Weekend social invites have to be diplomatically declined, or at the very least postponed until the “rest” weekends, or ideally until the end of March.
Now I count myself extremely fortunate that no one in my circle of family,or friends,has a birthday during the tournament, in fact there is one …. Me ! My birthday is on February 14th, and is always on, or around , a six nations weekend ….result !
I believe many years ago, when the six nations were only five, a family member arranged their wedding on the day of a Wales v England match, they were subsequently ostracised, never spoken of again, and I can no longer find their names on the family tree.
In Wales, even funerals have been carefully timed, and arranged, blood may be thicker than water , but you have to draw the line somewhere.
When I was young, the Five Nations lasted from January to April, there was only one game per weekend, it was brilliant, often starting in a wintery Cardiff with wind, mud and pouring rain, and ending in a Cardiff Spring consisting of wind, mud and slightly warmer pouring rain.
One thing has never changed, that sense of anticipation as January passes by, I am excited even as I write this! I am already calculating how all the other results have to go, should Wales lose to Ireland on the opening weekend.
For one who failed CSE Maths, this is a terrifying ordeal !
The tournament is now a highly commercialised well oiled machine, and things have changed immeasurably since my first match in 1974, and yes JJ Williams DID score that try Mr West.
No more standing in pouring rain two hours before kick off, getting drenched from above, and from behind with warmer Amber liquid (and no it wasn’t fosters)
But I do miss som things , Bill McLaren, the singing at the Arms Park, Parc Des Princes, Merion Joseph refereeing in a V neck sweater, the Western Mail pull out supplements, the orangy sports echo, and rosettes.
So where ever you watch, stay safe, let’s hope for good weather and good company and of course good rugby.