The weather forecast had sounded favourable and I really felt a distraction was neede for me; and Particularly today.
You see the real issue for me this Saturday was not actually the weather outlook. Nor indeed was it a necessary visit over to Chichester!
No!… It was none of these things which were actually of any true importance.
Today is ‘Calcutta Cup’ game day!! So as any dedicated followers of International Rugby will already be only too aware today is the long anticipated battle with the ‘Auld enemy!’
Fortress Twickenham will be a throng with the collective voice of thousands of England supporters swathed in their patriotic best raising their beers and all belting out ‘God Save our Gracious Queen’ followed by ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’
Whilst the Scotland fans following the loud cracks from the heavy artillery on the pitch and through billowing smoke from the elaborate pyrotechnic display will then be screaming their support high above the emotive ‘skirl’ from the bagpipes.
The atmosphere is so highly emotionally charged. Just to see the hordes of loyal fans wrapped in the saltire flags; or wearing their ‘Jimmy’ tam o’shanters with Scottish flags painted proudly across their faces.
The colour and the spectacle is almost gladiatorial as the opposing team all with their arms across each others shoulders heads held high and some with tears in their eyes; sing out passionately the unofficial anthem of their Nation ‘The Flower of Scotland’
For the uninitiated this this was written by Roy Williamson of the folk group ‘The Corries’ and presented in 1967. It refers to the victory of the Scots, led by Robert the Bruce, over England’s Edward 11 at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
So for me I adore the build up and the anthems and the atmosphere over all; it stirs me and gives me goose bumps every time. It must be my heritage all that Scottish blood surging through my veins.
So as you can appreciate I need to find something for myself to do prior to what for me at least is the most important game in the Six Nations tournament.
I think this is why this unassuming image of an elderly chap sitting peacefully on this bench seat and puzzling over his ‘Times’ crossword just seemed to be the perfect contrast over the expectations I am feeling.
It also raised a smile for me because I remembered a joke I heard about two Irish fellas doing their crossword.
Paddy say’s to Murphy. “Murphy… the answer to three across is toast”
“Toast queries Murphy?”
“Yeah Toast that’s right says Paddy I just seen the clue”
“So what was the clue then Murphy?”
“It was ‘to egg on’ he replies”