It’s good to be wrong…

We live in increasingly tense and fractious times with heightened levels of anxiety.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I know nothing. That I am frequently wrong but often with happy consequences, for instance, Tom confounding all of my predications on his chances in the world of show-biz. An attritional business in which many great men have tried and continue to try…

And speaking of tries…

My vein of form continued last weekend when I predicted a heavy defeat for England against New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semi-final. And, once again, I am delighted to be so categorically wrong.

This English victory might not mean very much to my readers. Since this blog (on the worldwide web) is genuinely read across the world, many of my readers will not know what rugby is, nor that a world cup is even taking place. In Japan btw.

Anyway, its a very big deal indeed for us Brits (that is, England, Wales and Scotland) and Ireland also (although Ireland is not part of the UK, but Northern Ireland is, but they don’t field a rugby team as they do in football…)

Anyway, such fiendish complications aside, the rugby world cup is an enormous sporting occasion and remains so for the English – since it is England in the final against South Africa – and not Ireland, Scotland or Wales and as such, too many of our fellow countrymen of these most beautiful islands will now be praying for a South African win this weekend. Anyone but the bloody English – being the most polite way of putting it.

Wherever you are in the world, you might have heard of a new word in the English language called – Brexit – in brief, the good people of Great Britain were asked if they would like to leave the European Union and the majority of whom had the temerity to say yes. As such, we are not such a united Kingdom anymore and this decision has caused much rancour and exposed even deeper splits within our great country and its various peoples.

And England winning the rugby World Cup will do little to salve these wounds and indeed, might even deepen them.

Indeed, there are many tensions that come with the game of rugby itself. Predominantly played in the private schools, it is known as a patrician sport for the well-to-do. With football (soccer) being the game for the masses. Many rugby professionals hail from this country’s most gilded schools although certainly not all. And further splits within rugby also. Rugby Union, being the game of the south of England (where everyone is rich and posh) and rugby league being the game of the north of England (where everyone is poor). These are crude and vulgar generalisations and yet they are frequently made.

True to say though that rugby union is supported by and large by the professional classes. Since our win in the semi-final, the people scrambling for flights to Tokyo and tickets to the match are not worried about asking for time off from work – since the only people who can afford such a bender most likely own the company’s that they work for.

And tensions also within the Holland household too.

Sam and I were enthralled as the game plays out and it looks likely that dad is going to be wrong, yet again. Mid-match, England have a penalty and George Ford (our fly half and n0.10) is steadying himself for the difficult kick at goal. Nikki returns from a dog walk and wanders in a little too loudly…

‘Oh, who’s playing?’

Naturally, neither of us bother to answer.

So, Nikki looks at the caption on the screen for her answer. George Ford is still gathering himself and his face fills the TV screen.

‘Bloody hell, he’s good looking. Who’s he?’

George makes his kick and Nikki is dispatched from the room with very our loudest tuts.

Then a phone rings!

I ask you, who would be calling any of us during the semi-final of the rugby World Cup?

It’s Tom.

He is calling from the United States where it must be very early in the morning and where he and Harry will be watching the game. Sam answers the phone as I am busy apologising to my wife for being ‘rude’ and explaining that I might be jealous of George Ford but not for his good looks.

Tom and Harry are indeed watching the game and loving it – but their internet reception is fragile and so Tom has the idea to watch our TV via his phone on Face-Time.

This is not ideal and tensions ramp up a little further.

The game has restarted by now. Sam is not keen on the prospect of holding his phone where it best suits his older brother, (some 3 thousand miles away) and anyway, I have a thing about other screens being used when we are watching telly. Too distracting.

It should be said that Tom is now an actor of a certain cache and prowess. He has people and increasingly rarely, does he hear the word, no.

But we’re not his people. ‘We’re family…’ as Ray Winston might say.

‘Hang up the phone, Sam.’

Normally, Sam might equivocate but not this time. With such a big prize and tensions so high, Sam hits the red button – and Tom doesn’t call back until England have won and we celebrate together.

And to ensure the correct result this weekend in the final – I am predicting a handsome South African victory – and I look forward with glee to being absolutely and completely wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

36 Comments

  1. Thea October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I’m glad you guys aren’t afraid to say no to Tom. And good on England for winning!

  2. madsonali October 28, 2019
    Reply

    That is absolute Rude!!! to Nikki and Tom (and Harry as well) more….. Considering so many other options, Tom n Harry were not in absolute need to call you back at home! And you hung up??!!That is so unfair play.

