I need to start by saying I didn't run the London Marathon.
In fact I very much doubt that I will ever run a marathon.
I've never been much of a runner. When I was in school, running the London Marathon was something that I really wanted to do. And when I was about 20 I ran around the woods near my house every day for 6 weeks but that's about as far as my "running career" goes. So maybe I could rekindle that dream of running a marathon at some point? Although with my left knee - that doesn't like walking long distances much let alone running for 26 miles - it might be a bit difficult... if not impossible.
But not only have I never run in a marathon - or any type of long distance race - I have never even been to the London Marathon as a spectator. I've lived in London for coming up to 5 years but there are a number of things - like the London Marathon - that I have never been too. For example the Chinese New Year Celebrations, Trooping the Colour or the Notting Hill Carnival.
I've always wanted to go to these things - hopefully I will go to some this year - but I have always been out of London, just had a nice lie in instead or if the weather has been nice, I've decided to go on a little picnic or walk or something instead.
And on more than one occasion it's just so happened that I've gone to Brighton on a day trip on the day of the marathon. It's been a nice day so we've jumped the train from London Bridge and witnessed the throngs of people streaming into London, while we were heading out thinking what on earth is going on today? It normally seeing people with their medals hanging around their necks on our return when it's finally clicked.
So this year I thought I'd go down and lend my support to the wonderful people running in aid of C.A.L.M - the Campaign Against Living Miserably. Only unfortunately for me that didn't quite happen (by which I mean it didn't happen at all). Let me share with you why it didn't happen. This project seems to be quickly turning into 'the things I wanted to do for the first time but failed miserably to do so'. I NEED to change that!
So here it is. This is what happened:
My alarm was set for 9am. But some reason I woke at 8.59am and looked at my phone - which had been on silent - to see that I had five missed calls and an answer machine message. All from work!
Someone mustn't have turned up for their shift, I think. They need someone to cover. Well I'm sorry but there's no way I'm going in today. Not only is it a Sunday morning but I've got plans. I'm going to check out the marathon for the first time. Cheer the people on.
But then it hits me. What if I'm supposed to be in work? No, no I don't do Sunday mornings. Sunday afternoons sometimes but never Sunday mornings. I check my diary to be sure. No, nothing in there. I'm not supposed to be in and I don't want to cover but seeing as I'm getting up anyway, I should probably at least listen to the message. If only to get rid of the annoying little tape symbol at the top of my phone's screen. I should also probably ring back and tell them that unfortunately I can't help them out this time.
I play the message: "Hi Anthony this is *** from Virgin Active. I've got you down on the rota for today..." SHIT! It was me! I'm supposed to be in? What? That can't be right, he must be mistaken? I go into my emails and check the rota. There it is in black and white - actually in truth there's red and yellow and all sorts of colours involved - I'm supposed to be in work. I should have been there over an hour ago!
I don't get it. I never do Sunday mornings! And it's not in the diary. Why isn't it in my diary? If it's not in the diary there's absolutely no chance of it getting done. But I have to go in. So I jump up out of bed, throw on some clothes, run out the door and all the way to the station, ringing to apologise and say I will be there at around 10am as I go.
So I head into work instead and tell people off for diving, running, taking pictures and taking babies into the spa. All the time thinking I should be down at the marathon helping to spur on the brilliant and slightly crazy runners. What a failure! And by the time I've finished my shift - their might still be a few strugglers struggling towards the finish line - the race is over and so I head home.
But I did actually complete a first this weekend. Not a particularly impressive one but they all count. This weekend my parents came down to visit me and after a nice bit of lunch at Bills - if you haven't been you should try it out they're really nice. Especially the one in Brighton. - we headed to Harrods.
Ok so Harrods is not as impressive as it might once have been. At least not on the inside. The actual building is still pretty impressive!
Today they let anyone in. Most people - me included - were dressed in trainers and a hoodie. Long gone are the days when you had to wear collar and cuffs and have more money in the bank than a small country. These days it's still very much a tourist attraction but it's just a big department store (with a famous history). A big one but not a particularly special one unfortunately (at least I didn't think so).
But it was still the first time I had been. So no I didn't see the marathon... again! But I did see Harrods. Although I didn't get a photograph. I thought about it. Me and me mum stood in front of a Harrods sign - all exaggerated smiles and at least one of us with our eyes closed - but I thought it was way too touristy and so I didn't suggest it. I also didn't think I would be blogging about it. So I'm slightly regretting it now.