Tuesday, 26 June 2012


in some early editions of this post the word PROGNOSTIC appeared as "prostenations". I really don't know what cam over me - the editor

I don’t go out a lot.

I’m not sacred, I’m just don’t know how to.

I feel good alone.

I feel relaxed here in this meadow.

But I ventured out on Saturday evening and went to the village.

It was a risk – people would say “hey, look who’s come out!’

Then they would tease me, ask me if I was well and then the conversation would fade to a silence and neither me, nor they, would know what to do.

So I sat down at the back of the crowd watching the screen where Spain and France were kicking a football away from each other within the framework of a European Championship Quarter Final.

Dave (ELS  - check him out in the links over on the side) left on this blog recently saying that the absence of any comment on this event was a surprise – so I figured I should make an effort.

Luckily the empty seat at the back was next to Jhean - to whom I once had to relate, over the phone, the ins and outs – mainly outs – of the birth of his daughter Charlotte because he was in Paris 600 km away and I was bedside.

So I know him well enough not to have to fake conversation.

He looked at me –“Chris! One euro for the bet – who’s going to win and what will be the score?”

He had a book in which he was recording all the prognostic(s) and a blue box for the money.

I had a euro with me - because this room is normally the bar associative and I thought I might have to buy a drink.

In fact I had my purse.

But (another in fact) the bar wasn’t serving.

But there WAS a pig being barbecued in the courtyard.

Unluckily, or not because I’m fairly vegetarian, I had eaten a pizza an hour earlier after a silky swim in the local river.

I had also had a slug of wine that I had bought in a Portuguese shop that has suddenly appeared in the local town 20km distant and which I thought I should check out after I dropped my own daughter and said goodbye for at least the weekend.

There’s a photo of the bottle up above – before I chilled it in the fridge as the label recommended.

And before I opened it and slugged – the shape of the bottle demands slugging.

I didn’t say any of this to John, which would at least have shown communicative intent, because he would have thought me crazy.

In fact there are very few that I can tell these things to.

Which is why I say them to you.

Instead I gave him a euro.

And we watched the first half.

Spain kept the ball and wouldn’t give it to the French and then they scored a girl.(oops, Freudian slip- i meant goal!)

So it was 1-0 at half time, and only one person had predicted this as the final result, and that was another Jhean – the plumber who had just fixed my bathroom tap.

Then everyone one got up and went down to the courtyard to eat barbecued stuff.

I stood alone on the terrace and watched the sunset.

It was radiant.

A ball of crimson orange, if such a thing be, a silver slither of a new moon – yes I wished - and many, many swallows diving and reeling against the fading blues of the evening sky.

Then, not able to face the crowd in the courtyard, I sat alone at the back of the room and watched what remained of the half-time analysis.

I related this to Jhean when he returned – “one goal down is good for France because the longer that continues the more Spain will doubt they, themselves, are going to win.”

Or not.

Because it turned out that Spain scored a second goal right near the end.

Then they gave the ball to the French who were so surprised that they gave it back and the game was over.

Everyone turned to Jean.

“Did anyone say Spain, 2-0?”

Jean looked in his book.


Everyone clapped.

I blushed.

I had been the only one, so the winnings were all mine.

I went home with 26 euros!

I won’t go out again, I don’t want to ruin my new reputation.

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