River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Runnin' On

April 2003

Sportspeople on TV, washing, gardening...

Watching TV sport I do admire the special clothes worn by the participants, the swimmers now have all in one suits, very little skin to be seen. They used to be recognized by their variously coloured outfits or numbers. We used to watch out for our children as they took their places on the pool edge or on the diving board, obviously their swimwear was easily recognizable, I used to wash it often enough.

Every parent watches and hopes that their offspring do well; I'm hoping that the new type of swimwear doesn't take away the thrill of feeling the water. Being a very timid swimmer myself I do admire the more daring performances of others.

Equestrians and their mounts are kitted out in gear appropriate for the events they enter. My heart is with them, such elegant contestants, confident in their ability. I don't like to watch a horse or pony being forced to jump, I know they do sometimes manage to do what their rider insists they must, I would far rather the animal made its own decision.

Football, now that's a game that has so many advertisements on the kits, I find myself reading the shirts and not noticing what the players are doing. Years ago I lived next door to a family who was involved in the game, Father was a ref. Both of his sons were players.

Mum washed the strips for the whole team, heavy cotton, all the washing done by hand. Fortunately there was a mangle in the garden shed so that helped to get the rinsing water out of the garments. Of course a couple of heavy flat irons made the task of ironing almost a joy!

I never did hear any of the family complain about all the work they did for the game. Grandma lived in another part of our village and as soon as she noticed rain clouds she would grab her mac, her daughter's back door key and a shopping bag and rush off to get all the washing off the line.

When Grandma managed to beat the rain, she would gather in all the washing. Dry stuff she took home to iron and wet laundry was hung on lines in the shed. Of course the football strips were given special treatment, they had a deadline to meet!

Well, of course I could go on all day about the way things used to be. We didn't live in an affluent neighbourhood but I never did hear of anyone locking their garden shed. Even the house windows were left open in the summers, and most times the house keys were under the mat on the doorstep.

I have wandered off the intended line of this Runnin on, I was going to say that if I start pulling up the odd weed in the back garden I meander from weed to weed and eventually end up some hours later, tummy rumbling and very thirsty.

I find this could be an excellent way to diet but I do make up for lost calories as soon as the biscuit tin comes out with the coffee. That's all I can manage for this month, this runnin' on is getting to be an addiction.

Janet Tilburn

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