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DIARY OF A B52 REF (aged 29 3/4 forever) with apologies to Sue Townsend

AGE?-sorry RfU policy is strictly "don't ask,don't tell"

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Week 18- days filming "school of hardknocks" for skyt.v. with messrs. quinell and shaggy greenwood plus a bunch of tottenham reprobates (teaching them how to get a life through the medium of rugger) good fun ,lots of raw talent.
Jaunt to France for a student cup game. Realise i haven't reffed a single "wet" game in england this year as arrive in middle of "tempete joachim" -huge storm wrecking northern france. Luckily it calms a little before the game but my AR'S solemnly inform me the players/crowd will whip one up themselves and that they want a police escort off the pitch even if i don't. (Also told " just let them fight" especially for the first 2 mass brawls then "just bin a couple from each side.") Decide to try the " i am a rosbif so may do things differently" approach and give pretty stern breif to all participants. Floodlights, big noisy crowd ,still atrocious conditions but huge fun. Boys heed the breif and behave pretty well (one early skirmish quickly calmed by the "enforcers") -up your jumper stuff due to storm -perhaps just as well given my fitness levels. "homers" (or closest to home with most supporters ) just edged out.
Alarm mine hosts by saying lets hit the town rugby pub after the dinner - myself , younger AR ,2 Blazers and elegant physio escape before hosts alert the gendarmerie. Pub reception is amusing - supporters can't believe i've fronted up but then 2 of the largest and most gregarious appoint themselves my minders and pretty soon the whole pub join in (lots of toasts and handshakes notwithstanding my "INCROYABLE" penalty try against their boys.) WWI had taken one look at the weather and stayed put at our apartment 100 miles away- not amused when i take a day and a half to return.
Training- 2 cardio,2 pilates, 1 zumba . Alcohol units- pastis doesn't count- d'accord.

Week 19- Am due to ref on sky local club against school of hardknocks but saved at the bell by T04 from cuds ((cambridge) turning up with own childref to do it. Just as well as a tad fast for me. Naturally the "proper" rugby players start the only trouble and the reprobates actually win (some v.fast youngsters) with a humbling display of teamwork, discipline and desire. I can't remember when i last saw a team/supporters so delirously happy after a game. Also really impressed by shaggy and scotts devotion to and affection for their deliquent charges. Childref did pretty well - tolerated incredibly bad language and let the coaches do a fair bit of his management job ( i suspect by agreement with the producers.)
Boxing day - ref home town rugby club against rowers at mass partcipiation soccer - somebody wins 27-17.
Training- 2 cardio,1 pilates 1 zumba, Alcohol- its xmas.

Get to biggame 4 (quins v sarries) at H.Q with leggy ladyref (llr), godson and some mates (comps. courtesy of Quins). Lovely lunch ,exciting game followed by a lockin at the Sun with Barnsey (who reffed it ) J.P, sundry other refs/Quins including the funbus himself jason l. Funny that when i sing in their on my tod i invariably get banned but never if jas is with me?
Fail to get home and ring WWI from LLR's place at 2 a.m. - she is not happy as is off on dawn eurostar to continue saving/sinking the eurozone..

Start 2012 still with gammy arm (won't go above my head now) but upping training regime including brutal reacquaintance with personal trainer. Only 4 weeks to VEGAS 7's and don't want to make an arse of myself in front of our colonial cousins.

Updated 10-01-12 at 00:01 by B52 REF (spelling)

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