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.
Love the bit about failure - it seems unlikely that it isn't something we will all have to experience at some stage or another so learning how to deal with it seems a good idea. Who knew football could be so green? Brilliant!ReplyDelete
I was a bit confused by players being all given electric cars.ReplyDelete
Wow, I think we need to adopt some of these ecological practices over here, especially among the sporting community. I think I embrace failure a bit too much - I almost never think anything I do will work out. But I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, it keeps me humble, right? Ha. It's a valuable lesson though, I will have a look at that program.ReplyDelete
Go for it CJ. If we don't try, we'll never know.ReplyDelete
What a great way of running a football club! Other teams should follow their lead. Forest Green used to be in the same league as Weymouth so their name was familiar. I remember weekends full of football my son played for teams from aged 7- 16 and for a few years my husband was his football manager! Sarah xReplyDelete
I LOVE the idea of eco-football!ReplyDelete
There is SO much waste when we go to games with trash bins overflowing with cups, wrappers, etc. I wish they could figure out a way to not make so much garbage.
The 'green credentials' of the footy team are impressive - what a great example to set.ReplyDelete
It's tough when your son doesn't get selected but I do wonder if selection brings extra pressures which they don't need. I saw butterflies this weekend too. It seemed very early. XxReplyDelete
That football club sounds amazing and is a great lesson in what can be done and achieved! xxReplyDelete
Oooh - you don't know how much I need to hear this at the moment! Failure isn't 'not succeeding', it is 'not trying'. It's a great lesson to pass on to your kids, and one that still holds good even at my ripe old age. xCathyReplyDelete
What an amazing football club! A great lesson on sustainable energy and the strength to push through to success. I really love what you said about failure. You're so right that the true failure is in never trying. What one person may not appreciate, another person will. It's a tough lesson to keep learning, but a very necessary and fulfilling one. That's too bad your son didn't make the team. It's remarkable how much perseverance children have to keep marching on. I'm sure you will be successful in whatever you try! Sometimes just trying something is all that is really needed to feel a sense of accomplishment:) Hope you're having a wonderful day!ReplyDelete
Now that club has got it!! How brilliant are all of those practices to protect the environment....every sports team should be required to do this as here in the US they definitely make enough money to do so!! What a great learning experience for the boys! And you are so right about failure... It is an important lesson for us all!! Happy day to you and lovely knitting lady!! Nicole xoxoReplyDelete
Am reading this at 6.45 am so not going to listen to the links re The value of Failure at the moment or will still be in my pjs at work time! Thanks for those though, CJ, will listen this evening and have emailed link to my sis who is a recently graduated psychologist; she'll find that interesting - as will I.ReplyDelete
So great that FGR has lead the way with its green thinking, let's hope the message spreads - I'd love one of those robots! wicked opportunity for some fun!! I wonder if they'd make one for weeding ….
I think your allotment is ready to the spring timeReplyDelete
My biggest boy did football until 6 months ago, I never did manage knitting much, more often than not I was there wrapped up jigging about trying to keep warm, training was spent in the car, but it was always too dark to see my knitting! That green football stuff seems bizaare, who knew!ReplyDelete
I like the concept that failuremeans you've tried, I'm not intending to fail at trying to accompany a group of African singers this weekend on a keyboard, but then again I'm not convinced its going to be great either!
Loving the whole woodlouse thing on your previous post, we used to live in an old farmhouse that had them in their droves, and rather sadly (my hubby and I to ght we were hilarious) we often talked about the one which when we moved house, after many years had made the journey and found us, not sure he has found us at our most recent house, maybe he'll arrive sometime next winter.
