The lunatics have taken over the asylum

Erik's axe 1 July 2020

Crazy axe woman

Shall we call this Week 14 of Lockdown, or Week 1 of New Normal? Perhaps it’s safest for me to label it Week 1 of marathon training. Rather deluded, surely, given the circs, but the organisers of the Richmond Marathon, which I signed up for back in January are still game: hoping to get the go ahead to host a mass gathering of runners (and their attendant hawking, coughing and sweating) on quite narrow riverside paths. The website assures us that:

‘…we will continue to work closely with our stakeholders and monitor the advice given. Let’s keep all fingers crossed for 12 and 13 September and please do everything you can to stay safe and healthy.’

It would probably be quite foolhardy to go ahead with the race weekend, but it’s good for a runner to have something in her diary, and this Good For Age marathon isn’t going to run itself. I suppose I’ll have to do a physically distanced one if push comes to shove, but I am not sure how much clout my uploaded Garmin result will have with the London Marathon authorities when it comes to claiming my old lady pass to the 2022 race.

Foolhardiness seems to be the name of the game as the population sits with its ear to the wireless and meekly accepts everything Mr Boris Johnson instructs us. So last weekend we were all encouraged to go out on the piss. No, sorry, that message was seasonally adjusted on the day of the proposed piss up, when Mr Boris Johnson corrected his instructions and advised us to have a meek sherry in a responsible fashion and use our great British Common Sense to avoid ending up face down in a gutter and requiring the stomach-pumping services of a Covid-fatigued paramedic.

My husband, a Boris admirer, was very keen to go to the pub. I am not, and was not, being knackered after a busy day and slightly off the beer at the moment, stung by my slow 5k times. We ended up compromising, and selecting a usually neglected Irish pub of such extreme, slightly squalid Father Tedness that we adore it. Sure enough, it was pretty quiet and we were able to have a drink at a physical distance from the chatty bar staff and talk about all the parts of Ireland we would like to go to and where my grandmother may have come from. They were delighted by my ancestry  but disappointed that my only Irish credentials were red hair and copious freckles.

So much for the glorious 4 July, then. I hope the pubs made some money. Pubs are good places and they’re paying my wages at the moment, as I’m doing some editing work on the excellent Good Pub Guide and reading about country hostelries whose winsome charms are making me almost cry with longing. One, I have noted, has a fabulous menu (with more than a nod to veganism), rescued donkeys in the grounds, a herb and veg garden, and beer straight from the cellar cask. I will visit this place if we’re allowed summer hiking and pubbing.

On the inglorious 6th, Mr Boris Johnson rammed his foot firmly in his mouth once more by implying that care homes had invoked catastrophe on themselves by not following shielding guidelines when accepting elderly residents from hospital, which is why about 20,000 of these residents and their carers died. This implied criticism was again swiftly retracted and carefully reworded, but hopefully, some more damage was done to this inept PM’s reputation.

The lunacy referred to in the title, is acceptable, I hope, given that it is a reference to Fun Boy 3’s 1980s hit of the same name, which I don’t think has been banned yet. I may be wrong, given the massive furore that landed on the head of Portuguese Vogue for its insensitive cover portraying some One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest style of mental health professionals and headlines referring to madness.

If Mr Boris Johnson displayed some quite lunatic behaviour by exposing his rather dodgy style of push-up to the world’s media to prove he’s fit as a flea, the illustration at the top of this blog shows that I am no better than the object of my disdain. In this one respect. Yup, it’s another loony-tune method of fitness invested in by Erik of Team 6 training. That axe is a heavy thing to swing around, and apparently does wonders for your obliques.

You read it here first.



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