Sailing in an impossible straight line

I write as midnight approaches, my attention is on the other side of the world. I learned today one can – theoretically – sail in a straight line from England to New Zealand without hitting land.

I’d arrive long after the Test is over, with questions about why Wellington’s beautiful cricket ground is in the middle of a roundabout.

The other side of the world.

I’d pluck bits of seaweed from my beard, before explaining the concept of induced demand.

Some of what I write is done specifically with an audience in mind; some, like this, I try to forget that anyone other than me will ever read it.

It’s been a tough few weeks for me mentally. I don’t wish to go into it here, on my blog, which is, like a hospital built by New Labour, something of a public / private partnership.

Up the road.

Today my bike made it up to the top of Preston Park, where I did some cricket practice with a guy I met while working with Pedal Me. The nets are set up in the middle of a velodrome I had no idea existed, all of ten minutes cycle from my flat.

The last time I had played cricket in the middle of a track was in the Estonian capital, while locals with horse and trap circled us training for what I can only assume was a local sport. We must have looked as bizarre to us as we did to them – particularly me, batting through in a T20 for 23 not out.

This time, I played with an assortment of men all slightly older and better at cricket than I. Some were members of the Zambuca Tigers, an excellent name for a social cricket club. One, I was told, played for a team whose initiation involved batting on half an E.

Only in Brighton.

I will try to play some cricket this spring. Cricket is one of those things I do which I am bad at, like playing the ukulele or nerdy board games with my friends.

As someone who started to do a lot of new things in his thirties, I wonder sometimes whether it might have been better to pick one hobby – clay pot making perhaps – and master it, rather than becoming almost not bad at assorted pursuits. The phrase jack of all trades, master of none, floats mockingly around my conscious mind at times.

The counter-argument to this is pretty simple: it we don’t try new things, we don’t test ourselves, and if we don’t test ourselves, we slip easily into that great decline towards death and streaming.

But one day, I want to wake up and feel like I’ve put in those 10,000 hours, not just made the same mistakes over and over again, and have in my possession a metaphorical pot that I can really be proud of.

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