(Sittin’ on) the dock of a bay, or running the London Marathon

I mentioned in my post last week that my nephew Otis would be running the London Marathon that Sunday for Charity.  Hence the title of this blog as his father named him after the singer Otis Redding – a singer who, sadly, passed away in his twenties.

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The London Marathon progress tracking map during the event

On Friday evening, Otis set off from my Mum’s bungalow to London as he has a friend who lives in London.

Saturday was St George’s Day which means a number of fish and chips themed promotions in England.  On Saturday evening, Gloria and I joined my Mum at a Fish and Chips supper with accompanying quiz night at Mum’s local Church.

We were on team nine which included a seventeen year old boy coincidentally named George along his mother.  Being a typical teenager, he was a little short with his mother.  Those two took over round one which was deciphering the names of phobias.  George mentioned a few times that he was sure of the definition of this phobia and of that phobia although he had failed Latin.  That highlighted the difference in the education that he and I had both received.  It was good to have him on the team or round one would have been very embarrassing for team nine.  He was useless with the songs lyrics round, however, and embarrassedly watched his older team mates right down answers even to songs that were released within the last two years.  I say songs in the last two years but I really mean ‘song’ as I recognised the lyric from “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

George was good company, as were the whole team.  I’d happily go for a drink with any of my team members from that evening.  But we finished fourth – we were cheated! (Joking)

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Otis’s progress page on the London Marathon website

Anyway, Sunday was the London Marathon.  I didn’t see Otis on television as the BBC seemed interested in following the professional athletes.  I was able to follow his progress online so my excitement remained high.  Otis slowed down dramatically after the first fifteen kilometres which is not too surprising.  From the photos on the London Marathon website, I can see that the pain started to hit him half-way through the course.

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Otis after successfully raising over £500!

He completed the London Marathon at 3:30pm having set off at 10:09am.  I had been texting updates to his mother all through the afternoon and then I telephoned my Mum at 3:45pm with the news that he had completed the course.

He stayed dans chez friend in London with his friend after the race and is due back at my Mum’s bungalow tomorrow.

You’ll notice that I wrote ‘dans chez friend’ – mixing French and English.  ‘Franglais’ is the nearest most British people come to speaking a foreign language!  As last weekend was St George’s Day I’m showing off my national heritage. (lol!)

Otis inspired me with his efforts on Sunday.  He raised more money offline than he did on his page on the London Marathon website.  Several hundred pounds for charity for five and a half hours of pushing his body through a big pain barrier.  Wow!

Otis, you’re “the man” this week.  For now, I’m relegated to “Harry…a man”!

And so, to the weekend…

The next few days will prove eventful, although I cannot thank myself for any of this action.

Tomorrow afternoon is the funeral of my half-sister’s mother.  She was a Polish lady who married my late father soon after the Second World War.

I don’t know the story, so I cannot share it with you.  I’ll tell you what I know.

After War was declared, Britain internally evacuated school children away from city centres as there was uncertainty how soon Germans would start bombing British towns.

My father was at school when the Second World War broke out and was evacuated to a place called Liss.  He loved to preach at the United Reformed Church in Liss as he had fond childhood memories of the village.  I remember driving him there on several Sunday mornings.  At that time I drove a white Proton Persona.

On D-Day plus three, my father’s best friend was killed in action.  My father ended up in Germany at the end of the War and, so I was told, spoke German in the accent of one of the nearby villages so well that some German residents thought that he was a native of this nearby village.  He also remained a pen friend of one of the German POWs for life.

Soon after returning to England, he married a Polish woman that he had met.  Tomorrow, this lady will be laid to rest.  She was a pleasant woman with whom to speak, which Gloria will testify to.

On Friday night I am on driving-Yasmin-and-her-friends-to-town-on-their-night-out duty.  I haven’t done that for a few months.

And on Sunday, my nephew Otis is running in the London Marathon for charity.

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A screen grab of my nephew’s fundraising page

He hasn’t yet hit his fundraising target, unfortunately, but he is still raring to run and raise what money he can for a charity that has grabbed a place in his heart.

He has run a marathon before so knows what to expect.

At the moment, Otis is sleeping on a camp bed in my mother’s bungalow.  It wasn’t the best idea for him to stay on where he had been lodging.  My Mum wanted to put him up to help him save for a deposit on a better place hence his address for a couple of weeks has been the same as his grandmother’s.

She worries about him a lot although I am certain that he’s more capable than she thinks.  She probably worries about him because he never raises his voice or show any upset or anger with anyone, no matter what happens.  I think that she in concerned that he’s too easily bullied.

He will be moving to his new place in the next few days.

So, an active weekend without me doing too much effort myself.