Saturday, January 9, 1982

High and white

It was bitterly cold and snowed on and off all day. I read Kerouac and cursed the weather but set out anyway for the bus to Cardigan Park and Athletic's game v. Brynmor. After I got off the bus, I walked on Three Locks Road to the ground, on the way passing our old house on Wintersett Crescent: seeing all the places where I used to mess about made me feel weird. It looked just the same.

The pitch was covered by a light layer of snow with only the centre circle and penalty area cleared. The crowd was fairly sparse; Robert and Carol showed up just before kick-off. Carol's from Brynmor but is now an Easterby Athletic convert.

Easterby started poorly, slipping and misjudging the ball on the snowy pitch, and Brynmor adapted better and seemed firmer-footed, so it was no real surprise when they went ahead. Although Athletic attacked quite fiercely at times, hit the post and missed two other good chances, they played badly; after half-time the game went much the same, but the superb Brynmor goalie kept them in the lead.

Robert got quite worked up at times, shouting at the ref and the team and yelling (at Brynmor’s No. 2): “Dennis, you’re a bastard!” But just when we were all resigned to a dismal and frustrating defeat, there was a scramble in the goalmouth– an equaliser! We could scarcely believe it, and jumped up and down bellowing accordingly. We went home satisfied.

I set off for the Sports Centre at seven. On the walk down I noticed the lunar eclipse, the rising moon just a bright narrow crescent, the rest a dull reddish brown. Once, this would’ve been cause for much excitement. . . .

Paul Wallace, Adam, Tony Megson, Claire, Claire’s sister Linda, Evelyn and Deborah had already changed when I turned up and we only had one court so we played alternate doubles. Later, after we’d gone to Evelyn’s house and eaten a lavish three course meal, we talked and drank Adam’s home brew, three glasses of which made things less awkward. Tony seems confident, witty and thoroughly in control, and Adam is smooth and well-spoken but seems old before his time. Claire, Linda, Adam and Paul left at eleven thirty and I stayed and had a cup of tea with Deborah, Tony and Evelyn. I found it easier to talk.

As I walked home the moon was whole again, high and white, and searingly bright to look at.

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