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international librarian of mystery

Monday, June 28, 2004


Normally we play our indoor soccer games at Wellington's Queen's Wharf Events Centre on the fast and hard wooden surfaces that also get used for Basketball and Netball league games (and the occasional big international gig, garden show, or Lord of the Rings party. Actually, click through to that Events Centre link if you're just time-wasting, they've got some excellent 360 degree views of the inside of the Centre which show how they set the place up, although, though, not always for simultaneous soccer and volleyball, as they seem to be getting ready for in the example photo).

Anyway, that's where we normally play. The company that run the indoor sports side of things have been gradually converting some of the old sheds on the wharves into purpose-built indoor soccer pitches, with that nasty artificial turf stuff as the surface. We played in one of the shed's this week for the first time in an age, and spent most of the time tripping over - the astroturf seems to nearly grip the ball at times, as opposed to skimming off the polished wood they have in the Events Centre. Very frustrating. Still, it does make it easier to dribble (it gets away on you so easily on the wooden floors), so I tried a few extravagant moves through the middle tonight, and was very (very) pleased to have a hat-trick inside the first five minutes.

First goal was a one touch off a decent long goal-kick from Christine that left their goalie flat-footed, second was one where I just nicked the ball from the front of a defender's foot, pushed it right, then slotted it home, and the last was a dribbling (although my team-mates told me it was more like "falling gracefully, for a long time") effort from half-way where I'm not entirely sure as to how the ball got into the back of the net. There it was though. Hat trick!

Sally conspired to let them back into the game with her patented 'put-your-back-to-the-attackers' style of goal-keeping, which handed our opponents at three goals in her short stint in goal, but, once we got her out of there, the game was won, with Janey in particularly rampant mood, spurred on perhaps, by her home country's unfortunate outing against Portugal last week. Final score: 11-4.

But, yes, my knees! After last week's battle, I already had a couple of minor scrapes from tumbling onto the wooden floor of the Events Centre. Tonight, after a couple of falls onto the astroturf at high speed, my knees look like so much raw meat. It's horrible. And they bloody sting. I've washed them out with Savlon, so, hopefully the pain will go away, but there'll be no more short skirts at the library for me for a couple of weeks (not that I'd be wearing them in this weather anyway, but it's having the option that counts).

Still, I'm vaguely proud of my skinned knees - it makes me feel young(er) - like one of the kids who come in each day with equally bashed up knees and elbows. I'm quite looking forward to one of them complaining about taking some random knock in the children's area so I can console them with my own tales of pain: "You think that's bad? Take a look at this!"