I was pondering the other day which of the Olympic events would be most impossible for me to do. If you think about it, they divide quite sharply between events the layman can have a vague stab at, and ones where we simply wouldn’t have a hope. Sitting watching the women’s marathon, I was thinking that the basic skill involved is one of which I am capable, all be it in a very, very limited way. I probably couldn’t sustain their pace for even 100m, but I can put one foot in front of another in a vague approximation of running.

A similar thing applies for lots of other events. I can hurl pointy sticks, though not very far. Give me a rifle and successful operation of the trigger is bound to result in something being shot. If I were thrown into a boat tomorrow, I’d probably head in the right direction eventually, though perhaps after an initial period of frenzied thrashing and splashing.

But imagine me doing the pole vault, or worst of all, gymnastics. I wouldn’t even be able to hang from the rings, and any attempt to master the pommel horse would probably render me unable to father children. It makes those sort of events particularly impressive to me.

I spent this evening doing something bizarrely English; watching open-air Shakespeare in a castle, in a storm. The Shakespeare in question was ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’, the castle located at the mouth of the river Dart. I reckon if you showed anybody a photo of the audience, they’d easily guess the country of the world. Where else would people come to a play armed with hot chocolate and then spend the next two hours cowering under a bin-bag? An undeniably odd way to spend an evening, but enjoyable despite the rather moist conditions. The production I’m doing in September is open-air on cliff in Cornwall, so I’ll certainly be praying for good weather then. I didn’t envy the actors tonight. Full Elizabethan costume is not ideal garb for a torrential downpour…

PS Mail-to-blogger is still not working properly, which is why this is being posted several days after writing.