Monday, 2 June 2008

Goodbye Blackberry Lane

Most people who live in the Isle of Man find their routine disturbed by the TT whether it is for positive reasons such as their involvement as marshals and helpers or for negative reasons such as having to change their training courses because of road closures and traffic volumes.

It is the indirect effect that usually catches me out. More entertainment, less sleep and less time to spend on websites!

I always try and get one or two TT related pictures for the website - last year I was particularly lucky to be entertained by recruitment firm OSA from a tallship in Douglas Harbour where I could get plenty of Red Arrows photos.

This year my first night out was to see the Move at the Villa Marina. I was a big fan of the Move in the 60s and the hairstyles of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne who joined them in the early 70s to see out a recording contract before they made their debut ELO album together.

Roy Wood had slagged off the reformed Move as being nothing more than a tribute band which was a little harsh given that they had two founder members (Roy was not a founder member but he did write all their hits!) and Carl Wayne would have been with them had he not died!

The gig was a good one but with only 159 tickets sold, and I'm sure there were far fewer people actually there, you have to ask the question as to why the Department of Tourism continues to promote this sort of event with public money when other promoters can sell out in hours. Exactly a year earlier I had been watching The Who in Peel. The Peel Bay Festival was an amazing event but I always felt it would not be repeated which was why I made the most of it. I did not support a large public underwriting of the festival but if I had been the organiser I would have been asking questions about the Move concert.

The Move encored with "Goodbye Blackberry Way" which I thought showed a lack of local awareness - I was hoping that they would sing "Goodbye Blackberry Lane" - at least Roy Wood would not have been able to say that they had not done anything original then!

On Saturday afternoon I watched the TT from Bray Hill in the company of Michael and Irene George and we were joined later by fell runner Paul Sheard who had much better camera equipment than me for some decent shots. I was brought up on the TT course at Kirk Michael and used to get up for all the early morning practice sessions from the age of 9 and was marshaling by the age of 16. But my conscience has been troubled many times by the accident rate and particularly by the lack of awareness of the accidents. I love watching the action but I could not bear to see an accident and the two are too closely matched. On Saturday, one of the riders well known to athletes came as close as I have seen to having a major accident without doing so.

Traditionally athletics competition on the Isle of Man has been put on hold but in recent years the 10,000 metres walk and runs have maintained an interest for those who can't bear not to compete.

I plan to be there on Wednesday night before resuming my TT social life at the end of the week.

I'm still doing my early morning training sessions but a little less of my late night web sessions. So I think I'll run up Blackberry Lane tomorrow morning. Or should it be Blackberry Way? Goodbye.

No comments: