On Playing ix

She asked him who he played as

Knowing every boy pretends

To be someone else when playing

They dream they can be better

He wanted to be Best

~

n.b. As a boy playing football I clearly had a failure of ambition. I pretended to be a Welsh international centre forward, not George Best. Who would dare to dream that big?

“The Fifth Beatle” certainly lived up to his name on the pitch, as in best in the world, for a time at least. Her dad went on to play football professionally and he scored a ghost goal that was allowed. He was clearly very good at applying his mind over matter from an early age.

~

CLP 22/01/2021

Lockdown 3 (Day 17) In Sunshine

My apartment faces south, but is overshadowed by the flats built over the atrium at the front and on its east side. This means no morning light reaches me directly and I have to pull the curtain across to assess the weather.

Today the sunlight was blasting down King Street. I just had to leap out of bed and get outside. There were no takers for a walk, so I stretched my legs as best I could with a pinched sciatic nerve headed towards the woods and Whitlingham Broad.

The small birds were in heaven. Blue sky, fresh air and sun. Their songs filled the air. There was lots of activity in the top branches and hedgerows, particularly the robins.

At the junction at the top of the street I noticed a cedar tree had two cables holding its two huge branches in slings. The tree leans menacingly over the junction as both branches are on the same side. It has a perfectly good crown, which seems healthy, so why maintain these two spars that pull it out of line?

Nature isn’t always even-handed I appreciate, but in this instance gravity and a good sou’westerly could do for this beauty and anything it fell on would be crushed. Better to take the strain off it, surely?

I moved on towards Trowse where frost was still obvious where flooding persisted. Mole hills were surrounded by water. Were they safe down there?

I then moved on up through the woodland, stretching my stride out against the pinched nerve on the incline. The trees cast dark streaks of shadows dramatically emphasising their leafless structures. There are few things more beautiful than deciduous trees backlit by winter sun.

The constant swoosh of the nearby dual carriageway creates tension in the air that detracts from the vibrancy of the birdsong, so I move away and down to the broad briskly.

A gull is wandering around the paddock by the café that still sells takeaway drinks. As I sip at my cardboard beaker of tea, I watch the gull peck at a fresh molehill. It then stands on the top the little earth pile, tilting its head to the right to look at the grass. It steps down, wanders around a bit more pecking here and there before realising that there is a commotion by the water’s edge and free food is being thrown around by a grandma.

The woman is attracting lots of birds, entertaining her grandchild who is watching while holding her mother’s hand a few feet away, when the swans begin to get assertive. The bag is quickly emptied and all three humans scoot off to leave swans, ducks, geese and circling gulls to fight it out. In all the fuss are sparrows bobbing about nipping in here and there, as sparrows are happily do when crumbs are flying about.

I circumnavigate the broad and head home. A good walk during the best of the day, before the pathways get too busy.

Get up, get out, get home. Mission accomplished.

~

CLP 22/01/2021

Lockdown 3 (Day 16) Behind the Mask

Out briefly today in sunshine. I forgot my gloves, but was surprised by the mildness of the air.

People maintaining good distances from each other; joggers running well wide of pedestrians; people stepping back to let others pass. There is no rush when people are on foot.

A taxi driver tries to squeeze past me when I am cycling through the city centre. He attempts to cut in before some bollards, then realises there isn’t enough room, so has to brake and wait until I am through the gap. Something is said through his open passenger side window as he passes, but I did not hear what. I keep pedalling.

I see him get out of his vehicle by the market. He carefully puts on his mask and goes into a grocery store. Funny he chooses to follow rules on foot, but had no regard for the 20 mph rule on the road. I say nothing.

The city is littered with debris from last night’s gale. Nothing remarkable, just twigs and pieces of branches, bits of rubbish pulled by the wind from bins and strewn around the streets, which are usually so tidy.

Storm Christoph has barely touched Norwich.

~

CLP 21/01/2021

On Playing vii

Look for quick singles

Yes! No! Sorry. My mistake.

Takes two to Tango

~

n.b. Continuing with the cricketing theme, communication between batters is either a strength or a weakness. It is about being in tune with your partner. As in cricket, as in life.

Here is a clip of a classic cricketing communication breakdown for your edification. Stick with it to the end to see the culprit’s body language. Oops!

~

CLP 19/01/2021

On Numbers 1820

Previously just

a date from history when

cholera took hold

~

n.b. Now 1,820 is the worst daily death toll in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 / 21. This is dreadful.

The cholera pandemic around the year 1820 killed uncountable millions.

~

CLP 20/01/2021