Sunday, March 28

Before. And After

On Thursday, Eitan announces he will cut his hair short. I find this hard to imagine and assume he will not follow up. But yesterday he brings it up again and, since the poor lad a bit glum, I ask him to sleep on it. Yet now arrives and his mind set: we head for the Turks and a date with clipper no. 6.

Kew Park Rangers celebrates its tenth anniversary last night with a fancy formal affair at the Richmond Hotel and fundraiser. By the time I organise a table for the Blues, the evening full-up so Sonnet and I host instead. More fun this way, I suggest. We have a group of eight which is fortunate since our dining room table holds .. eight. Sonnet decides upon a "Mad Men" theme and I serve martinis then steak and potatoes followed by a four-layer chocolate cake. I recount my grandparents all-night bridge sessions in Upper Arlington, Ohio, where my grandfather prepared pitchers of Manhattans and Martinis - so '50s cool. Sonnet hangs a photo of the boys. It is an interesting group, too - German, English, Italian and American and since we are middle-aged and this is England, we polish off six bottles of wine and a bottle of desert port. Our conversation rolls from football to secondary schools to America's foreign policy. Usual stuff at these sort of things. Tatiana once worked for the Treuhandanstalt privatising companies in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She notes the honeymoon lasted three months, or from October to about Christmas. It was a bummer to learn East German companies horribly run and the rest a basket case requiring much more money and effort then imagined. But today, Tatiana and her husband Johannes (a diplomatic correspondent) seem happy with the outcome.

Eitan's KPR takes two from Manacroft United, who (before today) top of the Surrey Youth League's under-10s. The boys play inspired football and win 4-1 and 3-2, nearly securing their division's top-spot and a sure-promotion into Division 2 next season. My only upset in the second game when several KPR players, including Eitan, celebrate a goal with a choreographed dance - I tell Eitan afterwards that if I ever see it again I will take him off the pitch. I know how these boys feel when they cede a point and there is no reason to make the other side feel worse for it.