I don’t like football

No point in pretending

That I love the game

I understand the offside rule

I can explain it

But why should I?

I admired England’s Women

Playing in the European Cup

That was refreshing.

But Premier league?

Expensive, over hyped, boring,

Is my opinion.

And the World Cup venue?

Inequality and slave labour?

A Man’s paradise

Where women are second class

Rainbows are rebuked

Sports washing is preventing

Real freedoms.

Enough said.

Cricket

I was struggling to sleep again last night so I got up at 5am to have a warm drink. Sometimes I can sleep in the armchair.

I decided to turn the radio on for something to sooth my nerves. There was a programme called Test Match Special on. It was a cricket match between England and Australia. Australia were ahead three games in a five game series. This was the fourth test match.

The match was likely to go Australia’s way because they were well ahead on runs (in cricket you run between two sets of wickets with bales on top called stumps) . The bowler throws a ball at the stumps and tries to knock the bales off. The batsman has to defend the stumps. They try and hit the ball with a cricket bat. If they hit it they try and get runs. There are two batsmen (or women) at a time. They run between the stumps. You get four runs if you get the ball to run over the boundary line and six if you hit it over the boundary in the air.

Anyway, Australia was well in the lead. England had lost six men out of eleven and were batting. The commentators said that the last four of England’s batsmen had either suffered injuries or not done well in previous test matches. It looked very bleak!

I listened and was enthralled. There were missed catches and the Australians were trying hard, bouncing the ball high and hurting the batsmen (cricket balls are very hard). Lots of calls for leg before wicket (the batsman has his leg in the way and stops the bales being knocked off). Slowly the score crept up, three batsmen were caught or given LBW. (leg before wicket). I couldn’t sleep, this was too exciting! There were two batsmen left. Each round of bowling is called an over (where six balls are bowled) the last two overs came up. The first batsman tried to hit some runs so he could get to the other end and take the strike for the last over, if he did the last batsman would not have to play. But the Australians managed to stop him and the final over started with England’s last batsman waiting to be bowled at or bowled out! They couldn’t win but if he didn’t get knocked out they would have a draw.

Six balls. One after the other. It was radio so I couldn’t see what was going on, I could only listen to the commentary. Five balls to go, the daylight was going, the floodlights were on. Four balls, my heart was thumping. The batsman (Anderson) calmly prodded the ball away. Three balls. If the batsman tried to hit the ball the fielders (the rest of the Australian team) might catch the ball and get England out. Two more chances, the batsmen again stopped the ball. This was the last ball coming up. Australia had to dismiss the batsman to win. The bowler ran up, pitched the ball at the batsman and…. The batsman carefully pushed the ball away (I didn’t actually listen to what he did, I was too busy jumping up and down!) He ended the match safely not out. England drew the fourth test! Not a win, but a hell of a lot better than the previous three tests. The next text match is starting in Hobart, Australia on Friday. I’m expecting at least another sleepless night.

Yes I hate football

Football ⚽

Used to like it, the beautiful game. The skills, the athleticism, the ability. But I got fed up with it. The prices players are bought and sold for. The money they earn. I hate the way some teams can receive millions of pounds in TV rights, while the bottom clubs languish and are often running out of money.

The other thing I dislike is the way the fans act. They can be so antagonistic, fighting and getting drunk. The rivalry can turn into violence. I don’t think there is any need for it. There is too much racism too.

I hope that things will go OK tonight. That’s when England play against Denmark. May the best team win.

Marbles

Digital drawing of a marble. Something from a few years ago. I drew it at a site called Sketchfu that has closed down. I keep finding old pictures from there so I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

I was trying to get the effect of a sphere and getting the reflections was quite difficult. I like the colours. I was trying to make it look like the swirls in an old fashioned glass marble ( sometimes called ‘murps’.) Big marbles were called ‘Allys’. Kids would make a bowl or indentation in the ground, and you fired a marble at a group of marbles in the bowl shape by flicking it with your thumb. You won the marbles that you managed to knock out of the bowl/ indentation in the ground… Mostly played by boys, I used to play on the carpet at home….

Sliders.

Imagine a game like curling that you play with stones on ice, but on a normal floor. That’s sliders, a curling game where the stones have ball bearings underneath them to allow them to glide across the floor  You aim at a target with scores which go from 1 2 3 4 5 and 10.

Today I actually scored a 10, which is very unusual for us. Sometimes I can’t even reach the target as the bearings on the stones are starting to get worn out. We play a simple game where the highest score after an hour wins. Today there were 7 of us playing. It’s also good exercise as you are bending and stretching and walking backwards and forwards.

If you want a simple game to play at a community centre or village hall I would recommend it.