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Monday, July 30, 2012

Where is the treasure for GB?


There is the first waking up of the day as you drag yourself out of bed and do the necessary.  The second wake up comes for me as I throw myself into the pool and taste that oddly salty tang of the water that they use in the baths and the third wake up comes when you pay for your cup of tea after the swim and notice that the bank card is not in your wallet.

That is the real eye opener and senses a-tingle occasion in the response to another day.

World weariness follows as your now hyper active brain attempts to re-live the immediate past financial transactions while attempting a CCTV approach to how, when and where one actually replaced the card in the bright blue aluminium case that now operates as a summer wallet.

As I sat down and concentrated my mind by staring at the milky tea with its two tea bags gradually turning the insipid liquid into something vaguely drinkable, I thought that I remembered picking up my card each time I had used it.  Then I tried to imagine myself putting it back in the accordion-like compartment inside the summer wallet and got the sensation that once I merely put it in my pocket with the receipt.

I think it was a Betty Boop cartoon showing her trying to find something everywhere and then pausing at a drawer because it was the last place and if it wasn’t there then it was truly lost.  I too paused before plunging my hand into my pocket because the tedium of stopping the card was too tiresome to contemplate.

My left pocket was cardless, so it was with something approaching desperation that I tentatively reached into my right.  And my fingers closed around something comfortingly hard and thin.  And I think I will change the subject as I now realize that things are getting a little too close to the bone.  Which is also capable of double entendre.

Anyway the card was found and all seemed well with the world.  The cad was placed back where it should have been and I was able to address my cup of tea with something approaching relish.

This was the emotional counterbalance to the positive endorsement given to me by one of the lifeguards in the pool who complemented me on my swimming when I was taking my end-of-swim shower, my twenty minutes of determined crawl at an end.

I am determined to get at least one of my summer tasks done today.  I think that I will choose the most alluring of them – getting membership of the Olympic Canal.

I have recently had yearnings for the rowing that I used to do in Roath Park and the Olympic Canal is the nearest that I can get to the lake with its islands that loomed so large in my youth.  Although I do not pretend to any competence in rowing I do (did) enjoy it and I would like to get back into the rhythm of the stroke.  Oh god I appear to have degenerated to the lowest form of double entendre again.

This may have something to do with the second of the books which I have actually bought for my Kindle.  “You talkin’ To Me? Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama” by Sam Leith.  The title is irresistible and when I read a positive review in my electronic copy of The Week I decided to take the plunge and buy.

The book is written in an engagingly chatty way and, like the best of economic text books cf Nevin, it is full of easy to appreciate examples which claim delighted understanding.  It is a riveting read so far, even if some of the technical terms are not going to stick in my memory.  I am enjoying it, but there is a problem with my card (again!) and Amazon are trying (while not taking the book away from me) to get me to give them up to date information.  I fear that their information about bank details comes from an earlier version of my card which when lost stayed lost.

Today is one of the traditional “brightly dull” days which I am prepared to settle for as they are cooler and there is no rain.

There is a deathly depression in this house after the disgracefully reffed game that Spain played last night.  Even I think that they were denied at least one and probably two penalties.  They hit the woodwork with monotonous regularity and the end result is that they are out of the competition!  This is a disaster for Spain as the football was one of the most possible Golds that they were expecting.  Nadal is out through injury and they also lost out on a Judo bronze yesterday.

I am trying (and failing) not to panic at the fact that Team GB’s total medal tally at the moment is just 2.  Neither of them golds.  At the moment it looks as though I am going to have precisely zero additions to my FDC collection at the end of the games.  Disaster!

I am sure that I am being unduly pessimistic, but it happens every four years and this time around we really did seem to be best prepared.  The loss of the gold in the racing on the first day was a real dampener and I am sure that it had an appreciably negative effect on the team. It certainly did on me.  Nevertheless, I will preserve the stiff upper lip and only break down in the closing ceremony.

There is even one example of a host nation not gaining a single gold to haunt us too!

Things have now gone from bad to awful.  The almost unprecedented medal in gymnastics for the men seemed, at first to be a totally unbelievable silver until the Japanese team who had been edged out of the medals completely made an objection and were not only reinstated in the medals but given the silver and we were demoted to bronze.  Which is still an amazing result – but not a gold.

As if to make things worse the French seem to be gaining gold like rabid Californian prospectors.  And their president is in the crowd watching their acquisition.  Unbearable.

I am now prepared to settle for one gold in anything.  Absolutely anything.  A single FCD.  That would be fine – as long as there is at least one.
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