<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-house-divided/”>A House Divided</a>
OKAY, PERHAPS IT MAY BE. BUT LOOK AT IT THIS WAY.
“Have you heard, Dad, Lewis Hamilton has just won the Australian formula one Grand Prix. What a way to start the new motor racing season, eh? The best driver in the best car getting off to the best start. And he’s British! What more could you ask?” My father looked at me and replied,
“You may have forgotten, but I am an Australian and that was my home Grand Prix. No Australian has ever won it and I really thought that Daniel Ricciardo was going to do it for us. But his Red Bull car is not up to it this year. In fact the whole sport could really take a turn for the worse unless somebody designs an engine to challenge the Mercedes. Otherwise it will be a procession like it was last year.”
Actually, I agreed with him. The Ferrari and Williams teams were looking very good but were a full second a lap slower than the Mercedes and the great hopes everyone had for the British MaClaren team were lost as their new Japanese Honda engine was hopeless. Also their top driver, Alonso was injured and did not race in Australia and their other former world champion, England’s Jenson Button, could only drag his MaClaren home eleventh which also happened to be last.
Now you would expect father and son being very keen on a sport was enough for one family but at this point my mother broke in on the conversation and said ” It’s all money, money, money! Four of the best drivers in the world can’t get a race because they don’t have rich personal sponsors prepared to buy them a place on the grid. It’s all that eighty five year old ‘cash mad’ Bernie Ecclestone’s fault for selling our beloved motor sport down the drain.” Then, turning to my father she added wistfully,”Oh Fred do you remember our teenage days when we scraped up all we could save to watch your hero Sir Jack Brabham, winning his third world championship in 1966? One of the greatest Australian sportsmen of all time.” Dad nodded and added,
“Yes my love and I remember cheering on your native Scottish heroes Jackie Stewart and Jim Clarke at their greatest. Oh no, they raced for fun and to get the adrenalin moving, not like the modern computer simulated robots they stick in cars nowadays.” But our family being what it is my sister was not having this. She was quick to point out, “Okay, when Jenson won the world title in 2009 he had by far the best car, so that supports your argument, but I remember sitting on this very sofa watching the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 and watching him come from last, after three pit stops, to carve through the field in the last ten laps and take Vettel on the very last bend of the last lap to win the greatest GP I’ve ever seen. And don’t say your ’60s and ’70s heroes could have bettered that, I don’t believe it.” Dad smiled,
“My main memory of that race was you leaping five foot in the air as your heart throb Jenson took the lead and punching the the air and exchanging high fives with your brother as he crossed the line and won the race. But you can’t delete sports fanatics’ memories, and I’m prepared to concede that you will recount every minute of that race to your great grandchildren when you’re eighty five.”
This lively chat went on for another quarter of an hour or so before we gradually broke up to do those important things that members of families do. You know, like washing up and going to the pub. But the whole episode did do something to me which I hope I will never forget, especially with kids of my own. Family bonding is not just about being lovey-dovey and being nice to each other. No, above all it is sharing those things we are really passionate about, and invariably they are matters which evoke discussions which in turn lead to exchanging dissenting and agreement in equal measure. I’m so glad our family has several things about which they feel so strongly.