Monday, 28 June 2010

Help wanted

Well I did lose, but it took 1.5 hours and the final score was 21-12. I was thrilled as I had made it my goal to get one point and so exceeded that by a long stretch. Only problem is I have another match with the same person coming up.

Today I had another couple of matches which needed to be completed by end June and as it was the first day of a week's holiday before I set off to Holy Isle for retreat, it was decided to play both back to back, which as they were both with the same guy it was easy to do.

The first was best of 3 sets first to 7 in each. I let myself down in that one and he won easily 7-4 and 7-2. But then I came into my own, and I'm pleased to report that I won the next one 21-13.

I have always seemed to take ages to warm up and it can take me a good long time to get to where I need to be to be able to play well. Today's effort took me a whole one and a half hours to be ready to play, but once I was, there was no stopping me.

Please, please, does anyone know how I can overcome this problem? I would be most grateful for any suggestions.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Winners and losers

Yesterday was a complete non-day for me. I had a migraine, complete with being sick, which wasn't easy as my beloved was away and I had the dog to walk and garden to water and, and, and...

Nell is a joy at times like this. She made do with a 5 minute walk up the road in the morning and then I went back to bed and slept until 1pm with her not making a sound, which really helped. I felt a whole lot better in the afternoon, but completely wiped out and good for not much more than watching the tennis. Andy Murray played well and won his game with apparent ease and Raphael Nadal triumphed in 5 absorbing sets. I dragged myself out for a much longer walk with Nell in the late afternoon, but she wasn't so keen and it took us longer than it should have done. Poor thing, she really feels the heat.

Today I felt much better but still a bit wiped out, and managed to get all my chores done in time to watch the footie, which as it turned out was all a bit of a waste of time. I decided to take the dog out for a walk in the woods at half time which seemed a better use of the sunshine than sitting watching the tv and wondering just how bad England could play. Which by the time I got back in and caught up with the game was pretty bad. I wonder what excuses those overpaid footie players will use.

Now when it comes to me and my sporting activity I'm at the other end of the scale. When you're expected to win and you lose it's very difficult. But I'm about to go out and play a game of bowls and it's a competition match against one of the best players in the club. If I fulfill expectations then I will lose and lose quickly... but at least I can hold my head high. I mean if all that's expected is me to lose then I'm on to a winner before I even start, if you see what I mean. Lucky me!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The final score

The absolutely most unbelievable tennis match ever ended today with the final score in the fifth set at 70-68. The American John Isner, world number 19, beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, world number 149. And the difference between the two was minimal. I was so sad for Mahut who played such a stormer and I really thought he would win, but I suppose after you've played catch up (he was serving behind in the final set) for so many games it has to take it's toll. What a game!

The worst thing for me is though I felt like I'd played it too. Much along the lines of when my Number 2 son (in birth order only!) used to go to Pony Club. I'd sit on the sidelines watching him and end up exhausted as every time he'd go over a jump I'd feel like I'd just jumped it. And so I end today feeling absolutely wiped out. I mean if you'd just played over 11 hours of tennis - even if it was sitting on the bed chewing your fingernails - wouldn't you be exhausted?


Sometimes I look at some human beings performance with awe, and yesterday was one of those times. After a full on day at work I listened to the radio on my way home to hear that the English football team were through to the next round, that France were out and there was a whole lot of hype about overpaid, underperforming prima donnas. What a difference then to put the telly on and watch two people who showed the most remarkable amount of spirit, grit, and determination.

The score currently stands at 59 all after 10 hours of play, and they will continue today. Not only the longest match at Wimbledon, but the longest match ever, the longest set, the most amount of aces in a game, etc, etc. The records have been completely overturned.

But to actually watch the two players was a moving experience. Neither player was about to give in, no matter that they appeared totally physically drained, they just kept going. They both want to win and the saddest bit in some ways is that one of them will triumph.

Mental toughness without question. What a lesson.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Surprise surprise

Today was Father's Day and my beloved's daughter wanted to make a surprise visit. How difficult do you think it would be to organise? Well I can tell you... very difficult indeed. I was away from Thursday til late last night, without a hope in hell of buying food so I had to get him to buy it. I thought my plan was extremely cunning. It went like this:

"We don't seem to have had much time together over the past few weeks, so let's plan for Sunday to be just for us. But the only problem is that I'm away so you'll have to get the food. And because I'm working all next week it would be really good if we could have a BBQ and cook loads of food and that way I can have leftovers for my lunch next week."

Then I had to get my step daughter to pretend to make a plan for a date to come over in July (I thought that would put him totally off the trail), and then to make sure she phoned first thing this morning to tell my beloved that he would get his card by Monday.

