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Sunday, May 22, 2011

23rd May - Four Seasons in One Day

One of the best things about being away for the weekend is the following morning's inquest on the previous day's events. As we laughed about what went on, we also help each other remember funny stories that we've forgot. After such a good day yesterday, my spirits were restored. there is nothing like a good night out with friends to make you smile, and thinking back usually means more smiles during the week.

We met up with K and R. R is white, and K black. Something that isn't usually significant in storytelling, except it is an integral part of the story. Pontypridd is a small (ex) mining town north of Cardiff, famous for the 70's Lions, Wales and Ponty front row. They were all miners or from mining stock. Going there feels like a walk back in time to the 60's where men were men and women got beaten for not having their dinner on the table. Mining is a man's job (by law, as well as the dirty sweaty working conditions). It's inherently working class, and white. The only black face seen in mining towns are when the miners come up from the coal face, and the pit baths are broken. K was invited the run the line for a game at Sardis Road. Its a hostile passionate place, a bit like the Shed at Gloucester or the Crumbie at Tigers. Partisan, referees are given so much stick if they do not win the crowd's approval. The referee that day was Nigel Owen, the first openly gay referee, who is also easily in the top 5 referees in the world, (although he does have a quirky style). To complete the PC ref's panel was a woman. Andy Gray and Richard Keys would've been rubbing their hands with glee as they could be patronising to women, their favourite hobby. The PC referees had a rough time, in front of the stand, but only for their decision making.

Hangovers can be judged by the amount of sugar in the morning tea, and whether there is a second cup. The kettle was on before the first cup had been finished (two sugars). As we relived the night before, we remembered the super-heroes sat behind us. The usual, Batman, Captain America,  Spiderman and Val Doonigan, complete with Aran Sweater.

We also paid to have our picture taken with the Heineken Cup - the European Cup of rugby, only to realise afterwards that it was the European Cup - for the Champions League - hopefully won by an English team next week - Manchester United, even if for the rest one the season, its anyone but Man U. Looks very similar to me.
 We argued over how many shirts a club had in Cardiff - not the blue of Leinster, and the green, yellow and black of Saints, but the Black of Ospreys, which lost badly to the red of Scarlets. Well, I suppose that's the best you can hope for ladies, I can't see that intensity of those shirts in HQ next year, the same as the Leinster blue.

There's always a missing phone, friend or memory. usually the friend turns up, but a new phone number as to be learnt.

The thing about lack of sleep and hangovers, is that however lively you feel when you wake up in the morning, at some point you are going to get hit by the exhaustion bus. Even when alcohol was on my agenda, I always tried to get back to Burton before the exhaustion bus hit me, so I left early, even though I did not have a head ache. After the rant that I had about Strensham services, on my return visit, there was coaches and coaches of  Devon based supporters clubs going up to watch Manchester United pick up the Premiership Trophy. I wondered how many times, they sit and laugh the next day about their adventures. Or is it all statto stuff? How many super injunctions their players are holding over our allegedly free press? I wonder how long the injunction will hold....I am sure a variety of precedents will be set, but everyone knows now, Mary Poppins, so you may as well save your money and focus on saving your marriage.

A rag tag of thoughts, reflecting on a really good weekend and random thoughts when driving tired.

The other weird thing about Wales/England border is the way that it seems to stop raining when you cross from West to East. Going from East to West, the rain seems to start. This morning I drove through rain wind and glorious sunshine to get home. The choice of song today, was from a cd in my car, is Crowded House, Four Seasons in one Day. Another county, another weather condition.

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