As usual there's been plenty of football over the past few days. At one point I managed to pull the car up to the edge of the pitch and knit while I watched the training. Unimaginable luxury, despite having two smaller boys to keep a grip of.
On Saturday afternoon the two biggest boys went to see their first proper football match, on a trip organised by their headmaster. It was a Forest Green Rovers game, a local team based up near Nailsworth in Gloucestershire. Just out of interest, they play in what I would describe more as a rather fetching mint green, rather than an actual forest green, and I did float the suggestion that Mint Green Rovers might have been a better name. I understand that it's staying as Forest Green for the time being though.
The boys thought the match was absolutely brilliant, but the bit that intrigued me the most was FGR's green credentials. Apparently they are a sustainable club, and are leading the way when it comes to eco football. They have organic turf, watered with rainwater, which is also used to flush the toilets. No chemicals are used on the grass. The lawn mower is a solar powered robot, and if it breaks down it texts the groundsman! I saw the possibility to have a little fun with that, if you could access the messaging system...
The chairman is the owner of Ecotricity, a green energy company, and a vegan to boot, which thrilled the eldest. Apart from fish and chips, all the food at the club is vegetarian. And the players have all been given electric cars which they can hook up to recharge at the ground. Two-thirds of the energy used by the club comes from solar panels on the roof. Really, who knew anything of this sort went on at football? I'm definitely starting to like this game. I should probably just mention that all of this information is second-hand, told to me by the other half. I don't think he's winding me up.
While everyone else was off cheering FGR to victory, over their top-of-the-league opponents, me and the littlest boy wandered into town and down to the allotment.
There was a definite feel of spring in the air, with all sorts of springy things like buds and bees and even the odd butterfly. It does amaze me how delicate things like butterflies get through the winter. All that wind and rain. Nature is so astonishing. We did some weeding and then went to the park where we ate an ice lolly (the first of the year) and bumped into a little chum.
Yesterday the biggest boy played football again, and even scored a couple of goals. I was happy for him as he went for a trial a week or so ago, but didn't get picked. He seems fine about it, but I know he would have loved to be selected. It got me thinking about failure, especially after I listened to a series of programmes on the Value of Failure on the radio last week. The one presented by a school headmistress was particularly interesting. She said that the girls were always taught to embrace failure and that they always talked about it together and learned all they could from it. It is easy to avoid failure by sitting on the sofa doing nothing, but to have failed means you have tried. And unless you put yourself out there and try things, nothing will happen. I'm sure that the biggest boy has already learned and moved on. It is a good lesson to understand that things aren't always easy and you can't always have what you want straight away. I'm thinking I need to try a thing or two myself. Put myself out there a bit. Implement a Grand Plan. After all, that's how a new age traveller living in a van with one wind turbine created successful green energy company and bought a football club.