White rabbits everybody; welcome to July, it’s the first of the month, hence the greeting.  It’s after midnight, so this is, I believe, the latest I’ve ever started a blog.  Just as well I’m not bridging this morning – my bidding is eccentric and erratic even when I’m well rested and at my supposed brightest and best, so a partner is spared despair and confusion this Friday at least.  And the afternoon golf, the Friday Frolics, is hit and giggle – isn’t it?

No giggle here – just exhaustion and euphoria.  Nephew Robbie made it to the top of Hardknott, in the Lake District, England’s toughest climb.  Brilliant.  It’s serious stuff.  Look it up. [Forgot to ask who took the pics!]

Zonked. Just the descent to come!!

It was blowing a bit of a hooley on Tuesday, which is how my trolley – guess who’d forgotten to engage brake – ended up in a bunker (above).  The featured image (official title), which should appear at the top of the piece, is often a source of concern to this blogger because it seems to be prone to  technical malfunctions that mystify even Mo, our expert on such matters.  With luck, you, our esteemed reader, probably don’t even notice the glitch and care less, so apologies for harping on but the picture is particularly important this week because I thought it was a bit of a metaphor for what’s happening to golf at the moment – going to hell in a handcart; in freefall; out of control; blown to blazes; whatever – and it made me laugh.  It’s also colourful, which is never a bad thing on a drab day – wish the golfers would remember that whenever they get dressed for a day on stage, in front of a global audience.  Are Greg’s Grumps (have you watched any of their ultra-defensive press conferences?) going to be sporting bright and zany team kit as they jazz things up?

Wot?  Wot’s she on about this time?  Well, of course, it’s surely nonsense from the off, since a metaphor is a figure of speech, not a picture and my grasp of such intricacies is as tenuous as my understanding of the handicapping system or the index of consumer sentiment.  Important things in my life quite often but quite beyond the capacity of a bear of little brain quite unwilling to spend its remaining years tussling with such matters.  There’s a vast expanse of ignorance to be explored and some subjects ain’t going to make the cut.

Ah, back to golf – though not as LIV knows it (no cut).  You’ll notice I’m leaving most of this Saudi stuff to Maureen but if you’d like an excoriating take on the matter, seek out Eamon Lynch on the subject on Golfweek/USA Today – his Twitter handle is @eamonlynch and he’s brill.  Also root out Pat Perez, who’s quite happy to admit he’s in it for the dosh and feels he’s won the lottery (without even having to buy a ticket as Lynch puts it).  There’s a picture of Perez at some do or other wearing a shirt that is even more ghastly and tasteless than those things the Americans wore at the Brookline Ryder Cup, though less colourful.  It’s covered with dollar bills (they may be thousand-dollar bills, if there is such a thing) and confirms PP as an IG – no, not an intelligent golf(er)* but an….Hint, the second word is Golf, India, Tango, which makes it sound vaguely exotic and much less endearing than it actually is.

*For the non golfers, IG (Intelligent Golf) is a management software system used by a lot of clubs, including WHGC.  That’s undoubtedly more than you’ll ever need – or want – to know.

We’re just golfers, Perez and his fellow mercenaries parrot, as though they’re not human, as though they live in a bubble removed from day to day life, untouched by anything going on around them.  And, you know, on reflection, that’s exactly what a lot of them do.  They’re deluded, removed from reality, cosseted (Patrick Reed excluded, of course – sarky golf reference) beyond belief with a ridiculous sense of self-importance, fuelled by the adulation of their fans and a sense that they are the special ones.

Just watch a golf tournament, any tournament, that’s on the telly for any length of time.  How often do you see a player replace a divot; rake a bunker; hold the pin (bit of an old-fashioned reference given the rules changes); put a club back in the bag – except in an angry, smash it as hard as you can way?  Crikey, it’s a bit of a surprise that most of them still tee the ball up themselves.  Look at the lordly way they hand their club back to their caddy aka their faithful retainer/batman/serf (and, maybe, strong right arm/confidant/supporter/friend but that’s not the theme here!).  It’s a bit of a miracle that some of the stars remain vaguely human and retain any sort of grasp on reality.

Perhaps I do the likes of Perez a disservice and they give generously to charity (giving is usually a given) and occasionally ponder the perennial conundrum:  Why Are The Poor Always With Us?  So we can give them donations (probably tax-deductible), feel good about ourselves and then forget about them?

Another great effort by another nephew, Richard, Robbie’s older brother, in the tutu and the black tee shirt. He and his team from the Links Medical Practice in Dudley completed a Pretty Muddy Run in aid of cancer research. Liz, Richard’s wife, is in there on his left.  Well done, athletic rellies! [Forgot to ask again.  Oops.]

I think I’m getting angrier as I get older – Roe versus Wade overturned by a load of (mostly) white men taking abortion back to the back streets; devastating floods; famines; bloody, destructive wars so much easier to start than to finish; costs going so far through the roof that people are falling through the floor; slow play…..I’ve signed a lot of online petitions recently not least because once on the list, it’s hard to get off – [one click, surely? – ed].

There’s an old joke aimed at supposedly wishy-washy liberals:  You know what happens if you stand in the middle of the road?  You get run over.  Ho, ho, ho.  There’s nothing wishy-washy about being a liberal (definition available over lengthy discussions over several nights/weeks/months over numerous beverages of choice) these days and if we can’t save the world, who can?

Well, that turned into a bit of a rant, didn’t it?  And Horowitz has long since stopped playing Mozart (CD, so it comes to an end in an old-fashioned sort of way).  Time to switch off, wash the glasses and head for bed.

Something stunning to finish. A wild poppy on Dave Oswald’s allotment, taken by the man himself.  Awesome.