Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘RFU’

Public Dilemmas

Sexy Sporty Dad and I were invited to a pre-pub opening this weekend.  It was an honour to be invited; there was never any question, of us not going but it led to some difficult dilemmas.  The first of which is obvious: dress code. We don’t go out very often and usually if we do, we go with friends or family, the dress code is very precise.  But what do you wear to a special invite to a pub opening.  Mallyshag Ltd the newish owners and friends of ours were showing off the pub following a long extensive refurbishment where advisors, close friends and supporters were invited;

I trawled through my inappropriate wardrobe and found nothing even remotely suitable.  I wandered around a few shops and found even less suitable attire.  What is suitable?  Time was galloping away while I luxuriated in the shower rather than make a decision.  I began mix and match my eye makeup and realised it was imperative I come to a conclusion.    I chose a dress with streaks of differing colours and voluptuous folds so I could get away with spilling my drink or dropping a canapé down it unnoticed.  It was comfortable and allowed for plenty of indulgence of the aforementioned canapés.  It also turned out to be suitable; there was a wide range of outfits and I was not out of place.

It has taken a long time to have the courage and trust to leave all three boys at home unsupervised. At nearly 16, No 1 Son goes off to babysit for friend’s children, he is certainly old enough and probably sensible enough to be left at home.   Middle Son is quite self sufficient; he prefers to stay home at the weekend; goes to the shops to fill my fridge with pizzas, cheese and ham croissants and high energy drinks; not that he needs any.    He will cook all this as and when he feels peckish and can entertain himself playing God of War on the PSII for hours as long as no-one disturbs him.  He will be totally domesticated when he leaves home although his financial thriftiness may well delay that adventure for many years to come.   The most sensible of the three; Mini Son is deemed by his age to be too young to leave at home alone.

I have relented and now leave all three for an evening but with very strict instructions, which I am sure they all agree to until the car has driven round the bend and then completely ignore me.   They don’t realise they are left with a huge amount of trust; they do understand the threat of a babysitter, if they misbehave, looming over their heads.  Mini Son also has a get out clause and there is always a neighbour aware they are on their own if he feels assistance is needed.

This has worked well so far and I have toned down my calls back home now, not even reminding them that bed time has passed.   They are more than capable of being on their own and probably far more reliable than I am prepared to give them credit for, but however old and independent they become I am their mother and it is my right to worry about them.

There was however the added complication of the carnival being in town; bad enough as that may seem but the fun fair cleverly attaches itself to the carnival and relieves the townsfolk of all their hard earned cash.  The older boys had their social lives cemented firmly in the spiral that surrounded the carnival and were not prepared to stay in and babysit.   Fleetingly I did consider allowing Mini Son to tag along behind one of his brothers but it was very brief.   Horror images flooded my mind; him being left on some unknown float full of aliens and monsters, Harry Potter throwing an unforgivable curse in his direction, or his brother dragging him on to the screamer, I don’t even know what the screamer does but the name conjures up too many horrors.

My friend Natty mercifully not only offered to have Mini Son, she offered him a bed for the night, allowing us the freedom to return when we were ready guilt free about a babysitter who had a time restriction.   Mini Son went over with a bag of drinks and snacks for a midnight feast which they started about 8pm and concluded the following morning for early breakfast.  He took his DS for the challenge that would happen, barely managing a goodnight as I left him already battling Pokemon with Natty’s son.

Sexy Sporty Dad and I did go to the ball or rather the pub opening and we were very impressed.   We arrived and there was no where to park, the car park full to bursting with newly plated number plates.   Sexy Sporty Dad left me at the door while he hid my little battered car somewhere he could find space, out of sight.   Noise and laughter tumbled out of windows and door as I stood counting the seconds until he returned and we could walk in together.   Naturally like any good party, you dread going in, not sure if you will know anyone.  We were greeted instantly by our friends who insisted on champagne and a personalised tour.   We knew many of the others through our various walks of life.

Exquisite interior design has taken the old listed building, completely refurbished it in a fusion of

The Fontmell, Fontmell Magna, Dorset - 01747 811441

period and contemporary furnishings, blended with the natural stream running between the dining room and the bar.  We threw coins to wish them good luck and also to ensure we return.  The bite sized canapés that came round were taken directly from the more formal menu combining exotic, expensive and everyday ingredients in mouth watering morsels.  There will also be a bar menu for those who just want pub grub.   Plied with champagne we were led upstairs to admire the bedrooms with their modern en-suites and imaginative use of historic feature blended with extra touches to make the stay memorable.

Unfortunately the pub is too close for us to justify staying overnight unless some willing or maybe not so willing family member wanted to entertain three adorable, well behaved and incredibly endearing boys overnight.   Next time we have an overflow of guests we will definitely be suggesting they stay at the Fontmell, just maybe I can contrive to have dinner there first.

We will be going back now that the pub has finally opened, probably again and again, already I am looking through my diary for an excuse to be taken there.

My Writing

I have an update on my article for the local paper.   The RFU have published October’s issue of their magazine Touchline; also available online.  I couldn’t find it at first until they published another October issue and I realised I was looking through October 2010.   Under Clubs on page 8 is my unadulterated report with the full picture of No 1 Son leading a charge on some unsuspecting opponent.

Another piece added to my growing portfolio, now maybe I need to start making some money from all these publications before Sexy Sporty Dad sends me out to work full time, particularly if I wish to stay at the Fontmell or even visit regularly.


Wicked Mother

That is me not my mother; just in case you were wondering, in the eyes of my children.

I feel that I am quite defensive and proud of my children but there are still times when we do not see eye to eye.  My idea of “For the greater good” is not necessarily their choice of pathway.

