Sunday, August 08, 2004


I did myself a mischief on Thursday. I was playing my regular game of rounders for a bookshop team (despite having left the employment of said bookshop 3 years ago - that's kind of how the rounders teams work in Cambridge) and batting in the second innings. We'd been hopelessly outplayed in the first innings but were getting our own back a bit now. Anyway, late in the innings and it's my turn at bat. I smack the ball away pretty well and make it to third base with ease. The throw comes in from the outfield but it's short and the fielder at fourth base, a big fellow, has to move out to the ball to retrieve it. He's closer to fourth than me but he's fumbled the ball and there's a chance I can make it. I set off slowly, giving myself the option to creep back to third if I think the run is too risky. He gets hold of the ball, looks up, sees me moving toward fourth.

Now, whether or not I score or he gets me out makes not a jot of difference to the result of the match. I might as well stay where I am and play it safe. Or if I do set off he might as well let me reach fourth unhindered. There's no reason to care. Except we both love playing the game. A look passes between us and we both run full pelt toward the base. We reach it at the same time, he diving across my path at full stretch trying to stump me out, me travelling too fast to avoid running into him. We collide. I fly through the air and crash land somewhere beyond the base presumably striking Mr Fielder a considerable blow in passing. We both end up sprawled on the ground, no one really knows or cares if I'm out or I've scored a rounder but the general consensus is that this little display of slapstick has been hilarious. I would agree save for the fact that my back, which had been giving me a bit of gyp earlier in any case, now feels really quite dodgy.

Thursday night provides little sleep as I'm in considerable pain for much of it. Friday morning it hurts like hell but this eases through the day. This repeats from here on: wake in great pain; pain subsides as the day goes on.

Seems to be gradually improving anyway. So hopefully I'll be all fit and well by Thursday so I can play rounders again and maybe pick up some new injury. Hurrah!

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