"A Morning Song"
During my visit to St. Martin's in the field the choir sung an advents hymn by Eleanor Farjeon, an English writer who mainly wrote Children's books. Already Eleanor's father had been an author and two of her brothers were writers as well while her older brother was a composer. Encouraged by her father Eleanor already started with five years to write and she lived for the most time of her live in literary and theatrical circles in London and Sussex. Her first and probably mot popular children's book was "Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard" to which she later wrote a sequel. Eleanor as well wrote some libretti for her brother Harry and together with her brother Herbert several plays. Eleanor Farjeon died 1965 not far away from the Alexandra Palace in Hampstead.
Her till today best known poem to be sure is the originally written as a children's hymn to an old Gaelic tune "A Morning Song" which in 1971 was sung and published by Cat Stevens as "Morning has Broken " in his album "Teaser and the Firecat". The song got world-famous and was sung and published by different singers under different titles.
I didn't have this story in mind when I went to a bog bookshop at Piccadilly Circus to look for a book for my long train journey home to Germany. Only when I left the shop I realized that I had bought a book by J. Jefferson Farjeon, Eleanor's brother Joseph, who wrote between 1924 and 1955 more then 60 books.
My last evening in Alexandra Palace was the seventh evening of the PDC World Championship and the evening of the Austrians as beside Mensur Suljovic Zoran Lerchbacher stood on stage. Lerchbacher, who took part for the third time in the World Championship played against PDPA qualifier Simon Stevenson who till now failed to make an impact on the PDC Circuit. Stevenson has a way to play one could call economical. He throws lots of low scores till his opponent gets close to a finish, then produces a 180 or 140 and finishes off before his opponent is able to do so. He won the first that in this way and a few legs more but in the end Lerchbacher won as he was the far better player.
Next was Mensur Suljovic v Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp and it was a far from great match from both players and far from thrilling as well. It was a struggle all the time. The averages were almost the same: 88.51 for Suljovic, 88.56 for Meulenkamp. Suljovic slightly higher hitting rate on the doubles was crucial in the end. After the match Suljovic admitted he had been very nervous. He had practiced very hard to be prepared but somehow his head had let him down - now his mental coach had to help him. Somebody asked the question whether Suljovic would accept a Premier League Wildcard to which he answered he would accept it to 90 percent. I would say he'll have to improve a lot in the tournament to get offered a wildcard.
In the so called "match of the evening" James Wade played against Belgian Ronny Huybrechts. It was clearly better than the match before but still far from a great match more some kind of a labored victory for Wade. Wade himself didn't look too happy with his performance.
After the match again the journalists could question the winning player and one asked the question what Wade would think about the possible move to the bigger hall of the Alexandra Palace. Wade answered diplomatic, that he loves the venue and the atmosphere of the venue in which the tournament is played at the moment and that he was not quite sure whether it was possible to recreate it in the bigger hall with its enormous ceiling height but that he would play in every venue and that he always sees it as his job to entertain the crowd with his performance.
The match between Robert Thornton and Zoran Lerchbacher was the last match of the evening and it was on a similar level as the Suljovic v Meulenkamp match while Lerchbacher was the weaker player from the start. As he admitted after the match unhappily it just wasn't meant to be for him .
Thornton was not really happy with his performance as well but really happy win as he now could go into the Christmas break with a positive feeling.
My last evening at the World Championship had been at most an average dart evening, but the crowd had enjoyed it nevertheless. And I like Robert Thornton looked forward to Christmas!