Too old to tour??????


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Week 25- Essex bunfight - but surprisingly compliant and good humoured. dodgy bit of romford and have to doubloe park the porsche- give a barmaid the keys and am amazed when it is still in position on return. Visiting skip did offer to "give it a proper drive" to his home later. Get to watch one of our decent childrefs last 10 mins. on adjacent pitch- maintains his cool (excellent Tcuping) as homers hammer at and over tryline for elusive winning score.He had arrived worringly close to k.o which had locals, ex-refs, v-p's etc. begging me to do the game "please -it's a really big game for us " (obviously hadn't seen me ref for a while).
Midweek- mens student league- good game, good cards (season average now 3.86 i(96%). Coach Japanese ref doing the ladies -his 2nd ever game in U.K. - has little management or breif so take him to observe mine ("now try that but without all the waffle"). But he is excellent on park-transpires has 4 years decent level experience at home- just very unconfident re his English (is a doc. but all ex-pat patients so will have to learn the lingo at rugby(!) (at first training meet is v.confused why trainer keeps asking him about his grandma sucking eggs)
Central meet with Walshy and Barnsey, far too many beers though Hollywood is now a reformed man (AA etc,. ) and despite myself/his previous i like him.

Training- 1 P-T, 2 Cardio but multiple consultant appointments - consensus is my shoulder is both "frozen" and has rotator cuff tear. Suggests i " manage" to end of season with codeine, demerol, light physio, bizarre secondary signals. Trouble is season looks like lasting till July!!

WEEK 26- Horribly sad news from Brisbane about Jason and his boy really knocks me for six . Cancel Hongkong trip as last year we were both on the self- christened "A" team ,and both being "blow-ins" got to lead the post match frivolity. Can't contemplate it without him which i know isn't very "man-up" of me but there it is.

Take Welsh godson (i know!) to HQ to watch them thrash England which just makes him more irritatingly Welsh.
Pondering why he had come up from Cardiff when his Unis Nottingham- after a few he fesses up to having dropped out " to be a musician". Cue lots of derision from my mates (also i thought it was my generation that was suppossed to "drop out and tune in". SO as with Barnsey another expensive Monmouth education wasted then. Great day out though and he did amuse the curryhouse later with his ability and welshness.
Midweek - my 2nd fav lady students (2fls) yet again- they as first in their league thrash the team in 2nd.
2 days later its them again -Varsity at the Stoop. ( reserve ref the ladies, AR the mens). Riotous (literally) night out -my 2fls (aka "the godless s**m) thrash my alma mater. Ref gives avalanche of PK's and even gets the cards out -in a lady students game FFS- where's the management!!) but they do like him despite the fact i'm "their all-time fav.".
By time of mens game crowd (3,000) all exteremly drunk= 4 arrests , knocked out mascot, flares on pitch etc. 20 mins. in we get the "stopstop" -take the players to the safe side of pitch whilst stewards attempt to restore order (well at least they get the missiles/flares redirected away from the pitch.)
Near the end we get another "stopstop" - this time from young
4th official Cody (don't you just love him) ,stop game ask him why "oh just thought you ought to know a steward has told me thay might abandon if another missile" "FFS cody -let us know that then don't stop a game in midplay.") Mens game another victory for the godless - well reffed by a saffer colleague (though i have to bollock his esteemed coach(an old mate) for noisingly intervening as he was having a halftime "discourse" with one skipper). At final whistle anxious stewards try to usher us away "er we're refs -they're students -i think we'll be o.k. thanks"). Decline ladies post match invites to various westend clubs "mash-ups" in favour of quiet couple in Turks with colleagues (too old to tour?)

Week 27- sat.- local game thankfully as up at dawn for eurobar to Paris. WWI off again to save the euro so i tag along for the rerarranged Irish match. Weird being 2 of only 2.000 paddies in a full satdium. Mighytirish almost do it but whyohwhy not take the late PK to win it !!! Barnsey bravely opts for midnight beers at an Irisb pub (TRA) Weirdly at luunch next day i meet his lovely ex's even lovelier little sis who is suddenly all grown up. V.posh hotel (courtesy of megabank) is right next to the "Hustler club" which apparently is neither a casino nor a paul newman tribute pub but does have a VIP "experience" for visiting rugby players and officials (TRA). Tuesday get to ref a ladies cup game at the lovely stade charlety but have to skip the post game banquet for eurobar home. Next day with sore legs and head ref (again!!! 3 times in a week) my 2fls in their cup semi against the girls from the westcountry . In their toughest (and one of mine) game of the season they scrape home by 12-- ecstatic to be in the final -even more so when they find out who's reffing it :)
Next day- qucik gym recovery sesh then all day stewarding a beerfest till lovely saffer pilates teach whisks me off to Florence and the machine (never work out which is which).
WWI unamused by my early hours return as- guess what -we're on first eurobar out frdiay for the English game. I normally ref the french/english lawyers but game is off as all 3 english lawteams have beeen told must play league games.
Insteead have a relatively civil start to tour - lots of fine dining, gym , walks etc till matchday when it all goes pearshaped.
Friday night get plaintive call from the lawyer oldgits (aka esteemed committeeman) who had manged to get themselves met by the gendarmes at gare du nord. Transpires an OZ girl on board had demanded their arrest for "racism" for singing "fields of athenry".!!???:confused: Quick call to one of my national police arbitre mates from RWC07 (who luckily is also head of security for sarko) soon sorts it out,
Matchday -watch my mate Nikki (see- finally a decent ref has come out of NZ) do the 1st half of ladies game at charlety before hairy "blues and 2s" ride courtesy of cop mate to meet WWI at stadedefrance. ANOTHER great game goes to the wire - this time the French kicking themselves for not taking the DG to win!! Meet up with completley unchastened lawyers for major post match.(TRA)
Next day big recovery lunch at "les marbeufs" - boys on best behaviour as WWI presnt and "shes dead posh". Excellent repast enlivened by models grooming themselves for photoshoot in same bit of restaurant. Boys give it full banter including the on one knee "you've lost that loving feeling" rendition. Girls love it though boys being lawyers therefore stupid assume they are french therefore monolinguistic. Boys depart leaving WWI and i and the photoshoot- top model joins us -she's Swedish, loved the banter and is sorry they had to go as has been in Paris for 3 weeks and is "bored out of her skull" coz the French "can't drink like us guys."

Training- by tour (messing about in a clubmed doesn't count.)
Alcohol Units- "enorme, dangereuse pour la sante"