Wednesday, 7 November 2007


I'm really tired and I ache. I'm getting too old for all this. I've got by on very little sleep for two days and today really hurts. I've not been misbehaving though. I think I'm probably reacting to the exertions of the these last two days in a fairly normal way for someone my age. Let's see.

On Monday I played football. Or soccer, depending on your viewpoint. I'm not one of these English people who get all precious when others, normally Americans, refer to our beautiful game as soccer. I know we invented it but most of the rest of the world call it soccer and they're better than us at it so just deal with it. Anyway, I played two games in one night which would be enough to exhaust me at any time but when I've only just started playing again after a year out and am a long way from anything approaching match-fitness then it's gonna hurt more than usual. What also hurt was hitting the deck far too often as a result of A) flat-footed defenders hacking me down after being bamboozled by my fleet-footed ball trickery and B) tripping over myself. As a result I'm afflicted with a variety of grazes, bruises, bumps and strains.

Monday's matches were notable for the appearance in one of the opposition teams of a girl. A girl. This was a source of apprehension in our team, particularly among the younger members who started to giggle like schoolboys who had just discovered the lingerie section in their mum's catalogue. They all apologised in advance for any injuries they might cause or parts they might inadvertently grab during the match, as if this were some delicate flower they were dealing with. I knew better than that and suspected that this girl was probably a world beater, someone who could make fools of us all, and I was nearly right. She was good. We survived any real embarrassment though by each of us suddenly taking the game very seriously when she was on the ball. Being nutmegged by a girl would be impossible to live down and we all survived unscathed.

I returned home exhausted and looked forward to a night of deep sleep, my first in a while. I was to be disappointed. All through the night every subtle movement caused me to wake up in pain as if being prodded by a snooker cue. I didn't sleep well.

This fatigue endangered my plans for last night which was to go see my mate Jody's band, High Priests. The decision to go was made easier by my flatmate's declaration that he would drive me into London in his dad's Porsche. It's a fair bit better, and quicker, than the other option which involves getting a bus and two trains. I'm really glad I went, not just because High Priests are excellent but because Jody's a lovely man and I hadn't seen him for a few years. They released their debut album on Monday after years of hard work (My mate's for sale on Amazon!) and I felt really proud in that strange way that you can feel pride in something over which you had absolutely no influence. I also saw a few other people I hadn't seen for ages and was very glad I went.

I didn't get home until gone 1am and was again looking forward to a deep, if somewhat abbreviated, sleep. Once again though I was woken throughout the night pretty much every time I did so much as move a muscle. I could barely open my eyes in this morning.

So here I am. It's early afternoon and I don't feel too bad but I'm certainly tired. Am I getting too old for football one night and a night in London the next during the working week? I don't really care and it really doesn't matter. The point is that it's cool for me to still be playing football (and not letting myself down!) and it's even cooler to have a friend whose face is on the cover of an album that's for sale in all good online music stockists. And probably some rubbish ones too.

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