S.W. What?

I have a confession to make.  It’s very odd, but for the first year ever, since I was about 11, I have no interest in Wimbledon.  I don’t know why this is: it could be the football which means the BBC have given it less than their usual dedicated coverage; or the fact that Murray is out much sooner than he ought to have been – whatever the reason I have seen a few matches but it has failed to excite me.  To understand just how weird this is, you have to realise that Wimbledon has been a feature of my calendar every single year since 1966.  I have only missed a couple: once when I was living Up North and didn’t have a TV, and once when I was living in Madrid and only had access to channels like TVE 1 and Telecinco.  Every channel in Spain has adverts on; and the news is so frenetic you can’t follow it at all, never mind the sport.  Which reminds me, have you ever tried listening to the tennis on the radio?  It’s something else.  By the time they’ve described a back-hand cross-court volley with top-spin which lands just short of the baseline, about three more shots have been played.  Weird.

Today I have been mostly… finishing off my memoir.  Yay!  I have now reached the requisite 50,000 words (that’s about 150 pages) and have reached it in about six weeks starting from a base of 6000.  Now begins the work of revising… Still I think I shall give it a rest for a week or two as I have to do my tax return and reapply for tax credits.  Joy.

Have a good weekend.  We shall be going to the cathedral to see the new garden and to Serenity, a Sci-fi event, on Sunday where I shall be poeting.

Kirk out

Last of the Summer Whine

As I lay awake at 5.30 this morning I started thinking of ideas for this post, and lo! the voice of Wallace came into my mind, whereupon I tried to remember the bloke’s name.  Was he Clegg, or Foggy?  I think he was Clegg.  I know he wasn’t Compo – that was Bill Thingy.  Last of the Summer Wine was a great series, in spite of the sexism and the fact that it went on for about 20 years too long.  Roy Clarke was a very talented writer and the language in the earlier episodes is a delight:


But this post is about the last of the summer whine: or, to put it another way, the English and Our Weather.  Now, when I lived in Spain people didn’t talk about the weather at all.  And why?  Because there was nothing to say.  In the summer you would comment ‘Ay, que calor!’ and in winter ‘Ay, que frio!’  In between you could say, ‘Ay, que lluvia!’ – and once you’d said that, there was nothing more to say.  In summer it was hot.  Always.  In winter it was cold, always and in between it rained.  And that was that.  Whereas here there is always something to say.  ‘It’s not as hot as they said it would be’ or, ‘it’s very frosty for the time of year’, or ‘we haven’t had rain like this since 1986.  Or was it ’85?  I remember Michael Fish saying…’ and so on.  Actually, I do remember Michael Fish saying something… or was it Iain Macaskill?  Yes.  But enough of this later, as one sports commentator once said.  I wrote a short short story, a piece of flash fiction, about a weather conversation at the bus stop.  I was rejoicing in the unwonted (not unwanted) heat but the woman who was waiting with me was grumbling about it.  ‘It’s too hot too soon,’ she complained.  And that was the title of the piece.  I managed to get in the phrase ‘one brow of whew’.  A bit contrived, sadly.

Tomatoes today and then we shall be moving gas cookers from upstairs to down.

Kirk out

PS the BBC are doing Ethan Frome on radio 4 next week.  Listen – it’s a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.  No, honest.