The Groundsman

September 2014

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Oh, groundsmen all, please do pay heed to wives (and others) who indeed Clean up the gravel, grass and sand, and other bits of our fair land You scatter when you come back home after a day of raking loam. We find grass cuttings on the stair, in bath, on carpet – not just there – But in the bed, so do take care – those clippings get in everywhere! Do other ladies fume and boil, when little bags of dried up soil Appear in drawers and empty shelves? (They don't arrive there by themselves), And then get told, "You mustn't mind – the pH I have got to find." And when she's sleeping like a log, does he switch on his favourite prog – The weather forecast, mild or bleak; I think the groundsman is unique, While others think of summer fun and gambolling in the noonday sun, His friends all think he is a pain, when in July he prays for rain! How many times in all the years have we been reduced to tears? The question by the layman asked, with winter games behind at last And work begun on renovation, restoring pitches for the nation, They say, without thought, rhyme or reason, "What d'you do in the summer season?" Have others suffered just like me, when holidaying by the sea, The kids are happy digging sand. Dad's in his chair, glasses in hand, Pretending to be watching ships, but really scanning slinky hips, Bikini-clad and bronzed and slim, we all know what that does to him! Back in those days of 'bed and board' at Weston (all we could afford), Most years we had to go home early, to get back to the hurly-burly Of city life – and for what reason? Imminent start of football season. The kids gave up their seaside fun and were diverted, every one To water-play with hosepipe jets and helping dad put up the nets! How many days of summer fun we sacrificed, ere day was done To make a sward fit for the team, and manager (and those between)? So was it all appreciated? On what scale are groundsmen rated? He's just the man who cuts the grass and marks the lines, and people pass And do not think of what goes on, to give them pitches firm and strong, Green and lush, near to perfection, and cut and striped in each direction. But wives and children, mothers too, and girlfriends, we all know that you Wouldn't change your way of life to enter into business strife And sit in office or posh car – you know we love you as you are! Chris Lillington The groundsman – an appreciation IOG 80TH ANNIVERSARY 22 the Groundsman September 2014 Chris Lillington has given invaluable support to the IOG's Bristol Branch. She created and typed the branch's annual programme of talks and walks and also typed meeting notes from other UK branches. She also contributed a few poems and articles to the Groundsman magazine. About the Author

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