Play Offs, Sparsholt College and Guess What…More Cricket!!

Posted on May 16, 2011

This weekend just gone has been so hectic that it is hard to recall the full measure of what has happened. I will start with Friday and the first leg of the Semi Final of the Play offs for Reading v Cardiff. As a neutral this game would have been about as interesting as watching Formula One, but as a supporter, it was quite tense and exciting in a frenetic way, with not much skill on show, but plenty of endeavour from both sides, the 0-0 draw leaving everything to play for on Tuesday. However, the policing after the game was incendiary as for some bizarre reason Reading fans were penned in for 45 minutes by security staff and police. If Reading fans weren’t so placid a riot could have started such was the frustration at the nature of such a stupid decision. If this had happened in one of the major cities such as Birmingham or Liverpool the consequences could have been far more serious.

On Saturday a group of us including Di, her brother Brian, and all the kids with the exception of George, went to the Sparsholt Agricultural College open day. George doesn’t go out on days like this any more, purely through morbid fear of being seen with me. If it was a choice between a day out with me or Harold Shipman, Shipman would get the nod, purely because he is not George’s father. If it does not revolve around cricket or football I am of no interest to George which I can fully understand as I can remember that period of my life all too well. I still carry the mental scars of being spotted walking down Shyshack Lane, not only with my Dad, but with the added embarrassment of having a pair of binoculars hanging from my neck. It doesn’t come much worse than being fifteen years old and getting caught bird spotting with your Dad.

Sparsholt is a really good day out, much better than I thought it would be, as all too often on these farmyard type open days you find that you get suckered in to paying ten quid entrance fee to the land owners new Range Rover fund and in return you get to spend your children’s inheritance on a cup of coffee and an “organic” bacon roll whilst watching an “organic” sheep being sheared before going home with an empty wallet and bored kids wanting to know what “organic” means. I’m thinking about calling my company Claremont Organic Recruitment Ltd so I can whack another 20% margin on my fees, every other fucker does it and I want some of the action. Sparsholt however, had loads of things going on, such as climbing walls, shooting, fishing, assault courses, abseiling and loads of different stalls and beer tents etc. Admittedly they did have an Organic Bacon roll stand (£4.50 a pop) but I will forgive them that and I would love it if one of my kids studied there, as it seems to be a college for healthy people with rosy cheeks and a cheerful outlook on life, the students who were running much of the events were helpful and friendly. If you have kids under 13, go there next year, you will enjoy it.

Brian, me, Harry, Charlotte, Laura and Megan in action at Sparsholt College

I went home exhausted and happy to have a quiet night in with the boys before getting up early on Sunday for yet more cricket where George hit his ever six for the Colts in a victory over Overton, followed by an afternoon game with him in the men’s side, a combined total of eight hours. Both sets of our under 15’s maintained their 100% starts to the league and I am enjoying it so much that I can quite honestly say I would rather one of them won their league than Reading FC getting promoted to the Premier League in football. Reading are a Championship side and with Brighton, Southampton and possibly Bournemouth coming up and West Ham coming down there is plenty to look forward to next season if Reading fail to reach a league where they will get battered every week whilst being patronised by Alen Hansen and Mark Lawrenson on Match of the Day.

Of course, that is just me preparing me to be disappointed tomorrow night after a game, that I fear, will be one step to far for The Royals. If it is they will just have to organically rear their own players and sell them on at inflated rates!

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