Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nostalgia - as good as ever...

These are "the garages" - the place where as a child I played for hours and hours, days and weeks. During the winter, this uninspiring patch of suburban tarmac was Wembley, Anfield, Old Trafford or Highbury; as me, the neighbours kids and pals from school, fought out our heartfelt battles for imaginary sporting glory. All summer long it became Lords, The Oval or Headingley, with makeshift stumps at each end. I can still remember the nervous anticipation of watching the school opening bowler Kevin Brooke sprinting in to bowl at full speed, and the ecstasy of driving the ball back past him to the fence, or the agony of hearing my stumps being demolished behind me. This drab arena was once the setting for some epic sporting dramas, diving headers, goalies saves, cut-shots through the fence and many a bookable 'undue celebration'. Play was usually only punctuated with trips to collect balls from neighbours gardens, and we knew well which ones would cheerfully throw them back and which would interogate and intimidate.

This might well be the dullest photo on the internet; but as I look at it, I can hear the 'boom' of the ball crashing into the aluminium garage doors, the feel of the bat in my hand, the pleading 'howzat' of a young bowler to an imaginary umpire, and feel the tension of sudden-death penalty shoot-outs and the grazing of countless knees on tarmac.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Long live Ethel!