We sat in the pub, and played Crib. Shaun was winning. Shaun often wins. I bought another round and he dealt again. For reasons unremembered, Shaun felt he should make an effort to get a little fitter, and lose a little weight.
A little background. Shaun had been a rugby player. You’re unlikely to have heard of him, but he played regularly, trained regularly and drank regularly. He has a ponderous physique. Sadly he was unable to continue the playing and training due to commitments at work, but believing that 1 out of 3 is eminently preferable to 0 out of 3, he maintained the drinking. In contrast, I was never what you would describe as ‘fit’. After giving up smoking I took up eating and drinking. I had a brief moment of lucidity when I decided I would cycle alone from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. Once implanted, the idea would not be shifted and after an amount of training on my bike, off I went. That story remains mainly untold, but several years had now passed since that day and this Crib game, and certainly many pints of Cider.
Shaun was foolish enough to voice his thought, and I heard the Thatchers I had been drinking saying ‘We should cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats – that would be a good reason to get fit, and would be a laugh’. Shaun (who had also been drinking Thatchers) replied that it would be a ‘Great Idea’ and that we should go next year. We then went back to the bar and sealed the covenant with a further pint of Cider.
That had been 2008.