Friday, 18 July 2008

More Technical Difficulties

Thought I'd sorted the problem before. Unfortunately, it has returned, and at the moment, I'm a bit rushed. My mom and grandma are visiting, so I don't exactly want to waste the time they're here on trying to sort out my blog. Back in August, probably.

Friday, 11 July 2008

We Only Sing When We're Losing!

Jenny is absolutely mad for sport. Specifically, she's a huge Rugby League (note: not Rugby Union) supporter. Her team of choice? Harlequin Rugby League. She's a huge fan. This year she did something she's been considering for ages. She became the Home Sponsor for #14, Julien Rinaldi. What does this mean? Well, she gets her name read out any time he scores. Her name is printed in the programme. She gets his jersey after the season. And she and a guest get to attend one game in the Executive Box. Saturday was her day. And the guest? Me! We drove over to London in the morning, stopping off first at her Aunt and Uncle's house. They'd graciously agreed to host us for the evening, so we wouldn't have to drive home after the match. (Especially nice, since I'd just have had to drive back the next day to collect my mother from the airport!) After a brief visit with them, we drove to the stadium: Twickenham Stoop. We got there with loads of time to spare. In fact, we were there 45 minutes before they opened the gates, and another while before they would have let us in the gate we were 'supposed' to go through. So we ended up walking around the stadium to the far side, just to walk back around to the near side. Never mind. It was a lovely day. Jenny also invited another friend, Matthew, to attend with us. He's a major St Helen's supporter, and as the Harlequins were facing off against St Helen's, it was perfect. So the 3 of us went together.

Before the match got underway, we were served a lovely buffet lunch/dinner thing (tea? I don't know. It was served at 4.30. You make the appropriate lexical selection.) We were assigned seats around tables. Matthew sat on my left, Jenny on my right, and on her right? The Harlequin's own #7, Danny Orr. Jenny was over the moon about getting to sit next to him. He was not playing due to hamstring difficulties, so had been asked to join us in the Executive Box before the match.

The match itself was really quite amazing. I'd never seen a Rugby anything (Union or League), so didn't really know what to expect. It was fantastic. Unlike American Football, the play moved so quickly. A 40 minute half actually took 40 minutes. In fact, even when someone was injured, they only sent someone onto the pitch to patch them up. They didn't stop play! Unless, of course, there was a major injury. And when there was a change of possession of the ball, it took seconds, not minutes. Very cool. I absolutely preferred it to American Football.


Unfortunately, the match was against St Helen's. And they wiped the pitch with us.
We lost. <------ 54 to 0!
After the match Jenny and I went down to the pitch and took a photo under the Try Posts. (Yes, American Football 'Touchdown' is called 'Try' in Rugby League. Don't ask why, it's too complicated. However, like a Touchdown, it's worth multiple points (6 in this case). And you get a shot at a follow up kick that's worth 2.) My brain's hurting trying to figure that all out.)

Then we made our way across to the Jester Bar, the bar for the exclusive use of the box seat holders and the players and families. It was really kind of fun, because there were only a few people there. And the other fun thing was, the players were really friendly. It's a bit like how Sports Heroes were 50/60 years ago. Yeah, sure, people know who they are, but not the SuperStar positions that Football or Basketball players hold. This was much more fun. They'd even stop and chat with the kids playing on the pitch between the locker room and the bar.

At the Bar, Jenny hit the jackpot. She met both the Team Captain, Mark McLinden and her hero, Julien Rinaldi.

All in all, a most excellent day out. Thanks, Jenny!

Fixed

I had been unable to upload photos (etc) here or access my address book from my email account. I had to un-install my Firefox and then re-install it. All better now. I'll finish my post from last weekend and get it up soon. Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Monday, 7 July 2008

We Only Sing When We're Losing!

