EDitorial ± 2-Sep-2013

On The Fence

It's about half-eight and the light is fading when me and The Boy find ourselves locked in the park. To the side of the court, I'd set my phone alarm for quarter-past, figuring that would allow ample time for us to leave. Much like my pure maths A-level, I figured wrong.

Slow burn inspired by Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory, we've once again been proving to ourselves just what a racket this sport is. That new £1.49 pack of Donnay balls (thank you, Sports Direct) has come good, those freshly vacuum unpacked spheres glowing like Fukushima flounders in the darker recesses of the court. Nice of that unsuspecting bloke to offer to grovel in the undergrowth in pursuit of the single wayward ball which flew over the side. Equally kind of the Polish kids on the upper court to keep lobbing back the other misplaced shots. Which left a mere handful of quality hits.

I'd been expecting to hear a Pavlovian whistle: park is shutting. Not so. There were tinny horns. Maybe a shout or two. Either way, our gate to the main road is locked, ditto the one leading to the bridleway. I remark to The Boy how fun this is -- seriously -- and suggest we hoist ourselves over the wire fence by the gate. It's perhaps a metre high.

The Boy's at least my height these days, and hurdles over without too much fuss. I start the ascent and can't quite get my foot flat on the other side. My other foot has already left the ground. Ladies and gentlemen, we are not quite floating in space, but we are suspended on a sensitive fulcrum. My leading leg, desperate to find terra firma, stretches a tad more that it was designed to do and initiates level four cramp. Swinging off, some wire catches my shorts and rips a hole. Yep, just there in my new M&S three-quarter length trekking shorts. There'll be time to consider that further once my muscle has ceased to spasm.

We exit the park. The Boy is laughing. His father is limping and all too aware of a light breeze where no light breeze should be felt.