Forest Green sounds like a great football club, I expect they have school visits. I do think all children need to be taught about failure & about it not being a bad thing, Makes for better equipped adults I find.ReplyDelete
My mum always said that you can only try your best and never think of it as failure if it's not quite good enough. I've never been one for football but that sounds like a good club, and biggest boy seems to really enjoy himself which is the important thing.ReplyDelete
I like the picture of littlest boy on the allotments. Flighty xx
Great post CJ. That is a really good story about the green-in-many-ways football team. My husband (and formerly myself) works for a green design and construction company, which also installs solar systems. Also good to hear about other companies in the business. Oh, and what is an "ice lolly" - an ice cream cone?ReplyDelete
Knitting in the car, well I suppose we have to grab whatever chance we get, time being so precious. Sorry to hear that your son didn't get selected, but it's true, they won't learn anything about life if they get given everything on a plate. Good luck to him for next time, I'm sure he'll be great.ReplyDelete
I really like the sound of Forest Green and eco football. I've never thought of football as environmentally friendly (more the opposite) and its great to think that one man's vision can create this.ReplyDelete
My oldest son "only" ever made it into the B team of his rugby club and then was never picked for games. He gave up fairly soon because it was just not fun to only train. I somehow thought I had failed him. I know this doesn't make any sense at all. I try to raise resilient children, for example I tend not to give them praise for poor homework but rather explain to them that maybe they had not done the work to their best potential and then discuss how they could improve on that. I hope this does not make me sound like an evil creature. I have downloaded the BBC iplayer onto my phone and will listen to the head teacher's talk tonight, I am intrigued. Personally, I deal really poorly with my own little failures. I call them little because on the grand scheme of things, these failures are not remarkable but they do hit hard sometimes.ReplyDelete
The green football club is impressive! Cx
I like the sound of eco football the excess spending of the premier league dismay me, I am not at all good at "putting myself out there............"ReplyDelete
There is no such thing as failure, everything we do in life is a lesson, an opportunity to learn and grow. Your allotment looks so neat and ready for action ;) Get those strawberry runners in! xxxReplyDelete
What a cool football club. I will have to share this with some of my pals. I really think failure is important. I loved the commentary on this. I feel like I am constantly pushing my son to try hard. I am brutally honest that he may fail or may not be very good at what he tries at. I believe beyond learning to improve, we need to instill a sense of following through with our kids and society. I also think once you try and fail and survive and one big pressure thing, the next thing is a little less scary. I admit to being guilty of getting upset when he doesn't do something well, because he was sloppy / lazy or making bad decisions. Don't revoke my mom card!ReplyDelete
Every bit of information about this team makes me smile. What a wonderful example they set for the next generation (and all generations).ReplyDelete
Eco football ... nah, it will still always be 'foot the ball' to me (sorry, that will only mean something to readers of Terry Pratchett). Even green it's a game that leaves me cold, thank goodness my boys were into rugby ;)ReplyDelete
Hi CJ, I loved this post. I hope it is true about the football club, as its so inspiring. I've seen bees and butterflies already too....amazing.ReplyDelete
What you say about failure is very wise. Love the Allotment photo and I see we have the same car :0)
Ah, my boy is just starting to show interest in football, much to my husband's delight. Leeds United could probably learn a thing of two from Forest Green Rovers!ReplyDelete
Interesting thoughts about failure. It makes me think about how we measure success in our culture, which tends to be through wealth and power, rather than through happiness. x
Hello lovely CJ, thank you for sharing the link from Radio4 here, I will listen to it when I have a moment. I must say I really miss my daytime radio 4 at the moment, I used to listen to it every morning, now I am in silence listening to my breath, lol. I couldn't agree more, failure is such a positive thing as it can really inspire us to try harder, or differently, as sometimes it is all about tact and timing, but there is definitely a positive message for everyone in the word failure. So pleased that your boys got to enjoy a proper football match and pleased that one of your boys did well in his game. Enjoy the change in weather and I hope you all have a lovely weekend xoxoReplyDelete
I so sorry your boy did not get picked, but I love what you said about failure, you must try, and try again so that eventually you will succeed. I see this with my oldest son who swims in college, it is a tough sport and you work really hard for just a hint of a second off your best time. Lots of failure, but also success in different forms. I just love reading your posts.ReplyDelete
Hugs to you,