Monday, November 09, 2009

Under-weather distractions

I found another treasure at Moss Books this weekend, on one of my short forays from under this oppressive cold and its stomach-bug buddy (not to mention the rain): a collection of Oor Wullie and The Broons comic strips from 1936 – 2006. The dialogue is a bit of a struggle, but the stories range from cute to poignant; the latter a pleasant surprise (for me) from something that ran regularly in The Sunday Post (until I read about the paper's sentimental nature, anyway). I think the layout of Oor Wullie is my favourite part so far, however: each strip starts with the sly main character squat on an overturned pail – any of a variety of expressions on his face – and each finishes with the same, or something subtly different. This trademark is emphasized on the back of the dust-jacket, with some twenty of Wullie's faces displayed in a grid of portraits, helpful one-word captions beneath them.

Thankfully there's been plenty of football (a.k.a. soccer) to distract me from my housebound state this weekend – was worried I had the dreaded flu for a bit; they won't even accept you at clinics (what they call surgeries) here right now if you have a fever. My favourite, by far, was the derby (pronounced 'darby', even when the English commentators are working a German Bundesliga game, I've discovered this morning) between Swansea and Cardiff City as those clubs compete for the first real shot at a Welsh promotion to the English Premier League in many, many years. These derbies are fierce competitions between local rivals, as best I can tell, and, without exception, are surrounded by some of the most vocal (and truly in its singing sense!) fan support I've ever witnessed at a sporting event; I hope to see something approaching it live someday (with the protection of earplugs, of course). Swansea won this one 3 – 2 in front of their hometown crowd, scoring more goals than they'd managed in any other match this season, in what really could've been a win for either club.