I wasn’t going to start with golf but I’ve played twice this week and only got drenched the once.  Even then we nearly made it – the serious rain started about four holes from home and didn’t become torrential until we were leaving the 16th and making the trek to our monstrous 17th.

I say monstrous because for those of us of moderate hitting ability, it is a long, long way, especially coming where it does.  The card says it’s a relatively modest 441 yards from the red tees, one yard shorter than the 18th, which is a completely different animal.  If it was the 5th, say, or the 9th, it wouldn’t have such a psychological effect, it wouldn’t seem so long or so daunting.  As the second last, uphill, into the lashing rain (no exaggeration, I’ve got the sodden gear to prove it) and a wind that even Dad would have conceded was a mite stronger than a zephyr and on the official Beaufort scale would register at least as a strong breeze (umbrellas used with difficulty, among other things)….In short, it’s a brute.

Always put the brake on – trolley in full sail towards the bunker. The rain was biding its time…

Several holes earlier my partner and I looked around and wondered where everybody was; it looked as though we were the only people left on the golf course, bar the fourball behind us; what was it that we didn’t know?  Was the foul weather forecast sending them heading for cover, taking no chances?  Were we bonkers to be still ploughing on, nipping and tucking, never more than one hole between us?  It would seem that the answer was “Yes”!

The aftermath of winter golf – and a coffee log delivery; visitors still welcome, there’s room to squeeze in for a cuppa or a glass of wine.

When I got home, I put comfort before economics and switched on the heating several hours early.  Then it was off to Specsavers to order some new glasses as a matter of urgency – rather belatedly admittedly.  The updated prescription was written in January but I stuck with the old specs until I had no choice.  And thereby hangs a tale.

My main pair disappeared a few weeks ago, presumed missing in the North Sea or buried deep on Warkworth beach, Northumberland way, so I was reduced to my reserve pair.  They were ok, if a bit flimsy but as it turned out a wonderfully effective camouflage colour – green and brown frames, impossible to spot, by me anyway.  The house has been turned upside down and still no sign of the buggers.  I’ve looked under the sofas, chairs, bed, in the hotpress, the fridge, every cupboard, the rubbish bag, every pocket of every jacket/coat, everywhere I can think of – and still no sign.

Of course, now that I’ve chosen and ordered my new specs, the old ones are bound to turn up.  Until then, I’m doing most things specless.  Not so long ago, in a fit of decluttering, I rounded up my old glasses and handed them over to charity, so, apart from a pair of reading glasses, that’s it.  Fortunately, my sun specs have an insert that allows me to drive without peering and at night I’m cadging lifts with friends who can see – or whose squinting is closer to 20-20 than mine.

Many years ago Gary Wolstenholme, much capped by England and GB and I, a man who has always marched to the beat of his own drum, talked about biorhythms, to the bafflement of most of his listeners.  If he played badly, it was often down to the old biorhythms being out of synch or out of kilter or, simply, out of rhythm.  Everybody has days – or, in my case, sometimes, weeks – of being a bit off for no apparent reason;  those times when you think that maybe you shouldn’t be allowed out on your own and I, shortsighted as ever but more open-minded, am beginning to think that Gary was onto something with his biorhythms…

The other night mine certainly went missing or were on a go slow or whatever they do when friends, having a rest from bridge, introduced me to Balderdash.  It’s a word game and we journalists, retired or not, are meant to have a way with words…Guess who finished dead last?  Well behind my four opponents, trailing all the way, bluffed from the first throw of the die (there’s only one) to the last.

My hopes of doing well at Balderdash sank like the Titanic.

The Scrabblers in the company thought they’d add new words to their armoury but of course, being the age we are (that’s our excuse), we could barely remember the words or their meaning a few goes later.  Did you know – none of us got this right not even the horsey person – that rataplan is the sound of a horse galloping?  Well, it’s a drumming sound, from the French, according to my trusty Chambers and it does have a classier ring to it than clippity clop.

Whatever – and this is not in my dictionary – we had an evening that was positively gelogenic.  That’s something that makes you laugh, apparently and there was no apparently about it – we roared from start to finish.

And, red wine notwithstanding, we stayed dry.

For your delectation and delight:  a bike beyond compare, something to consider when we have to give up our cars.