26 June 2008

Will Germany Do It?

Good heavens, I never thought they'd get this far!  By all accounts the match against Turkey should have gone Turkey's way, as I can well believe.  The BBC website said, "once again they have reached a major final despite being unconvincing," and I confess to feeling a warm sense of vindication that a major news outlet has agreed with my analysis.  Hey, BBC, maybe you should hire me, because I said that last week!  And can I just say at this juncture that I love the expression "denied by the woodwork" as a way of saying a shot hit the top of the goal (or the goal posts, I suppose)?  It's much better and more evocative than just saying, "the shot hit the top of the goal."

Actually, it's been a night of useful expressions, because whilst watching None but the Lonely Heart tonight I heard Cary Grant say, "I'm so broke, I'm two halves."  That one I'm definitely going to use.  I'm not sure I could ever say, "denied by the woodwork" without feeling pretentious, though.  

Lovely that Klose made one of the goals -- the slyest of the three -- but Lahm's shot at the end was a joy to behold.  And I must give snaps to Schweinsteiger, who seems to simply be able to make straight swift cannonball shots no matter what the circumstances.  Although I do think bleaching his hair was a mistake.

There are only five days before I leave Fayetteville, and 11 before I leave the US.  I think it's just starting to hit me, in the sense that I'm realizing that I can't envision what it will be like to be there.  I won't be coming home after three weeks, or even three months, and I simply can't imagine that.  After three years here, where it's baking hot in the summer and fall, I also can't imagine what it will be like to be somewhere where it's rainy and cold in the fall, and cooler, and often rainy, in the summer.

Writing that, I'm reminded of how much I love rainy autumn nights in London.  Nearly eight years ago now, I happened to be there in the fall because of a funeral.  And I remember walking down Shaftesbury Avenue at perhaps seven or eight at night.  It was dark, and it wasn't raining
but it had quite recently.  It seemed as if every shop had incandescent rather than fluorescent lighting, and the 
light from the windows made the wet sidewalks glisten black - it sounds like a book, but it was real.  There's a Starbucks on Shaftesbury Avenue, quite near where it intersects with Tottenham Court Road; it's a big Starbucks, and during the day it looks as boring and unnecessary as any American Starbucks.  But as I walked toward it its window was all golden, and because it was damp and just slightly chilly outside (the kind of chilly where you thrust your hands in your pockets, but you don't need to hide your chin in your collar), it looked as warm and inviting as any teashop must have looked in the 1930s.  And the air was so different from any American air, in a way I've tried to articulate to myself countless times and never been able to.  A delight, for the second and a half that the scene existed outside me and I observed it and myself in it.

And that reminds me of when I went there last Thanksgiving.  On my first day I got out of the
hotel relatively late - around ten, maybe - and as I walked to the British Library the sky was a classic watery grey with streaks of sunshine:  an utterly London sky.  And when I came out of the British Library around three, it was essentially twilight.  I absolutely did not remember that there was that little daylight (I said to my best friend afterward, "How did I miss the whole day in five hours?").  That, too, is vastly different from here, or from America at all.  I'm looking forward to that, as well.

England does damp, faintly chilly, post-rain weather very well.  I like that.  I look forward to many nights of hand-thrusting (oh, Matron!).

No comments: