It was early summer this year when the dates and venues for the snooker premier league matches were released and I saw Exeter was on the tour list and it was going to be shown life on Sky Sports. I phoned the venue and discovered how cheap the tickets were and booked a ticket instantly then started looking at hotels. The cheapest I could find was in the centre of Exeter which wasn’t ideal. I knew there was a hotel nearer the venue but they hadn’t released their rooms for the date I was looking for. So I kept my eye on their website and they released rooms early in September, what’s more the rooms were priced at 1/3 normal price so I booked a bargain room for myself and cancelled the other booking.
It was when I got to one week to go that I began to notice the excitement in my gut and as the day got nearer the excitement grew. I thought to myself “for goodness sake, you’re only going away for one night and it’s only Exeter!” But nothing could quell the excitement and anticipation I was feeling.
I guess it’s nice to have something to get excited about, it’s not a feeling or an emotion I’ve known much in my life! I had a very unreal feeling about things as it got to the day before. I couldn’t believe how close I was to it. It seemed so long away when I booked it and now I found myself on the brink of going and couldn’t quite believe it. It was a strange feeling.
It’s still quite new for me to be feeling real feelings. I’ve tended to go through life feeling nothing. My feelings were so totally flattened by all that happened to me in my childhood. But one side effect of healing is the return of feelings. I’m finding that I’m tending to feel feelings very strongly too. There’s no half-hearted feelings anymore just full blown feeling or no feelings at all!
So the day came last Thursday and I was like a kid on Christmas morning!! It wasn’t lost on me how good the timing was given all that’s happened during the last two weeks. I was very aware of that and very thankful I’d had it to look forward too, I think it had been one factor which had helped pull me through.
I had a really good day last Thursday. After getting to my hotel in Exeter I had a lovely walk in late afternoon sunshine along the river. That was followed by my favourite pizza at Pizza Hut then I watched the sunset over Exeter Quay.
I arrived at the venue an hour before the doors were due to open. A short queue of a dozen or so people had formed so I joined the queue really pleased to be so close to the front of it. It meant I knew I was going to get a front row seat. When I got in to the arena I got a seat on the end of the front row, sat right behind the player’s seat at the baulk end of the table. Being there meant I was going to be sat behind the highest ranked player during each match. Snooker etiquette determines that.
I got some great photos of the snooker table being prepared for play. Once play started flash photography was out of the question and I switched to the sports setting on my camera. It was interesting photographing without a flash dealing with the lighting set up for the TV cameras. Going through my photos afterwards I noticed how much it affected the lighting and resolution of my shots. I took around 500 photos in total during the 3 matches which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was interesting knowing that every move I made could be caught by a TV camera. We were told to keep still for the cameras and to ignore them if we realised they were looking straight at you. I naturally am not very good at keeping still. I tend to fidget a lot. So I had to concentrate really hard to start with but in the end I got used to the set up and didn’t have to think quite so hard about keeping still and not fidgeting! It was a brilliant night of top class snooker.
I was back at my hotel by midnight. It took me a while to get off to sleep but in the end I slept well. Usually I sleep only fitfully when sleeping somewhere unfamiliar. The peace and quiet was bliss, as was the comfy double bed!
On the Friday morning I really enjoyed the “eat all you can” continental and cooked breakfast. I had a great feed which kept me going for the rest of the day. With hotel checkout being noon I decided to use the morning to catch up with emails and begin to type an article for my blog. I was feeling released to write. I’ve not been able to write at all during the last couple of weeks.
Wow, the difference that overnight stay in Exeter did for me!! I guess the distance between home and where I was enabled me to be able to write.
One night away from home going to watch something I really enjoy did me so much good. It was the perfect antidote. I came home feeling emotionally refreshed to face the difficult things that are ahead.