Tuesday 10 February 2009

Is yer Motherwell?

It's been an icy few days but not too disruptive on the travel front. I took the lads out to Beecraigs Country Park on Sunday where we didn't stray far from the car but still had a lot of fun playing by the stream and building a dam; writing names and drawing pictures in the covering of snow still dusting the ground; going for a tramp through the snowbound trees. It was good to get some fresh air. Mind you, I got plenty of that on Saturday watching a desperately poor 1-1 draw between Motherwell and St. Mirren in the Scottish Cup fourth round. We scored early on, they equalised in the second half, but the pitch was sandy, muddy and bumpy and the quality of football on show was dire.

The last time I was at Fir Park for a Cup game was on 26th Feb 1977 with Alex Ferguson in charge of the Buddies, a rampant 4-1 defeat of Dundee Utd in the third round under our belts and thousands flocking from Paisley to cheer our onward march to glory. I was with Graeme Nixon and his Dad, infrequent football supporters, and can remember the traffic tailing back past Strathclyde Park. The kick-off was delayed to accommodate the 28,000 crowd. Imagine that for a Saints v Motherwell game now! Saturday's was a fifth that size and Fir Park only holds 13,500 these days. Motherwell took the lead but St. Mirren equalised. Alas, it was not to be, as Motherwell's mustachioed super-striker of the late seventies, Willie Pettigrew, a man who looked like an ugly Billy Connolly, sealed a 2-1 win for the Steelmen. We were mixed in with the Motherwell fans (I'm not sure there was even segregation in these pre-1980 Criminal Justice Act days) and it was a real disappointment as we had felt the Buddies were invincible under Ferguson. We had to be content with the First Division title instead.

Sean managed his first recorded goal at any sport last week after a year and a half of going to ball sports after school on a Thursday. Weeks can go by without him getting a touch at the ball, regardless of the sport being played, but last week he scored a goal at hockey. It sounds like it was the turn around point for his team: from being 2-0 down Sean made it 2-1 and they secured a 2-2 draw. We won't go touting for sponsors just yet but it was worthy of note!

All four Wallace boys had long overdue haircuts last week. Sharon took Rowan one day, Sean and Finn another and I took myself! As the barber said after heaving his way through Rowan's locks and surveying the pile on the floor, "There's some come in here that don't even have that much to start with!" Rowan suddenly looks about 2 years older.

While on the subject of sport, I still can't believe England's abject collapse for 51 in the first Test in Jamaica. I was watching it on fast forward: I didn't have to! We were going round to the St. John's for dinner. Unfortunately Brian (of West Indian origin) hadn't seen it but was incredulous when I told him the score. We enjoyed our night out and dinner nonetheless!

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