HughPaxton’s Blog isn’t going to make a habit of inflicting family photos on an already long suffering readership but have a look at these girls. This is the end of a day that began early and lasted throughout some serious Bangkok heat. It was an important inter-school football tourney that is international . My daughter’s team won. The opposition was tough, skillful, determined. The audience, mainly Thai, had clearly grasped the English traditions of soccer hooliganism.
One of the girls – this is girl’s football – saw a football fly at high speed from a goal keeper at the very far side of the world and straight for her face and opted to try a header then realized it was going to break her nose. Instinct stepped in and she attempted to protect her pretty face and, more importantly, brain damage.
“Handball!” yelled the unsympathetic supporters of my daughter’s team. It was. But I’m glad she came away without having to go to hospital.
Girls are still believed by many people to be rather feeble compared to boys. Certain cultures, social family structures and religions perpetuate this utter absurdity.
One of my favourite quotes on feminine strength and endurance comes from a Nazi medical doctor who was treating a wounded soldier in Stalingrad. The man’s yelling and howling, and the Nazi asks him “How many children do you have?”
“She has suffered three more times giving birth to your sons than you are suffering now. Shut up. Get out and kill the Reds! Or your wife will suffer more if they come to see her!”
But let’s leave the follies and wisdoms of Nazi thinking. And get back to football.
Blam! A few minutes later a ball coming from very far away slammed into the stomach of one of my daughter’s team mates. The lady sitting next to me was the victim’s mother.
“That must have hurt,” I said.
“She’s getting up,” she answered. “If she’s getting up she’s fine.”
“If she was playing for ***** she’d be crying for a stretcher,” said another mother.
Blimey, I thought, these mums are a tough Firm! Look out Chelsea and the GSE!
The matches were played not with ferocity in mind but with a will to win. The thing that impressed me most was the staying power of all the girls. It WAS seriously hot! Yet they kept going all day. No fainting, no pissing and moaning. It was exciting football. My daughter happens to be rather exceptional and the Thai Mums were chanting Annabel! Annabel! She didn’t let them down, blam, 3 goals, team work, and everybody got a bunch of cheap medals.
If the girls look zonked in these photos they have every excuse. I gave my gal the best bit of fillet, fried to perfection, a heap of soggy chips, a Blackcurrent Blackout smoothie, a magnum ice lolly and two large mugs of milk. And she collapsed like a sack into her hammock.
I reckon 400 +/- of the fittest and really outstanding football kicking girls in Bangkok are equally comatose.
Their parents are probably in a similar condition. I’m planning that in three minutes.