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Conscious restfulness: is it akin something like mindfulness (which is a horrible word, so apologies). Two days and now into the third, of deliberately trying to do almost nothing; nothing but the basics needed, nothing but the small pleasures, not that a turgid 0-0 draw is usually described as a pleasure: but the being and the doing in the moment that was a moment practiced and rehearsed for 30 years or more making it smoothly fluid, with things I like, people I like and a place I like, like almost no other. I can’t decide if it is infuriating to know when a mistake is made on the pitch, which words will come, in which voice, from which part of the area around me…should this annoy or be a comfort? Almost like knowing the crap joke your uncle is going to make a the dinner table because he always makes that joke when someone spills the milk. And I am grateful that the old man who has been seriously ill for a few years, who I know nothing of other than that he has sat behind me and my friend for 20+ years, makes it again to the start of another season, albeit looking weaker than I have ever seen him with more distance in his eyes: I know deep inside he is still watching John Charles in his pomp as he squints through the sun’s glare at the latest set of journeyman and not quite good enoughs, whose names we struggle to learn each new August and will forget again by June. This anxiety for this man has become a part of my August that I didn’t really recognise before.

Deliberately not thinking about politics or the woes of society, instead stroking the cat, sitting in the sun, reading some good words, watching athletes do amazing things and having a couple of pints in the pub. Rested.

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