Jun. 5th, 2017

llywela: Life on Mars - Chris reading (LoM-reading)
On Saturday evening just gone, in the midst of the biggest security operation this city has ever seen, Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 to win the Champions League at the stadium once known as the Millennium Stadium, which for the purposes of this game and associated advertising regulations we were not permitted to call the Principality Stadium (its current name).

Also on Saturday evening, a group of terrorists launched an attack in London, killing seven people and wounding dozens more. My baby niece's 'other' aunt, her dad's sister, was not just in London at the time, but was actually in Borough, in the area directly affected. Her husband back home in Swansea with their three-year-old spent the night posting updates to Facebook for worried friends and relatives, updating us all on her progress as she was locked into a restaurant for safety, then evacuated to Vauxhall, then evacuated again, eventually found a taxi, and so on, before eventually making it back to the safety of the uncle's house she was staying at for the weekend. Thank God she's safe, but my heart goes out to those not so fortunate.

Two weeks ago, a lad I know was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester when it was attacked (a uni student, bless him, he rang his mam, who told him to go straight home because he'd be safe there, so he ran home and locked all the doors, only for swarms of police to descend on his street and carry out a controlled explosion at a house across the road; turns out, he lives in the same street as the terrorist!).

This world is a lot smaller than it sometimes feels.

On Saturday evening, before the bad news broke, I found myself thinking about personal fandom and the cycles it can go through. The Juventus team bus had driven past me the night before, as I was waiting for my bus home from work, and it occurred to me that once upon a time, back in the days of my youth when I was an avid follower of Italian football, I'd have been beyond thrilled to have the Champions League final taking place right here in my hometown. I'd have been so excited that Juventus were here to take part. I'd have followed the preparations for the game avidly, would have wanted to be involved in the four-day football festival, to experience the atmosphere and mingle among the fans. But those days are gone. I drifted away from football fandom quite some time ago, so much so that instead of being excited about the game, I mostly just found it to be a nuisance, upsetting the usual smooth running of my city. Times change, and so does personal fandom.

It got me thinking about the TV shows I've been fannish about, over the years, and how they tend to sit on something a bit like a carousel in my head and heart, circling round and round, in and out of current attention. Not every show I watch and enjoy ends up on the carousel, and I can't always define what it is about the ones which do that makes the difference, why it is that this show I merely enjoy but that one I am a fan of, but once a show is on the fandom carousel, that's it, it's there for good.

But all of those shows can't command my attention all at once, they have to take their turn in the spotlight, as it were. This show might be at the forefront of my attention for a while, but then the carousel will spin again, and I'll get back into an old show I once adored, bringing it circling back into the limelight for a time, or I'll discover a completely new show and fall head over heels, the carousel expanding to make room for it. My fandoms are always in motion, they have to be, because I love a lot of shows but have a strictly finite amount of free time to devote to them, so they have to take their turn.

Some of those turns last rather longer than others.

…perhaps that's why I drifted away from Italian football fandom – I was in it for the 'characters', maybe, that specific generation of players who'd captured my heart, rather than for the clubs or the game itself…so when that particular 'cast' aged out and moved on, so did I. I'd never looked at it like that before.

Football aside, only one show has ever fallen off my personal internal carousel (supernatural, I am looking at you), but some do end up shoved away at the back, out of sight and out of mind. There just aren't enough hours in the day or days in the week – and definitely not enough weekends in the year!

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