Falling Off a Rowing Machine

I’m not quite sure how it happened. One moment I was finding out just how difficult rowing might be, and the next the seat had slipped from under me, and I was propping myself off the floor by one arm – much to the delight of my daughter, who continued rowing alongside, despite nearly wetting herself in an explosion of laughter that caused everybody surrounding us to begin watching.

After being helped by one of the organisers of the rowing machines, I was back on the seat, and staging something of a fight back. After coming back past my daughter on the little electronic readouts, the ridiculousness of it all struck me, and I slowed – trying to engineer a dead-heat between us – cheering her on as she pulled the last few strokes of her imaginary oars.

If you’re wondering what on earth was going on, we were at the family day of the local rowing regatta, and I had been arm-twisted into having a go on the rowing machines by my daughter, who uses them at school. We were waiting for my other daughter to complete a race on the river – she was competing in a race against other pupils from her school.

The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking cider, and narrowly missing lots of people I knew in and around the various tents, exhibitions, and attractions. Every time I bumped into somebody, either they were heading somewhere, or I was – it seems the universe really doesn’t want me to foster friendships at the moment. It left me kind of dispirited by the end of the day, when I ended up looking after our picnic while the rest of the family had a wander around the field together.

Anyway. We did things as a family today. Perhaps that’s the important thing. We laughed, we cheered (Miss 13 won her rowing race), we ate all manner of rubbish, and we/I drank rather a lot. Of course “rather a lot” in my world is two pints of cider. I’m SUCH a light-weight these days.

This evening is going to be about watching football at the World Cup, and growing increasingly frustrated with the continual diving, fouling, and outright cheating going on. If I see another grown man roll around on the floor in pretend agony, I’m going to lose the plot entirely. Maybe there should be a pink card, for play acting – I’m not sure what the punishment should be though.

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