Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins, Chlamydia, Clydeside, coffee, Glasgow, lavender, London 2012, Michael Phelps, Novak Djokovic, Olympics, Roger Federer, Sarah Montague’, Thought for the Day, Warren Buffet
You could sit in the sun, but there was a wind. I suggested to my friend Chlamydia that we should go to an alternative venue for those all-important coffees.
There is a barn with surrounding lavender fields which sells all things lavenderial – wreaths, scrubs, oils, essential and non-essential, cake, shortbread and lilac furbelows. Actually they stock pink, white and tufted green plants as well and someone told me that they had supplied floral spikes for the Olympic bouquets. They probably supply some for the local Hyacinth Bouquets too. Chlamydia, or Clammie, as she prefers to be known, caught them out, though, by asking for lavender which suited a north-facing position. It was worthy of Gardeners’ Question Time from Sparsholt College. Of course, she knew the answer and she also knew that it was only available on the Isle of Wight, so there!
Then I quizzed them as to whether the lavender in the shortbread was definitely of the edible variety. I was a little nervous since they hadn’t known the answer to the north-facing question.
After a cyclist had been run over by a bus containing the media, Wiggins had lent his support to the cause of compelling cyclists to wear helmets. Some smart arse had objected and recommended that more people should simply get on their bikes and go onto the roads and there would be safety in numbers. I could only think of huge flocks of Canada geese, where the outriders were picked off by preying predators, yet a percentage made it through to sunnier climes, or to more wintry ones, depending on the birds in question. We are supposed to be worth more to God than the fall of a sparrow, I pondered. I had heard that assurance on Thought for the Day. I thought that more academics should listen in, if they weren’t too exasperated with Sarah Montague in the rest of the programme. They might learn something.
Andy eliminated Djokovic in a very short time and then actually smiled. Roger, looking very fetching in the colours of his country’s flag, played the longest Olympic tennis semi-final ever, against a very smart Argentinian. When Roger nipped off for a comfort break, I myself was relieved that the Argy guy did not unfurl a banner about the liberation of the Malvinas, though that was the second publicity opportunity that they had missed.
I was disappointed in Roger’s wife, however. She was wearing a baseball cap- and I remembered what that had done to William Hague’s credibility- and she was chewing, as if she was Alex Ferguson. My granny had always told me off for chewing in public though she had come from Clydeside. So, I shuddered to think what part of Glasgow Alex had come from. At any rate, cud regurgitation was not a cool look and I felt it was unworthy of the consort of the glacial elegance of Federer.
At a crucial match point a baby had started yelling and I had felt that stab of maternal anxiety that can ruin a day out or an evening meal for adults. I was glad when it was silenced- perhaps by an usher asking if it had its own ticket, or was merely related to a ball boy or girl. Just as well it hadn’t squawked at Andy’s match, or his mum might have dealt with it very efficiently off camera- see Scottish play.
I watched the women’s ten thousand metres race and found it amusing to see the four Africans overtake the others who were visually ahead, but who were in lap arrears. They had to avoid a big Polish(?) guy who had chucked a cannonball an amazing distance. He had the bad manners to run across their track. Had he tripped they would have had to hurdle over him, like negotiating some kind of beached whale. Then it was the turn of pregnant wives and excited children to swarm over the track. It was getting like the rush hour.
On the radio I had heard someone quoting Warren Buffet, who commented that when the tide recedes you can see those who are swimming naked. I wondered if there was a wave machine in the Olympic pool. It would be quite interesting to flick a switch. However, they all seemed to favour those lycra long johns – even Michael Phelps – pity.