If you have a sense of deja vu when you read Mo’s piece this morning, don’t panic – because you’re not hallucinating, you do have deja vu, or deja lu. She’s so busy and so organised that she likes to write her blog early in the week, which is fine – unless she presses the wrong button, as she did on Wednesday afternoon.
My baby sister, who has forgotten more about golf than I’ll ever know, is convinced that Tiger will not match or surpass Jack’s record of 18 major championships. I’m not so sure. Tiger has just notched up major No 15 and, for some reason, three seems a much more manageable gap than four. It’s still asking a lot and Tiger, although driven, is not quite the single-minded, one-dimensional being he was in his earlier years but it looks as though he hasn’t lost the mental toughness that always set him apart. I never bet on him but I wouldn’t bet against him. Normal rules do not apply.
My golf’s not much cop at the moment – nothing new there you might say and you’d be right. The odd good shot here and there but a lot of squandering, frittering, whatever you want to call it and the putting’s going through a dire phase. It’s not the yips, it’s not the greens, it’s not putting with the pin in but, whatever it is, it’s bloody annoying.
I try to tell myself that I don’t really care any more, that it’s not important, that I’m out there for the fresh air, the exercise, the friendship and the banter. All of that is true but, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, it is SOOOOOO irritating and annoying that after more than half a century of trying, watching, reading, listening and, sadly, apparently, not learning……..
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Ah well. Today it could be better. Maybe aye or maybe och aye.
Early Wednesday was a disappointing day because I went to give blood – donation No 52 – and failed. Well, for the first time ever it sort of fizzled out, too sluggish to satisfy the machine that monitors these things, half a bag at most, so we aborted. Can I come back next week? No. It counts as a donation, so you have to wait the obligatory few months before trying again. Oh, piddle, as my aunt used to say when something annoyed her intensely.
Fortunately, that was the afternoon that Mo’s piece plopped into my inbox and cheered me up no end – being early is not a crime and, even better, it’s not even life threatening (at least in this case). What’s more, she’d got a title, which saved me having to go through my excruciating range of head scratching, puns and alliterations. What’s not to like? After all, what’s a couple of days between friends?
Best of all, there was a dinner at the club that night, admittedly a bit of a bittersweet affair because it was to say thank you and goodbye to Jenny Burton, our administrator, who’s retiring after 32 years at Whittington Heath (formerly Barracks) GC. There’s nothing Jenny doesn’t know about the club and how it works and a lot of the captains under her command were there to pay tribute. There were a lot of stories, a lot of laughs and some tears, which all added up to a great evening.
Somebody at the golf club was talking to me about challenges, how they still, at their great age (!) liked a challenge and it got me thinking: Did I like a challenge? Had I ever liked a challenge? Is it important/necessary to like a challenge?
And you know what? I realised that for most of my life I’ve been surrounded by people who like challenges, who are always striving to get better, to improve; competitive animals with a drive to win. The trouble is, if you’re talking about games, about competitions, there are always winners and losers. That’s the nature of the beast. But is it the nature of life – the concept of nature raw in tooth and claw notwithstanding?
I’m a competitive animal, up to a point but when it comes down to it, if I’m not picking up a medal, if I’m finishing next to last in the medal or cheering Spurs on to third in the league, I’ve decided that, whatever the outcome, I’m happiest of all soaking my aching feet in a bowl (well, a cat litter, with more room for big feet, bought in Cromer in a fit/foot of enthusiasm) of Epsom Salts.
There’s more than one way to put a bit of fizz into your life.