I had another enjoyable day at the cricket yesterday. Like last time, it was a lovely afternoon, with the added bonus of actually winning. My mate james was there, and the mighty eights made a very impressive 170. They then bowled the opposition out for less than half that. It was a much better performance than their last match, and I really hope they can keep it up. There really is nothing finer than sitting in a park, the sun warm on your face, watching a real blinder of a cricket match.
Oh the farce that is FIFA, the buffoon that is Blatter.
It’s only a game so why does this matter?
Look at this organisation and you see a joke
Nothing but the crooked lies of a balding old bloke.
Any respect Fifa had must now be gone,
Drained away with every lie and con.
Who can fail to hold this body in total contempt?
Footballs government is totally bent.
Yet, rhymes aside, it’s so sad.
Who knew something once great could become so bad?
My dad has an allergy to fur, so growing up we never had cats or dogs in the house. Last week, we got Lyn a new cat for her birthday. Her last cat, Boomba. passed away about four years ago, and we thought it time we had another four legged creature roaming the house. I’ve never been a pet person, yet somehow, almost despite myself, I’ve becoming incredibly attached to the newest member of the family. I’m still getting used to it, mind: I’ve almost tripped over Guy a couple of times, and this morning I woke up with him sitting on my pillow, purring. Yet I think I finally see why others love their pets so much. Sitting on the sofa, stroking him, I honestly feel a type of calm, joy and affection I don’t recall ever feeling before.
I still can’t quite put my finger on why I’m interested in such things as I’ve never been a particularly big sports fan, but I find myself utterly intrigued by current events at FIFA. Since London 2012, I’ve been very curious about sociocultural events like the olympics and world cup. It seems to me that there is a hell of a lot of international politics behind such events and who gets awarded what: one can read a lot into such decisions, about national attitudes and international relationships. Current events would seem to prove that assumption: in the UK, condemnation of UEFA has gone to the highest level. Although at the moment they are holding back from calling for the reopening of bidding to host 2018, it must hurt CaMoron et al to find that bidding process was a fix, and that they were humiliated not because someone else had a better bid, but because it was a foregone conclusion. And isn’t it telling that Putin has this morning come out in full support of Blatter, and has accused america of meddling where they shouldn’t? On one level, as Lyn keeps pointing out to me with growing consternation, it’s only a game – who cares who hosts what? Yet it is an allegory for international politics, a barometer of tension. Such decisions and the processes behind them can be read as areas where disputes once resolved by bloodshed are played out; through Putin’s support of Blatter, for example, we can clearly read old cold war tensions.
This is the type of stuff I’ve been fascinated with since 2012; it’s why I keep googling for news about the 2024 olympic bids. This breaking story, full of drama, intrigue and corruption, is precisely up that street. Sorry Lyn, but I’m gripped!
I just watched the end of the utterly galling spectacle of the state opening of parliament. I felt only rage whenever the camera focussed on CaMoron, knowing the suffering he is about to inflict on so many. Listening to the queen read out that speech, all those misleading half truths which, while peppered with words like ‘fair’ essentiallyboil down to ideological cuts and a green light for greed, made my blood boil. It was almost too much. At least last time we had the Lib Dems to temper them, but now the tories have free rein to impose their unjust, greedy views on us. Many will starve, but these scumbags don’t care as taxes for their rich friends are low. They are unfit to rule, yet they do, and for the next five years there’s nothing we can do about it.
Lyn once asked me, not unreasonably, why I kept obsessing about Olympic stuff. Although I’ve calmed down about it now, she didn’t see why I should get so excited about it. After all, she said, it was in the past; is’t it better to focus on the future? She had a point, of course, but at the same time I see it another way. Recent history if
full of events I consider truly incredible: James bond escorting the queen to the olympics; watching Lyn and the Paraorchestra play at the Paralympic closing ceremony; graduating my Masters. They are indeed in the past, but, the way I look at it, the very fact that such awesomeness happened is proof that anything is possible. If 007 can meet the queen, what’s to stop any other far fetched combination of fictional and nonfictional characters happening? If Lyn can play at London’s olympic stadium, why not anywhere else? If monty python can reunite – and just at the right time and place for us to go watch them – who’s to say we won’t one day see Black Sabbath, Guns and Roses, or any other awesome group? And if I can do a masters, I can sure as hell do anything else I put my mind to – and indeed I currently have a couple of awesome projects on the go which I have a feeling could evolve into something just as incredible. Thus it is not that I dwell on the past, but use it to remind myself how great things can get, what incredible things can happen. For if the previously unthinkable has already happened, all things must be possible; and if that is so, why not go out and see what does?
