I’ve been a bit busy this last week or two. I was, in any case, scheduled to be involved covering for my mum’s carer (who has been on holiday for a fortnight), but things have been further confused by a messy little building job here (which, by the nature of such things, slipped a week or so, so as to maximise the clash with the other distractions) and – most seriously – by my wife’s mother being admitted to hospital with a stroke; she seems to be making some progress, but it will be a lengthy and uncertain period of recovery. For 10 days or so the Contesse has mostly been driving all over the Scottish Borders to make hospital visits, collect clothes, and provide a taxi service to friends and relatives.
So, apart from catching up on my reading of the Lasalle rules between watching football matches on TV at my mum’s house, all wargaming related activity has stopped dead here. I followed and thoroughly enjoyed the World Cup – most exciting, and was sort of aware of Wimbledon and the Tour de France, but it’s all been a bit of a shambles – hearing snippets and seeing newsclips as time permitted.
I thought it was interesting and great fun that the Tour de France started in Yorkshire, and fairly boring that it also had to include London as part of the detour(?) – wouldn’t be a show without Punch, would it, and we can’t have the Provinces making too much of it. Without wishing to appear miserable or unpatriotic, I admit to a small amount of satisfaction over the quick elimination of Britain’s Mr Froome – surely one of the more irritating sporting heroes? – who fell off his bike 3 times in 2 days (or something like that), fortunately without causing himself too much lasting damage. I have been a bit depressed by the shrill melodrama surrounding Team Sky and its line-up of soap queens in the build-up to the event. Call me old-fashioned if you will, but I have followed bicycle road racing for years, and I have a nostalgic, pathetic affection for the days when a domestique was a domestique, road racing was dominated by exotic foreigners and the Tour de France was – well, in France. The picture at the top of this post is of a possible configuration for Mr Froome’s consideration.
It had to happen – some acquaintance took the hysteria surrounding the football World Cup as an opportunity to produce a personal Facebook campaign about the overpaid fairies who play football, pointing out that rugby, on the other hand, is a game played by Real Men. Of course it was all in fun (oh my aching sides), but it isn’t very original and, considering the respective viewing figures worldwide, it is certainly not particularly relevant. It also fails to mention that, at grass roots level, and particularly in the case of the acquaintance who initiated this little onslaught, rugby is also (arguably) a game played by Real Men who are too heavy and unco-ordinated to play anything more skillful. Anyway, how we larfed.
I heard this morning that the F35 fighter did not appear at Farnborough, which is obviously a bit embarrassing, and is a very sad disappointment for the many enthusiasts who were hoping to see it. I know little or nothing about the plane, though I certainly hope it isn’t another overpaid fairy, but it did occur to me that the Farnborough organisers missed an opportunity – they could have claimed that it was actually there, and was demonstrating its remarkable stealth capability.