John Vane: Roy’s Summer of Sport (Wednesday 18 July 2012) The Whitgift

John Vane: Roy’s Summer of Sport (Wednesday 18 July 2012) The Whitgift

Bulging carrier bags leaned against Roy’s legs as he squared up his knife and fork and watched the shoppers graze. He was in the Whitgift shopping centre and recalling, as always when he was there, that it had featured in the opening titles of Terry and June, which he had watched and laughed at as a child. The ease with which suburbia could be milked for ridicule had never dawned on him until his sister Nerys pointed it out: The Good Life, Hancock’s Half Hour. The key themes: snobbery, suspicion, absurdity. She’d later moved to Melbourne.

Roy addressed his all-day breakfast with serene formality, as mothers tended babies and pensioners chattered and sipped tea. “Could it be magic?” Donna Summer groaningly inquired from some wall-mounted speaker he couldn’t see. Roy’s office was now a shell, a clean, empty one. Just the desk, chair, computer and framed photograph were still there. He supposed he would re-fill the space, but he couldn’t be sure when or what with. He’d been running his business there but wondered who would notice if he stopped. What would it take to attract attention? How long would it take to smell a corpse?

The all-day breakfast hit the spot. A doughnut followed. Roy told himself he’d have a salad at home later to make up. And when later came, back in Purley, and he’d unpacked the box files, plastic folders and stick-on labels from the carriers, and he’d re-stacked and repositioned the piles of paper and the clutter he’d brought down from the loft, and he’d watched Wiggo maintain his overall lead, and he’d indeed eaten a salad with four slices of bread, Roy told himself to go early to bed because a fresh start to the next day was vital, and it would be nice to have the cricket as well as the Tour to help him through it. And the golf, of course.

All previous instalments of Roy’s Summer of Sport are HERE. Follow John Vane on Twitter. Photograph by Hzh.

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Categories: Culture, Roy's Summer of Sport

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