Saturday, May 2

Bad News Bears

Eric and Gorham coach the Somerville soccer team which Eric calls "the Somerville Thunder." The Thunder have come far from their first season when the squad lost every game played. Indeed, today's result 5-1 against but the outcome longer the norm: last season broke even "representing ourselves proud" says Eric. The youngsters have been together at least three years and enjoy themselves and each other and for many, this their shot at organised sports and they go for it. I quietly observe the ball-skills and note the Somervilles have yet to master the wide-field and mostly bunch together in clusters shuffling back-and-forth, back-and-forth, between opportunities. They make up for strategy with brute force outweighing the opposition by several stone. There are a number of violent take-downs. The sidelines like anywhere - parents pitched in foldable chairs or standing anxiously, yelling encouragement: "spread out! Open space! Not in the middle! Not in the middle! Not in the middle!" The ref a nice kid who, it turns out, applying to college and wait-listed at Brown (accepted to Harvard and UPenn). On today, Eric says: "the team played with a lot of heart but not a lot of brain" (player and son Jonah rolls his eyes). Eric adds: "they [the Thunder] cracked the code of the other team's offense and put a stop to their heretofore effortless scoring." Amen; I am happy to be a witness.

Back in London, Sonnet takes the kids to meet Britain's new poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at the British Library. She is the first women to hold the post. Madeleine entranced by Duffy's reading while Eitan openly miserable because he is misses the Manchester United game. He tells me on the phone: "bor-ing."

Eric on my business: "Racking people to get them to invest in your little schemes."