It usually takes an impending deadline (is there any other kind of deadline, am I guilty of tautology here?) to get me to sit down at my desk, open the laptop and start writing; then I’ll hop up and down, fetching the dictionary, a glass of wine, a pen, a pencil, notes; oh, and the dishwasher needs emptying, that stuff I brought off the line needs folding (not ironing, thank goodness – one of the best decisions I ever made, not having an iron or ironing board in the house) and I think I’ve left the bedroom window open upstairs, must shut it now that it’s getting beyond chilly…..It just goes on and on, this shilly-shallying…..

Blimey, the wine glass is empty, must fill it up, can’t let a good drop stay open too long, oxygenation or some such.  In any case, someone has to keep Worth Brothers (Lichfield branch) and The Wine Society going and Dai was put up for membership by John Arlott no less.  Can’t let them down at this late stage.

I’m even more antsy than usual because I’m preparing for my first game of golf for more than seven weeks and finding the sticks was the first thing – where on earth had I put them?  Looking for something else – my will or a crucial financial document (probably no longer in the least bit crucial by the time you read this, given the state of things) – I stumbled upon them and found myself looking at them blankly:  what the hell do you do with these?…

Ah, there they are, my clubs, tucked away neatly in the cupboard in the spare room.

It’s only nine holes at Whittington at the moment but that’ll do nicely and I’m beyond delighted that we’re getting going again, so antsy that I can barely sit still to type – where are my shoes? will it be too cold for a skort? have I shaved my legs? do I need to? who gives a damn? have I made the post-round sarnies?  Better set the alarm, don’t want to miss the tee time.

There’s no two ways about it, I’m getting excited – even though I haven’t swung a club more than a handful of times since lockdown and have filled the vacuum with any number of things.  Judging from the comments by my fellow golfers, they’re all like kids let loose in a toy shop on their birthday.  Alistair Tait, who played 18 holes on the Dukes course at Woburn yesterday, said, “It feels like Christmas Day!”  Read his blog at Alistair Tait Golf and catch up on all the news, keeping an eye out for his constant golfing companion, a black lab called Izzy.

Another black lab, the near sainted Alice, isn’t welcome on our course:  there’s an edict banning dogs but that wasn’t always the case and no one seems to know why the ban was imposed.  Perhaps someone got fed up because his friend’s dog was unerring and said friend never lost a ball; who knows?

Alice making a bit of a splash well away from the course.

Alice just falls short of sainthood because she can’t resist a picnic – as one of the Beacon Park keepers put it pithily the other day, “She put the nick into picnic….”   And that just about covers it.  A couple of days ago, when it was sunny and warm, Alice and I were on the early evening walk when she spotted a family, on a rug, having a picnic; whoosh, yer woman was in like a shot, foraging as though she’d never been fed.  What she’d found was an open bag of dog treats, meant for the family’s own black lab but Alice didn’t wait for an invitation and dived in in full hoovering mode.  I dragged her away, eventually and we headed home but when I made the mistake of letting her off the lead, she was off, right back to the picnic…….

And the next afternoon, the moment she was able she headed straight back to the same spot….More savvy now, the moment she set paw in the park I knew exactly where she was going to go, so I was right behind her.  She knew the goodies were long gone – she’d taken Sue, her owner, there that morning – but that didn’t stop her trying to snuffle her way to Australia, plunging her snout as deep into the grass as she could.  The next day, allowed out together, maintaining a suitable distance, Sue and I took Alice further afield, grateful that it was a bit too chilly for picnicking.

Not a picnic in sight, thank goodness. Alice is somewhere in amongst the buttercups, with the cathedral in the background.

I have to confess that I haven’t got to grips with WHGC’s new booking system yet – one minor glitch with a computer or vaguely technical gizmo and I turn into a gibbering wreck, incapable of spelling my own name, let alone remembering a password or following a simple instruction; I was really quite pleased when the system crashed because it meant I could procrastinate with impunity – nothing I could do, guv, it wouldn’t let me in…..


Fortunately my dancing partner – not much chance of that resuming any time soon, so don’t think we’ll be going to Blackpool this year – made the booking and I’m glad to report that we’re both better at golf than we are at tripping the light fantastic.  However badly we play.

Wish I’d paid more attention to Maureen’s tips though.