Looking at my blog book I noticed the words:  “I feel sick to my stomach.”  How prescient, thinks I, that’s exactly how I’m feeling at the moment, trying to write this week’s edition while watching Spurs play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, not one of our favourite venues.  Translated that means we usually lose there.  And sure enough we did.

“Here’s hoping we finish with 11 players,” said my Dublin-based Spurs fanatic friend, “they always batter and bully us.”  Good point.  They beat us 4-1 at our place because we had two players sent off and they eventually worked out how to make use of the overlaps.  They seem to be a bit less clueless now and I’m afraid it might be a Eurovision end to the season for us:  nul points.

That’s an unusually pessimistic forecast for me, Mrs Determined-To-Be Positive, but our run-in is brutal.  We lost to Arsenal, our deadliest rivals, last time out (even worse, it was at home and we gave them a 3-nil start); then the much-loathed Chelsea away; Liverpool away on Sunday; Burnley, who are fighting for their lives and playing quite well, at home on Saturday week; then an easy-peasy home game against Manchester City, the champions who are favourites to win the title again; and, finally, Sheffield United, already relegated, carefree but poor, away at Bramall Lane.

Next season I’m hoping for a lot of entertaining football without such dire defending.

Yes, you read that right.  Ridiculous price hikes notwithstanding, I’ll be renewing my season tickets in preparation for another season of hope followed by the inevitable suffering.  Football, bloody hell.

Looking at my notes again, more closely, it was Nelly Korda who was sick to her stomach – and she was on her way to winning her fifth tournament in a row, so she had a perfectly valid excuse.  She kept her nerves under control, stayed in what she described as her own little bubble and was eventually able to breathe and enjoy the moment.

She’s certainly finding the game pretty simple at the moment and is making a big effort to keep things simple.  “You can overcomplicate golf,” she said.  She’s spot on there and it’s not just golf, it’s everything.

And there’s absolutely no need for us to overcomplicate life; it’ll do that all by itself.

For instance, take the day that started unexpectedly with a visit to the vet. The sainted Alice had tweaked something and wouldn’t get out of her bed, so I was summoned to help get her into the car.  Being a friendly soul, she doesn’t mind going to the vet because she gets a lot of fuss and on this visit her tail never stopped wagging.  Not sure how the anatomy works but Alice works her tail so hard that I thought she’d make things worse.

Anyway, she’s been given a painkiller or two and is on light duties for a week, no running, no jumping.  Sniffing permitted.

A pensive Alice on her way home.

Now, I know people who are thinking of getting a dog and others who aren’t so sure, so I’m a bit reluctant to use this poster from the vet’s but in the end I couldn’t resist because it’s so clever – and funny.  Please don’t let it put you off having a pet.  The advantages far outweigh the other things.  And bear in mind that most people and their pets have never heard of half the critters mentioned, let alone encountered them.

A different take on an old game.

As you all know, golf clubs are funny old places, very singular.  Some people can cope with them and others take one look then run like hell in the opposite direction and never look back.  It takes a strong character to work at one for 27 years and every single one of us at WHGC is in awe of Elaine Owen, who is retiring after her mammoth stint.

She has seen a lot of changes in her time as a stalwart of the club and  helped us navigate our way through thick and thin, quietly, efficiently and without fuss.  When she was made redundant, she applied for a job as a waitress at Whittington, got it and her husband John said, “You’ll only put up with it for a couple of days or get the sack…”

Instead she settled in, working hard and effectively and using her quiet humour, quick wit and deadpan delivery to such good effect that she became indispensable.  She knew just how to manage every single one of us, a skill not given to many.  If she ever decided to write a book, it would be a best seller, full of killer one liners.

Elaine showered with gifts, all well deserved.

Elaine is a fan of horse racing, the jumps not the flat and as part of her leaving present she was given a share in some carefully chosen horses, a gift of sheer genius from the club’s board….Let’s hope every one of their decisions is similarly inspired…

And let’s hope some of the horses show a bit of talent.  When Dai and I misguidedly bought a share in a nag called Golf World, the poor soul never even reached a race course.

Good luck Elaine.

Elaine with, from left to right, Mike, club pres, Olly, club manager, aged 27, the number du jour and Mick, the mastermind behind the racing gift.