18 Jul Missing Gareth
Feeling bereft. Wondering what comes next?
A summer season of sport has dominated our days these last few weeks. The World Cup and Wimbledon ending at almost the same moment has left an empty space in the calendar of daily life.
Not that we watched all the matches in either competition, but they lent a certain structure to the days, provided points around which to plan and organise our lives, eased the evening choices.
I am, in the circumstances of this year’s World Cup (i.e. no Scottish team), an England supporter. Also by virtue of long living down here. England supporter by marriage too. Not always easy – I mean the supporting, of course. Some years since I abandoned the sense that I must support any team playing against the Auld Enemy. I must admit, though, that it was a tiny bit of a relief to watch matches where they weren’t playing and, yes, also when they were knocked out. 90 minutes could be enjoyed without the raised heart rate of nervous supporter-hood or the sweat breaking out on the palms of my hands, making the knitting needles sticky as I try to complete the evening stint on another pair of socks.
But I do miss Gareth. One of the highlights of those four weeks was the daily dose of this graceful man. Such calm composure. Such thoughtful ordinariness. I can imagine sitting over a coffee with him, finding him easy company. Something very humane oozes from him and you have the sense that the private man is much the same as the public man. It’s been good for the collective English soul to see an Englishman occupy public space with such honesty, such simple eloquence.
What comes next? I suppose it’s back to Brexit and Bojo, May and mayhem, the frightful meets the faltering. Heatwaves and hosepipe bans, recycling dishwater on the garden and yearning for the next sporting extravaganza to work its mood magic. Come back Gareth. Grace our TV screens again.
I’ll knit you some socks…..