Our centre half floundered and our goalkeeper's palms turned to Telfon, Torquay United's fourth goal went in and I rocked in frustration yet again. As on umpteen previous occasions, my wife then went through the motions of turning round and asking me why I couldn't support a winning team instead of Aldershot Town. She knows full well that I could never stop supporting the Shots, that they're part of my identity.
And the same is true of poetry. If being a Real Madrid or Liverpool fan is far too easy for contrary people like me, so savouring isolated poetic achievements is made much sweeter by the countless defeats that necessarily surround them.