July 5th, 2019

A Life In (And Out) Of Sport

Neither of my parents took any interest in team sports and I hated playing them so I was always on the outside when the other kids were talking about "their" teams.

At boarding school I learned the art of making myself invisible to the people who picked teams and after my first year I never had to don a football shirt or cricket whites ever again.

Very rarely, out of cowardice and a wish to stay on the right side of an interlocutor, I have said I supported Manchester United. I thought this was a fairly safe choice- because they are an international brand and even I had heard of Bobby Charlton and George Best. It was always a lie.

In the 1970s I developed an interest in top end cricket because Ian Botham was all over the news and I thought he was cool. My interest began to die away when BBC TV stopped carrying test matches and is now almost but not quite defunct.

My mother liked the big sporting events that are also part of the social calendar- so Ascot, The Grand National, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (we supported Cambridge because my uncle went there) and Wimbledon. I was never one for the gee-gees- and even less so when my parents got into owning racehorses and throwing money away, the Boat Race has lost whatever interest it ever had for me and only Wimbledon remains on my radar. If anything my interest in tennis has grown- because aren't we lucky to be living in the era of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic?- and now I also follow (if not as closely)- the French Open.

Rattle, Rattle, Rattle

Noisy place, the countryside.

The neighbours with the alpacas are making the most enormous, quasi-industrial racket. I went to see what they're up to and found they have the field that sits catty corner to our top field piled to the heavens with what I take to be firewood (or possibly fence posts) in different grades. The machine that's making the noise is mostly hidden behind trees but I suppose it's cutting and shaping the wood. Also the bits I can see of it are blue.

I've mostly lived in towns and cities and they were all quieter than this.