Greetings good citizens. The prologue…

Ok, perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not Frankie Howerd though I do enjoy watching Up Pompeii on YouTube. Why am I glad? The rug.

So anyway, as you have ascertained from the title of this blog post, I’m 34 years old today. It’s finally here and as several people have pointed out, I’ve officially outlived Jesus. I’m currently in the First Class Lounge at St Pancras station waiting for a train to go to Nottingham. Whilst I let that point sink in, lets rewind a little.

Another busy week this week though not with the manic intensity that has become de rigeur lately. It’s the sort of week that has been a preparatory period of time, getting us all in readiness for the ordeals ahead. February is over and March is here; beginning the final sprint ahead of Easter, the end of the Financial Year and everything in between.

Griffin Quiz: no Joey or Ceajay and Robyn decided to absorb Jad’s germs so we were only seven much to my consternation. Our A and B teams tied for second place overall though with David the second trying to crack jokes about my advancing years, every point we scored off of the B team became a juvenile game of one-upmanship. We were the only team to have gotten Alex’s common links round (5 years of compulsory religious education, baby) so the was a great deal of smug gloating to be enjoyed.

Have been worried about weight management this week, not least as my newest pair of jeans have been feeling excessively tight. This could be down to the cut rather than my waistline as I can still do up the tightest notch on my belt with no problem but its still enough to put me in panic mode. So I forewent the chips at the quiz (it’s the one time in a week I typically allow myself those high-calorie treats) and stuck to the Aubergine and Goat Cheese gratin.

Probably a futile gesture, there’s been a high intake of cake and biscuits this week what with one thing and another. Going back even further to Monday – went to a meeting in the City in the afternoon. There’s something about the City whip inch I just don’t like. It’s too labyrinthine. The streets are like canyon walking and the people…earn far more than I. Anyway, after the meeting, I availed myself of all the leftover biscuits. About a dozen packs worth, I was very proud and my colleagues at work were rather grateful.

That evening was a Risk Legacy event, I was the last to arrive as my driver (the good Doctor) had a car battery issue. I didn’t press the point as he gave me £10 for the taxi ride. Anyway, we managed to get in two games and I have to report that it was an utter sulk fest. First Jad got into a mood because Rob derailed his plans immediately. Then Joey managed to manoeuvre his people into a dominant position getting rather smug about it all. I made my comment about hubris leading to nemesis (thank you Star Trek). So we all naturally ganged up on the boy and took him to pieces.
In the second game, Rob shafted himself with a lousy starting position and Joey took him apart. Jad meanwhile was card-raped twice but the fallout zone spread quashing his chances a victory. This is when the dice totally turned against Joey and he went into hyper sulk mode. The rest of us could barely contain our laughter as he had a strop worthy of any five year old. I couldn’t resist pointing out my warning earlier, just to twist the knife. By the end of the evening there was a lot of ill feeling but no lasting damage. Just one of those evenings where stress isn’t necessarily expended, more added to.

Jumping to Wednesday, yeah, the spa trip. Now I may or may not have mentioned that I wanted to use my spa voucher on my birthday as a treat on my day off. Of course, the last of the great procrastinators here really should have booked this much further in advance as the only time I could find a slot was Wednesday evening so I had to wriggle out of work (thank you Stella for that). There’s always something lurid about leaving early, a deep, perverse pleasure as I watched my colleagues chewing down the last of their Pret sammiches.

The Wellbeing Spa at he Hotel Rafayel in Battersea was me destination. Not the easiest place to find it has to be said. Oh it’s clearly marked on the map but the entrance to the spa was all but invisible. Finally I cast aside my male pride and asked reception for directions; bloody spa was on the third floor. Anyway, once I got there, I was shown around and told to indulge myself before my treatment. Stupidly, I forgot I was in a mixed gender spa rather than an all male one and I hadn’t brout anything with which to cover little Joe with. Thus I had to forego the jacuzzi and whirlpool (bloody yummy mummies and their nudity taboos) and loitered.

Eventually I forewent the facial in favour of the back and shoulders massage – first time I’ve had one from a woman before mainly as I prefer some firm pressure and my latent sexism makes me doubt I can be squeezed and pulped as hard as a male masseur. What can I say; I’m a sucker for a pummelling. But the masseuse was quite good nonetheless. Not very chatty but she knew her craft and she did ease the knots in the blades. I wish the appointment was for a little longer but hey ho. There’s always next time and all that.

After the spa, I had my tea and cake in the lounge whilst watching the helicopters take off and land at Battersea heliport. They almost didn’t make a sound in doing so until I realised the thickness of the glass of the window overlooking the river. I think c4 explosives would have a hard time penetrating the thickness of it. Couldn’t hang around too much longer, there were errands to run. First stop was John’s new venture, the Roebuck pub in Oval. Main reason was to check it out for my next board games afternoon and I’m happy to report that it passed with flying colours.
Menu looked awesome and I was very strongly tempted to stick around for dinner as the artichoke platter sounded exquisite but duty called and I had to go and get a hold of Andy D at the Griffin to double check menu choices for Saturday. That was all sorted out together with a quick mental planning session vis á vis decorations.

Donnerstag wasn’t anything special other than a quick catch up on Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications (don’t ask) and the usual million requests for briefing and questions. Went to have my pre-birthday coffee with LJ at Pat Vals where somebody else was marking a birthday. We Pisceans are everywhere you know. To my shame, I had really had the time to go out and get him anything but he indicated a preference for an Amazon voucher so next time I swing by Sainsbury’s, I’ll pick one up. Oh, that’s right, I wanted to bitch and whine about the complete lack of public recognition over my contribution about a Consultation I helped put together at the last minute. I was warned over Gardulla by her former hirelings.

So why was I at St Pancras? Why am I spending my birthday heading towards the midlands? After my spa day was moved (and that was going to be today’s centrepiece), I was at a loss for things to do. On a whim whilst in the spa lounge, I looked up train ticket prices and saw a day return on EMT in first class was £45. So I thought ‘why not’ – actually, I thought ‘ferque it’, forgot my little euphemism there. Standard class was only £5 cheaper and I can abuse the privileges of the train, the lounge and all that. So here I am, somewhere currenty between East Midlands Parkway and Leicester sat in my hefty seat, digesting my vegetarian grill breakfast tapping this blog entry out.
Between you, me and the security forces monitoring my blog (I _did_ mention C4 explosives earlier), there’s only one reason to go to Nottingham. I’m going incognito therefore it’s going to be one HELL of a surprise when I show up unannounced on my birthday. Sufficed to say, I’m prepping my camera to take pictures of stupefied facial expressions for my general amusement.

Anyway, not that far to go, another ten minutes left of travel and then…well, we’ll see. I’ll keep y’all apprised.

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Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus

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