Thursday, 21 March 2013


The wife and I went to witness small A's appearance in a netball tournament at a local primary school the other day. It was one of those "nice" contests where they mix up the players with pupils from both schools in each team, and hand out tea and cake at the end. After four matches, A's team won, despite her being completely non-aggressive. It's as though she thinks it's impolite to get in the way of an opposing player who's shooting at goal, even when that is exactly what she's supposed to be doing. Ah well, there are far worse ways to be. Actually, the main reason her team won was that the two goal shooters were about twice as tall as every other kid in the room. The advantages of varying growth rates in 10 to 11-year-olds!

Anyhoo, dear reader, this is not the reason I felt moved to create today's post. While we were sitting waiting for the contest to begin, one of the other parents leaned over to make conversation. His opening line was "hello, are you A's grandparents?" Well, my friends, I cannot tell you what expression this caused to cross my face, but the gentleman in question recoiled visibly. For a couple of seconds I literally could not think of anything to say as an apoplectic fugue coursed through my temporal lobe. Finally, I just said "no!" and managed to avoid thumping him.

He did have another go. "Parents? Oh, sorry", and smiled apologetically before going on to say nothing else at all. I do not feel that I've made a friend.

The wife blamed the incident on what she insists on referring to as my "old man hat". This is a stylish and modern flat cap from Next for Men, which I happen to think I rock. I suppose it is possible that my zipped-up hoodie looked a little bit like a cardigan, but still, I am clearly no-one's grandpa. My dear mother on hearing of the incident apparently remarked "oh, well, he's always looked older than his age".

Well, I have since subtly canvassed independent opinion and come to the conclusion that many people think I am younger than I actually am. These people are undoubtedly correct. Balance is thereby restored to the cosmos.

And I do rock that hat.