Caught by the River

Shadows & Reflections – Will Burns

11th December 2009

In which, as the year comes to its end, our friends and collaborators look back and share their moments;

Another year ends, and it is one characterized mostly by a myriad of sporting disappointments, as always. This is largely thanks to my blind devotion to the Arsenal (a thing that doesn’t show any signs of changing anytime soon) but they were, it has to be said, aided and abetted by West Indian cricket’s abject inability to recall the glory of it’s past, the end of Steve Harmison’s England career, and a general lack of brilliant but troubled, dark haired, stubbly fast bowlers to come through and replace him. There was the odd moment of exhilaration and electric, spine tingling brilliance to pierce the gloom though – watching Freddie menace the Aussies at Lord’s, Harmy on a hat-trick at The Oval, Robin Van Persie’s form this Autumn and Andriy Arshavin getting handed the number 23 shirt all stick in my mind as meaningful. There is also the small matter of my own 50 wickets at the miserly average of 9.4 for my beloved Wendover Cricket Club, or when in T20 mode, Wendover Elephants.
Which brings me onto perhaps the biggest spectre looming over my year, and that is moving back to my hometown in Bucks from London, swapping Soho and The Social for the King And Queen, darts in The Swan, summer net sessions, cricket matches and walks by the canal watching the signets mature over a summer. It’s a quiet place, and the Autumn has been spectacular.


New places loomed large as well, with a maiden visit to Jersey, which was great, and I fell in love with the ocean. I’m miles away from the sea in Wendover. In fact only a couple of miles down the road is officially the furthest point from the sea in all directions in the whole country. I wrote a poem about my visit, which is here:

Sea. Breakfast.

We were eating breakfast
and I was looking out 
of the window at the ocean.
I came here from nowhere
near the sea. I come
from a land of little rivers,
woods and fields. 
This thing is something else.

So looking forward to 2010. More books, music, poems, love, drinking and laughter.
As some one I know says…