Missing the End of the Season

I had planned to be watching football right now. The elder child and I went to the football ground about 30 minutes before the match. Normally this is plenty of time to get a ticket at the turnstile and get seated during the player warm-up.

Today’s match does even have anything riding on it. However, last week our club went and got itself promoted to the next league. Now everyone has ex post facto promotion fever. There should normally be between 3,000 and 4,000 spectators. Today the 8,000-odd capacity has been reached. The seats were all taken and the standing areas full.

I considered – and even stood in the queue for – the last of the standing ends. However, I realised that two hours of standing on one leg while pressed on all sides and the swearing in the football chants right next to the child were not worth the price of admission.

Instead the child and I sat across the street on the pavement and waited for the Unnamed Woman to come pick us up. At six years old and not from a football mad family, he’s still working out the distinction between teams that play for countries and those that play for clubs. I also tried to explain the whole promotion thing, but he’s still getting his head around it.

The elder child was disappointed to miss the last game of the season, but I assured him that we will go again next season, which begins in just a few weeks.

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Backfire

With all of the legislation and regulation New Labour has brought upon us, it is awfully good to see that one of their key legislative achievments is in tatters. With the help of a few well-intentioned members of the Opposition, the Government was able to pass the ban on foxhunting in 2004. It took them several attempts and they finally had to invoke the Parliament Act (for only the fourth time since 1949) which allows a bill to become law despite being voted down in the House of Lords.

So what a joy it is to see that the effect of the ban as been to increase the interest in foxhunting. The number of anti-hunting protesters continues to dwindle. The League Against Cruel Sports has seen its membership decline from 18,000 to between 5,000 and 10,000. Their spokesman wouldn’t be any more specific, according to the Sunday Telegraph. They are having to sell up their offices and find cheaper accommodation. At the same time the number of hunt participants has risen to 68,000.

The anti-hunt campaigners have always been a minority. It is only because the urbanisation of the UK has made a Labour Government, comprised principally of townies, able to trample on the historic rights of the countryside. The hunters have put up the often violent attacks by protesters. (It’s amazing how animal rights people have such little regard for humans.) When the Government trampled on then, they uncharacteristically put up a fight. Most of the time Brits follow sheepishly when the Government tells them what to do.

Many Years

It was just about six years ago right now that I was dressing A1 for the first time. He had just been cut out of Mummy’s belly after 56 hours of labour. He didn’t want to breathe at first so the paediatric consultant was called up to the operating theatre to encourage him. Finally he was one his way downstairs to the nursery, where I got him dressed and then took photos to send around the world to grandparents and others as soon as I was sent home by the nursing staff.

Now he dresses himself. Sometimes it is as Spiderman, other times it is Superman. It can be Mr Incredible, or a policeman, or a doctor. I’ve lost track of all the costumes. He also grown up enough that he dresses up in his uniform every morning and he’s nearly halfway through his second year of school.

May God grant His servant many years!

This morning he’ll wake up to the presents and cards that Mummy has put on the kitchen table, with banner and streamers and confetti. Tomorrow night we are going to a pantomime. The kids love panto. This one is staged by students at the National College for the Blind. That ought to be interesting.

Then there’s the birthday party on Sunday at the venue that every child must use for a party. The scary bit is that it is very near the football ground where the hooligans from Elizabeth’s Big City (who have a reputation for being some of the nastiest in football) will be travelling up to meet our hooligans (who have never backed down from a good dust up). This is somewhat related to the fourth round of the FA Cup. It is an early kick-off, so hopefully all the bloodshed will be over and all necessary arrests made before the children arrive.