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Showing posts from October, 2009

Some things....

Some things I just find easier than others.
Talking to crowds of people, crying at the end of High School Musical, trapping a football (sometimes), falling head over heels in love with the same woman each morning.

Some things are a bit harder.
Talking to new people, getting my hands on the Sky TV remote that I pay for, bending down to tie up my shoes without my head thumping.

Some things are just impossible.
Licking your own elbow, getting my kids to practise their instruments, staying in the room when any tunes from the world of musical theatre are playing, understanding the plot to any episode of NCIS & working out whether I've already seen it before the end credits.

Some things are just awkward.
Shopping in Sainsbury's. They want me to have a bag for life & I'm just not sure if I'm ready for that kind of commitment. That sort of pressure you can do without when you're heading down the chilled isle towards the checkout.

Some things are bitter sweet.
Heading off fo…

Golf rant

Mark Twain was right when he said that golf spoils a perfectly good walk. Unfortunately, the news today confirms that golf is now also going to spoil the Olympics.

Golf at the Olympics - whatever next! Let all the other non sports that seem to get on TV these days join in too- Anyone for Olympic Darts? Snooker? Poker? Shopping?

I spat out my mouthful of tea listening to the spokesman for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club on the radio earlier. I quote, 'Our athletes are excited about taking part!' Athletes!

In what remote way can the morbidly obese Jon Daly, Colin Montgomery or Laura Davies be considered athletes? The only occasion Monty would beat Usain Bolt out of the blocks might be for the lunch queue at the Olympic Village.

And is there another sport steeped in such colonial history where your manservant carries around the only bit of heavy equipment for the full 4 hours? They should be ashamed of themselves.

Golfers, you can take your Rupert the bear trousers, your pastel jump…

Dr Livingstone I presume?

Today I came face to face with two of my heroes. These men were old school adventurers, explorers, men who endured between them extremes of hot & cold, one in Southern Africa, the other the Southern Pole.

In our modern age of celebrity, where men are enobled with greatness for kicking a football or acting in movies, these two heroes of mine would pass unnoticed. Indeed, to find their statues in our capital city involves a degree of exploration which no doubt they would consider appropriate.

Robert Falcon Scott is hidden away on a side street in Westminster. More prominent are fallen Viceroys & Colonial Major Generals. Their tributes grand, their achievements less so,their names forgotton. Scott is clothed in his Polar gear & half submerged in hedgerow. His fading plaque tells briefly how he died in 1912 returning from the South Pole with his 4 companions.

In his own words, 'Had we lived I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance & courage of my comp…

What makes a man? Part 3

The stark & disappointing message awaiting me on my doormat as I returned home read,'Commiserations, your ballot application to run the Virgin 2010 London Marathon has been unsuccessful.'

Every man needs a challenge, & my next big daring deed has just false started. Maybe my disappointment is compounded by the boys own adventure stories I've been reading this week.

In 'The Lost City of Z' David Grann tells the remarkable story of Amazon explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett, a British man driven by courage & obsession into exotic danger & mystery. As Grann attempts to follow in Fawcetts considerable footsteps, he starts by visiting the Royal Geographical Society, that archaic British Institution, steeped in colonial history.

Fawcett had begun his journeys as a cartographer for the RGS. Listen to the remarkable scope of their original vision statement in 1830;'to collect, digest & print new interesting facts & discoveries.....build a repository o…