Eating Disorder

There have been a number of posts here where I have been a tad sceptical (a colloquialism for ‘taking the piss’) about all the research that now goes on into the training, monitoring, recovery and other stuff for rugby players. I accept that a lot of what they now do is useful, but am a bit wary of research findings in the first place.

I guess this stems from my time in advertising where we did a lot of research with the great unwashed (or consumers as we had to call them). There were two types of research – the first was to try and find out what they thought about the products that our clients wanted to shove at them. The second was usually to see how they reacted to the ad ideas which we were thinking about presenting to the client. Now and then the first lot of guff didn’t tell you much that  pretty much came under the heading of common sense – “oh yes and they like good taste” (this could refer to a goulash ready meal, toothpaste, bedside lamp or a condom.) We also had great insights such as “we don’t want a break down” – for vacuum cleaners, cars and valium.

Armed with these brilliant perceptions we then made up some spiffing ad ideas and took them back to the ‘target audience’ to see what on earth they made of them.

This was the most important bit as we had to try and manipulate the answers to be slightly to the right of “that’s fucking brilliant” so that we could use the results to persuade the client that these ads would indeed sell shedloads of his (often) nasty product.

My point is that a lot of research is a waste of time or money and frequently both – especially when it tells you what you already know (or is patently obvious to anyone except maybe Michael Gove)

Which brings me to a survey by ‘Slimming World’ that has just been published.

They found out – wait for it – that if you go out on a binge drinking session you are quite likely to a) consume a lot of calories from alcohol  b) end up eating some unhealthy fast food at the end of the night and c) eat more unhealthy grub the next day because you are feeling dog rough

Fuck me – who would have thought eh?

Listen people – everyone knows this – it’s called the ‘munchies’

It’s why rugby players end up in curry houses after a skinful of throwing bitter – not only can they fill up on a madras but they can smash poppadum’s on each other’s heads, carry on drinking pints into the wee hours and then exercise by legging it down the road after.

Can’t we get the researchers at this magazine on Mastermind? Special subject ‘The bleeding obvious’.

Just when I was going to chuck the newspaper with this stupid article in the bin I saw that this study has actually been given credence by the British Nutrition Foundation –

A nutritionist said: “The survey is very interesting. But it is a survey and not a scientific study. “It is useful as well as the hard science, to be aware of what people are thinking in the real world, to get messages out there.”She said the survey confirmed a link between alcohol and obesity. The chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE), said: “The report raises awareness of the high calorie content in alcoholic drinks. So there you have it – it’s official – boozing makes you fat and is a gateway to the ‘munchies’ – which make you even porkier. This valuable insight may well be of some particular use when you next look in the mirror and think “blimey where fuck did that come from?”


Lucky Strike


Lucky Strike

The word lucky in the headline obviously refers to the fact that I no longer live and work in London.
I do remember those jolly pleasant times when it took several hours more than usual to get into and then home from work – often involving walking several miles in the pissing rain. This could be useful in keeping fit for rugby but rather a pain (sic) if you were carrying an injury (or indeed a heavy bag).
I could guarantee to eventually arrive home in an excellent mood to be greeted by Terry who had suggested to the kids that this might be a ‘heads down night’. In case you’re wondering this is in no way a euphemism (unfortunately).
The only time I actually benefitted from the underground workers having an unscheduled day off was when I bumped into Farrelly at Victoria and we ended up going for a few beers and a curry. In fact we had a lot more than a few which made the ‘runner’ quite tricky! Not least as by then we were both in our fifties (years not beers, obviously). This unedifying event has already been covered in this blog somewhere and if you can be arsed to look for it just put ‘Runners and Riders’ in the search box above. The Farrelly story is in with a few of the other rugby runners I was involved in – hopefully the statute of (my) limitations has run out by now – or maybe the curry houses have gone bust due to countless rugby teams buggering off without paying.
Anyway, this sort of strike doesn’t occur down here in the Wild West – largely because we don’t have an underground system – except for the illegal market in snorting garlic and the turnip rustling that is!
We have now graduated to a Subway in Stroud and they do a very nice line in meatball and swede foot longs. I don’t think this has anything to do with ‘The Young Farm Workers Association’ by the way, but I could be wrong. You will have noticed that I often am – wrong not a farm hand.
We could certainly use a series of underground tunnels however – to keep all the tractors and galloping hooray Henriettas’ off the fucking roads!

