Tuesday 27th December 2011
GRAN – as everyone called my Mum – wasn’t, as far as I can remember, particularly superstitious: an umbrella unfurled indoors would be daft; a broken mirror a waste disposal problem, not an omen. Most of life’s vicissitudes, she opined, were either in the lap of the gods or Hobson’s choice.
A keen watcher of Wimbledon, the Olympics and other major Games, she was drawn more to individual sporting prowess than tournaments involving teams. Snooker and swimming were, I surmise, more her cup of tea than hockey or volleyball.
“Are you watching the World Cup at all, Mum?”
“Only what’s on the news. They’d lose if I watched it live.”
Which surprised me. Known her all my life: since I was no bigger than this full-stop. Yet I only found out about that superstition the summer before she died – unless she was teasing me, of course, as she often did.
Usually, to avoid getting behind, I try and finish these entries before ten o’clock at night. This occasionally means I’m writing while listening to a football commentary. And recently I have detected – though wish I hadn’t – a disturbing correlation between results on the page and those on the pitch.
There is, therefore, an added urgency to this piece as Spurs are only drawing 0-0 at Norwich and it’s now half-time.
Last Wednesday’s fixture between QPR and Sunderland (I support four teams) was a good case in point.
Eager to complete a triptych on Occupy London, I told myself, before kick-off, that I’d have to meet a self-imposed deadline in order for the Black Cats to secure victory. How ridiculous is that, dear reader?
I rattled off about half the piece in forty-five minutes. Sunderland were two goals up when I hit the wall, fingers frozen over the keys. QPR struck back, twice.
It’s happening again: Gareth Bale grabs a pair.
Approaching injury time, I piled on the pressure. The lads and I both pulled off a late winner: 3-2. Bizarre, but extremely satisfying.
All I need now is a good title – to help keep up Spurs’ title challenge.