Tuesday, 31 January 2012

What it's really all about

Last Thursday I was sat on a relatively busy London bound train headed on my way to Premier League HQ and a judging panel for the second time at the Football League Awards.

I was partly engrossed in my judging pack, but occasionally dipping into the glorious guilty pleasure of people watching.

And at one of these times I was truly put into a feeling of significant discomfort.

No, not for staring where I shouldn't – not this time – but as I watched a couple read their red-top newspaper, I noticed that they were reading an article that featured myself as a case study.

Bizarre, and putting me in that will-they-won't-they recognise me quandary.

My only other experiences of this feeling is when I've bumped into old classmates or ex-sports chums and wondered if I'd get away unrecognised and unscathed.

In those cases I've often gotten away and the answer may have been that I am a completely different person these days.

And in this particular instance, whether they weren't really reading the feature or caring enough to look up, I wasn't recognised on this occasion either.

But I was somewhat unnerved by that short experience. A warning against the now not so brilliant people watching.

Once off the train I was soon rubbing shoulders with those deemed worthy of judging the Football League award winners. A very noble bunch.

Deciding on the Best Family Club of the Year was good fun again, and it was great to see the ongoing work, and brand new initiatives, of many of the Football League clubs. There seems a genuine growing consensus amongst League clubs to try and provide families a great value day out, and not just a game a football (not that a Football League fixture should ever be described as that).

If you haven't checked out what your local Football League club is doing for families you really should.

Anyway, after I'd exhausted my welcome, stolen my body-weight in excellent buffet and drank a bath-full of expensive fizzy water at Premier League HQ I was off for an exciting meeting with a company with lofty online aims.

Over a snazzy Thai meal in a classy part of Soho, London Town, we discussed their project and how I may be of use to it.

I was flattered by how they thought I could help, and my potential level of input and involvement.

Apparently I am not a complete imbecile. And I'll settle for that.

In between these meetings, and on the way home, I was replying to some more intriguing emails and fielding calls from a couple of TV producers interested in talking to me based on my appearance in said paper article earlier that day.

A very peculiar day, and one at the end of which I really enjoyed getting into bed.

That was until at 2 am when I was woken by my child's need for comfort as he vomited into the toilet of my en-suite bathroom.

A graphic and physical reminder of what my life is really all about.

It's horrible when a child is poorly, even with only minor ailments, and sometimes the actual situations you are dealing with are grossly repulsive and of a would-not-do-it-for-anyone-else nature. But that's really the point.

I got further abrupt reminders - alternating ends - for good measure. As well as the clean up operation, mass wash-a-thon and the inevitable getting the bug yourself, to really hammer it home.

I hate it when my son is being sick, and it really does knock me about, but I love the fact that it's my privilege to cuddle him and hold his hair back while he chunders, and to put his umpteenth pair of involuntary soiled pyjamas in the wash.

Though, I may have got some of the words mixed up in that last sentence.