I was hoping to have this week’s blog done and dusted before taking Alice for my daily walk but that was always a faint hope, since we don’t go out at two in the morning.  I used to take her into the park, throw the ball a few times, then trail after her as, ball in mouth, she sniffed her way hither and thither leading me over the humps and hollows.

The lockdown has changed the routine because Alice can’t fathom why Sue, her beloved owner, the undoubted boss, is at home, well but not coming out with us.  The first time I did the afternoon/evening shift, Alice retrieved the ball a couple of times, then legged it back home.  The same thing happened the next day…..and the next….and so on.  So now I take her round the roads, only taking her into the park at the end and letting her off the lead so she can bound off home.  I’m discovering bits of Lichfield I never knew existed.

Alice refusing to budge. She doesn’t look very big in this pic but I couldn’t shift her. Had to change tack and choose another route.

I’m also trying to keep a sort of diary, well, more a note of what’s happened when because I barely know what day it is now.  Mondays used to be dancing; Tuesdays golf and, often, bridge; Wednesdays singing and tai chi; Thursdays tai chi and chat at the golf club; Fridays bridge and golf……And there was the gym to fit in and shopping and sport to watch and listen to……No wonder the stuff was never sorted.

Thinking I should give up tidying and sign up to help out in whatever way possible – brother-in-law Brian is a Blood Biker after all – I realised I needed to tax the car.  That’s when I discovered that the MOT had run out……10 months ago.  Oops.  Fortunately, Central Garage round the corner is still working, so the car was whipped round for a service and MOT and is now primed and ready for action if required.  And I see petrol’s the cheapest it’s been for ages, just when most of us need it least.

In the meantime, cleaning the silver was next on the list and it had been so neglected that it proved a mucky job, even though there’s not a lot of it.  Turned out the spoils were mostly Dai’s, many of them trinkets from the days before wall-to-wall telly (remember them?) when golf writers were treated at least as well as golfers.  There’s a wee dish – there were a lot of wee dishes – from the Hennessy Cognac Cup of 1980; from the European Open, Celebrity Pro-Am, at Sunningdale in 1982, as a competitor no less; from the Italian Opens at Isola D’Albarella and GC Monticelllo; a Warwickshire Bear presented by Carl Bretherton who knows where for who knows what?; a rather grand square dish, 1 Premio in the Putting Contest at the 31 (XXXI) World Cup 1984 at Olgiata; and some treasured AGW mementos.

The trophy collection may be small but it brings back happy memories.

It’s on to the paperwork now and that’ll be a slow job because it involves reading everything and agonising over what to discard or how to treat it with the respect it deserves if it’s being kept.  In other words no clodding stuff back into another heap in the back of a drawer or a cupboard to fester for another decade or so.  At least I’ll soon be able to throw out all the financial stuff because there’ll be no money left the way things are going.  Fascinating Aida, of Cheap Flights fame, have a very clever song called The Markets, explaining how it all works – derivatives, short selling, hedge funds, futures, arbitrage, borrowing, that sort of thing.  “Warren Buffet says our fiscal lectures are the tops…..,” they sing.  It was written during an earlier financial crisis but is quite apt today.  Worth a listen.  Try www.fascinatingaida.co.uk or YouTube – unless you’re of a nervous disposition or recoil from raunch.

The incomparable Fascinating Aida – wicked.

These are serious times, so we have to laugh while we can but there are lots of difficult decisions being made every day all over the world as people fear for their lives and livelihoods.  Golf clubs – and courses – are living, breathing things that need nurturing and there’s nothing too relaxing about keeping them going at the best of times.  At least here in the UK the greenkeepers who are still working – grass doesn’t stop growing once spring has sprung – should be untroubled by members hacking their way round, although there are always selfish eejits who don’t think the rules apply to them.

And spare a thought for the captains who won’t be having the year they anticipated – drive-ins, competitions, charity lunches, all the fun cancelled and in its place endless crisis meetings mostly via screens, phone and email.  Good luck to them all.

When I came across this old invite, it made me feel sorry for the lady captains (and all the club officers) who’ll be having a season like no other this year.

People are still playing golf, quite legitimately, in some places and my friend Lena, who lives in Helsinki, had her first outing of the year a few days ago.  She keeps fit by playing table tennis, at a properly competitive, medal-winning seniors level and her golf doesn’t seem to suffer from rust, not if this swing is anything to go by.

Lena, in full, colourful swing.

And, finally, I couldn’t resist including this, a souvenir from the days when I used to go to the Tradition at Desert Mountain in Arizona, in between the Dinah Shore and the Masters, just about this time of year.  It was courtesy of the inimitable Verne Boatner, who ran the press room, so I got him to sign it.  Think I’ll have it framed.


Oh, and before I forget, thanks to Dave Oswald for pointing out that the Proclaimers hail from Auchtermuchty, not Edinburgh and were in the same class as his sister at Bell-Baxter High School in Cupar.  Think they support Hibs though, not that any of us should boast about that these days.