The Last Day

Yesterday’s climax to several of Europe’s top football leagues was every bit as exciting as any neutral could ever have hoped for. Of course, no-one is completely neutral in these matters: I can’t recall any game where I actually didn’t care at all about who was going to win. After all, we all have our little foibles and favourites and many reasons whey we hate the dirty, scab bastards from Nottingham.

And you can spin it any way you want, but Bill Shankly was right: winning is everything. And thus I know readers who will be happy and readers who won’t be happy this morning.

For me, looking across England, Spain and Italy last night (the leagues I watch) and the bits that I was mildly invested in, I got two out of three at the top (one having been decided long ago), and one of out three at the bottom (from yesterday).
Not great, but still better than the one that I was really invested in, which didn’t happen at all.

So now we are about to enter a period of quiet evenings in front of the family instead of the football. Of having to learn and talk about cricket (wut?!?) to distract ourselves, or face up to the crushing reality of South Africa’s economic predicament (I’ll take the cricket, please). Of betting on the likes of FCs Honka and Petrzalka, instead of the Blades and Real Madrid. Of blissfully early nights and lower stress levels.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself. Bring on the 30th July.

A great day marred by football

Up properly early – lobbed some bacon in some baps for the car – and off to De Mond Nature Reserve up along the coast. Away so early that the sun wasn’t up and the owls were still hunting from the poles along the Suiderstrand road.

Deliciously cool and with some lovely light, I was actually a bit disappointed with some of the photos I got. Seemed like they should have been better, but I wasn’t on my A-game today. Still, loads to see on our 6km walk, including three new birds for me. I’m no prolific birder, but I’ve seen a lot in the Western Cape, so three new species in a single morning is pretty good going.

And then, after yesterday’s Secretary Birds, a Denham’s Bustard (var Stanleyi) (obviously, down here!!) on the way home. Nice, albeit at a bit of a distance.

The early start permitted a phat afternoon nap, which was duly accepted, and while the playoff semi-final first leg didn’t go too well, the fire is lit, the braai is on the go and with loadshedding at 8, we’re hunkering down for an evening of atmosphere, brandy and battery-powered LED lighting.

It’s been a (generally) good day.

London Spring

I’m watching Spurs v Brighton, and it’s been mistake-laden stuff. But why?

Commentator Andy Townsend has a theory:

It’s sunny: you can see the shadows from the stand on the pitch. It’s the first time that the players have played in genuine warmth this year. And that can make you a bit sluggish. The pitches do slow up quite a bit on a day like today

Ok. Yes, I know how that works. It’s not nice. So I thought I’d look up just how hot it is right now in The Big Smoke…

Er… guys. That… that’s not an excuse.

In between

I’m left trying to squeeze another post in between all the events of the day: Dodgeball, shopping (school stuff, nothing exciting), United being robbed at home to Bournemouth (that was definitely a penalty), another emigration goodbye party and another 50th. My good lord!

Tomorrow will be the day of rest AND IT WILL BE OBSERVED.

The back continues to improve, albeit that the socialising and sitting in various restaurants hasn’t really done it much good. But there is another exciting project on the horizon which will likely assist in mending me over the next few weeks and months. But more on that later.

Right now, I’m loading my system with codeine, caffeine and carbs in an effort to be present at this evening’s celebration.

Let’s go and party!*

* T&Cs may apply.