Trouble’s brewing…

I have a terrible confession to make. One that jeopardises the very essence of my being. In fact I’m not one hundred percent sure that I’m willing to share this shocking revelation with you, my blog loving readership, although I have in fact alluded to it in an earlier blog – I was just hoping that the situation might resolve itself.
So perhaps I won’t tell you after all.
I do find it quite embarrassing.
Pardon?
Oh, you want to hear it.
Are you sure?
Well I agree I have ‘dangled the carrot’ as you so eloquently put it.                                       Do stop giggling at the back, madam.
I suppose you’re right and after all I can’t unsay it now, can I?
I’ve gone a bit too far.
Okay, here goes.
Perhaps you should sit down.
Ready?
No no, I’m not prevaricating – again.
Here goes.
Ahem.
Sorry, just clearing my throat.
I don’t like tea.

There you have it.
What?
You were expecting something a bit more risqué?
Well I apologise, but it concerns me.
Greatly.
After all it goes to the very root of my ‘Englishness.
As a native of Shakespeare’s sceptred isle I should probably be swimming in the stuff every day before breakfast. As a Brit I’m supposed to like it.
And I used to.
Until they ripped out my still beating heart and replumbed it before thrusting it back and stapling up my chest cavity.
Sorry madam? Yes, you go and have a lie down. I’ll try not to be so graphic in future.
Anyway – perhaps it was something to do with the anaesthetic.
Put me right off. I can’t even bear the thought of drinking a brew now.
Proper tea of course.
By ‘proper‘ I mean the stuff that you might call breakfast tea, builders tea or something like that. Tea to put hair on your chest madam.
Tea to stand your spoon up in.
Tea as thick as custard.
Not that wishy washy tea that the Queen no doubt gets served on a daily basis. I’ll bet a pound to a penny that Madge would like nothing better than to wrap her regal mitts around a nice steaming mug of good old Tetley instead of that crappy green gunk she’s given.
Tea worth fighting our former colonial territories over.
Good old British tea – made in India, or China.

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And that brings me back to my point.
If I no longer like tea, am I no longer a dyed in the wool Englishman?
Don’t get me wrong, if there’s a game of cricket going on I’m all for lounging around by the boundary rope and applauding politely when a wicket is taken or the bowler is struck for six.
I can deride Johnny Foreigner with the best of them.
I know the main verse of the National Anthem and am quite comfortable with the last verse having something to do with giving those damned rebellious Scots a good crushing.
I do my best to keep my upper lip as rigid and untrembly as possible.
I’ve never tried, but I have no doubt that I could probably pole a punt with the best of them.
Wha..? No madam, with a ‘P.’
I live here, in Blake’s Jerusalem in the heart of the country that gave industrialisation to the world, the land that Constable and Turner painted, that Dickens wrote about in the language spoken by most of the planet.
But I now don’t like tea.
I feel like a traitor.
Perhaps they’ll drag me to The Tower, lop off my worthless head and mount it on a pike outside Westminster Palace as a warning to others not to be so fickle.
Or suspend me upside down over a vat of steaming Typhoo and dunk me like an unworthy digestive.
I’m supposed to go to the States in a couple of weeks, after this shocking admission I’ll be surprised if they let me back into the country of my birth.
I’ll be forced to live a life in exile in some coffee growing republic.
It’s been nice knowing you.

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I’m sweet enough already…

Yes it has been a while, hasn’t it?
I know, I know, once I started blogging I really should have been more regular.
Pardon?
No, I don’t think All Bran will help, but thanks for the suggestion.
You see it’s not a digestive problem, in fact that reminds me of the old joke,

‘Doctor, I have a bowel problem.’
‘I see – are you regular?’
‘As clockwork. 8 o’clock every morning.’
‘So what’s the problem?’
‘I don’t get up until 8:30!’

Ah! The old ‘uns are the best, eh?

But no, seriously, I’ve had a few things to attend to lately.
Like what, did you say?
Nice of you to ask. If you must know I found out I was diabetic.
Isn’t it always the way – you go to the quacks with one thing and come out with something else!
‘Have a blood test,‘ they said, ‘let’s see how the old ticker’s holding up now you’ve had the bypass done for a couple of years.’

So off you trot to the vampire department in the local hospital armed with your slip of paper and sit there for a few years waiting for someone to plunge a needle the size of a small drain pipe (I kid you not!) into your exposed flesh.

You got sugar!

Bugger!

So then they send you off on a course – ‘How to live with being a drain on N.H.S. resources,‘ that sort of thing. Here they teach you all about fats, proteins, starches and those pesky carbohydrates.

The upshot is that you’re allowed a glass of water.

Every second Wednesday, unless the month has an ‘R’ in it.

So I’ve cut out the sugar – mostly anyway.
Alcohol doesn’t count, right?
Oh, don’t go all ‘holier than thou,’ on me.
A bloke’s got to have some vices, huh!
After all I packed up the fags after the heart attack didn’t I!
(For my readers in the good old U.S of A, fags means cigarettes over here – I’m not confessing to an alternative lifestyle!)

So – black coffee, no sugar if I pop round to yours in future please, o.k?
Thanks.
No, now you mention it I don’t drink that any more.
As a fully fledged Brit I used to drink tea by the gallon, but ever since the heart op I can’t stand the stuff.
I know! How strange!

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Anyway I digress.
So after cutting out sugary
drinks (sugar free lemon squash now, no more Coca Cola – incidentally isn’t Pepsi crap? Oh, you like that better? Each to their own I suppose.) cutting out cakes, biscuits, chocolate – I know, ain’t I good! I looked around and decided to join a gym.

Well yes, I did go to Action Heart for almost a year after the you know what, but I hurt my foot and dropped out.
Well, I’m sorry you think that’s a poor excuse, but that’s what happened.

So I’m back on the programme.
5 minutes warm up on the treadmill, then 15 minutes faster.
Oh, not quite that fast eh? Let’s slow that down a bit!
5 minutes on the exercise bike, alternating 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow – slow is good I find!

And so, on to the cross trainer.
Ever used one?
No neither had I!
15 minutes said the instructor as he set it up for me.
15 sodding minutes!?
It’s an instrument of torture.
Dear God, I couldn’t stand on the thing!
Your legs go up and down and round and round, whilst your arms flail helplessly trying to keep your balance and grab the walking poles at the same time.
It’s nigh on impossible!
‘Keep going,’ shouts chummy, encouragingly, as you topple to the left and unintentionally hug him around the neck as you try not to fall off.
Honestly it’s one of those ‘Ropopov!’ moments I spoke of in an earlier blog.
I can think of no better use for the word.

3 1/2 minutes!

Yes that’s what I managed.

And 2 of those were spent trying to get off the damn thing!

I’ve been back since.
Once!
2 minutes 18 seconds.
I know that because helpfully there’s a readout that taunts you.
In flashing digital numerals.
For all around to see and mock!

Am I going back?
I’ll let you know.
Like I said, I’ve been busy!