I was starting to think I’m over this whole babysitting business, until last night when I looked after 7 year-old Henry and Harry. Their antics, as usual, were a timely reminder that this is not a bad way to earn a crust while I’m at uni.

The twins had set up a makeshift soccer field in their bedroom, using their sheets in lieu of goal nets, and asked me to referee. Now, I don’t know the first thing about the sport (apart from what I’ve gleaned from these two), but I understand that it involves kicking a ball around and probably shouldn’t be played in a bedroom. My first duty as referee was therefore to stipulate that they must use a balloon instead of a soccer ball.

As it happened, this was actually quite fun, to the extent that I felt I could perhaps digest some information about how their fledgling soccer careers are going (in all honesty, I generally tune out a little bit when they start yakking on the subject). Henry said that their club is having a blue light disco on the weekend to raise money to buy new equipment.

I’ve given literally no thought to buying sports equipment, but apparently custom soccer goal nets come at a cost. Who knew? I guess always assumed that these junior clubs, at least, just bought a length of mesh from a fabric shop and strung it up on a couple of tent poles (that’s how little I’ve considered this).

Obviously, though, there are specifications to consider, particularly where organised sporting competitions are concerned. Bed sheets tied to a bunk bed with elastic bands simply won’t cut it when it comes to official sports netting requirements.

Well, I can’t say that I’m now massively informed on the subject of soccer, but I might have progressed ever so slightly towards recognising that specialist equipment is needed. Also, I had heaps of fun refereeing the world’s first (to my knowledge) official balloon soccer match.