Walking onto the desolation of exmoor this morning, among the sheep and the trees, up a hill, a never ending hill to the sky, a pub emerges. A pub not of this age. The pub labeled closed. The landlord does not care for the convention of opening times, he lives by his own clock and calendar. Yet he is a friendly affable character, as he emerges from the door and invites us in. Upon stepping across the threshold we feel ages gone by converge, but not this one. Candles sit on the tables, not for the romance, but due to the hill being too steep for electric light to climb. The carpet is worn to a fine fray that will only stay due to it being the only thing it knows. The landlord is a man barely able to contain the infinite stories he has gathered. They spill and tumble forth, as a river from the mountains. Stories of dead shoes, Royalty and Opera singers. It would seem the world has passed through here, a fulcrum of eccentricity. He serves two glasses of ale and disappears. From the other room wooden teeth clatter as a piano plays. Following the siren we find the landlord is sitting at the piano, hands on knees watching the dancing keys. The ever enchanting pianola shows off. He claims not to play, as ever after they say.. they start to play, and the piano gives melodic replies. Hunger pulls us away, but we will be back on another day, to observe the outpouring of magic from this hilltop font.
A vicarious experience, where folks take responsibility for another’s actions.
Some watch one sport, some a few, some watch all sports, then some none at all.
What draws the sports fan in? Perhaps a family tradition, no choice at all, sat in the push chair with a red woolly hat, bearing the logo of your Dad’s team. Maybe a glimmer of interest while sifting through the TV channels one day. It starts innocently enough, colour and movement flicker across the screen, after a time the rules come into focus. But soon, you have chosen a team, that is that, you are ensnared. Despite having no connection at all. These strangers go play every weekend for their own enjoyment and living, yet they carry the expectations of thousands of remote crazies. A win and the fan’s world flowers, a loss and the grey hangs in their head for days. Longer than the players grief, who use their fame to screw it away. And how ungracious, when the remote parasites win. They will claim the win as their own, the losing fan replies ‘Sorry, I shall shout at the TV harder next time, you obviously are more skilled at watching’.. Mean time, the players would not give them the time of day. The sports fan to them, just a sound over there, a signature, a crumb for imploring eyes. Yet the fan’s emotions hang on the players performance, a player responsible for a thousand bad days, or a thousand vibrant hearts.
Try to remember that when that team whose shirt you wear, stink the place out. It is not your loss. And those who chose a team on a winning streak? Do not let your ego believe you had one single input in their victory. I will attempt the same.
If you enjoy the shiny and new, you will be forever buffing and polishing, trying to hold time. Those who love the creased and the old, there is always worry free joy.