A while away from these pages and I sense a few weeks of intermittent posting as I return to work and earn my corn. Excuse any absence but I’ll try to post at least a couple of times a week. We shall see how it goes.
A couple of events to briefly celebrate. It was pleasant to return to the Guildhall and its somewhat uncomfortable cinema seats on Thursday evening. Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley was a compelling hour or two, a stark and uncompromising history lesson that explored the origins of the Irish republican movement via a fictional account of two brothers united in their resolution to rid Ireland of English rule characterised by the ruthlessness of the notorious Black and Tan soldiers. More human drama follows when the Irish Free State is formed and the brothers take separate sides, one fighting on for the republican cause, one accepting the new agreement.
Less crucial battles were fought out yesterday as Gloucester hosted Bath in a gripping opening fixture that the city deserved to win but contrived to almost throw away. With numerous key players missing (Boer, Simpson-Daniel, Nieto, Tindall and Lamb) the club’s strength in depth imposed itself on a willing and competitive Bath outfit. I enjoyed a capable Gloucester performance and the second half brace of tries were certainly worth the price of admission. Jack Adams’ dancing feet and composure with the line beckoning were thrilling while the ruthlessness of the back division when finishing off a typically heroic Andrew Hazel gallop was refreshing. The captaincy of Marco Bortolami again caught the eye. His line-out work was splendid and his contributions to loose play were intelligent and welcome but I especially enjoyed his energetic geeing-up of his troops and constant appraisal of the match situation. I felt during the match that the Shed had found a new hero but his desire to lead the lads back onto the park to salute the punters went down a storm too. He might well be my new favourite player.