Because sometimes all you have in your head is a number and a song.
The hidden jobs are the worst. The visible ones get the rewards. The hidden ones are the kind that are only noticed when something goes wrong. Companies that grind to a halt because the woman who franks the post of an evening is off sick and no-one else knows how to work the machine. The queue at a McDonald’s drive-thru got to see this job. Cleaning the outside of the rear of the building with harsh jets of water. And then doing it all again. Not really hidden, not this time. Probably no great rewards. But if it’s not done then there will be repercussions.
You know it’s non league when you arrive to see a kids’ party winding down in the clubhouse and leave a couple of hours later to the accompaniment of furious players and fans swearing at the officials, in between having watched a match of brutal commitment in difficult conditions. Bexhill were the livid hosts as, in the dying seconds of added on time, they let a win become a draw, but only the most myopic of Pirates fans would be able to say with a straight face that Oakwood did not deserve a share of the spoils. It was a good day.
We kicked off at 2pm because there’s something not quite right about the floodlights at the Polegrove. I stand firm in my belief that all non league football should start at two to save clubs down the pyramid a few quid on electricity bills. But, I digress. The wind seemed to be blowing from every direction and it was bloody cold. Thankfully, the rain that threatened around the start of the match did not, aside from a pathetic attempt just before half time, return. There was a female assistant referee. I wouldn’t normally mention this and I do now only to observe that many players and coaches present also noticed we had a female assistant referee. If you’ve ever seen Pepe le Pew in action you’ll have some understanding of the dialogue that, at times, followed.
Bexhill took the lead in the first half. A solid finish from a decent break. And, at the time, they were on top. A couple more chances came their way but Oakwood firmed up at the back and then began to control the midfield. By the equivalent point in the second half it was, counter attacks aside, one way traffic. The boys in blue were the ones with the ball and, as the challenges become harder, they were the ones proving slightly better at keeping their heads. Bexhill went down to ten men following a dismissal but still they managed to keep out the waves of Oakwood attacks. It was five minutes into added time when they cracked and the swearing could begin in earnest. A point each was fair but both sides will know that on another day they could easily have taken all three for themselves. Which is how it should be.
Today was the first run out for my new camera. It can do things that cameras have been able to do for a few years but my D90 can’t and so with things now falling off that one a purchase of a D7200 has been made. I’m a little in love. Some photos from the day are here. The one thing they don’t show is how little I could feel my fingers by the end.
The BBC have been broadcasting live sport for 90 years. They are rather proud of their anniversary. They have a montage of glorious moments and well known lines. The best bit is Brian Johnston giggling. These are the sporting moments the nation has shared. Waddle skying his penalty, Hurst hitting home, the Ashes being regained. And across the country, in various states of repair, are goalposts, wickets and makeshift pitches. The moments of glory there will not be beamed across the country but in the heads of those playing will be the commentary: And Dad must score …
Sometimes you look up and there’s a view. A new view. You’re in a car park, say. A bit early. So you check your phone but there’s no reception. So no internet. A social media void. And the radio is just all about the news and the news isn’t something you want to hear. So you look out of the window and, as if knowing you need to be entertained, the clouds part for a moment letting the sun shine on the chilly hills.
Fields. A planning notice. 200 dwellings due to arrive subject to approval. A date to respond by. Processes to be followed. A town plan sometime in the past will have drawn around this zone in red and written a number next to it. Maybe 200, maybe more. And in the future this view, itself new because the road on which this sign is displayed is itself recent, will be homes and streets. This laminated piece of paper says so. It is the future.
The aftermath of drama and time to let sleeping dogs lie. A dog that yesterday had to be rushed to emergency surgery and who is now fighting to keep going. Our dog. You can’t tell of course. She still leaps up to see you, still bounces like the puppy she still really is. The bowl is now empty of the hidden medicine so that’s one battle won. But there’s a long war ahead so, for now, we’ll let this sleeping dog lie.