What a difference a day makes!
On Monday I was tripping the light fantastic through green, grassy carpets dotted with buttercups, daisies, clover and other glorious wild
flowers whose names I can't remember. If, that is, I ever knew them. Then yesterday, Tuesday, the rain bucketed down. Not ceaselessly to be fair - just at the exact moments I left the house for (i) a trip to the shop and (ii) a foray to the bus stop where
I waited, dripping miserably, for ten minutes for my bus. Now it is today, the sun is shining on our newly cut lawn and my sunflower seedlings and we all agreed at our Nomination Whist group this afternoon that It Is Beginning To Warm Up. I wonder what on
earth they find to talk about in those other countries across the planet who are not lucky enough to live with changeable weather, such a generously constant topic of conversation?
Lots of people all over
the world (particularly those who don't have changeable weather to discuss at length) are talking about the ex-President of FIFA. If he were writing a blog, he would doubtless also start off with "What a difference a day makes!"
I don't know what my dear Dad would think about football today. As regular readers may recall, my father was a man whose two great loves were Family and Football. Here is his first-hand account of the first match he ever played for his school, The Davenant,
Whitechapel, in the East End of London.
"I used to follow our school team to all their matches and hoped one day I would be good enough to play for the school. Our colours were white shirts with a red diamond
shape on the front and back. My dad bought me a second-hand pair of football boots and one day I went with the football team who were playing Tower Hill school on Tower Hill's ground.
"Imagine my excitement
when the Captain of our team asked me to turn out for them as they were one player short. I felt on top of the world and, as I donned my white shirt with the red diamond, I noticed our Captain only had ordinary boots so I let him have my right football boot
and, although I only kicked with my right foot, I put on the left football boot. So we both had one ordinary boot and one football boot.
"I played a blinder (so I thought). The Captain put me at left half
back and said 'You mark that boy' (and pointed him out) 'and don't let him touch the ball at all!'
So I stuck to my opponent like glue and was so proud after the game, which we won, when the Captain gave me
my football boot back and said: 'You will be a regular player from now.'
"What happy days..."
Let's not pretend that today's professional footballers, who
earn mega-bucks a week, wear ridiculously expensive fluorescent boots and are not always noted for their displays of sporting behaviour, both on or off the pitch, can claim to be part of a Beautiful Game. Not like that little boy who wore with such pride his
white shirt with the red diamond on the front and back; who loaned his Captain one of his precious second-hand football boots; and who played the game of his young life thus far wearing one proper football boot and one ordinary boot.
My dear Dad really did know how to play the Beautiful Game.