I know nothing about rugby. NOTHING. There is an odd shaped ball, a lot of running, a lot of throwing, a lot of mud and a lot of wrestling on the ground.
But not knowing anything about it doesn’t get me out of watching it every Sunday. My husband likes to watch my eldest and my youngest is required to have a parent with him – to assist with the tag belt and take him to the toilet. It’s a safeguarding thing. So now me and my girl spend every Sunday morning at the rugby ground.
It is a huge open space with its own microclimate. You can knock five or ten degrees off the temperature at home (a mere mile and a half away) and the wind-chill factor is verging on the ridiculous. So clothes are a big consideration.
Most of the parents on the touchline are dads, but there is a fair smattering of mums. And there is a look. Of course there is a look. And do I cut the mustard?! What do you think?!
Working upwards, there’s that mud to consider. So it’s wellies (Hunter of course) or some sort of boots. I know what they look like, but as I’m not a fully paid-up member of the Yummy Mummy Society, I don’t know what they ARE. Brown, leather, flat most definitely, probably something to do with riding.
My wellies are pink and blue and from Oasis seven years ago. Or I might wear my Doc Martens with the red soles, just to mix things up a bit and keep it fresh.
The mums are all very thin, phew, I’m ok there then. I suspect their figures are achieved through the gym and near-starvation, rather than my preferred Green & Blacks and half marathon regime. (It works! I can sell the plan to you for a fiver, if you like.)
Although as my fellow not-really-a-rugby-mum rugby mum pointed out to me, they drink tea and coffee out of takeaway cups and eat bacon buttes on a Sunday morning. Just because they’re at rugby and it’s what you do. It wouldn’t be acceptable behaviour for them anywhere else.
Their skinny legs are encased in skinny jeans, tucked into the Hunters or brown leather things.
The top half is practical, muted and understated. Waterproof and warm are essential. So are Barbour and Joules. There’s probably something nice from White Stuff underneath. Not Superdry. Definitely not Superdry. Apart from me of course. Combined with my kagoule from Cornwall a few years back. Practical, but not stylish.
Above the collar they go two ways – ruddy-cheeked farm girl or perfectly applied subtle make-up combined with perfectly dyed subtle hair colouring. The hair is neat and styled and not affected by the wind.
If I want to stand any chance of being able to see during my two hours plus on the touchline, my hair needs to be in a ponytail or under a hat. My daughter’s locks are plaited then have a woolly hat pulled over them to minimise moaning about hair in eyes/ mouth and the cold.
Strangely, considering middle class parents almost always equal older parents, many of these mums also accessorise with a toddler. At five, even my child accessory isn’t cutting it as she’s too old. Really she should have a tag belt on by now.
Or maybe we should both be sat in a posh cafe in town having brunch and a cappuccino? If we’re posh enough to have boys who play rugby, are we also posh enough to be ladies who brunch?