Thursday, August 17, 2006

Life beyond the quarters

What an evening of anomalous national sporting success...

Ok, Andy Murray only won a second round match, but earlier, when the news emerged that he was "looking forward to his encounter with Roger Federer," I had quipped to a colleague that he was in fact looking forward to having the rest of the week off!

Even with the likes of Federer and Nadal set to dominate men's tennis for years to come, it is suddenly possible to believe that the Scot may yet blossom into something more than quarter-final fodder.

And what of England's energetic drubbing of the Greeks: 4-0. It was a friendly, but the new, more pragmatic set-up seems to work, and Owen Hargreaves has carried forward his restored reputation into the the new campaign.

All this called for a celebration, so we barbecued some shrimps, carrots and aubergine. In truth, grilled shrimp may be no more tasty than say grilled turkey, but preparing and consuming it does involve a more complex sensual experience, not least of which is the aroma, which for us − for just one night − converted our Thameside location into an imaginary hide-away facing the setting sun on the Bay of Biscay.

The river has been bloated all week. High tide this morning was filling the open jaws of the lions on the side of the Victoria Embankment and sloshing around the platform behind Cleopatra's Needle.

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