It's not often that you think of Rolf Harris twice in one week. It happened in December. I'd signed up for a fifty-mile race next weekend (7 Feb). And my friend Sean told me that, as an act of self-sacrificial companionship, he was going to join me. The email quoted the song ...
do you think I would leave you dying,
when there's room on my horse for two ...
And so on. You can probably hum it, though I would advise against it, in case you can't stop. Then I heard on the Today programme on Radio 4 (the only constant in my life, apart from managing the kids and clearing up dog turds) that Rolf was re-recording the song, in hope of a christmas hit. I wondered how he thought he could improve on the original. But that probably wasn't the point: in our celebrity-obsessed, consumerist world, even Rolf singing sentimental tripe off-key might be marketable under favourable conditions. I'm not sure what happened to Rolf, but I understand the Christmas hit was someone murdering Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' (a song I can murder as good as the next man or woman, but I prefer to do it away from the microphone).
So there I was, thinking of Rolf Harris in December. And, of course, not training. Instead I was hoping to finish the damned book. And I had a recurrence of the diarrhea. And a bad cold. And I put my shoulder out. So of all of the many things I was doing, murdering Leonard Cohen songs among them, running figured less than it should have.
And here I am now. I'm running well (when there's no snow), but without sufficient miles under my belt to justify attempting a fifty miler. And there's Sean, looking at the weather forecast. He's made himself righteous again, with some eighty-mile weeks, and I'm guessing, though I haven't seen him in far too long, that he's shed some of those tyres. Sean has found another sacrifial lamb, Glen, who has agreed to run with him. And the Thames Towpath, where the race is due to be run on Saturday morning, is deep in snow. The roads to the start (near Reading) are likely to be unpassable. If he makes it to the start, he will through run fifty miles of snow at near-freezing point (on the positive side, there's unlikely to be any wind).
I want everyone to say a prayer for him on Saturday morning, and pray that, if he makes it to the start, he will make it to the end. Failing that I will be starting a collection for his widow and daughter next week.
happier days ... Sean and I do the gay couple routine in Milan in 04 and 07.