  3. Haidy October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I’m a reader from Egypt apart from that I understand most of the novel. But I was very happy. I love Britain as my favorite country and its people are really nice, so I wish lasting happiness to your family. And congratulations on your victory

  4. Sammy October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Haha brilliant, you remind me so much of my dad…
    Could you possibly predict that I won’t win the lottery this weekend please
    X

  5. Elizabeth B October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I am a bit curious what your thoughts are on the Brexit movement. As an American conservative I hope it works out. But these are very decisive times as you said. People are afraid of change. Not too long ago I saw on the news that a young woman sobbed over the idea of Brexit because her favorite cafe would be outside of the country. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Also, good dad award for saying no. The worst thing someone could do for someone is never saying no. They would never be able to handle the slightest disappointment. Keep it up.

  6. Marilyn October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Dom- hilarious! Your blog always makes me laugh! Love the way you write and love to read about how you manage normal family “stuff”with a maybe not-so-normal family! Hanging up on Tom…brilliant!!! I can just imagine his reaction 🙂 Thanks for sharing and brightening my day! Keep those blogs coming!

  7. Paul October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Simply overwhelmed, gobsmacked, shaking my head in disbelief.
    First off, another great blog. Having never watched a rugby match, I can’t say I truly understand the fascination. Maybe someday.

    But I’m overwhelmed on a different issue. Over the weekend, I read ALL your blog entries, yes ALL. It started off with a fascination & curiosity, which then lead to a compulsion. I stopped a few times to ask myself ‘Why am I reading these?’ I read other peoples blogs though not as regularly. But then I read another and I understood you give great advise and a lot of great humor. They are indeed enjoyable to read so I continued. I started with “And so my new blog begins…” from March 1, 2017. Some 256 entries later, I breathed a sigh of relief and pride in my accomplishment to having completed them all.
    But today I realized I hadn’t read the first title carefully enough: ‘my NEW blog begins…’ which of course indicates there must be an ‘OLD blog’. Imagine my utter surprise that they go back to March 2007 with ‘Welcome to the small virtual world of Dominic Holland’ !!!!!.
    Maybe something for a rainy weekend in the future …..

    • Dom October 28, 2019
      Reply

      Blimey Paul – easy does it – its not been easy living my life – so you should probably ration your consumption of my unusual existence. And salutary for me to be reminded of just how long I have been writing this blog (or in other words, banging on the blinking door!)

      And finally, thanks

      • Holly October 28, 2019
        Reply

        Love these Blog update. It is so interesting to read into the lives of a major celebrity, his wife and children! Thanks you for updating Dom I look forward to the next one.

  8. Ellen L October 28, 2019
    Reply

    That’s brutal! My sisters been competing at her dance competition this week. I watched her yesterday, they’re competing against a school that basically wins everything and had the most wins at the All England Finals in the summer. So when I saw they were competing against them I just thought, well….she’s going to lose! To my surprise her school won with their group dance; ironically named ‘Spider-Man’, 3rd with another group. She also came 2nd with her first song & dance solo where you had a lot of talented singers. She’s competing today and tomorrow, I don’t know what else they’ve won but they’re doing surprisingly well! Hope Tom and Harry are doing ok in the USA and that you, Sam and Nikki are doing well.
    Love,
    Ellen xxxxx

  9. Márcia M October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I hope Tom is grateful for the education he received, I always appreciate some spankings I received from my mother, today I can see that it was fundamental to the formation of my character. Honoring father and mother is a path to great success in life. (P.S: Sorry my English, I write from Brazil and I use Google translator)

  10. Márcia Malaquias October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I hope Tom is grateful for the education he received, I always appreciate some spankings I received from my mother, today I can see that it was fundamental to the formation of my character. Honoring father and mother is a path to great success in life. (P.S: Sorry my English, I write from Brazil and I use Google translator)

  11. Luisa October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Ha! My Kiwi husband can’t watch his beloved AB play, he says they always lose when he watches, so had to endure my rather colourful commentary through the medium of text. I on the other hand will have to watch the final in my pyjamas, on my sofa with the cat as that’s where I’ve been for every match and can’t jinx it now!!

  12. Pamela October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Oh my! Hanging up on your son! It really was an important game. Two of my brothers do this all the time when they watch American football. I’m from Minnesota so needless to say we are Minnesota Vikings fans. One brother lives in Minnesota and the other lives in Nebraska. They will call each other and face time during the game, either it’s a pleasant experience because lately they have been winning or a yelling match between the phones than the TV! Hopefully you are proven wrong yet again and England comes out on top!!

