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Home Is… Where the Tribe Is

Fri 25 October 2019

Carl Rimmer, former professional Rugby Player for the Exeter Chiefs tells us of his manic but wonderful home life and how he has got to know Knighton.

Home for me is always busy and full of life. My wife Sophie and I have 2 girls aged 4 & 2, so there’s never a dull moment. We’re always dashing to various activities, although activities in the home are always full on too.  Hide & Seek in the living room is always a favourite. Fortunately I don't often get the hiding role, because that might be a bit difficult, but I have to make sure I ‘seek’ correctly. If I don’t look in every room in the house before I finally look under the pile of moving pillows, then I've cheated.

Dinner time is the only time of the day where everyone sits still for 10 minutes and we do our best to see what people did that day, it will invariably end up with one of them getting down to dance though, I think they get that from their Mum.

We finally get chance to settle down in the evening after the ritual bath, tucking up and bedtime stories for the girls. I’m quite partial to The Gruffalo or Stickman these days.

Home is also the best place to spend time with friends. The ones you can be “you” with. People you may not have seen for a year but it's like you just stopped at their house last night after a night out and you re-tell the story. I try to arrange something once/twice a year. Other than that, I love a good wedding, where we all gather and catch up.

Since medically retiring from Rugby I’ve fully embraced Christmas Day again.

I spent 7 years on the M5 on either Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day. I never realised how amazing it is to just wake up in your house with your kids going mad and then slowly spend the day cooking away and enjoying the day for the special time with family that it is.

Having moved around for a number of years with my career, we had a choice of where to settle and we chose to stay in Exeter. I just love the city and area, this is where my adult life is really, I got married, had kids, bought a house and then got a job post Rugby, here, So even though there is a special place in my heart for my friends in Coventry, I just don't know anywhere else as home for my family.

People ask me how ‘retirement’ is, it has its perks and I'm certainly pleased with the way things are going along, but I still miss everything about the game. I just keep reminding myself of how lucky I was to have experienced it and accept that the real world is my new home.

Steeno, (Gareth Steenson), and I opened a sports bar last year too - The Stand Off, in Longbrook Street, Exeter. In a nutshell, we do rugby and beer, I can't work out how it hasn't gone global! In all seriousness, we have tried and still are, to create the best blend of a fun family atmosphere. We always wanted a cool place for people to have a beer and cheer the Chiefs on, but in the same weekend bring the family for a great Sunday lunch or pop by for a drink and some dinner after work. If you come on matchdays, we've got you covered, but I love taking the kids there and letting them play the piano before Sunday Roasts. You’re absolutely assured of a good welcome.

I’ve spent many times analysing games while leaning on the bar with my Dad, Graham, and so it was good to actually pull him a pint when he came to check it out. Trips to see him are further afield these days since he moved to Knighton.

Of the times I've been, it's been lovely in the rain. I do hope to see it in the sunshine one day, but I believe they do have nice weather sometimes. It’s a lovely place to be for peace & quiet though, my kids love anywhere they can wear their wellies and splash about in the river and they can certainly do that. Grandma packs a good picnic and Grandad is good at finding sticks, there’s plenty of them in Kinsley Wood.

It was of course only a matter of time before he took the walk down the road and volunteered his services to Tref Y Clawdd RFC. Since he’s been appointed Coach I now expect to see an astonishing rise to glory as he dispenses the advice I have been privy to since the age of 6, shame he can't drink a yard of Guinness in one though. I also hope there are never any derby games clashing with Panto season. (Sorry Dad if the boys didn’t know of this talent).

I’ve been asked if I can call in and guest Coach sometime. I'd be more than happy to attempt to drop some pearls of wisdom, I can't promise I will be able to have the same impact as my Dad though.

For me, home is definitely where the tribe is.
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