I suppose I'm not alone among domesticated males in yearning now and then to get in touch with my inner lad

IT WAS the cake. Lying in bed, bug-eyed and clammy-skinned, at 3 am, I suddenly understand why I'm feeling unusually wakeful. Earlier in the evening, the goalkeeper had produced his own contribution to the evening, homemade to his own special recipe and, politely, I had taken a large slice. Homemade? Special? Ganja cake, of course. Here I am, in my own bed, in my own house, stoned out of my box. No wonder I can't sleep

Not that the reggae party going on downstairs helps too much. Nor the loud voices and occasional bursts of guitar, nor the occasional bewildering thud that, to my poor befuddled brain, seems to shake the house to its foundations.

What an excellent idea this was. A Saturday night away from London for the football team. Tomorrow morning, we'll be playing a local Norfolk village side but, before then, it's a night out for the lads. Beer, barbecue, laughs, music and - dashing the hopes of the midfielder who, with tragic innocence of the night life of Diss, has brought two packets of three - not a woman in sight

Someone's hit the volume. The juddering thuds are becoming more frequent. It occurs to me that, as manager, I might now be obliged to invoke the Teddy Sheringham ruling and suggest, that, in view of the big match tomorrow, a few hours' sleep might not be a bad idea. But they're having such a good time and this was what a lad's night out was always meant to be - an escape from families and babies and guilt.

Sod it. Half an hour later, I'm downstairs. In a casual, non-authoritarian way, I ask them to pack it in for the night. The thudding continues. I pad about the house, eventually discovering that a defender is perfecting his penalty-taking skills against the back of the house. "You're kicking against my wall," I shout feebly into the darkness

Back in bed. A sort of silence descends upon the house. Then, from under my window, the ominous "tock' of wood against wood. Some of the team are winding down with a 4am game of croquet. I really think they've had enough now. Have they any idea what time it is?

I suppose I'm not alone among domesticated males in yearning now and then to get in touch with my inner lad, to return to a bawdy, innocent, prelapsarian past of bad behaviour, before responsibility began to exert its iron grasp. We dream of being able to sit around, smoking, lagered up, getting it down us, telling inappropriate jokes, occasionally breaking wind in a comradely fashion.

The fact that some of us never were authentic, fully-fledged lads, even when we were lads, doesn't shake our belief that, at the right time, in the right place, our healthy, innate boorish maleness will burst into glorious bloom. Within every Gary Lineker among us, a Gazza is waiting to stagger forth. All we need is our own private Five Bellies to lead us astray

By morning, I've discovered that my inner lad doesn't exist; instead I have an inner Mummy. As I rouse the team with some difficulty, set up breakfast, clear away some of the debris of the night before, I find that the real me is emerging, good-humoured but tight-lipped and slightly put upon, wiping down surfaces with a martyred air.

I love my team very much. Once a week from October to April, we meet, chat briefly while changing, go out and play the silky-skilled yet committed football for which we're famous, have a quick drink and then go our separate ways. But now, honestly, talk about irresponsible. They're husbands, fathers, citizens, some of them have even got jobs, and yet they're as sublimely self-contained and oblivious to others as teenagers. How do they manage that? I'm jealous

We get stuffed. Of course we get stuffed. What did we expect when half the team can hardly see the goal, let alone put the ball into it? 1-0. As we leave the pitch, there are a few heated and acrimonious discussions as to who was to blame for the defeat but, in the bar with the opposition, we're all just Sunday footballers together

Afternoon. The team's hard core lingers on consuming the brandy and beer that one of them has bought with the money he was meant to pay me for last night's barbecue. I've gone a bit silent now, as I collect the beer cans from under the bushes around the garden. Eventually, even they get the hint

After they've gone, I grant myself a bit of quality time in a deckchair, rerunning this morning's 90-minute hangover of a game and the long, arduous night before. Then I get out the hoover, a duster, even - yes, I'm not afraid to admit it - the Pledge, and set to work.

Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Reach for the sky: there are around 250 new buildings of 20-plus storeys planned for London alone, some 80 per cent of them residential
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
filmReview: The ingenious film will intrigue, puzzle and trouble audiences by turns
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey


Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower