ImageNot a bad place to train.

Australia has a reputation as the ultimate sporting nation and there is no doubt that sport here is very much more visable than anywhere else I’ve been (on account of the climate no doubt which I’m not going to mention much at the risk of alienating readers in cooler climes.)  There is a real ‘gymkit culture’, that is that sports clothing is not confined to the pitch, court or gym but is absolutely acceptable day wear.  (This could very well be the same everywhere and something I have just never noticed since I have traditionally existed at the other end of the active spectrum and the other end of the day.)  I have embraced this and not only because it means elasticated waists are de rigueur.  There are other reasons I just can’t think of them right now, oh my god, if anything is ever to make you feel old it is the submission to comfort over style.  Was it really me that was given lectures about being cold at a party or uncomfy on a plane, why did I not listen to my mum?

There is no doubt it is great for children though and the options are all there, from surfing to rockclimbing via tennis and paddle-boarding.  After dropping off Sam yesterday at a holiday sports camp William suddenly requested tennis lessons which I have to admit I wouldn’t be averse to, I really rather like the idea of being a tennis mum, at least you’d get to sit down and watch in mostly decent weather rather than standing at the side of a muddy pitch in freezing weather watching your precious baby get bashed about.  I’m all for the boys having exposure to as many sports as possible (still unsure though about Andrew’s suggestion of gymnastics for William after a display of his upper body strength in a door frame) so that they can find something they really enjoy (not worrying about the fame and riches, yet).  Tennis racquets for everyone’s birthday then.

I have been trying to remember any noteworthy sporting moments in my life and can only think of a few.

  1. Tennis.  Robert and I should be very much better at tennis than we are having had a court at home when we were little.  I’m not sure it got off to the best start for me as my main memory is of the Liverpudlian builders who let us climb on the piles of gravel and gave us revolting sweeties.  Anyway, the magnificent rate of tennis ball loss meant we spent more time in the front field and on the back road finding balls with which to continue our game than we did actually playing.
  2. Hockey.  When I first went to the Mount at age 11 I only myself and Libby Clements had played hockey before.  For the first and only time in my life I was better at a sport than somebody else!  This very quickly changed (Hannah Redfern, Katie Sessions, Rachel Bayes…) but not before I was listed in the first XI under 13’s – I seem to remember there was a flu epidemic at the time.  My big match was played away from home at QM’s in Escrick.  My devoted dad endured a six hour round trip for this important occasion.  I only played half a match.  I will forever have the memory of him yelling proudly (I think) from the sidelines all the while probably realising that his daughter’s future did not lie on the sportsfield.
  3. Rowing.  Mr Davey got some of us into rowing at school (what the man had ever had to do with a boat we couldn’t fathom, perhaps he was eyeing up the mens eight too) which went well for a few terms.  I think it got us out of morning meeting a few Sundays which was one drawcard, as was the mens eight…
  4. Gym membership.  The only time I have ever belonged to a gym was the Edinburgh Uni gym before getting married and I fear that was simply to flash my wedding mags about as I half-heartedly pushed the cross-trainer.  The treadmill was easier for page turning.
  5. Running.  Now.  My new sport and hopefully the one that will prove the most successful – in fundraising if not prowess.  My gait is not elegant, I turn a really unattractive shade of red but I do feel better for it, I think.

All in all, not a spectacular sporting resume but I have had some laughs (along with some chaps – that’s on the legs in cold weather just to clarify – and a drenching or two).  I hope my boys try lots of sports, enjoy some and if they excel I’ll see you at Murrayfield or in SW19!

Vital stats:

Longest run (run/walk) – 5.6km in 44.15

Longest run without stopping 7.55mins – aiming to improve this today

Weight – 64.9 (very disappointing, may be compensating for the lack of wine with nuts and things, hmm)

This weeks I’ve been

Reading my Red and Country Living mags, my monthly indulgence, my heart is still in the country!

Listening to Flower of Scotland (school holiday homework as set by me) and Abba gold as we play yet another round of musical statues (the prize is one Jelly Baby).

Cooking with William, sausage and mustard rolls (see pic. I know, I’ll never get a job as a food stylist!) which he chose to cook out of the Junior Masterchef cookery book – they were delicious and will be a party food staple in our house from now on.


One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn’t do you any good.” Abe Lemons A month on the other hand…

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