After a Fashion


After a Fashion

There’s a war going on in rugby and this time it’s off the pitch (to start with anyway).
The various sports manufacturers are vying with each other to see who can design the most stupid piece of kit for the players.
The examples above are actually real – hard to believe I know. Even harder to believe is the fact that anyone would wear it, much less that it could be sanctioned as official kit by one of the Unions!
Okay RFU – we’ve all had a bit of a laugh and a giggle – now let’s see the real shirts that you’ve chosen for our 7s team.
Canterbury – the official England kit suppliers are a New Zealand company. They must be pissing themselves down in Auckland at the moment “Hey Bruce – have a gander at what we’ve just sold to the pom pakehas – no really, they’ve gone for it – you’re right, they wouldn’t know shit from clay!”
Ads for the various boots include lines like this – “Direct-inject studs dig and release instantly for exceptional traction and explosive speed. Two-layers of glass fiber composite and direct injected TPU studs for unrivaled speed. Twin heel studs for optimal ground penetration and stability.”
That’ll be a relief to wingers everywhere – no more gym work and shuttle runs – just fork out for a pair of these, slip them on and your ‘unrivalled speed’ will enable you to do a runner from the local curry house no bother! Be careful though, the day-glo colours are easy for the old bill to spot in the dark.
Truth is, they have to make these claims for the boots as there is no way anyone would wear the stupid designs if they didn’t think they would make them run like Alf Tupper.

Mad House


Mad House

Lell sent this cutting to me, she saw it in the Times (she’s posh like that!).
I find it hard to take politics too seriously these days – apparently no one in the Lib Dems had any idea what Cyril was doing, the Tories seem to think that Maria was hard done by (but not hard up as it turns out) and Labour don’t know if it’s Christmas or Tuesday.
No wonder UKIP are doing so well – although their candidates (including the ‘Hamiltons’ ffs!)
are doing stuff that makes the Monster Raving Loony Party look a sensible and moderate choice.
You could put your X down for Screaming Lord Sutch if he hadn’t been dead for 15 years – but at least it wouldn’t be a wasted vote!

Toutes Spooky!

At the Club Dinner on Friday night a number of blokes commented on my coiffure – very few of these remarks (well, none to be honest) were especially complimentary.

However, Alan E did prove that at least someone is reading this rubbish and agreed that I was indeed a bit like Mike Brown. He hurriedly continued that this was meant only in connection with my current bouffant style and had eff all to do with how I used to play rugby.

I hesitate to argue with a former and distinguished Club Secretary but I must protest ‘au contraire’ and

can produce here the following incontrovertible evidence –

Our abridged christian names have the exact same number of letters

Both surnames also feature identical numerical characters

My birthday is in July – his isn’t until September!

We are both on Twitter

Neither of us would ever dream of playing for Sidcup

You can count on one hand the number of times he’s dropped the ball – you can do the same for me if you possess a calculator

How fucking spooky is that? – this is obviously meant to be rhetorical and suggest that it is indeed extremely eerie.

I rest my case – and I feel that the phrase ‘a brother by another mother (and father)’ is rather appropriate in this instance.

There were a couple of other things that I remembered from the dinner – this too is somewhat amazing as I have trouble remembering what way to put my socks on these days!

Brom informed me that Scrapper is now approved to drive a bus. After a lifetime working in the City, I assume he uses this to cart all his dosh about – as, with a certain amount of insider experience, he will obviously not trust the banks.

Both Locks and Chas brought along their sons – Tom and Andrew – presumably to ensure that they remembered to do their flies up after going for a waz.

It was great to see John’s brother, Steve G, there – I forgot to ask him why John wasn’t – which was particularly remiss since I also forgot to ask John when I had lunch with him earlier in the day.

Sean Mac is the new Club Chairman – although I understand from Brom that no one has told him – or, in fact, asked him yet if this is okay with him. Good luck with that – he used to be a prop – you might want to use e-mail or stand some considerable distance away and shout.

A final thought from Friday – Lunny’s speech was not only hysterically funny – he did the whole thing without notes! Clever sod – hard to believe he was a front row!.

Laughing Gas

Friday’s don’t get much better than that!

