‘The international weekend for the non-international (Part One) - golf, the park and Belgium's finest!'
For us less talented footballers, the international weekends are a welcome blot on an otherwise hectic landscape.
While I may forego the multi-million pound contracts, the OK wedding shoots and the opportunity to pit my wits against the best players in the world, I do get to have the odd weekend off in mid-season.
A perfect trade-off.
The “big boys” probably resent the way I get to spend my couple of days off - and I say that with my tongue very firmly planted in my cheek!!
Saturday morning I awoke without a care in the world. I didn’t have to think about the strengths and weaknesses of a fella from Slovenia I’d never heard of.
Instead I was laden down like a pack donkey and forced into taking the kids to golf lessons.
A set of clubs each for a four and seven-year-old?? This surely couldn’t be right, but my shoulders told me otherwise.
So, for two hours, I was press-ganged into re-stocking my little boy’s tee.
Of course they have a machine that does it manually, but he wanted to go into the booths outside that don’t.
After an hour I had the WD40 out oiling my joints... to no avail!
Praise be for the wedding reception I had to look forward to in the evening.
But not before I had the afternoon to contend with.
I had to leave the trouble ‘n’ strife at home to shoot the Botox, manicure the claws and trowel on the polyfilla, or whatever it is they do nowadays – I, on the other hand, loaded up the station wagon and tried to entertain the herd at the park.
I could’ve done with a Collie - it was a human impossibility to get them all within a 50m radius at the same time!
I arrived home, dripping with perspiration, 45 minutes before the taxi arrived to take us out.
I threw on the wedding/christening/funeral suit – not three different suits I hope you understand, my suit multi-tasks – and happily handed over the little hooligans to the babysitter, our eldest.
As we pulled up at the wedding reception, two fellas were grabbing a crafty smoke.
Their attire of fluorescent ties and non-matching gaudy shirts had me fumbling for the invitation in the hope that I hadn’t missed the dress code: fancy dress.
Maybe they’d heard about my day and were just trying to make me feel better about MY less than perfect appearance!
As my friends dispersed at pace, all needing the lavatory again - amazing how that keeps on happening - I found myself alone at the oak-panelled bar.
Just me, myself and Mr. Artois.
Thank goodness I was gifted with only the slightest modicum of talent!!