Blood, Sweat and Tyres, the joint autobiography of the Hairy Bikers, is full to the brim with stories of friendship and hilarious misadventure. From deserts to desserts, potholes to pot roasts, the nation’s favourite cooking duo reveals what’s made their friendship such a special and lasting one. They’ve eaten their way around the world a good few times, but have never lost sight of what matters: great friends, great family and great food. In this heartwarming memoir Si and Dave take you on the ride of their lives!
Si and Dave were kind enough to give us a tasty morsel of their heartwarming memoir.
Blood, Sweat and Tyres is out now in hardback, ebook and audio.
I really couldn’t register all this for a while. I’d had brain surgery through the top of my leg, for God’s sake. It was just ridiculous, and bizarrely enough, the aneurysm was on the front, left-hand side of my head, exactly where Dave had his cyst operated on.
Dave came in again as soon as I was allowed visitors. He’d stayed over with Jane and the boys, and he told me Alex and James had been wonderful, looking out for Dyl and trying to reassure him that his dad would be alright. I felt very proud of all of my boys; they are lovely, cracking lads. Jane had been incredible too.
‘How are you feeling, Si?’ Dave asked. He looked like he hadn’t slept much, and I could tell he was trying to act all normal, when really he wanted to wail, ‘Thank God you’re alive!’ He’s admitted this to me since.
‘Actually, I’m hungry mate,’ I said. ‘Can I have a pork pie?’
Dave started laughing.
‘That’s just classic! Only you could order a pork pie from your hospital bed. Hang on, Kingie, I’d best check with the nurse.’
‘Cheers, mate,’ I said. ‘I’m just proper hungry, and you know what it’s like when you fancy a pork pie?’
‘I do, mate. You’re talking to the right fella. Leave it with me.’
Dave was visibly relieved to see me behaving in my usual manner, planning what I was going to eat next. The nurse said it was fine and Dave scooted off to the shop downstairs and got me a pie and all sorts of other goodies. I sat there tucking in, still with a central line in place, and Dave said he was very pleased to see me ‘stuffing my face like a good ’un’.
I know now that Dave had been absolutely scared to death when Jane told him it was an aneurysm, because he knew quite a lot about the condition. He had a friend back in Barrow who’d suffered the same symptoms as me, but she was sent home from hospital after the initial scare and then went on to suffer a massive stroke that had left her quadriplegic. Dave also had the experience of seeing Glen in ITU, of course, and he was under no illusions about how serious it was to be there.
I was in hospital for about four weeks all told, and to give you an idea of how poorly I felt it wasn’t until about three weeks after my operation that I started wishing I could be discharged. Up until then I was very grateful to lie in a hospital bed and be looked after. I can’t tell you how superb the staff at the RVI were. Everyone, from the cleaners up to the consultants and registrars, was absolutely fantastic, and I’m incredibly lucky to have such a marvellous hospital on my doorstep.
I eventually learned that the official term for what I’d suffered was a ‘subarachnoid haemorrhage, caused by an aneurysm’. In a nutshell, the bulging vein in my brain had bled underneath the protective ‘arachnoid’ layer of my brain. The fast-acting doctors and nurses at the RVI really did save my life, and I will never, ever be able to thank them enough.
‘I was so frightened I’d lose you, Si,’ Dave told me eventually. ‘I can remember having this terrible, terrible thought when I heard the diagnosis. I thought, “What if I lose Kingie? I can’t lose my best mate, it simply can’t happen”.’