When I ‘worked’ in advertising we use to have a saying TFIF – at about 4.30pm we’d stop answering the phones to clients and wives – even our own, get the beers and vino out and get on it. A great way to finish the week and kick the weekend off. On a bad week this might happen on Thursday – and even on occasion Wednesday lunchtime – surprisingly we were still successful – imagine if we’d taken work seriously!

Yesterday was even better though, despite the total absence of falling down juice (for me anyway). There can’t be many times when you leave home before 8.45, clock up just short of 400 miles – much of which is at a breath-taking 7 mph on the Mad 25 – drink only diet coke and sugar free Red Bull, get home at 2.30 am and still be able to say – ‘what a brilliant day out’.

John and I got our project off the ground – not literally as it involves painting on tarmac, but we are now in business as they say. Then the Askean Dinner was even more fun than I expected.

A fine turnout (not including my apparel) when some 80 odd (sic) blokes who played, watched, still play or just wandered in out of the rain had a top night.

Lots of guys who I’ve seen this season at the couple of pre-match lunches I’ve made (as in attended not being in charge of the catering, obviously) plus blokes who I haven’t bumped into for far too long were there. The latter group have probably been deliberately avoiding me – and I can’t blame them to be honest – I’d prefer to avoid myself most days.

Was great to see Black Alex, Daisy, Jake (the Peg) and a number of others who are still known by pseudonyms that make them sound like members of One Direction or the Baader Meinhof gang. I also met up with Ian Colley who was very kind about this blog – I can only think he was extremely pissed by the time we chatted. If not, I am convinced that he is undoubtedly a bloke with an astute mind and a brilliant future

Brom had a table of ‘Old Joes’ although not one of them answered to that epithet when asked to pass the gravy – but Sean Mac, Colin G, Martin O and Brom were, as always, suitably rude to the poor sods giving the speeches – an excellent job guys!

The table next to ours included many older statesmen Chunky, Graham, Chas, Bob, Lunny, Bill, Dave P – and were extremely well behaved – you need to do much better next year chaps. The youngsters look up to you and your standard of blokey behaviour left much to be desired. This was an Askean Dinner – you looked like you were merely at a Bullingdon Club reunion.

I was fortunate to be enjoying the repast with Boney, Alan E, Daisy, Black Alex, Kev B and the Evans (only their Mum can tell them apart) twins – Dave and Graham.

My body ached more from laughing than it does after I’ve been to the gym – not difficult, I rarely laugh at the gym! I should have gathered a lot of material for the blog, but today it’s all a bit of a blur. One of the bastards must have slipped some rohypnol into my diet coke – I wouldn’t have minded but I didn’t even get a shag out of it!

I sort of recall Daisy saying something especially stupid which would have been good to add here, unfortunately it got swamped by all the other bollocks he was going on about and I lacked the foresight (or indeed a crayon) to write it down.

Dave and Graham recounted yet again the time that Johnny Marshgreen managed a triple concussion in separate incidents – but in the same game. It’s a good story and they both promised (again) to write it up and send it for publication. I assume this will be once they have mastered 1. thinking coherently, 2. the art of joined up writing and 3. how to send an e-mail or where the local post office is. So – about Christmas 2017 then.

Luckily, Alan E told me he has a box of old cuttings and is going to forward them to me for the blog. Terry seemed very pleased when I told her, although I have a funny feeling she thought the cuttings had something to do with planting for Spring – to be honest I’m a bit scared to disabuse her (nudge nudge) of this and am hoping she’ll forget.

The club have had a very good season and today’s players enjoy the game – and more than a few pints after – they were a lively bunch during the speeches from the 1st’s and Princes captains and it augurs (which I think is some kind of posh cooker) well for next year.

This is particularly good news for us old blokes who like to watch (i.e. criticise and pretend we were better in our day) from the touch line after a decent bit of pre-match nosh. ‘Our day’ of course refers to the time when we used  horse drawn carriages for away matches and gas lamps for floodlight games – which is pretty much what it’s still like west of Newbury.

Locks was the M C (I have no idea what this stands for – although our table made a few suggestions for the C bit) and he handled the rowdiness very well – always having been a fan of Rawhide (not a euphemism and will only make a bit of sense to the over 60s). He mentioned amongst the apologies that both Kip and Kev A were not well and couldn’t make it – we wish them well. Tim did say that his dad is doing okay – which is good news.

