While I love the sight and smell and feel of the printed book, it seems that I have difficulty reading them. Perhaps the paper and ink, the magics bound within the form, distract me; the pages on a screen turn so much quicker.
A week ago today I sprained my MCL. That was the night before starting the new job. I have no crutches and the people at work had never seen me walk before, so they must be wondering if this is just the way I am!
The timing is not bad though: I hope to be back in action by the time the snow melts. I can sprint on the exercise bike already. Also, my self-diagnosis was spot on, if you trust my sports doc (I once had to explain to him why his theory didn’t account for all of the symptoms, and he did accept my counter proposal) …
Physiotherapy starts Wednesday. The important thing is to strengthen my knee properly, maintain the highest level of fitness my reduced mobility allows, and get working with a ball as soon as I safely can. It’ll be a close call as to whether I’ll be able to go right into preseason training with the team or whether I’ll have to do some extra catchup. Either way, I’ll work hard, and carefully, to put myself in the best position possible.
Ahh, Feb 14th. I remember. It was the year 2012. Everyone was busy watching some Champions League match involving a team called CF Barcelona or FC Barcelona, or something like that. But not me. No, I was in the Bobby Moore Lower watching Mark Noble convert a penalty against fellow table leaders Southampton. And I remember the nerves as we went down to 10 men, the palpable anxiety in the air, the tension the tens of thousands of us bottled, threatening to drowning the place. And I remember the assurance, the calming feeling that spread through me and those around me, soaking up the pressure and sending it far away, when I looked to the touchline and saw the figure of Big Sam standing there in his black coat. I remember thinking, “If he has this effect on us, what must the players feel when he stands up like that?”
When I was in Singapore in August 2008, I saw trailers on television for a movie called Kallang Roar, which was to be about a cup run made by the Singapore National Football team back in the 70s. None of my cousins seemed that interested in it, and I never managed to watch the movie.
Now I’m back in Singapore, and I decided to see if I could find the movie. It seems that it didn’t really make a big splash over here, and I had no chance of finding it at the DVD stores that probably don’t even stock anything from last year, let alone 5 years ago. My cousins didn’t really know much about the film, but suggested I try downloading it.
It turns out that the entire film is on YouTube (http://youtu.be/UxP3hsUCunI). I watched it yesterday and thought it was brilliant. Of course the actually footballing scenes weren’t the greatest, but considering the budget and the fact that the actors can’t be expected to exhibit realistic professional-level football ability, that didn’t bother me. I felt the film really captured the culture and the emotions of the times and the situations quite well. I found the characterization of Uncle Choo to be inspirational and motivational. As a football romantic, some scenes even made my eyes water.
One of my favourite scenes was early on when they showed the empty stadium but had the radio announcer commentating on a match. I also loved the talk about food, which is an iconic aspect of Singaporean culture. And I liked the individual conflicts that each of the main characters faced (waiting ten years for a phone call, being threatened by match fixers, being asked by a sick father to get a job). It’s also great that the finished off with a tip of the hat to the greatest player in Singapore’s history, who was yet to make his mark at the time.
Definitely glad I finally saw the film, and recommend it to anyone who loves sports movies.
The 22 hour journey was productive: got to read the backpages while changing planes at Heathrow, West Ham won 3-0 while I was up in the air (flying so high), in the final 2 hours before landing I finally busted out my writing stuff and finally managed to scribble down the beginnings of a plot for the new novel.