Saturday, March 16, 2013

From hero to zeros

A day of highs and lows if ever there was one. Today we have driven to Market Harborough, one of our favourite towns on the canal system. The purpose of our visit was to watch our youngest son Luke play rugby. We set off in plenty of time so that he could get some driving practice on the way, which meant a lengthy but scenic route from Derby as we couldn't use the motorway with him being a learner, but we eventually arrived unscathed. 

We had some time on our hands before kick off, so Louise and I took the short trip to Foxton Locks with Jasper and had a pleasant walk and dodged the showers. We really enjoy the location when we are cruising, but have never really taken the opportunity to have a good look around and it was nice to be able to do so today. There were a few boats moving and we couldn't resist the temptation to open and close some lock gates to help others through the locks. A coffee and a sausage bap were welcome refreshment at the cafe at the top of the flight before we headed back to the rugby club.

View from the top of Foxton Inclined Plane
Even a bit of blue sky making an appearance
What a treat we had in store. Playing on the adjacent pitch to Luke were Market Harborough Vets against Olney Vets. Not the vets that fix your dog or cat, but rugby 'vetrans' for which you must be above the age of 35 to qualify. On any other day not a fixture which would normally catch your eye....just a bunch of ageing blokes rolling around in the mud you might think. But today the pitch was graced by none other than our 2003 Rugby World Cup winning captain, Martin Johnson. He had turned out for Market Harborough and although not as quick as he used to be, it was fantastic to watch him involved in a game at grass roots level. Oh how we could have done with him in his prime today in Cardiff !! Ten years is obviously a long time in sport as today his side lost 10-0.

The great man himself
Lukes team faired much better with a decent victory by 21-13 before we retired to the clubhouse in expectation of a Grand Slam performance by England. Jonno left half an hour before kick off - maybe he feared the worst was about to happen, but not even he could have predicted the outcome as England were comprehensively taught a lesson by the Welsh. Our eldest son Liam was actually at the game in Cardiff where he is at university. At 5pm, when the game kicked off I was very envious, but in light of the result I'm now very pleased I only had to suffer it on the TV. What a deflating end to what was otherwise a lovely day.

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