Where on earth does a week go?  Hurtling into the abyss, leaving us with barely time to think.  Ireland were back to winning ways against Scotland  after the hurt of Twickenham, England lost narrowly to France in lovely Lyon and Wales, woeful but ever hopeful, lost at home to Italy.  I didn’t dare ask any of my Welsh friends how to say “wooden spoon” but an English friend came up with “Ilwy bren”….Pronunciation up to you.

It could be all change next year and in the Sunday Times, David Walsh, ever wise, noted that Ireland had been punching above their weight for years now; surely the green giant can’t remain jolly for ever?  We’ll just enjoy it while we can – and still have a ball when it’s over; that’s the joy of being a fan, no responsibility for the performance, free to wallow in the agony or the ecstasy without any bruises.  But we do have a responsibility to give the players credit for trying, for busting a gut, for being brave enough to go out there and give it a go.  We don’t have a licence to trash them online and give them dog’s abuse. Do we?  We all have our donkeys but only my friends know who mine are!

Still the champs but it was a struggle and nothing lasts for ever.

Spurs got their comeuppance at Fulham, losing 3-nil and it could have been more.  I told a friend that I don’t worry too much about my footie team these days, they’re such a work in progress that consistency is not a given, the result could be anything.  Bar Man City, Liverpool (usually) and possibly, though it pains me to say it, Arsenal, few results are predictable.  You have to work for your points.  The sainted Ange looked bloody furious afterwards, just about containing his anger in his post-match interview with Sky.  I look forward to seeing which Spurs turn up at the next home match, against Luton, on Easter Saturday.

Wow, fell asleep there over the keyboard!  Could be another late blog night.  Now, where was I…

Ah yes, my team and I were dead last in the St Patrick’s Day Texas Scramble last Sunday – so much for the luck of the Irish and I was even decked out in green.  It was Charley Hull, Solheim Cup star and Gary Beadle, social media star – YouTube, Insta, X and so on, lots of followers, www.gazgolf.com – who were the main attractions at Whittington Heath that day.  We’re a wee bit muddy but at least we’re open, which is more than a lot of courses are after all the torrential rain we’ve been having.

Charley, second left and Gaz, right, with Rachel and Jayne, two of WHGC’s finest. Not sure who took the pic.

Charley is on Eddie Hearn’s BBC podcast No Passion No Point, which is worth a listen – bbc.co.uk, BBC Sounds, thereabouts.

I was at a lunch at Walsall GC on Monday – South Staffs past captains – and the place looked a picture, with the daffs out and the course shimmering green and lush in the sunshine.  Not playable, sadly, because it’s on clay and has taken a real hammering – who’d be a greenskeeper.  I just had to take a pic of the stream in front of the 18th green because it was where one of my brothers-in-law, many years ago, attempted a ridiculous shot and fell in, causing the collapse of his playing partner.  She took a long time to stop laughing.

No, it wasn’t me and it remains one of the great regrets of my golfing life  that I wasn’t there to witness the spectacle but this week I walked back to the clubhouse laughing out loud at the memory, which had been vividly described – on numerous occasions – by all parties present.

No, I wasn’t there but I’m sure I heard the splash…

There was another lunch – and another Texas Scramble – on Tuesday, in aid of the LC’s charity, Molly Ollys.  That’s Jacque, the ladies’ captain, in the pic at the top of the piece, with a super-sized version of Olly the Brave, the lion* that is a therapeutic toy designed to help support ill children’s emotional wellbeing and help them understand what their treatment involves.  The charity, which is based in Warwick, was founded in 2011 by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw** and works to support children with life-threatening illnesses.  Their daughter Molly died of cancer at the age of eight and they decided to use their experience to help other families facing similar difficulties.

That’s a very bare outline of what they do and you can learn more at www.mollyolly.co.uk.  It’s a small charity but they have a big impact.

That’s Molly, aged 3, just before she was diagnosed. At the age of 8, mature beyond her years, she decided she didn’t want any more treatment.

The charity’s colour is a vibrant pink and unbeknownst to the LC the scramblers scoured their wardrobes and donned every last bit of pink:  it was quite a sight.  Unfortunately, it proved beyond my technical skills to transfer the group picture on the steps of the clubhouse, so these two eejits  will give you a flavour of the day.

No words needed.  Thanks to Ben, one of our pros, who took this gem before heading for the hills aka the practice ground….

 

*In an early edition of the blog I called Olly a bear – sorry Olly.  Here’s my green-maned Olly with two bears, Mozart and Linksy.

 

**Just for the record, for older readers (does the blog have any other kind?), as far as I know the Ollerenshaws are not related to Peggy from Hi-de-Hi!