And it worked! The shocked look on his face when they arrived was a treat. We had such a lovely day, with of course the grandchild being the total focus of attention. The weather was great, which added to the pleasure, and the BBQ was fantastic... though not much left for me to take for lunch for the week.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Sib news

I know the smallest of the coffee plants is no more, but the sibs are doing quite well, with lots of new growth and healthy looking leaves. There are two bigger ones

and the three smalls

There are still some brown bits on a couple of leaves but I'm not so worried due to all the new growing that's going on. Given that the weather has been so awful I'm so pleased we splashed out on the growlamp, as I'm not at all sure what shape they would all have been in if they'd just been left on the windowsill to wait for the sun to make it's odd appearance.

However, rather strangely the other plants that seem to be growing well right now are the herbs that were planted a couple of weeks ago. The pot with parsley, coriander, thyme and chives is brimming over which is a bit odd given the awful weather we've been having recently. They seem to love it, which is more than I do. I'm sure that as I'm heading for London this weekend to be stuck inside working for two days the weather will be glorious. Bets anyone?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Thanks to the millions

Yesterday was my unbirthday. My real birthday was so awful I decided that I was going to celebrate it again 6 months on, so my friend Shirley joined me for lunch at The Outsider, which was lovely... that is until she found a hair in her food... she'd already eaten more than half so didn't want anything else. Still they didn't charge for it and we got free coffee's too, so not all bad.

Then as I was going to give her a lift back to hers before I had to go to a meeting (yes, I was working just for a couple of hours, even on my unbirthday), she came with me to my car and on the way we decided, as we were passing, to call in at the Apple shop and play with an iPad.

I've been saying that I would never get one, because frankly I didn't see the point. I've got an iPhone so why on earth would I get something the same but bigger that you can't even phone on. But after 2 minutes playing with it my mind was changed completely. It was just soooo unutterably cool. And of course, no-one could possibly need one, but as Shirley pointed out it's not about need it's about want.

I was on the point of being convinced that I should buy one, when the sales person told me that because they've sold in their millions there's now a waiting list. I'm so grateful to all of you who've bought one as it meant that my impulsive side was not pandered to and I walked away, not on a list and not buying one... well that's the story so far!

Monday, 7 June 2010

The blessed dog

Yesterday, while my beloved was still away, the dog and I spent a pleasant day together walking, cleaning (well I can't say either of us enjoyed that bit that much, but it needed to be done), and watching the French Open.

Nell enjoyed the match quite a bit and was very relaxed about it as you can see. In the end, though I think Nadal played brilliantly, it was a bit boring as it was very one sided. So at the same time I enjoyed a Facebook conversation with my friend, Tracy, who is in Kathmandu right now.

The orange cord on Nell's collar is a blessing cord which Tracy sent all the way from India for Nell, and it was blessed by the Karmapa, so she is a very lucky dog indeed. I thought it would be nice for Tracy to see that her efforts to bless my dog were not in vain. Thanks Tracy!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Sad news

It's with regret that I have to announce that the smallest of the coffee plants is no more... I really tried to do what I could to help it recover, but I think the last pruning was the final straw. I don't think it would have survived anyway, and I suppose at least I tried.

Still it feels sad. It must now be coming up five years since the coffee plants were first planted and in spite of expense, talking, feeding etc at the end of the day it wasn't to be.

I keep thinking of the dead parrot sketch for some strange reason, but am resisting the urge....

Friday, 4 June 2010

Change of plan

Last night I got a phone call from She Who Must Not Be Named to tell me that the photographer in the family had made a slight error and the course he was due to go on was not on this weekend.

So no visit, which means no tidying, which means I can go guilt free and enjoy the sunshine. The only slight fly in the ointment is that at this present moment there is no sunshine.

Maybe housework will get done after all.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Getting ready

Tomorrow we have a visit from She Who Must Not Be Named and the lovely R. He is on the way to a date with photographic destiny, while She Who Must Not Be Named and I take a visit to sites of previously discovered fab shoes in the big metropolis, Edinburgh. I feel my bank balance might take a knocking!

In the meantime of course the house needs a desperate tidy, but given that today has been just one of two fantastically sunny days this week, I'm afraid that any house work will have to wait so that I can bask in the last few hours of sun left today. It's one of the pains of being in paid employment that I rarely get home in time to enjoy the weather... still a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, and where there's spare time and sun, there must be sitting in it.

The house will just have to be a mess, and I'm sure after a glass or two of wine and a bbq, She Who Must Not Be Named and R won't be all that bothered... at least that's what I'm hoping. I'm only going to be around in the morning as I need to be at work for the afternoon, and the promise of good weather due tomorrow means that the only thing I can guarantee I shall be getting ready is my tan.