Palindrome Day, Sports Day

Happy Palindrome Day! I was just reading that today is a special day because the date, 02/02/2020, is a palindrome no matter if you are European, American or Chinese (they write the date with the year first). It’s also the 33rd day of the year, and there are 333 days left until the end of the year. More palindromes! The next international palindrome day will happen in 2121, but the one after that won’t happen until the 3rd millenium! Enjoy it while it lasts people, this is calendar madness at its most extreme.

Believe it or not, a cherry tree has started to bloom in Laurelhurst Park. On the 2nd of February. I told this to Al and she said “yeah, it’s not going to be like that in the Midwest”. Being that this is maybe my last mild, blossom-filled spring ever, I am drinking it all in like cold Sprite on Sports Day*.
I should explain what my experience of Sports Day was, in case you didn’t grow up with this tradition, nay, rite of passage. Sports Day happened in the summer term of school, every year from ages 5-13. It would usually be boiling hot and there would be no shade, save for the umbrellas that various mothers brought with them and set up beside their picnic blankets. Us children would then compete at events we had practiced once in PE class.

Fatigued, facing a panic attack from pre-race nerves, and embarrassed at wearing too short white shorts, we would spend the day floating around the mothers’ picnic blankets enduring awkward conversations in exchange for snacks.
The Sports Day I remember most was when I was aged roughly 11. I had been entered into the 800 meter race because I was lanky. 800 meters was twice around the running track, or exactly how far I thought I could probably run before passing out. As it happens, before the race I was at my mum’s picnic blanket, and she helpfully gave me a chocolate Rice Krispie bar. I felt great! I remember finding my legs moving in a metronomic rhythm, and thinking this must be what video game characters feel like when they run. I won the race! Then I promptly threw up behind the cricket scoreboard.

* When I asked Al “did you guys have Sports Day?”, she responded “every day is Sports Day in America, Will”.