Looking beyond the immediate abyss..

8 May

It’s been some time since I put thoughts on paper. The valley of death into which our politicians have led us has become a ravine. I lost all heart for a while but there are small handholds in the slabs above the abyss which can take my weight. I can only hope that those responsible for the black hole in our democracy lose their grip and plunge into that ravine.

OK. Reasons to be cheerful. Liverpool. I’m not a fan of the scousers but by God what a game. Judd Trump. My God, what a performance. Tiger, Tiger burning bright. A sporting God (and don’t we like the fallen hero resurrected?)Harry and Megan. OMG, the extraordinary production of a child. And now the summer of sporting snapshots – all the usual stuff, Wimbledon, the Open, the Ashes and all that – but also World Cups in Cricket and the Lionesses in France. Netball and Rugby take centre stage too. And there will be lots of photos of little royals to keep us and Hello Magazine happy.

Sporting heroism, royalty and outstanding musical and artistic performance keep us all sane, optimistic and buoyed up. There is a purity in these things which seems a million miles from the whispering corridors of power and snide self-interest. And it is not escapism, indeed the pursuit of the ultimate in performance and the fondness we have for the celebrity leaders of our society, be they Megan or Elton, suggests a purity, an innocence where we mere mortals applaud achievement and excellence in an uncomplicated and generous way.

You may not have heard of Barry Middleton, ex England and GB men’s hockey captain who retired from International hockey after 432 caps. 432!! His skill and dedication has easily matched far more famous and moneyed sports stars but his pre-eminence as a British player of such longevity at the highest level is quite, quite extraordinary. And he has always played with such integrity and sportsmanship.

I mention Barry because in national terms he is an unsung and, outside hockey circles, unknown hero. Let me add James Cracknell’s name to those for whom I have untold admiration. At 47 – and after enough personal trials and tribulations to unhinge most people – he won a Blue for Cambridge in winning the Boat Race. The staggering physical and mental effort to eclipse the age record for the event by a country mile is an achievement almost beyond comprehension.

I salute these two guys and all the girls and boys to whom we will look up this summer. Steph Houghton leading out the Lionesses beats Mother Theresa staggering out of her local church any day. And if only Andy’s hip can come right….

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: