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Wales vs Ireland - at least Olaf is happy, I watched Miss Marple

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 11 March 2017

My father was bracing himself all day and watched the rugby to the bitter end. Today he will be with the rest of Shipston's small Irish community in the Horseshoe drowning their sorrows and wishing Scotland the best of luck against the Old Enemy. I could not watch after half time such was my sense of foreboding and - to the delight of the Mrs - switched to watch a Miss Marple I had seen many times before. The Alzheimer's is still at bay, I knew the killer at once and even why he did it.

The only consolation is that my almost 16 year old daughter, known as Olaf, will be happy. She will have been watching with her Welsh speaking mother Big Nose in their Islington townhouse screaming obscenities for the whole match. That will by my conversation with Dad later on today: "At least Olaf will be happy, let's move on."

In years gone by I would have taken this defeat and a really mixed Six Nations really badly. After the Autumn Internationals I had quite high hopes for the Old Country this time. But as ever they have been dashed. But I am actually caring less and less.

The old 5 Nations and then the Six Nations was once a joyous tournament of marvellous simplicity. Pert of the joy was that quirk that Grand Slams and Triple Crowns mattered more than a Championship table which was somehow ignored. But professionalism and political correctness have changed all that. What is it with bonus points and the constant reminders from the BBC that the Women's six nations is equally important? I gather Ireland are the reigning Women's champions and the England match will decide that title for 2017 but the women are so much less good than the men, whatever the BBC might say, and I really don't care. But the BBC rams it down my throat: I must care.

The cynical cheating that runs throughout professional sport is now part of Rugby too. The constant rule changes left me struggling to keep up as a player but the pace of change now leaves me utterly confused. I just can't be bothered to care about the Six Nations that much these days. I no longer set my calendar around it and think of trips to Rome, Dublin or Cardiff.

Of course if Ireland were on track for a Grand Slam I would be happy. But would I really really care like I used to? Would I seek out other folks wearing Green shirts with whom to share the joy? It is, I fear, a hypothetical question for another year but the answer is, without doubt, No.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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