After yesterdays fun and games at our beach baptisms, Grace and I this morning grabbed our wetsuits and headed for the waves again. There was a 5.5ft swell – ok, maybe not Hawaii, but pretty good for this patch of Southern England, and big enough and choppy enough to give me a good battering. Poole Bay is very shallow, and with our current, unusual weather patterns (easterly wind rather than the prevailing westerly, and Hurricane Earl off the US coast) the waves are breaking over the sand to create a fierce shore dump. Anyway, its perfect for body surfing and getting churned around like an old shoe in a washing machine. It was a bit like getting hit by a 250lb rugby player (a.k.a. Jo Nolan, one of our Gateway year project students!) and a good workout, which was welcome as I ate rather a lot of French cheese last night and needed to burn some calories.
Back home, and over a leisurely lunch (more French cheese) I perused The Times and the reporting of Wayne Rooney’s latest indiscretions, which were revealed “just two days before England’s crucial Euro 2012 qualification game against Switzerland in Basle.” Now, that nearly made me choke on my fromage à croûte lavée. The word crucial derives from the Latin crux – ‘cross’ – and so for Christians has a particular resonance. For something to be truly crucial, it has to have a heaven or hell significance, and a game against Switzerland doesn’t seem to be of quite that magnitude.
I realize my indifference to our national game mystifies many of my friends, but the start of a new league season, and then Euro qualifiers so soon after a poor World Cup leaves me distinctly cold. The constant hype of football and the proliferating number of competitions devalues the whole thing so far as I am concerned. So we beat Bulgaria the other night – wahoo – I mean, Bulgaria, what an achievement – get the bunting out…
The reporting on Rooney bears all the hallmarks of our normal sinful tendency to approach things from the wrong direction – in this case, taking a game far too seriously while viewing a man’s marriage and sexual proclivities as mere entertainment. England vs Switzerland isn’t crucial, but Wayne and Coleen certainly stand at a crossroads.
When faced with a real crux it is important to make the right call – otherwise we can find ourselves buried under a ton of storm powered water.