One of the things I like the most about London is how it can always surprise you. I’ve had a good day: for some reason the writing bug has caught me again, and today I trotted out my second short script in as many days. Being pleased with my efforts – though I daresay what I did today might still need work – I decided topop out for a short walk. I always try to vary the routes I take, so today I headed south-east. That, for us, is the direction of the hospital and, beyond that, welling and Bexleyheath. Of course I had no intention of going that far. Instead, at the hospital, I crossed the road and entered a bit of parkland which I had never been onto before.
It soon struck me how strange that place was. It didn’t feel like a normal london park with their well look after lawns and flowerbeds. Rather, it reminded me of the countryside. Although the buildings and roads of the metropolis weren’t far away, it put me in mind of the road beyond swettenham, which, although still traversable in my chair, seemed to lead out into nowhere. Of course it wasn’t anywhere near that far from home, yet it still felt remote as though that place had been forgotten about and rarely visited. I cannot put my finger on what gave me that impression, but nevertheless it was quite strong. The grass as overgrown and the trees overhung the paths; I could no longer see any buildings, and the sound of traffic faded. What had happened there to cause that area to be so abandoned? It intrigued me; I will have to return there soon.
I spoke to my parents,this morning, as I do every Sunday. Dad had a great birthday: he and mum went to Wales, and by the sound of it had a great time. Over the webcam they showed me a card my brother had sent. On its front was a picture of dad reading to his grandson. It was only a picture book – the kind intended for one year olds – but it also marked a beginning. It was through my fathers deep voice that I gained my love of literature. I loved when dad read to me. Through that voice I fell in love with characters and worlds, as well as the very music of language. As well as reminding me of how much I owe to my father, that picture made me wonder whether, seven or eight years hence, Oliver will hear that voice utter the sentence which really began my love of literature, words I have adored since I first heard them: ‘In a hole, under the ground, there lived a hobbit’. I will forever associate the opening sentence of the Hobbit with the voice of my father, a man whose kindness, wisdom and unconditional love I owe so much to. Through those words, though simply being read to as I grew up, entire worlds were opened up to me. I hope those words, that voice, will soon hold for Oliver the magic they still hold for me,
I was thinking yesterday about the Eurovision song Contest, which of course is on tv tonight. Say what you might about it being camp or twee, it is an event which brings people together. Like the olympics or other sporting competitions, people from different countries come together in friendly rivalry; but unlike in sport they compete through art. Thus it’s the type of event I think we need more of: we already have so many international sporting competitions (the olympics, the world cup, the ashes etc.) why not do the same but through art. I know there are events like international film festivals, but why not have big spectacles on the scale of the olympics? not only would such events increase interest in arts, it would also bring people together, across borders, in discussion. I once outlined a similar idea here. Quite how it will work I don’t know: unlike in sport, there is no clear winner and looser in art, and judging between art works is always very subjective. It just seems to me a good way of uniting people and getting them talking, as sport so often does.
I’m back on politics today, and once again I am yelling at the tv. CaMoron is in Brussels, talking all kinds of rubbish about renegotiating our relationship with the EU. My concern is not that I don’t think the union needs reforming – all such bodies need updating from time to time, just to keep them healthy. My worry is, CaMoron will try to refashion it in his own image: he wants to turn a union of nations, a coming together of peoples into an area where neoliberal greed reigns supreme. He will use these renegotiations for his own ends: he wants to turn the EU into a free trade area where big corporations and billionaires are allowed to shit all over everyone else. What pisses me off even more is that the p’tahk is claiming to speak for the British people. He uses an authority he does not deserve yet nonetheless thinks is his birthright to impose his politics of greed across Europe. The scumbag, already responsible for the misery of thousands, will try to bastardise something noble; going on tv appearing statesmanlike among other european leaders when he should be forgotten as the one-time leader of the opposition, he’ll use an authority he never deserved to turn a project of friendship into one of greed. On top of that, the turds even have the gall to give that shit eric pickles a knighthood! And the worst thing is, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it.