  13. Maria J October 28, 2019
    Reply

    As a matter of fact, I was watching the rugby finals yesterday and my hubby and I were intrigued but hopelessly lost. Neither one of us know a thing about rugby. If you could explain it to me by referencing American football (which hubby and I are huge fans) that would be immensely appreciated. Side note: I was really troubled by the fact that the players have no protective gear. There were head butting and jumping on a pile on top of each other and all sorts of contact but nothing to protect?!
    Lastly, I think that Tom NOT getting any special treatment at the Holland household is precisely why he stays well grounded, humble, polite, and very kind. Keep it up

  14. Jennifer T October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I dig your humor, Dom. So glad I discovered your blog. I also love your tough-love parenting style. It’s a reminder to me to keep on saying “no” to my own kids. It’s easier to spoil, but I am trying to raise good humans! Congrats on the rugby win.

  15. Christina October 28, 2019
    Reply

    To bad the boys couldn’t have found somewhere to go watch the game. I know they showed it here the U.S.

  16. Sara October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I admire Tom’s technical ingenuity …. and your parenting! Great result for England … let’s hope Tom and Harry find somewhere better to watch the final.

  17. Regina October 28, 2019
    Reply

    I felt the tension of the room as I read. I don’t watch rugby, being a good American, but I have lived through many Super Bowls.

  18. Charlotte October 28, 2019
    Reply

    My dad and I watched it on the weekend and were so pleased with the results that I screamed. My best friend was not quite so happy though, being Kiwi herself.

  19. Savannah October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Here in Australia footy (sorry Europeans), league is played by everyone and union is for show offs we tend to have the biggest heads out of all the countries.
    Current tension in our home being which of the teams in the league the tiny human we created will follow. Although said human is way too young to choose the competition has started early with onesies and beanies. Outlook is not good for my team being the underdog not winning a final within the last ten years. Would also look forward to being wrong in this case.

  20. Ren October 28, 2019
    Reply

    My dad would not have answered the phone or allowed anyone to, he has invested in headphones that he can listen to the tv through while everyone else can still hear the sound. There is no talking during football, except occasionally during the ads!

  21. Alessandra October 28, 2019
    Reply

    Once again, Dom, thank you. I can’t miss this blog. In the middle of a pub quiz so taking time between rounds to read and put my comment 🙂 again made me smile as soon as I see your picture and swipe up I get giddy. Laughed at the end when Sam just pressed end. Imagining Tom’s reaction… Priceless. Mom was German Dad was French…can imagine world Cup each time, if not the Euro… Yup shut up and let us watch. Again thank you for the smile and entertainment. Can’t wait to read the next blog.

  22. Hannah October 29, 2019
    Reply

    Haha I can imagine Sam holding the phone with Tom watching,“Sam,move it over to the left,we can’t see!!”

  23. Heather October 29, 2019
    Reply

    I love getting your blog updates and reading them! I’m American and love getting peeks into the lives people from other countries. I hope your family continues to be examples of living life in as down to earth fashion as possible.

  24. Hanri October 29, 2019
    Reply

    South Africa represent! Would love for you to come visit one day! Namibia was so close

  25. Charlotte R October 29, 2019
    Reply

    The final is on my Birthday and I can’t bloody wait. I care more about the final than turning 25 truth be told!

  26. napassorn C October 29, 2019
    Reply

    reading from bkk, thailand!!

    I really enjoy your mini rugby-watching session!
    It feels really warm (and not only because of the tension between the members!)

    Thankyou for sharing, I’m really looking forward to the next blog already (but no pressure!!)

  27. Valeria October 29, 2019
    Reply

    Why do I always read your blogs with a badly british accent?
    I have never read anything more English!!
    Awesome blog as always!

  28. Esther October 29, 2019
    Reply

    Haha. Tom and Harry calling from the USA. Hope filming is going well for Tom. So glad you and Sam got to watch the game. Just curious where Paddy was all this time. Mrs. Holland must be very nice not to tell at you for never answering her.

  29. Audrey October 31, 2019
    Reply

    Always impressed when smaller nations are in the finals of a world event. Take baseball, it’s always us, US teams…and now about those Washington Nationals?!!! Ha
    Good luck to ENG in the rugby finals.

  30. Carolina November 3, 2019
    Reply

    Well you were right, South Africa won. 🙁

  31. Vannessa November 5, 2019
    Reply

    This one put a simile on my face and a little giggle. Real family shenanigans.

  32. Pipit November 9, 2019
    Reply

    The “saying no” part reminds me of the story about how you destroy Tom’s play station (if I’m not mistaken) when he broke your neighbour’s window. I don’t know how the story impress me so much and I want to remember it when I have my own kids one day. Hope your family are doing well.

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