Monday, 1 June 2015


A panel of black light is just visible behind the curtains. Without looking at the alarm clock I know it's one minute to two - I turn it off at the wall. I put my right foot on the floor first - seems fine. Left foot - normal. Brushing my teeth I test my weight on one, then the other.

Everything seems fine - except, maybe, when I'm depressing the clutch, there's a touch more stress there than there should be? Or maybe it's all in my head. 'There's always something,' Emma often says, 'you're always fine on the day'.

But everything physical I do, I'm inclined towards the right leg, just to be sure. Leaning over some boxes to flick all the lights on, opening the heavy fridge door, rolling out the trolleys... the bread looks great though! Everything's proved large but relatively tense - this'll be a good bake. 'Fluffy puppies!' Angiolino used to say.

Hours later, I've forgotten myself, and Adam has arrived. He barges through the door, shouting over the radio, 'Hey Mappy!' He gets an apron on - 'How's your knee?'
'Yeah, fine I think.'
He immediately checks that all my oven timers are actually moving, and then starts arranging the baked bread into crates for the delivery drivers.

The work becomes rather more loud and erratic with Adam around, and there's some great music on the radio - loads of Eastern European composers I've never heard of, and some radical minimalism called 'Stone Playing in Pot'. There's something wild and weird for piano going on when Matt arrives. 'What the f___ are you listening to?' he laughs, 'it's amazing!' and starts dancing around like he's made of syrup. He's still dancing in the cupboard as he gets an apron on. 'How's your knee?'
'I think it's fine.'
'That's great.'

There are several million things to do, and we get our heads down. As the windows become full of sunlight, those dreamt feelings in my left knee, those imaginings, grow gently more persistent, gently more realistic, and eventually more real. Miles has arrived in a peaked cap - he hasn't brushed his hair yet.
'How's it going guys?'
'So far so good.'
'Excellent, how's your knee.'
'Yeah, it's ok.'
'Good good.'
Three timers are going off at once - Adam is dwelling on the colour of a deck of baguettes


On my way back from the bins I quickly look around - there's nobody here. I start to racewalk very slowly. There was a time when this movement felt really weird, but now there's great pleasure in it, a lovely feeling of fluidity. I always say to people who find racewalking strange that when you're really in your motion, everything from the shoulders down feels like a bicycle your head is riding. As I turn back onto Fort Street I break step and walk normally. There's definitely an ache there - but nothing I could really call painful. And there's definitely more stress on the inside when I racewalk. Three weeks of missed training now - I'd best look at that self-referral form when I get home.

Sian is just on her way out the bakery, smiling.
'Hey Dave, how's your knee?'
'Yeah, not bad.'
'Ah, that's good news! See you tomorrow.'
'Bye bye!'

It starts to rain a little outside as I settle down in the cafe with a coffee - it feels great to be done. Soon, Emma and the Peanut will be here to pick me up and we'll all go home for games and dinner. I'm sure that left knee will be just fine. Like Emma says, there's always something. And anyway, aren't they both hurting a little bit?

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