When it comes to sport, as I have told you many times before, I am an Excellent Spectator.
This worthy attribute came in
handy on my recent long weekend with my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys which was as sporty a weekend as any spectator could wish for, encompassing cricket, football and golf, rounded up with a thrilling escapade on the High Ropes. No, I wasn’t
up there among the trees, negotiating sliding boards, swinging tyres and, of course, the rip ride, don’t be silly. It was important that I stayed on terra firma, in order to be able to report, fearlessly, on the experience. At second hand.
I did miss out on swimming. I had the option, on arrival, of accompanying Morgan to his swimming lesson or letting the older boys take me back to theirs where I would be
able to make myself a restorative cup of coffee and rest my weary bones.
Now, one of my many happy memories of my older grandchildren’s childhood is
joining the Youngest of the Darling Daughters on the side of the swimming pool at Odiham RAF station to watch her Twosome practising their breast stroke, back stroke, crawl, butterfly, diving and - my favourite - flipper practice (because it reminded me of
that hilarious scene in The Graduate) while my daughter and I chatted, thus ensuring that our jaws did not rust. Last Friday, however, I had had a five hour journey by train and fancied a bit of a rest. Okay, okay, the coffee was an added incentive...
In any case, I needed to gather my energy for cricket practice. Morgan belongs to the All Stars Cricket initiative run by the England and Wales Cricket Board for children
aged five to eight, aimed at teaching participants the basic skills of the game. Each child receives a personalised shirt with their name, a cricket bat and ball, a hat, an activity book and an absolutely ginormous backpack which every participant wore with
pride as huge as the pack on their back. For parents and other by-standers, there was a barbecue selling hot dogs and burgers, plus a bar - enabling My Boy to keep his promise to his sisters that, while my weekend would probably not be restful, it would involve
much fun and wine a-plenty. A perfect way to spend a late afternoon; even better in warmer weather, I was told.
The following morning, while Young James
and his Dad were at a Football Festival (they don’t have “tournaments” in Wales, they have “festivals” instead - another piece of useless information for you, courtesy of the Daily Blog), the Darling Daughter in Law had an Important
Task to undertake, registering next season’s intake for the Under Seven’s football team. I offered my assistance but My Boy considered this an extremely silly idea, reckoning I would only increase the stress factor involved in collecting registration
forms, money, copies of birth certificates / passport details. Sometimes I think he forgets that I once held down a pretty responsible job. As it happened, the Darling Daughter in Law appeared in complete control, clearly not needing my help / interference,
leaving me to enjoy watching the Youngest of the Welsh Boys’ football practice.
On Sunday, we were off to the beautiful Llanishen golf course where all three
boys had been signed up for a two hour taster session. The weather had taken a turn for the better so that I no longer needed my winter coat. Instead I sat in one half of a double camping chair in the warm sunshine with My Boy, gazing out at the spectacular
views over the city of Cardiff. I could have stayed there all day, it was so very relaxing. Except, that is, when we had to move from one place to another, following the boys, when I had to be hauled unceremoniously from the camping chair. It wasn’t
a Good Look.
Sunday afternoon and we were at St Fagan’s, the National Museum of Welsh History, where Mr B, in his absence, paid for the older two boys to
take to the High Ropes. The course, it has to be said, presented absolutely no difficulty for either boy - James insisted on doing The Floss on his way round - but just behind them were two little lasses for whom this was their first time on the High Ropes.
My heart was in my mouth watching them slowly, but surely, make their way round.
Meanwhile Young Morgan was at a football party - we arrived towards the end, in
time for the whole family to get involved in a Parents versus Boys match. The Darling Daughter in Law was in goal (she made two great saves) while My Boy scored once and executed a quite remarkable bicycle kick which only just failed to make it into the net.
It was a hard fought game but the Birthday Boy finally (and predictably) scored the winning goal. It was Meant to Be.
“Aren’t you playing, then?”
asked one of the other parents, watching, like me, from the sidelines.
“I wouldn’t want to show off,” I replied immodestly.
Besides, I could and should have said, why would I feel the need to take to the field, the pitch, the golf course or whatever when I am such an Excellent Spectator?