Wednesday 23rd October
It may or may not have stopped raining, one can never be sure and leaving the house without an umbrella is a futile exercise at best. The ground is soaking, super-saturated and barely able to absorb another inevitable downpour. There is a dense grey mist hanging over everything, you are wading through muddy curtains of mist. You certainly cannot see the Himalayas, or even the rolling meadows let alone the foothills themselves. It is still dark at seven and dark again at five, and the wet and dank just add to the gloom. Your shoes have only just dried out from yesterday as you resolutely tie the laces and prepare for today’s sodden challenge.
But worse than this is the nation’s mood itself. Images of smiling Olympian and Paralympian athletes holding up medals and beaming sunshine back at us have been replaced by missing children and drivers on the rampage using their cars as lethal weapons, mowing down innocent pedestrians in their rage. The football is panning out as inevitably as ever with the usual suspects winning and winning, proving that money talks and buying a new squad each year is the surest way to success. And even here in escapist football we are witness to the worst sort of mindless thuggery from the seventies and eighties. A so-called fan runs onto the pitch and attacks the perplexed goalie of the opposition. If you cannot win on the pitch then at least try to take out one of their players. For me the worst aspect was the congratulatory hugs and backslaps he received on returning triumphant to the stands.
As true a picture of the nation’s mood as the weather I am afraid.