Sunday, 10 June 2012

4 Month Anniversary

Today, the 10th of June, marks four months since the operation. An important milestone and so a day for jubilation. I awoke bright and early and set off for the gym. My cheery mood was instantly halted by a police cordon blocking my route. I approached the bobby manning the plastic ribboned area.

"Morning officer."

"Morning Sir. Nice day?"

"Well the sun's out so yes, but there's obviously been some trouble on my street so no. What happened?"

"It appears there was a shooting last night. No reports of casualties but forensics are looking for stuff up there." He pointed towards the far end of the blocked off area.

"I think I heard the shots actually. At 3.45am. Four shots, then I heard a car going that way." I pointed. I thought he might take out his notebook as I was obviously an ear witness to the event. He looked around and then up at the skies. I thought he might be about to say something about the problems with society.

"The weather's turned out nice." I gave up trying to be a helpful citizen, turned and went the long way round to the gym. I told myself that the extra distance would be a good warm up. It was.

At the gym, four months after my operation, I ran for twenty minutes and covered a distance of 3.57 kms. Not bad I reckon although I realise that the running machine makes running so much easier. You just pick your feet up and put them down again and the treadmill moves them along. It is a false achievement but it is still not bad. One of my nieces had visited on the Friday, she's a runner and competes at county level. She's only 16, is stick thin, and has the physique of a proper runner. I wish I hadn't but I asked her how quick she ran.

"1500 metres I can do in about 4 minutes 50." I'd seen the athletics from Oslo the night before and by coincidence had noted the time the woman had run the 1500, it was 4 minutes 4.

"That's pretty good."

"Nah, it's slow."

"What other distances do you do?" I was being the friendly uncle but I really wanted a bench mark to measure my running against.

"I did a 3000 race and finished second. I think my time was 11.05." I did a sharp intake of breath. "Slow again, it was only the first time I'd done that distance."

A quick bit of mental arithmetic will show you that she is running about 50% quicker than me. On my spreadsheet I added her times as a target. I've probably never been able to run that quick so it is a bit stupid but it's something to aim for. I could probably run that quick for about a minute before dying. I'll try it soon and let you know. Of course if I die, you'll never know.

Coming back from the gym I encountered a street meeting between three of my neighbours. They were discussing the shooting.

"Police say they've found the shells but no casualties were reported." Announced Mo.

"Drug gangs. You've got to be unlucky if you get caught in the crossfire." Added Barry.

"They never report any injuries do they? The gangs. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot straight away." Paddy completed the discussion.  I was tempted to chip in a joke about them probably not aiming for the feet with their shots but it seemed inappropriate.

Mo and Paddy left with their kids for a curling match. Barry chuckled to himself.

"Funny thing is that I was just telling the people who have just moved in how quiet it is here. They won't talk to me again will they? Stupid thing though, it is quiet. The drug gangs shoot each other but not us. I've lived here 16 years and never had a spot of trouble." He repeated his feeling about being unlucky if you get caught up in it. "I'm putting a quid on Gerrard to score first and England to win 1-0." He was referring to tomorrow night's match at Euro 2012.

"I wouldn't bother telling the new people that, they won't believe anything you say now."

"It's only a couple of quid."

We'd moved on from the previous night's drug shooting in which, for all we knew, someone had died, or at the very least been badly injured. It had happened on our doorstep but it may as well have been a million miles away. I don't think this can be a good thing but I am not sure what we should do about it. I tried ringing the Trident Hotline to tell them what I'd heard but it went straight to answerphone. On the sheet of paper that had been posted to everyone in the street it also had a Crimestoppers number and offered a reward for information. I didn't want to profit from someone's death or injury so I put the paper to one side. I'll call it later. Maybe after the football.

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting take upon the shooting as your other posts always are. I thought all the stabbings happened around the corner from you though?