It is a peculiarity of our household that sporty outdoor hubs loves sport and I love books. (Opposites attract, right?) So 2012 has been a bonanza year for him, with Wimbledon running smoothly into the Olympics, with the Tour de France tucked in there somewhere too. I don't watch sport on TV if I can possibly avoid it, except the Tour de France, and that is mainly because I fancy sitting halfway up Mont Ventoux with a nice bottle of red wine and a baguette. I'm not so much of a sporting curmudgeon as to ignore London 2012 though - I loved the opening ceremony, quite liked the closing one (it was fun reading the tweets) and shouted so loudly when Mo Farah was running the 5000m that the resident techie asked me to shut up because it was like needles going through her head. All the same, on the morning after the closing ceremony, when hubs told me that the football season was beginning, my reaction can best be described as "dismay." Okay, horror, actually. MORE sport on TV?
"Supposing," I said to him, "all you sports fans had to sit through weeks of televised book festivals? Supposing there was nothing else in all the papers? Supposing politicians went around saying that everyone in Britain was cheering for English Literature?"(Hmmm...that would be good.)
"But it wouldn't be competitive," objected hubs. He thought about it, though. "I'd watch a book-off against Germany."(This might work...a quick peek at Amazon reveals that Shakespeare's complete works weigh in at a hefty 2,552 pages compared to 486 for Goethe's. Result.)
The idea was not sufficiently attractive to lure him away from televised sport, though. A little while later I found him watching the Olympic highlights.
"You know how you once asked me why I re-read books?" I said.
"Well, how come you're re-watching the Olympics? I mean, you know what happens at the end..."