Wednesday, 27 May 2009
A recent trip to Oswestry reminded me of school days, sad to say. Especially walking past the aptly named Muddy Lane. The memories were almost as painful as those of my week at work, but not quite.
In those glory days of Brian Clough and Giant Haystacks (I know full well that Ken Loach and Barry Hines have done a far better job than I could ever do, so I won't labour the point. Although I don't recall any references to cuckoo spit in any of these rightly lauded works) 'improving' sports were considered to involve standing in sub zero temperatures with - let's say - inadequate clothing for a couple of hours; so I must be much improved from where I was when I was 11, although I remain unconvinced.
But, Muddy Lane set me to thinking. These days of health & safety (gone mad!) culture would surely not allow what we went through? In a similar vein to those hilarious viral pics of people in India carrying six hundred bales of cotton on a moped, or dozy Mexicans plonking a ladder on top of a plank balanced on a barrel (you get the picture, I hope) I'm convinced that we would look back on our ignorant ancestors and snigger mercilessly.
You may well say that I am no Gebreselassie. You might even say that I finally struggled over the finish line some 2o minutes after everyone else (a wrong turn at Penylan Lane proved fatal, if you must know, but it did mean that I arrived in the showers just in time for the Griffith Moment...) and tried to pretend that I suffered from asthma. But that would be entirely missing the point. I was wearing a pair of plimsolls which, until fairly recently, could be obtained from Wollys for about £2.50. This seems to be grounds enough for a lawsuit if ever I saw one.