I did. We arrived at the pub. Frank was exhausted and I was well rested from my leisurely trip. He left me with his wallet (bad move), no phone ( he took his and I hadn’t brought mine in order to feel completely at peace with the great outdoors) and a broken bike. He abandoned me outside a pub so he could continue back, fetch the van and gallantly return to pick me up.
I counted the paving slabs. Bought two drinks. Watched people come and go. And decided that I relied on my blackberry a little too much – surely I would be able to entertain myself for a short period of time without it?
What an easy way get rid of a girlfriend with a terrible shopping habit. Leave her in a pub with a limited amount of cash, no PIN number for your cards and no way to get home.
But he did come back for me. About 40 minutes later.

So my weekend has provided me with an insane amount of exercise, though I still deem shopping to be the most beneficial – after all, you are multi-tasking. I have grazes and gashes on my shins, intestines full of minute flying creatures dissolved by stomach acid, and a greater love for my blackberry than I ever deemed possible. And because of my aches and pains I even forgot it was Monday. And I forgot I wasn't meant to drink coffee. Caffeine has amazing pain relief capabilities.