I was going to start with an apology to those of you who found last week’s blog incomprehensible – Mo told me she’d read it twice and still couldn’t understand it – but I’ve re-read it and found large lumps of it perfectly understandable.  Admittedly, I’m probably biased and it won’t be winning any literary awards but, be warned, you read on of your own volition and, possibly, at your peril….I’d put an annoying smiley emoji in here but don’t know how to do that on this laptop, so at least you’re spared that.

This week’s blog is being written in relative comfort because the sweep came last week and I’ve got the log burner going, so the house is a lot warmer than it has been recently.  Along with most of the country, I’m trying to be parsimonious with the central heating and remember what woolly jumpers and fleeces are for.  Sadly, I’ve become very soft; hard to believe I grew up on the north Atlantic coast of Ireland with ice on the inside of the windows in the winter; our grandparents’ house, hard by the sea, was big and draughty, heated by a coal fire and the Raeburn in the kitchen – and they lived into their 80s.  No swanning about in thin blouses and tee shirts (not invented, I suspect) for them.

Nothing like a real fire. On the “mantlepiece”, from left to right: a jammy cow from Donegal; Harare, an owl from Zimbabwe; a rimu kiwi from NZ; and, far right, a typical Yemeni house from Sanaa; the clock no longer works.

I’ve watched the Wim Hof stuff about ice baths, cold showers and so on but now that it really is getting colder – and perhaps because I’m getting older – my nerve and good intentions fail me and I’m in favour of warm water, not ice cold, no matter the alleged health benefits.  Wimp or what!  Perhaps that’s why I never quite know what to wear whenever I head down to Spurs to watch my team perform who knows how.  I’m either far too hot or far too cold.  And that’s the team for you too – blowing cold in the first half and then hot but perhaps not hot enough in the second.

Last Sunday, a friend and I trekked down (car to Milton Keynes, then coach) to N17 to watch Spurs v Liverpool.  She has a season ticket for Wrexham but is also a Liverpool fan, so I suppose I shouldn’t really have brought her in with me, in amongst the Spurs fans, just above the away supporters.  She behaved very well but was the only one in our section left ecstatic at the result – 2-1 to the Reds.

Pam, trying to keep a bit of a lid on her delight…Everybody around us had already headed home.

We were our usual passive selves in the first half, went 2-0 down (a lot of it our own work) and couldn’t quite pull it back in our hell-for-leather second half.  Being football tragics Pam and I watched Match of the Day when we got home and the analysis of our defensive deficiencies by Alan Shearer just confirmed everything that I and my fellow fans (nil international caps and goals between us) and every opponent had known for months.

Well, at least the fish and chips from across the road from the stadium were unexpectedly delicious.

A Spurs institution and well worth a visit as it turns out.

It’s easy enough to keep track of Spurs and their/our up-and-down results but I wanted to watch Ireland play South Africa (rugby) and it took me quite a while to work out that it was on Amazon Prime.  Now, I don’t use Amazon (taxes, moral high ground, that sort of stuff) but I am enough of a hypocrite to make use of my brother-in-law’s AP from time to time.  However, the password didn’t work and by the time I’d contacted said b-in-law, it was too late.  At least we recorded another famous win, even though I still haven’t seen a single second.  Roll on Fiji this weekend and the wonderful Tadgh Furlong’s first time as captain.

The inestimable Tadhg, pride of New Ross RFC and Wexford, not forgetting Leinster and Ireland [©INPHO/Dan Sheridan]

I managed to watch a bit of golf, including the end of the first round of the LET’s Aramco Team Series – Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.  The featured pic (at the top of the piece, all being well technically) was snapped off the telly, when Sky’s coverage was suffering a few technical glitches.  It just tickled me that Aramco is all about energy but the lights were going out at a bit of a crucial moment, so they had to resort to a still instead of a live picture.  I wondered, idly, if too much of the Saudi dosh was being thrown at LIV and not quite enough at the women and the wherewithal to keep them on the air?

Then I read the latest LET Fans Newsletter, which gave me some good news (moral high ground aside):  “The prize money for the Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF will undergo a significant five-fold increase next year from US$1m to US$5m.

“The female golfers will now compete for equal prize money to the men in the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers on the Asian Tour and the purse will be the third largest on the LET, offering a cheque for $750,000 USD to the tournament champion….”

Massive jumps are all very well but don’t they make you think that, perhaps, someone’s feeling a bit guilty about a disparity of some sort or another….?

Talking of jumps, here’s a lovely pic from Bangor-on-Dee races the other day, featuring WHGC’s much-loved Elaine Clarke (left) and her beloved Hunters Call, who finished a valiant third in his race at the age of 12 and won best-turned-out thanks to Holly Tetsill (right).  From Elaine’s Facebook page.

Nothing like finishing on a happy note.  Many congrats to all involved, including Olly Murphy Racing.