Jenny is absolutely mad for sport. Specifically, she's a huge Rugby League (note: not Rugby Union) supporter. Her team of choice? Harlequin Rugby League. She's a huge fan. This year she did something she's been considering for ages. She became the Home Sponsor for #14, Julien Rinaldi. What does this mean? Well, she gets her name read out any time he scores. Her name is printed in the programme. She gets his jersey after the season. And she and a guest get to attend one game in the Executive Box. Saturday was her day. And the guest? Me! We drove over to London in the morning, stopping off first at her Aunt and Uncle's house. They'd graciously agreed to host us for the evening, so we wouldn't have to drive home after the match. (Especially nice, since I'd just have had to drive back the next day to collect my mother from the airport!) After a brief visit with them, we drove to the stadium: Twickenham Stoop. We got there with loads of time to spare. In fact, we were there 45 minutes before they opened the gates, and another while before they would have let us in the gate we were 'supposed' to go through. So we ended up walking around the stadium to the far side, just to walk back around to the near side. Never mind. It was a lovely day. Jenny also invited another friend, Matthew, to attend with us. He's a major St Helen's supporter, and as the Harlequins were facing off against St Helen's, it was perfect. So the 3 of us went together. Before the match got underway, we were served a lovely buffet lunch/dinner thing (tea? I don't know. It was served at 4.30. You make the appropriate lexical selection.) We were assigned seats around tables. Matthew sat on my left, Jenny on my right, and on her right? The Harlequin's own #7, Danny Orr. Jenny was over the moon about getting to sit next to him. He was not playing due to hamstring difficulties, so had been asked to join us in the Executive Box before the match.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Summer In England

I was enjoying a lovely morning's work in the garden today. The sun was out, the air was still and warm. I was happily going along doing all the trimmings that I've been neglecting for the whole of Spring, when a dark black cloud started drifting over my sun. Pretty soon some fat drops of rain were splashing down on my back. Regardless of the size of the drops, it was still a light sprinkling, so I kept working. Before long, though, it picked up the pace. So I started cleaning up the clippings, getting them inside. Usually, when the rain decides it wants to be serious about getting things wet, it acts just like snow. The larger the flakes (or drops) the less serious the storm. Well, every once in a while that pattern breaks. And in fact, this cloud let loose with a heavy downpour of enormous drops. By the time I got the clippings all gathered, bagged and into the shed (so the containers wouldn't collect rain) and got inside, I no longer needed a shower. I was wet enough that it looked like I'd just stepped out of one! And those fat drops were running down out of my hairline, streaming across my face. Within 10 minutes, the rain had passed and the sun was back out. Unfortunately for my gardening ambitions, though, it had succeeded in drenching everything. It's no longer feasible to cut the grass or do any more trimming 'til things dry out a bit. Never mind, that's Summer in England!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Crabbing Adventures

Last Tuesday we took the Young Women down to the jetty at Mersea Island to go crabbing.

It was such a great adventure. The girls and the leaders had a fabulous time. In fact, it was such good fun that the girls begged to come back this week. So tonight we went back. Last week we were missing 4 girls. This time, the whole crew was there. It was great fun, again.

Do you know how to tell the difference between a male and female crab? Which one's which in these two photos?
I'll give you a hint: Ladies are always right.

The Quiet Moments

Today was an unusually gorgeous summers day. I decided to take some of my reading outside, rather than waste the precious hours of sun. Reading is typically a very quiet activity. Particularly when the sun's lulling you into a state of drowsy summer simmer. You know, that sleepy slightly sweaty state that you can find yourself in? When your brain just can't quite turn over enough to even cogitate moving out of the sun? That's the state I found myself in when I suddenly realised, I had a visitor in my garden. Not 5 feet away a brave blackbird had come seeking dinner. So I held still, but there's a difference in holding still because you're not moving, and holding still because you're watching something. My visitor sensed this, and looked up. We made eye contact. He stood there looking at me, then cocked his head and chirped. In fact, he chirped at me for a couple minutes. Not sure what he was telling me about, probably asking why I'd not put out the food recently. I've been lax about putting the bird seed out recently. Anyway, after his monologue, he flew off, and I got up and came inside. It's nearly time for Young Womens anyway.