As usual there were no prizes in the raffle (known throughout Kent as a ‘Chunky Special’) but, even more innovatively, we now seem to have progressed to not having a fucking raffle at all. This speeds up the process of getting back to the bar but vastly reduces the opportunity to fleece everyone there – most unusual for Askeans and an incongruity that we can expect Chunky to address before next season.

The real highlight of the evening (and indeed of all the Dinners I’ve been to over the last few years) was Lunny’s speech (as in with the microphone, not his general diction).

Over the years’ I’ve heard a lot of excellent after dinner speeches at the club – guests as well as very funny blokes like Farrelley and Dickie Hills – Lunny tops them all. He had us pissing ourselves from the outset and manages to have both the current players and us old bastards falling about. At one point he went on about not understanding some of today’s phrases – and had been surprised to discover that sick meant good and not what happened at the end of a heavy night out or an especially late tackle. It reminded me of one from way back – ‘it’s a gas’ – which seems to be similar to today’s vernacular use of ‘sick’. However ‘Laughing Sick’ didn’t sound quite right for this post – although I almost was at one point during Lunny’s tales about the Notting Hill Riots – you had to be there (at the Dinner not the riots, obviously).

It is to my shame that I didn’t take Kev B to the station for his last train as I didn’t want to miss Lunny – my apologies mate.

Locks closed the evening and as he said – Lunny has not only been the mainstay of the club over the past decade – but without him there might not be an Askean rugby club at all. No small tribute.

A final word for all those who did the organising – I know Locks, Chas and Boney were instrumental (and would consequently probably make a fairly decent boy band) – my thanks to anyone I’ve forgotten and to everyone for a grand day out!

Dinner Date

Right- short post today guys (stop cheering at the back Harrison!).

It’s the Askean RFC Dinner tonight and I’m off from Parsnip town to the smoke (named presumably after the illegal substances puffed in city bars by bankers – and lit with £50 notes).

Well, I’m not going to the club right now obviously, as even from here it doesn’t take all day, despite the thick mud and cow poo everywhere.

No – I’ve got a business meeting first, which I know sounds a bit too grown up for me, but there you (or rather I) go. I’m seeing another Askean – John Gilbert – on one of our money making schemes (this time next year Rodney). It’s at a junior school which would be something of a concern if we were priests or fat politicians I imagine.

Anyway, I’ll be off in the car in a bit and hopefully it won’t take too long to negotiate all the unnecessarily winding passageways that are a quaint feature down this way. These tracks appear to have been fashioned by some drunk without the aid of a theodolite and take the longest possible route between any two points. They were carved some time ago before we had cars in the area (about 1984) and are just about the width of a tractor or horse and cart, which, I assume, made sense to someone at the time. What they hadn’t considered of course that there might be a tractor or pony and trap coming the other fucking way!

Consequently one poor bastard has to waste time backing up some considerable distance to a laughingly called ‘passing lane’ – a tiny muddy patch that is chopped slightly deeper into the adjoining turnip field.

This is a load of fun and I usually make friendly hand gestures to the bloke nodding at me as he chugs past. He’ll mostly be saying something like “be ewes or rit moy luverlee” – which is even more unintelligible as he inevitably has a stick of straw between what passes for teeth in this part of the country. A lot of them look like the blokes we used to play against when we ventured west – mind you they all look pretty much the same, which is why they don’t let cousins marry anymore.

Eventually I’ll get to roads where tractors are no longer popular family transport and then onwards to wacky races, otherwise known as the M25. I’ll then start to remember why we moved out in the first place and that I’m glad we did.

After lunch and the meeting with John, it’s back on the Mad 25 and a crawl round to the junction for Well Hall and the Askean Dinner.

An evening filled with diet coke (I’m driving back after the fun) and a lot of laughter with a load of other rugby old blokes. We’ll tell each other the same old exaggerated stories about our rugby days – on and off the field. If you’re a regular here you’ll know them – and probably feature in more than a few.

I naturally expect a lot of piss taking – mostly, but not exclusively, at my expense (not literally hopefully).

No doubt I’ll bore you with it tomorrow – regaling you with stuff you’ve read here before.

I know it sounds a bit like a ground hog rugby dinner but I wouldn’t miss it for anything.