It was Peter's birthday yesterday and we were both tired. Tired from the week. There's a lot of pressure at my work at the moment. Waiting lists and that kind of thing. And I had a change of venue for my counselling practice. And I've started running a group for the PG diploma Counselling course which I did a couple of years ago. Which is kind of, well, "eek!". And I've still got a cough after 5 weeks. I know, I know, I should go to the doctor. I don't know any nurses that go to the doctor if they can help it though. It's not that bad, it's just still here. I keep taking it out for a run and in for a swim but it won't seem to go away.
I wouldn't say I was grumpy though. I wouldn't, but Peter would.
Anyway, the all important weather forecast said "grey" but the sky said sunny and blue. It was a beautiful day. There was almost no wind which makes the sea nearly perfect for a sea swim. The plan was to go down the coast and go for a run and then in for a swim, after a bun and a coffee at Falkos.
Peter was waiting on a parcel of shoes coming through the post and I had a delivery of cardigans I was waiting for. (You can't get too many cardigans.) I had a red card from the postie which had been put through the door saying that there were two items in my name at the sorting office, but I kind of thought one of the parcels might be Peter's parcel.
There is a man at our sorting office who is one of these people who sets out to make every transaction as difficult as possible, and he makes my blood boil. I have watched him in action whilst waiting in manys a long queue and seen it time and time again. I actually hate him. He has a sly way of trying to make other people wrong, while covering up his own mistakes. He flashed into my mind, and I told Peter he should take ID even though the card said the parcels were for me.
When we got to the sorting office I walked in and there was my man in all his glory. I handed him my card and he said "What is your address?" even though it was written on the card. After I told him he said rudely "It's better if you tell me your post-code!" "Snap" went one of my ties of self-restraint.
"If you want to know my post-code it's better if you ask for my post-code!" I told him in a slightly louder voice. That shut him up for a moment. He looked at the computer.
In an accusing voice he piped up "It says there are two items!"
I was holding on. "Yes it does say that."
"One of them is not in your name!"
"It probably says Buchanan" I said.
I could see he was now delighted with himself.
"HAVE YOU GOT ID?" Ha ha. He thought he had me. He thought he was going to get to ruin my day by not giving me the parcel.
I was so pleased I had Peter's passport with me.
But I was deeply irritated by the whole interaction. I'd predicted much of it so Peter wasn't that surprised when I piled back in the van swearing a lot. He was delighted to get his new shoes, which was some compensation, and I tried to let the blue sky and the sunshine and the prospect of coffee and buns soothe my sense of irritation
Things did look up from there. And though tired, we were in high spirits as we came down to the beach at Aberlady bay. We had decided to do another high intensity interval session and so we headed straight for the subs, which was our starting point last time and so guaranteed we wouldn't run out of beach.
Behind the the sub there was a man with a big camera taking pictures. We didn't pay much attention and we weren't there for long. We were just going over the rules. 5 minutes of 30 seconds moderate, 20 seconds fairly hard and then 10 seconds all out. Best to set 'chrono' times on our watches as it gives you a visual check of how many you've done. This information can get lost surprisingly quickly as the oxygen debt sets in. Before we were ready to go, however, the man with the camera started shouting. He must have been about 30 yards away, and was really just a rotund silhouette against the backdrop of the smooth shiny sea.
"Come on you two! I know what you're doing! Can you get out my shot! You can SEE I'm trying to take a picture here and you're standing in the way on purpose. There's plenty of space for you! Come on, get moving!"
Jesus H Christ. Another one of my restraints broke.
"We're going in just a minute" I shouted back at him.
He persisted. God knows what he had to say. Before I knew it I was strolling up towards him. I told him that we were going in just a minute, and also that we would be BACK. I say I told him, but I think it's likely that I was shouting. It was hurting my lungs anyway. And my poor brain, already prickly from my encounter with Mr "I hope there are difficulties" at the sorting office, was in pain really. Fairly soon Peter and I set off. I thought the man might move off, he was bound to be embarrassed when he thought about himself. We ran a 5 minutes session, rested for 2 and then set off back up the beach. This stuff holds your attention fairly tight and I wasn't really thinking about the man anymore. I could hear Peter approaching in the last 10 seconds so I did everything I could to keep him behind me. He was just behind me. We were back at the sub.
Your man was still there and he started right away. "Are you two STILL IN MY SHOT" Holy shit. We had just been gone for 12 minutes. "I'VE DRIVEN 150 MILES TO GET THIS SHOT!" He was shouting.As Peter says it wasn't my finest moment. I could feel the futility of it all, even the humour, as I was telling him that he was one of the most ridiculous people I'd seen in my whole life. Did he really own the beach. That he was right. That it was his beach and his sky and his sea too, and why didn't he tell the sea to go out because it was SPOILING HIS SHOT, and that there was probably a reason why he was so lonely he had to drive 150 miles to get one camera shot on a Saturday and I hoped he had a nice day and everyone stayed off HIS ROAD on his drive home.
He was shouting back. "I'M RIDICULOUS! YOU'RE RIDICULOUS! YOU AND YOUR PAL!"
Oh my. We still had a final 5 minute interval session to do and we were well over the 2 minute 'rest' period, so we just took off. Looking at my heart rate on Strava later I see that it came down to a restful 160bpm druing this interaction.
The sea was superbly smooth and we had a lovely swim in the clear waters. The rest of the day went without incident. We got home, had our tea and watched a documentary about Honey Badgers.