Last Wednesday I wrote that I was hoping the weather would change. Well, it seems my wish came true. I have been in Wales for the past few days, and the sunshine there was good to see. I came back on Saturday night and it seems the good weather is set to continue. Of course, it has its consequences.

Yesterday, my brother’s terrible football team, of which I am now too involved in, played in a football tournament. It was a very impressive event indeed. It amazed me to see so many teams involved at so many levels, all hosted at a local school. There was a real community feeling to it.

And nothing helps build a bit of unity than an idiotic referee. My brother’s team has a habit of suffering extraordinary bad luck during their games. This time, it was the classic offside goal that the referee ignored. My brother’s team were holding the very good opposition to 0-0 for half of the match… and then the opposition slot through a ball to the attackers who were miles offside. The person with the flag waved it early to signal the offside, but the referee ignored it, saying he was “too far away” to agree with the call. According to the parents, this particular referee has it in for our side, because we’ve given him plenty of stick in the past.

So he received plenty more from the sidelines. Unfortunately, with this happening in the first game, it set the tone for the rest of the tournament. We couldn’t get rid of the feeling that we’d been robbed by the typical scabby goal. Worse was the fact that we had been asked to play a game 15 minutes earlier than we should have because another team was turning up late. If we’d played when we should have done, we would have had a different referee, and likely a different result. Meanwhile, the sun was very hot.

The tournament continued for hours, and four defeats in a row, sometimes close, sometimes not, eventually brought us to a swift exit. I’d been standing outside in the sunshine for about 4 hours, and I was annoyed by the fact that I didn’t think to put on sunscreen in the morning, when I’m normally extra cautious about these things. So I was burnt to a cinder.

This morning my arms, neck and face are still burning, but not as badly. I’ve put on after sun a few times now, but my reddened features are not a pretty sight. It’s a shame, because it is nice again today, but I probably shouldn’t risk going out in the sun again. So a day locked up in the house seems to be in prospect.

Wales was nice, as always. I played a lot of football and general throwing of a tennis ball with my family… so that created a lot of sore muscles. My football skills are as woeful as ever, and it is always humbling to be outthought by a 13 year old, but it was good fun. It’s always a nice break to get out to my parent’s static caravan. Gives me a chance to unwind, and I’m now really looking forward to going back to help in school on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, my oldest-younger brother has a maths GCSE exam today. I was trying to help him last night, but the concepts seemed to be going over his head. I feel really bad that he’s going to struggle with things that I found extremely easy. How are you supposed to explain answers that are blindingly obvious, and are only worth 1 mark, when you don’t really know how you’ve derived the answer yourself? The answer has just come from common sense and quick logic. I remember sometimes struggling with these when I was practicing… the problem is that you’re expecting a really complex answer when in fact it’s something very straightforward, like writing down “6x” to show the relationship between 6 pencils in a box, and “x” boxes.

Funny really, because I was only writing about the traumas of my GCSE exams yesterday. Weird how co-incidences like that emerge.

And this time last year, I was in the USA. Also getting burnt. If I’d gone this year, I would be doing the same. Life has taken me on a different path this year…