Last week it was time to get back on the horse again.  That’s the after-dinner-speaking horse I’m referring to, not a real one.  With all dinners and lunches and subsequent speaking engagements postponed or cancelled because of Covid it has been two years since I last spoke at a dinner – it seems like a veritable lifetime ago!

Last Friday I made my way to East Berkshire Golf Club to the Berkshire Ladies’ County Golf Association dinner where the captain, Laura Webb, was finishing off an elongated term of office because of the pandemic.  Not only is she finishing off her stint as captain of the county, she is poised to move back to Norn Iron after thirty plus years in Berkshire.  It was more than a little bittersweet for her but moving to within sight of the links at Portrush will assure her and her husband Pete of a steady stream of visitors to their new front door.

Rolling back the years with Laura Webb. [Photo courtesy of Sally Collier]

Laura and I have known each other for the thick end of 45 years and first met as teenagers playing junior golf at Portrush and in Irish Girls’ events up and down the country.  Multi-talented and easy going on the course she had all the tools for success but I’m not sure even her most ardent supporters could have foreseen the absolutely incomparable golfing CV she would go on to carve out for herself.  To date Laura is the only player to have won the Irish Girls’ Championship, the Irish Women’s title and the Irish Senior Women’s Championship.  Throw in a couple of British Seniors wins and you start to get the picture of the depth and breadth of her talent.

We worked out that we would have played on one Irish team together – the 1985 Irish home international side at lovely Waterville.  That was my last one before turning pro in 1986 and Laura’s first outing at full International level.  So, it was an auspicious occasion for us both, very special indeed – but not, it appears, special enough that either of us could remember the first thing about the other one being there!  Ah, well, I guess that’s what the decades do to you!

If I’d had any misgivings about jumping back into the speaking world, I needn’t have worried.  The Berkshire ladies were a lively lot and I was sent away with a long list of dos and don’ts to pass on to Rory McIlroy at next year’s Masters so that he would “get back on track”!  If Rors starts winning majors again, it’ll be all down to the wise words and no-nonsense approach of the Berkshire second team captain Sally Collier.  Remember, you heard it here first.

It was a lively evening. From L-R, Laura Webb, Sally Collier, me and County President, Margaret Berriman. [Photo taken by Donna Hunt, incoming second team captain]

This week I’ve had a quick catch up with my newly minted MBE friend, Pam Chugg, who had a wonderful day out last week at Windsor Castle receiving her gong for services to women’s golf from Princess Anne.  Beautiful weather and a beautiful setting added up to a very special day – a selection of snaps are below.  The official ones are to follow later.

All dressed up and somewhere to go! Mike and Pam Chugg. [Photo courtesy of Pam]

Pam at Windsor Castle. [Photo from Pam’s collection]

The proud Chuggs. [Pam’s photo collection again]

Editor’s note:  Mo, who always did her homework the night she got it, likes to have her blog finished early in the week, which is just as well because she is now laid low with Covid and in no fit state to talk let alone write anything.  The good thing is that Black Friday should pass her by without a penny leaving her bank account!  Get well soon sis.