i write this article in a small bar in Barcelona, it is early Sunday morning and the warm sun is shining through the doorway ,illuminating the dark wooden floors, and an aroma of strong coffee fills the air.
In 5 days time the Rugby World Cup starts, but in Catalonia it doesn’t even exist.
This distance from home has cleared my mind, It has brought home to me how much our wonderful game fills my life.
It always had, maybe I am shallow , but through all the brickbats that life has thrown at me, and there have been a few, the one constant was rugby, and the thought that at any given time, it would only be a matter of months before my beloved Wales would be playing again.
But back to RWC, through the wonders of modern technology details of every injury, every welcoming ceremony, and every newspaper souvenir supplement has made its way to me and it somehow seems even more exciting.
It takes me back to 1971, the years before Sky, and we had only just invented colour television ! The British Lions tour of New Zealand took place, and the only way for a spotty thirteen year old me to obtain coverage of the tests, was to tune in at 3am on a transistor radio , to a crackly short wave NZ radio station and listen under the bed covers ,so as not to wake the rest of the family
When I say transistor radio, it wasn’t as you imagine some ear-pieced light weight item, it was about the size of a picnic hamper, the battery alone was the size and shape of a Madeira cake, and it had a lid that acted like a mouse trap every time your tried to adjust the tuner
There were no interviews , no pictures , but my imagination produced images better than sky BT Sport and the BBC could ever hope to broadcast
But, I digress ! The game has changed beyond all recognition from those black and white halycon days, but what hasn’t is the passion, the excitement, the anticipation, the quest for tickets
I am flying home later today to more supplements , and to fine tune my training prior to Friday, when it all starts.
I’ve been tapering since 2011 so I have to fit it all in to one Pilates session on Thursday, yet I am confident of being ready
I hope you are ready, I hope you have a great RWC ,and if the ball doesn’t bounce your way in 2015, may you be spared to do it all again in Japan in 2019
Yours in rugby