Where Have You Gone?

After a week of overpowering heat, thankfully this morning’s West Yorkshire meteorological landscape incorporates a much needed cooling zephyr. Who knows, this evening we sleep deprived folk’ll manage to secure our first half decent kip for a week. GJ Strachan at last being able to function in daylight hours without an accompanying jet-lag type befuddlement.

To carry on the aircraft metaphor, in a similar way to how I managed to cope when I worked nights shifts for decades, I’ve been surviving on autopilot of late. My fatigue so extreme yesterday evening, at 7.30pm I nodded off outdoors while sitting upright is a rattan garden chair.

Admittedly, though, a couple of glasses of pinot Grigio would’ve also been a contributing factor toward this weariness. However, it’s a habit I’m keen not to make the norm….. That’s habitually falling asleep at 7.30pm, not drinking pinot Grigio; a good friend of mine during COVID lockdown.

Sitting in the kitchen table, in the distance I can hear a TV preview of the Tokyo Olympics, whose opening ceremony takes place latter today. Due to prevailing COVID lockdown in Japan, a multi-event tournament which’ll take place with stadium/venue seats as barren as Newcastle United FC’s trophy cabinet.

Partaking in events without atmosphere generated by an audibly euphoric audience must take some of the shine off partaking for the games participants. These dedicated athletes, who’ve sacrificed so much and trained so hard over a five year period, denied the adoration of spectators, and even having to present themselves with their own medals…… Only time will tell whether they afford themselves a congratulatory hand shake when handing themselves their gong.

Watching fan-less olympic events, courtesy of wall to wall BBC coverage, will also seem peculiar. As it was watching English football matches in empty stadiums while coronavirus’ wreaked havoc amongst the global populace. Episodes which gave even the most prestigious of ties the look and feel of pre-season friendlies.

Ironically, the pre-season friendlies which’ve just started in preparation for the 2021/2022 football season will have a bigger supporter footfalls than last seasons COVID restricted Premier League matches.

However, one can’t help forecasting that with most restrictions lifted now in England and instances of COVID on the rise again, we’ll be locked back down again come the commencement of wintertide. Regardless of the fact a majority of Englanders receiving double vaccinations.

A gloomy outlook to be sure – But come on you surely don’t visit this website to read sanguine predictions for the pen of Gary ‘My Glass Is Completely Empty’ Strachan.

Not that I can blame the pen for this curmudgeonliness. After all, it’s only a conduit for my thoughts…… Anyhow, I don’t write with a pen, it’s a keyboard with which my fingers render the pages within my website’s editing page.

No, if you want to blame anything for yours truly’s sallow outlook blame my brain. That produced the pallid forecast, not an inanimate object. My brain got me into this mess, and god dammit (one day) it’ll will get me out.

Incidentally, I’ve just caught sight of the Olympic opening ceremony on the Beeb and it appears a small crowd has in fact allowed in for the clambake. It appears the fella who told me no crowds would be allowed into Tokyo Olympic stadia/venues has sold me a dud.

Understandably, the ceremony is understated and plays out with a seemingly calm politeness of which the Japanese excel. A generalisation perhaps, but it’s a compliment so hopefully I’m forgiven for wandering down that particular street called cliche.

Deciding to hold this games while the nation was in lockdown and 55% of its people thought it wasn’t a good idea to proceed, must’ve made it a tough decision for the Japanese to press on with the event. I’d wager, the fact it’s already been postponed once probably a catalyst for the country to dust off the medal podiums and crack on……. After all, those Olympic venue refits don’t pay for themselves.

These games will see an introduction/reintroduction of Karate, Skateboarding, Surfing, Softball and Sport Climbing.

The cynic in me…… See I can do cynicism as well as curmudgeonliness. Is there no end to my misanthropy…… Although saying as they’re both under the same pessimistic umbrella it’s doubtful they can be classed as two different ‘skills’.

Now where was I?….. Ah yes, the cynic in me thinks the US baseball team should be spared risking affliction from COVID by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) merely posting their gold medals over to them in the USA now. After all, they’re the only country who really give a shiny s***e about the game, therefore they’re absolutely nailed on to prevail…… Aren’t they?!

Oh dear, I’ve started generalising again….. I best get off before I start getting hate mail from the ghost of Joe DiMaggio……. As an indifferent Englishman, the only baseball player I know. Although, that snippet of knowledge was gained from a childhood request as to who the Joe DiMaggio was of whom Simon & Garfunkel sang in their refrain ‘Mrs Robinson’, not any interest in baseball.

“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, wo wo wo
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away, hey hey hey
Hey hey hey”

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