I can remember where I was when they landed on the moon. I was at home in London with my brother: my parents had gone to Ceredigion for a holiday and we were home alone. Alone that is with much of the world watching grainy pictures on black and white television.
We watched the landing and were so amazed and excited that we decided to drive to Cellan to share the experience with Mum and Dad. Why did we do that: absolutely no idea – it just seemed like a good thing to do at the time.
And boy o’ boy did we drive: 4 hours and 15 minutes from East Finchley to Cellan (I said I remembered it well) and that was the second world record that day, one for the Americans and one for us.
What a moment, what a giant step. How did they do that with less processing power than I’ve got in my mobile phone. With the wisdom of hindsight though it was an amazing night.
But over time the dream faded. Where was the exploitation? Was this the American equivalent of Concorde? Was it worth it? It sure as hell was worth it just to see my Mum’s face when we arrived in Cellan in time for Breakfast.
Being a parent has its Ups and its Downs, but sometimes everything gets put into its place by achievements that can only be described as milestones.
This week has seen 2 such milestones for our family: one a big one and the other a huge one! One each for my sons and both in Aberystwyth University. The occasions: Degree ceremonies.
Tomos collected (or is that: was awarded) his MSc (Econ) in Welsh Politics and Tecwyn “got” his BSc (Econ) in Marketing and Management. They both made me and their Mum, who happens to also be my wife, EXTREMELY proud.
Well done boys: may they be the first of even more milestones to come.
In the last couple of weeks there have been some great sporting spectacles and debacles, but one thing that has been clear to me amongst all of them is that Rugby Union is the greatest game in the world, for the following reasons:
It’s all about teamwork. People of all shapes and sizes come together to work as a team where the sum of the total is far, far greater then the sum of the individual parts.
It brings people together. Watching the Heineken Cup semi final between Leinster and Munster I was nearly brought to tears by the layout of the crowd watching the game. No segregation, just a red and blue chequer board around the ground as small blocks of each team intermingled with groups of oppositions supporters. And not a hint of trouble or strife.
It teaches respect. Opponents knock lumps out of each other for the whole game but when the final whistle goes they shake hands, often embrace, and congratulate each other on a hard fought encounter.
It teaches compassion. When the massive Leicester centre Tuilage smashed into the equally impressive Leinster winger Horgan in the Heineken Cup Final and floored him completely, he returned to check that Horgan was not injured. A great sporting act of compassion.
It teaches respect. It always amazes me that in the midst of a great melee an often dimuntive referree can calm the situation with a few simple sentences and a bit of humour and play can resume. No backchat, no threatening gestures and no drama.
Many sports could benefit from some of rugby’s attributes, but if anything needs to get its act together it has to be Football, which in recent weeks has demonstrated dreadful moments that can inspire nobody to respect the individuals involved.