Saturday, April 24, 1982

Fighting by Monday

I intended going into Easterby early but fannied about and then just couldn’t be bothered. Mum seems really tense, drawn and weary and she's been depressed for a while now I think. I know I don't help with selfish behaviour and idleness.

I’ve worked out that so far, in nearly two years of writing this journal I’ve written nearly 200,000 words: at this rate I'll write a million words every ten years.

Robert and Carol arrived and at two we set off for the match in bright sunshine. Athletic kicked off towards the Kop end and I had a real knot of tension in the pit of my stomach. Haley Hill were wearing garish turqouise shirts and socks. Athletic began really well, playing fast, flowing and skillful football but the Haley Hill goalie Mexford was really good. For the first quarter of an hour their defence remained tight and then McArdle nearly kicked Mexford as they went for the ball. Mexford retailiated and the crowd went wild as the ref’ booked him.

This set the atmosphere alight and every Easterby attack was greeted with a roar but gradually the initiative slipped away and the teams went in goalless.

The second-half was much the same but the clock ticked inexorably onward and I was hating it. Then, then after 65 minutes we scored: a fantastic Newlands right foot shot which Mexford couldn’t reach. It was a superb feeling. Newlands was really giving it everything, the whole team was buzzing in fact, creating several close chances and hitting the crossbar. But McArdle was pathetic and to crown his crap performance he missed a penalty.

I was in a good mood: Athletic are the only team in the top 6 to win! I walked home through Woodhead Park, over Ashburn and down through the woods and the golf course. The woods were pleasant and quiet, bathed in bright early evening sunshine and I stood and just soaked in the leafy quietness. A skylark soared skyward somewhere over fields and I imagined what it was like a few hundred years ago, unspoiled moorland clear across to Withenkirk. I really enjoyed my walk.

The Falklands issue seems to be reaching a critical point and late on Mum was again near to tears: “They’ll be fighting by Monday. . . . I can’t believe that mankind’s doing it again! Why don’t they ever learn?” I felt tense and angry and screwed up and felt so helpless. Governments shepherd us about like fools.

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