Ibiza History Culture

Established 1982
Ibiza Artists Anthropology Bibliomania Ecology History Features


Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton



Sober Life

A DEADLINE is something you get round a military place and it means you'll be shot if you go beyond it.

I saw one once in Londonderry. A block of flats in the Bogside overlooked the army barracks, which were in the appropriately named part of that beautiful Georgian city.

There was this yellow line painted about two feet from the buildings, snaking away and round a corner.

"What's that line for?" I asked, as you would.

"It's for your safety," the Army officer said, in the way that a lollipop lady might talk to a young schoolgirl.

"No, tell me," I pleaded.

"Put it like this," said the bored Army person (it was the Worcestershire Regiment). There's a crazy gunman in those flats up there and we've drawn a line round where he cannot see. You are welcome to step outside that line and test our ability to do this, but I assure you, you will be shot in the head."

That's pretty good advice. You take notice of pretty good advice.

I think journalists, these days, tend to take notice of pretty bad advice. I guess that's why they adopted the phrase "Deadline" to mean that as long as they get your words in on time, they won't be shot.

I, meanwhile, have been waiting to see if that angular Tim Henman is going to get to the Wimbledon final on Sunday and I have to write this on Friday night when IT'S RAINING ON LONDON.

Normally I'd say "Oh Good" or, perhaps, "Oh good!"

In fact I can reveal tonight that Tim Henman has got through to the Wimbledon Final.

If he hasn't by the time you read this tomorrow, then IT'S NOT MY FAULT!

Instead, with deliberate calm, I'm going to make the observation, not at all obscurely in relation to the coach drivers of all of the Balearics, that all coach drivers look to me to be the same age.

I think it must be something to do with that Michael Caine film in the Sixties when all those tricolour minis raced round some Italian city (Milan?) after a bank job and it made being a coach driver somehow credible because he picked up all the Minis and they got away.

That was a long sentence, but this is what you get when you have a sober columnist who has been watching Wimbledon without a drink and whose time has come.

I'm sorry, I mean someone else's time has come and so here are the words. Now. Even though tomorrow they could all have been different.

Sinclair Newton