A seasoned look at life - July 19, 2012

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IT’S wonderful to see the world again focusing upon the Fylde or, at least, the worlds of golf and sport upon Lytham St Annes.

Not long ago Blackpool, too, drew the limelight for political conferences and, before that, for thronged beaches and the big names who visited – not least Her Majesty, just three years ago.

Few towns and coasts can have entertained so many so spectacularly!

As a journalist I shared that thrill of big events. But, invariably, the drama really came down to something quite small, rather ordinary and, well, “human”.

For roadside crowds before the Royal Command Performance, the attraction was a wave and smile as the Queen drove from Blackpool North to the Opera House.

For this week’s Open Tournament, on an exposed links by Ansdell, the draw is men hitting small balls into distant holes.

Still, as always in sport, it’s the way you meet that challenge which brings the wonder. Games also vent our aggression and competitive spirit. Anyone who dabbles soon learns respect and sympathy for their fellow men (and women).

In time, sport brings an appreciation of what Rudyard Kipling meant in the nation’s favourite poem “If”: by treating triumph and disaster the same, as impostors.

The adage remains true. It’s the taking part that counts: how you acquit yourself, win or loose. For, afterwards, life goes on.

As Boris Becker said in another sport where balls are hit into the air, “It was only a game I lost - no one died!”

She Who Knows and myself are not golf fans. However, at Edmonds Towers we shall enjoy watching the Fylde on telly – as sporting stars and fans brave Irish Sea squalls.

Mostly, though, to us the Open will mean more traffic congestion and frustration.

We drive regularly from Great Marton to Lytham for our own pursuits of tennis and bridge. This is usually in early evening, when others are rushing home from work for dinner.

Motorists’ aggression can be breathtaking: jumping red lights, tailgating, bibbing horns, even making threats.

I wish they would remember what they are racing towards – just another red light. Why not appreciate passing countryside, be sociable, show consideration?

For, eventually, the tension will pass – like the limelight for our sporting stars. How pathetic, then, do the tantrums seem.

What matters most in life, like sport, is the way we handle its challenges: how we acquit ourselves and, in particular, treat others.

That is a lesson we will see writ large in coming weeks . . . on an Olympic scale.

n For books and more from Roy, visit Edmonds Towers. It’s write up your street - at www.royedmonds-blackpool.com