What a pleasure the UEFA Champions League Final from Rome was on Wednesday night - unless of course you were Mancunian of the red variety! As a dispassionate spectator (?) I loved the skill of Barcelona against whom I thought Man U looked a blunt instrument. They didn't seem to tie them down as effectively as Chelsea had, and of course after the first early goal they seemed to lose heart. Some things impressed me though: for example there being a bann on selling takeaway alcohol around the stadium and at all metro and railway stations from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning. Can you imagine that in London?
And even more impressive was the passing mention in the commentary that Barcelona is owned by its fans and doesn't have lucrative sponsorship for the team shirts, but themselves advertise UNICEF on their shirts, and donate €millions to UNICEF.
Yesterday we buried my aunt's ashes in the 'family' grave near Salisbury. All my brothers and my cousin John were there. The sun was shining. And I enjoyed being retired and not doing the duties. Afterwards we were kindly given tea in the garden of my aunt's lovely old house by the present owners, Trevor and Hilary. I realised that we are now the senior generation of the clan. A solemn thought.
In the evening we relaxed watching 'Springwatch', and badger clan in Essex. Then I switched over to BBC1 'Tourettes, I swear I can't help it'. What a moving programme! I've mentioned Tourettes Syndrome before, the condition of violent uncontrollable tics often vocalised in swearing. The programme was very informative, and focused on a couple of 'sufferers' including John Davidson, a lovely man in his 40s. Halfway through they were talking about the problem with forming relationships, which you can understand, and he said something like, 'I’ve just found it so hard to find someone who I can trust, someone who loves me for who I am, likes me for who I am.' THAT is the point: 'loved for who I am'.
Tomorrow we go to the DLF retreat in Wales (where we went last summer), while the workmen move in to gut our kitchen. We're hoping the weather continues like now, not like Holland this week, where they had the heaviest thunderstorm for 30 years, as this great photo of Otto's shows.
Photo: Otto Veninga