Mini son was once an athletic socialite, who could not stay still for one moment.   A footballer for his local team, Saturday mornings would see me drive miles for his matches.  I have stood in pouring rain and sleet cheering his school team on.    He progressed through the levels in swimming not wanting to move from his fabulous teacher who has advanced his confidence as well as stroke.  He is the proud owner of the under 7s “player of the year” rugby trophy which adorns my kitchen unit, and had me again driving all over the county each Sunday morning to watch him tot up tries as he outran all opposition.

In July it all stopped.

We were busy, summer holidays were full of activities to keep him occupied and I was not too upset if he chose to sit out these past times.

September arrived upon us all too quickly and with it Mini Son announced he did not want to do anything.  Now he is happy to miss football training, content to pass up the chance to play rugby and battling valiantly to avoid his swimming lesson.  What has changed?

We did; we finally succumbed, to his pleas and desperation.  He is not a child who wants for much but, he did want a DS because, all his friends had one, both his brothers had one and he was always left out.  The benefits, we thought,  to a long journey if each child has their own entertainment are immense, so it seemed a reasonable request and we acquiesced; buying him the latest model and a couple of games for his birthday.   Since that day in July he has spent a considerable amount of time on his toy.  Naively I thought he was rushing out to play with friends and he was; on his DS which has a link feature and he plays his team games sat on friend’s sofas surrounded by DS playing chums.

Evil as it may seem, particularly if the tears and “I hate yous” are anything to go by.  I have banned him from his beloved DS.   There is however an “unless”; he has to earn the time through some kind of activity, I have not specified which; he can choose.  This week he has joined in with Tag Rugby Club and Simply Football Club after school and splashed and dived for half an hour proving to his teacher he needs to be moved up.  I am happy for him to now play on his DS for the weekend.    He is after all in the school football team for next week’s match.  Not one to gloat too much but the grin on his face as he returned from the clubs and the smile as he once again was allowed without argument to resume his latest DS challenge proves that maybe I am not so horrid.

When are you justified in doubting your child’s motives?

The other day was not really a good day to be stuck indoors learning while the sun was out and the teachers droning on about their boring subjects.  So when I got a text from Middle Son saying he had a headache, I confess I was suspiciously unsympathetic “have a drink” I responded harshly.   The conversation continued via text on the phone he is not allowed in school.  “Come and get me – I will just go to bed”.

I can’t just turn up at the school and say I want to take my son home as he has a headache, and following a few weeks of trying times with some verbal bullying I had my slight doubts as to the severity of the headache.   To be fair he has inherited my propensity to suffer migraines and with the heat and closeness of the atmosphere not only did I too have a headache, I had already sent three children home from my school.

The school phone rang and I answered it.   It was his school, laughing I told her I already knew what she was going to say.  Perfidiously, I asked if she thought he really was ill.

“I have checked his timetable and he doesn’t have science this afternoon, he has just had PE”.  Guilty as I felt, the school were ahead of me and had already checked his timetable; science being the subject with the bullies in.

It made sense that having done PE he probably hadn’t drunk much and probably did have a headache; borne out by him coming home and sleeping all afternoon while his wicked mother went back to work having given him painkillers and penitent sympathy.       Thankfully sleep and quiet is a great healer and he was miraculously recovered when friends came to call after school.

There are times in life when your children make you immensely proud and there are times when you do something to be proud of.   Sometimes they even link together although both of you may not be on the same wavelength.

No 1 Son has been through a long harrowing and painful year of major injury.  His whole life revolves around his rugby and it is a bitter pill when he is unable to play and train with his team.  He has been very brave and patient as his team developed their game and gained success last season.   Towards the latter part of the season he was joining in with the training and even playing the odd training match, but his horrible mother did not relent and allow him to play a proper match.

His consultant finally agreed to allow him to return to his cherished pastime so reluctantly I had no choice but to permit him back on to the pitch.   Under my very protective eye and vocal protestations he played a full match against an unsuspecting opposing side.  I would hope that as he walked off that pitch he felt as much pride as if he had scored the winning try in the world cup final; not because he helped his team to a 40:15 win but because of the personal battles he had overcome to get to that point.

With a relief that only a mother can even begin to imagine I walked away, full of pride and the germ of a story for the local paper.  Pen to paper and some consultation with my new found friend at the RFU and I was able to produce a press release charting his triumphant return to the game.

A child waiting for Christmas day could not have outweighed my anticipation as I waited for the paper to drop through the letterbox on Friday morning.  In my excitement and fear I nearly ripped the paper apart to find it.  Page 105 was a long way through; I should have started with the rugby and sport pages really.

It was there, my article and my photo for the whole of the world to see.

Leading the Tackle

Ok, so they had changed a few words and described his injury in lay man’s terms, added a few extra bits and left out some of my carefully crafted copy and the worse thing of all added a typo to a sentence they added but; it was mine.  They also forgot to credit it to me as they don’t credit any of their stories but I was on top of my world.

I woke Sexy Sporty Dad up as I danced into the room flinging the page at him.  He reluctantly obliged by opening his sleepy eyes, reading and commenting favourably on it.  I forced it under the nose of Number 1 Son who was less than impressed, even to the point of acutely embarrassed.

I was over the moon, another piece to add to my slowly, very some might say, growing portfolio of published writing.   More was to come, my new best friend from the RFU has asked if she can send it into their own magazine “Touchline” for publication.   Do you really think I turned her down?

A wry smile crept over No 1 Son’s face as he told me he was asked “what it is like to be famous?” the following morning at the rugby club.

We sometimes don’t walk along quite the same pathways but parents only do what they see is best for their children; hard and wicked as it may seem in the eyes of their offspring.


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