Sunday, 29 May 2022

Football triumphs and sadnesses. Almost national treasures. Memoirs.

Phil was rather disappointed to find there was no Match of the Day yesterday evening. We had to find something else to watch instead. The big cup match in Paris was still just about going on at that point, having had a delayed start. But it already looked as though Real Madrid were about to win. 

So poor Jurgen Klopp didn’t achieve his dream in Paris after all. That’s football for you, we have a Real Madrid fan friend in Spain who will be very happy though. And despite their team not winning the cup, masses of fans will be waiting to welcome the Liverpool football team home today. It’s a great shame that the game had to accompanied by problems with fans not being able to get into the Stade De France. Apparently there were people with forged tickets trying to get in and causing blockages at the gates. I wonder how many of them had bought the tickets in good faith. No doubt someone is making money out of it. It must have been a nasty experience for those who had to suffer tear gas. 

On the radio news they have just said that more than 100 people were arrested. 

There seem to be more and more problems with football fans nowadays though. Pitch invasions have come back and the powers that be need to look at ways to control it all. Somehow it seems connected to the general feeling of entitlement - I can do what I want when I want! Yesterday, for example, on the bus someone on the upper deck was clearly having a noisy karaoke session with the music on their phone, sharing it all with the other passengers!

Still on sport, almost a national treasure Lester Piggott has just died aged 86, just about the only jockey whose name I recognise. The news reader on the radio said he had gone to the great racecourse in the sky!  

Two other almost national treasures, Sheila Hancock, 89 I think, and Melvyn Bragg, possibly 85, have just published memoirs. Sheila Hancock’s is Old Rage, stories of her life and times. “People are always stopping me in the street,” she told a reporter. “‘You’re a legend!’ they tell me. ‘It’s wonderful, the way you keep going!’ I thought: maybe I can write something helpful about how life can be quite lovely even at my age [she is now 89]. But then… life turned awful. There was Brexit, Covid and rheumatoid arthritis, and my daughter had cancer. I thought: no, I can’t write something lovely. I’m too angry for that.” I still enjoy hearing her speak on the radio. Keep it up, Sheila. 

Melvyn Bragg writes about growing up in Cumbria in the aptly named “Back in the Day”. Apparently he talks about his reluctance to leave Cumbria and how he almost turned down scholarships to Oxford and considered finding work that would allow him to stay at home. I’ve enjoyed reading Mr Bragg in the past. I’d be interested to read his memoir.  Not that I’m short of things to read.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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