I woke up yesterday in my house on the south coast. A quick shower and down for breakfast – Jane and the kids, her mother, her brother and his family all milling around.
This house has been in my family since my Grandfather built it in 1933, It had been very run down, a bit like the wider area, but this year we (I own it with my three sisters) gave it a complete overhaul. At the same time the whole area round here seems to be on the up – I haven’t seen the beaches like this since I was a boy.
We started out on a walk just as it was beginning to rain. It didn’t look good for the day – I hung back to make some calls. I caught up with the others later and the sun had come through – by the time we got to the ice cream shop on the sea front there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
After a long slow walk back we fired up the BBQ with all the trimmings. Outstanding. Immediately after lunch I settled down with Jon, my brother-in-law, to watch the cricket, which was going extremely well.
I had one runner – Ruler of my Heart was running in a listed race at Deauville. She was the outsider of the race in the early betting, but Tom fancied her. I thought the race was at 2:45, but Mick rang at 2:40 with the good news.
ROMH won by an easy 2 lengths – Davy Bonilla said there was plenty more in the tank. The race was worth E64K plus bonuses to the winner – ROMH is French Bred so she collects the full amount. Very nice.
After calls to Tom and a few others we picked up our deckchairs and headed down to the beach for a swim. The water was warm with a gentle tide and breeze. It felt like the old days. News came through that Trott had notched up his hundred. Swindon were away to Oldham and I was following the action on my blackberry. It was 1-1 as we went in to extra time – I tensed up as we threw away a load of games last year in the late stages.
The phone rang – it was Jeremy. My heart leapt – I knew we must have scored. I started pacing around the beach and did fist pumping signs to Jon. We had indeed scored – Billy Paynter from 18 yards out.
This was it – the day of all days. I was about to throw my arms back and blast out ‘oh it’s such a perfect day…’ in my best and loudest baritone when…
Jeremy said ‘I don’t believe it’… – Oldham had equalised in the dying seconds with a complete fluke – a cross from 40 yards out had caught the wind and floated into the goal. A devastating blow. I went back to watch the cricket – the Aussies notched up 80 for no loss and are still very much in the game.
Not such a perfect day after all. Not bad though on balance.
I have a few runners for the second half of the week – will update later.