Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Sport, Writing

Day 230

Oddly, stupidly, weirdly, although I’ve retired from playing cricket, I am still shadow batting and shadow batting in my garden. But something has changed in the last few days. When I used to shadow bat when I played, each shot, defensive or not, was accompanied with a clicking of the tongue that I can’t even recreate now or when I’m not actually playing a shot. But the last few times I’ve stood in the garden and moved my feet and arms in that perfect ballet that batting is, an explosive noise has come from my mouth, akin to one you might make when imitating comedy bomb, and the shots have been far more aggressive and effusive and straight than most of my attacking shots in the middle. I don’t know why, but the thought has crossed my mind of just offering myself up as batting cannon fodder for bowlers who want to practice (when my foot is fixed), so I’d still be retired but useful to others (and myself). To those of you to whom this is Double Dutch, sorry. The game still occupies many of my thoughts, just without the negative impacts of actually playing matches.

On other matters, it’s been another frustrating, stuck in the same place kind of day, one I had originally been looking forward to, what with grown-up conversations in front of a microphone with a friend and beers afterwards. Instead, some self-censored things (and not work) just go round in circles I can’t make sense of, and my frustration levels increase to the almost unbearable. This is when I miss sport the most, when I need something to take some brute force out on. It’ll just have to be the keyboard.

Two nice things happened. Someone I know through work (though I’ve never met her) got married a few weeks ago, and sent me some pics of her wedding, and of some sketches she’d done while on honeymoon. The wedding pictures made me cry, because weddings always make me cry (and because the look of happiness on her and her husband’s face were a joy to behold), and one of er sketches in particular (of a rock) reminded me vividly of Edward Wilson’s sketches. And just now, I’d gone to the wine aisle in the local big supermarket, and a lady was in front of the wine I wanted to get, doing her self-checkout stuff with the handheld thingummy, so I waited patiently until she noticed me. “Am I in your way,” she said. “No, not at all, but thanks for moving,” I said. She thanked me for being so patient and moved out of the way, and I said that I didn’t see any point in putting people under pressure. She told me that many people do, though. “Not me.” There was a guy stacking the shelves who came up to us and said “That was such a wholesome moment,” at which we all collapsed laughing. Nice. Perhaps I’m too nice, and that’s the whole problem with all these going round in circles things. Who knows.

And, finally, those of you new to the blog, Aggie has been living on these pages since Day 47ish, and will continue to do so until the end of November, when all the chapters will disappear, the last month be written in secret, and the full book be available to buy at some point next year. And I can’t do 24 like “previously in Aggie’s Art of Happiness recaps, because I can’t remember what’s happened most of the time, nor all the characters that have invaded that part of my head. All that smoothing out is for the second edit.




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