It’s been a shitty few days in many ways and sitting here staring at a blank screen feeling sad and doing a lot of old woman huffing and puffing is no help to anybody.  Perhaps I should just shut the laptop lid and go to bed but it’s not December yet and sheer stubborness demands that there’s a blog for our devoted, daft friends to read on Friday morning – or whenever they wish.  Mo and I are amazed (well, I am) – and beyond grateful.

Puttering about, doing this and that but nothing very much in particular, I switched on the telly and flicked or scrolled or whatever it is we low techies (i.e. non techies) do to get to the golf.  And, lo, there were the seniors, still swinging, still competing, in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, somewhere in America:  Bernhard Langer, Steve Alker, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, mostly names and players I once knew well.

I watched with half an eye because one of my current projects is to read and return all the books I’ve borrowed from friends and I was keen to finish The Tale of the Rose by Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, wife of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, one of France’s all-time heroes.  It was translated into English by Esther Allen and subtitled The Passion That Inspired The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince).

Weighty with love, passion, betrayal and tragedy it says – and it is!

Anyway, back to the golf and the highlights thereof.  Surely something was missing?  I put down the Saint-Exupérys, large print version but a mind-boggling, eye-opening rollercoaster of a ride to us innocents abroad even in tiny print and paid more attention to the screen.  Ah, that’s it.  They’ve given up golf and only do putting.  I think I saw one neat little chip, one pitch and then it was putt after putt after putt.  Not a drive, not a fairway shot, not a bunker shot – although the commentators mentioned a couple of excellent efforts from sand by Padraig.  At the 72nd hole we saw Alker hit a poor wedge over the green, then a decent little chip and he then holed a tricky little putt to win.

Blimey, that little lot was right up there with the worst highlights package I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something.  I was aghast, incensed even and in a funny way, it cheered me up no end.  And, in the general scheme of things it mattered/matters not a jot.

Seeing Padraig also jolted me into scurrying upstairs to find this silly tile, a souvenir from the Open he won at Carnoustie.  It’s as yet unsigned but even though it was way back in 2007 I doubt he’s forgotten it, his first major championship and I’m sure he’s signed weirder things in his time.

Think I paid money for this – but not much.

Being a bit – ok a lot – of a weather wimp these days, I withdrew from the golf on Tuesday when I woke up to hear the rain hammering against the bedroom window.  It did ease off and one of my partners, who’s keen to test out her dodgy knee, played a few holes without needing her brolly.  I’d laid out my thermals – vest and leggings – waterproof trousers and various upper layers, plus hat and gloves but Sue C appeared in her SHORTS.  And as far as I know she hasn’t even signed up as a Christmas postie.

Sue C defying the elements.  [Pic by one of the greenskeepers, many thanks]

There’s no getting away from it:  it’s tough when friends die, especially when they’re your age or younger and last week we had to say goodbye to Dale Reid and Alison White, both Scots, both steeped in golf, both only in their sixties.  Outwardly they were very different characters but both left their mark on the game, Dale as a player, very much in the public eye and Alison as an administrator, working away behind the scenes.

So many memories, so many laughs, some irritations, so much kindness; those are the things that come to my mind when I think of them.  I’m meant to have a way with words but what are the right ones at moments like this?  They’re in there somewhere but stuck.  They’ll have to wait for another time.

In the meantime, my heart goes out to their families and friends.

And I’ve a couple of pictures to share.

Dale and Dai in the desert in Arizona.


Alison showing us how to tackle the Himalayas. Note the attire: April in St Andrews.