I’m not even trying to hide the fact that I went to another football match this morning. For a while, the light was good. Better, then, than staying inside. This is how I make my life calculations these days.
Tried to get on a train today to go somewhere other than home, but when it turned up 20 minutes late and dangerously overcrowded, I remembered, only then, that Manchester United were at home (not to mention Leeds and Liverpool), and the hourly Sunday service was really not up to the job. I therefore returned home: but there were things to see on Calder Holmes Park that were just as interesting as what I might have encountered elsewhere. So the bad planning (mine, and the train company’s) didn’t matter in the end.
I’m not the only one who does this random non-league football thing, you know. In fact this was a pleasant evening, and there are certainly worse things to do on a Tuesday. Taken at Hurst Cross, home of Ashton United FC, during tonight’s game against local rivals Curzon Ashton. This ground has been in continuous use since September 1884, making it one of the oldest football grounds in the world.
This afternoon I paid a first-ever visit to the town of Pontefract, which has a significant amount of history, as is first of all indicated by its name of almost pure Latin — pontus fractus means ‘broken bridge’. Its castle was once the second-largest in the country and in its dungeon, King Richard II was starved to death in 1400.
But while I did take pictures of some of this history, in the end I am going with the surreal sight of these mannequin’s legs at the local footie ground. The absurdity of life and its trivia, and all that.
Flat land is at a premium in the valley, so round here, the recreation grounds are built high up: as with the Astleys, a set of one cricket and three football pitches above Sowerby Bridge. There are worse things to do on a Sunday morning.
A slightly familiar scene perhaps, whether generally or specifically to this location and club. But I don’t care. This take on it pleases me and although my lot (in orange) lost 2-0 this was the most pleasant thing about the day.
I was looking around today for some kind of shot that represented the milestone I have reached today — four thousand days, which is, now you know, about three weeks short of eleven years. No big round numbers particularly revealed themselves, though I did look. But these trophies will do — I feel I deserve some kind of award, if only from myself. There have been times when I have felt like it’s been going long enough, particularly on those days when I’m staying at home with little to see. But usually, on the horizon, I can see something else ahead which keeps the interest going — like right now, with a holiday to come and then a (work) trip abroad… Let’s not give up just yet then. I would lose that little bit of creativity that I am currently obliged to display each day. And I’m not dead yet, either.
It’s nice when interests coincide. Behind one goal at Atherton Laburnum Rovers’ Crilly Park stadium, there was growing today a whole run of plump, ripe blackberries, of which this was just a small part. Luckily for me I had a collection vessel, which was definitely filled before I settled in to watch the game.
You might have noticed that a nice round number approaches, in terms of the number of days I have been doing this. But that’s for tomorrow.
Bacup Borough FC’s ground, the Brian Boys West View Stadium, is located at about 280m/920 feet above sea level. Which, OK, is not very high by the standards of some countries but for Britain it’s elevated: in fact this is one of the highest football grounds in the country. So even at the end of July it wasn’t exactly tropical. The goalie ponders play while the moorland ponders dumping some more rain on all participants and spectators.
Yeah yeah, so I didn’t go more than 5 weeks without a dose of football, and travelled to North-East Wales to get it (specifically the village of Llandyrnog, near Denbigh). But the sport is incidental here to the rainbow, which was exemplary, one of the best I have ever seen — a double rainbow lasting at least 45 minutes (the second half, in other words). The price was that everyone got a bit wet earlier on, but it was worth it.