February 15th 1973

“Lost to Sned at table tennis 21-9, 21-9, 21-9” / “Opticians Appointment 3pm, Dental Appointment” / “Got ‘ome early” / “GF3”

They say that the key to success in sport is “consistency”.

As you can see, I was terribly consistent in my ping-pong play against Sned, perfectly losing by the same score three times in a row.

I would like to point out that that image of the table tennis bat on the right is in NO WAY representative of the bats we used to play with at school. Ours were somewhat more… how should I put this?…. bloody worn out! Indeed, if the bat you happened to pick out of the box had any rubber covering on it your chances of winning were dramatically enhanced. The balls too varied from “slightly shagged out” to “misshapen work of the devil”, although in this regard at least the disadvantage was a shared one.

Table Tennis was perhaps one of the very few ‘sports’ I enjoyed participating in during gym. Probably because it involved FAR less physical effort than football, rugby, hockey or basketball AND I was unlikely to be roughed up by the opposing team. (No guarantee of that, of course, but I’m hard pushed to remember anyone leaning across the ping-pong table to punch me in the arm?!)

Table Tennis appears to have been this particular day’s highlight. An eye test and a dental appointment all in one day is now my idea of utter hell. I have no doubt it was back then too as I have never been a fan of visiting either.

I am intrigued by the inclusion of “GF3” tucked away in small letters in the corner of the diary entry. I have no idea to what it refers, and further inspection of the diary prior to this date shows no “GF1” or “GF2” so as to hint at some kind of time/event lineage.

I’ll leave you to imagine as much as I have been. Was it my own special code for something rude? The third date? (I have made no diary references to dates with Angela, or anyone else) The third girlfriend? Perhaps it simply refers to my drubbing at the ping pong table, suggesting I “Got F…… erm … Frustrated three times over?

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