Friday, 3 August 2012

Who do they think I am?

We’d been having a conversation about the Olympics, because everyone’s interested, aren’t they?  They’d been to the rowing at Dornay, and were excited and enthused about the experience.  I haven’t  been watching any of it on the telly but I have been keeping up with what’s going on, more or less, although I’m not usually that interested in sport – because I feel impelled to join in with the national mood.  We debated a few fine technical points, like whether men’s football, tennis and (as is being proposed) golf should be included – consensus, no – chatted about some recent results, and then moved on to a review of the opening ceremony, which we all agreed was splendid.  I suggested that the best thing about it was its quiet subversiveness, culminating in the choice of seven of the next generation to light the cauldron above any of the peevish aging laureates.   

At this point, I started to sense that I’d lost it.  “Seb Coe should have lit it,” I was instructed.  I ran my objections to this preposterous suggestion rapidly though my head and decided a gentle head-shake was the wisest response.  This got picked up.  “I know you’re not interested, but can’t you find anything positive to say about the Olympics?” I was asked angrily.

Later on, we watched some boxing.  “I really don’t like boxing,” I said, going on to explain that I’d been quite good at it at prep school because I’d been forced to be.  “Well, we do,” I was told.  “I know you don’t like sport, because you’re more interested in music and stuff like that.”

The fight could have started then; but I thought of Wittgenstein and kept my silence.  So now you know.  I’m the guy who isn’t interested in sport because he likes music.


  1. I'm with you, Tim. I was quite entranced by the opening ceremony,even despite its faults, but since then - well - I know that the Bath girls got a rowing medal, probably gold, and Bradders got a cycling medal - but to be honest I haven't watched a single moment of the actual events.

    Lucky we've got quite a selection of Pie In The Sky/Lovejoy/Midsomers/etc that we've forgotten what the denouements were.....

  2. Oh, and what was your (silent) soundtrack to the above?

    And yea, I thought the choice of 7 youngsters was a truly inspired move.

  3. I'm with both of you. But I've been impressed by the smooth organisation of the whole thing, I'd rather expected a bit of papering-over-the-cracks amateurism and it actually seems to be going rather well. Although I don't want to watch the sport, I've become rather more engaged (from way in the background) than I thought I would be.

  4. Tim - did you come away from that evening wondering how you came to be friends with these people? It's an awful feeling to realise you are in company with people who have views so far removed from your own.

    I'm loving Olympics, especially the rowing which I have been strangely drawn to since watching a documentary about the mens' heavy coxless 4 back in 2000. I remember getting up early to watch the rowing live from Sydney. I'm not usually much of a sports fan, but there is something about the Olympics that has interested me for a long time.

    I also enjoyed the opening ceremony. I had never previously watched an opening ceremony so had not preconceptions. I thought it was rather marvellous and very much approved of the next generation of athletes having the privilege of lighting the flame.

  5. They're not always, or even usually, that bad. It's just that they have certain blind spots, which tend to glaze over even more when drenched in alcohol and seasoned with over-enthusiasm. I'm used to it, and it doesn't outweigh the laughs, fun and support I get most of the time. Besides, nobody but me remembers it next morning.

  6. Please help. In your sidebar where you have links to other sites (not mine, but hey, why should you?) the Abstruse Goose one says [image: then_i_learned_how_to_ride_a_bike_and_i_was_nothing_but_trouble]
    which I feel holds huge potential for my daughter and all her friends

    but when I go on the website I get the Wilderness cartoon, which is good, I must say but has nothing to do with that image. How does this link work then?

  7. Hi AQ. That's something Abstruse Goose does on his posts, no idea how - he's a mischievous little bugger!
    I do follow (and enjoy) your blog, and your posts appear on my reading list, so I don't know why they don't show on the sidebar. I have noticed that some do, some don't. Blogger is a mystery!

  8. I loved the opening ceremony (mostly) and have been watching bits of the competitions while eating dinner. Occasionally, I've even stayed on to watch a final. I got quite excited about the cycling because I'd watched some of the documentary about Victoria Pendleton and I had to watch the rwoing because I'd seen the story of the two oddballs who won it years and years ago (though I found it necesary to get up an d leave quickly when Big Ears started asking really bad questions after the girls had won).
    I'm not into sport but I like a good story. Music is like breathing isn't it? You just need a constant supply to stay alive.

  9. I didn't watch the opening ceremony unfortunately as it sounds like fun but I do remember being taken home in tears from your prep school because some thug gave you a bloody nose in a boxing contest.