I’m not sure I should be writing anything at all this week because I’m still seething, down from incandescent but still bubbling, sputtering and spluttering, ready to erupt…just give me an excuse, go on, I dare you…
I went to bed cross and I woke up still cross…It’s been good to write it down, though and I’m feeling calmer now, more chilled. Going to the hygienist at the dentist’s helped because I had to practise keeping calm and trying to relax as I lay back and waited for it to hurt. It didn’t and I got a gold star for having improved the state of my teeth no end. Perhaps it’s because I’ve stopped trying to stand on one leg for the two minutes and just concentrated on brushing.
Anyway, you’re probably thinking, “What on earth is she rabbiting on about this time?”
It is, wouldn’t you know, the footie. The FA Cup, to be precise. We, as in Totspurs, have won it eight times but the last time was 1991 and our last trophy of any sort was the League Cup (whatever it was called then) in 2008. It’s now the Carabao Cup and Manchester United won it last Sunday, ending a trophy-winning slump that lasted a comparatively measly six years. Sheffield United are a good side and will probably be promoted to the top division next season, so no one at Spurs could have been in any doubt that it was a test of the highest order.
Even so, it was a chance lost and a fellow fan summed up the frustration of us all: “Inconsistency rears its head yet again….” I was less calm and responded: “I am beyond furious, such a wasted opportunity, too much sloppiness in the passing and Richarlison [a Brazilian who cost something like £60 million] is bereft of confidence and oomph. Mind you their goal [scored late on by Iliman Ndiaye] was Ricky Villa-esque and they looked as though they knew what they were doing.”
Looking for Sheffield United’s badge I turned to my trusty Book of Football (published in 1971 I think) and discovered two things: the logo has changed substantially and when Spurs won the FA Cup for the first time, in 1901, as a non-League club, they beat Sheffield United, one of the best teams in the country, 3-nil in a replay. No wonder this blog takes ages to write – there’s a lot of meandering down highways and byways, lots of twists and turns and distractions.
There were 114,815 paying spectators at Crystal Palace for the 1901 final against a Sheffield side that contained three of “soccer’s immortals”: ‘Nudger’ Needham, wing-half, Fred Priest, inside-left and ‘Two-Ton’ Foulke, the goalie who weighed 22 stone. Spurs were leading 2-1 when the referee, a Mr Kingscott from Derby, ruled that the Spurs goalkeeper had been over his goal line before clearing the ball after a goalmouth melee. One of the first sporting films ever made seemed to show, however grainy the footage, that Mr Kingscott had made a very grave error…However, he refereed the replay, at Bolton, the following week.
Ah well, there’s always the rugby, though I’m not feeling particularly bullish about Ireland’s chances at Murrayfield on Saturday week. We’re unbeaten so far and will be the favourites but our record in Edinburgh isn’t great and the Scots have their eye on the Triple Crown. Perhaps I’m just looking at things with the jaundiced eye of someone more used to BBUs (brave but unavailings) than IDVs (impressively dominant victories). When and how on earth did we become so good?
Here’s hoping for another Grand Slam and, who knows, perhaps even a World Cup…Well, we’re good enough and are renowned for our luck, so if everything that can align, aligns…
From the sublime to the less than, you’ll be delighted to know that I’ve probably now got 0.000000adinfinitum1 of a point in the world rankings after earning £12.50 (I think) in this week’s stableford. Now, it was a limited field, it was only 13 holes and there wasn’t that much of an international flavour to the entry (though at least one of our number comes from Norton Canes and somebody still has a place in Spain) but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Also, bear in mind that we’re still having to work around the diggings of HS2, that great infrastructure project that is providing lots of work for the diggers and the engineers and the archaeologists and lots of money for somebody somewhere as the billions mount up and lots of disruption for the rest of us. Don’t forgot that if you’re a UK tax payer, you’re paying for this. The train’ll be up and running by 2034 apparently, though nobody’s quite sure where it’ll be going…
You’re nearly off the hook, so instead of launching in to Tiger and tampons (the DWD, the dog-walking dermatologist, a kind and practical soul, pointed out that they’re useful for stemming nose bleeds, so perhaps even we post menopausals should keep a couple in our golf bag; and now we know that we can give them to the men we outdrive – and there are a few!), I’ll talk about rakes. Are you still with me after the digression?
When we last voted on rakes and where to put them (wonder what Tiger’s take on that is?), I voted for putting them in the bunkers. I’ve now changed my mind – and I believe the R and A recommendation is for out. We have some silly bunkers, too deep and difficult enough to get in to easily, with getting out well-nigh impossible without help and now we have some eejits, presumably able-bodied, perhaps even athletic, who have taken to tossing the rakes in places few of us can reach.
Out, out, out please.
Finally, here’s a photo of the aurora borealis, taken by a friend’s daughter in the Highlands of Scotland.