Big end of season golf tournament today. I sat “big” but there are only seven of us. It is a big day out. These midweek days out are the best, when you would normally be chained to your desk, or tools. We are a mixed bunch: a plumber, water consultant (who knows?), NHS manager, mechanic, educational sector business development, a gentleman of leisure and me.
Our common denominator is that we are mostly ex rugby players. I say “ex” rugby players but reality is you can never be an ex rugby player. A rugby player never hangs up his boots. It’s just that the gap between games gets longer. I’m currently at 12 years, a mere pause.
The weather today is going to be dry but cold. 9 degrees celsius with a North North Westerly. A good wind if your destination is the Azores but a cold one if you are playing golf. I’m sure it won’t be as bad as I make out but it is the first cold snap of the season and a reminder of the winter ahead.
You know when winter is a coming when you have started making arrangements for the festive season. The parties that were put on hold are being restarted and there has even been talk of Christmas presents in the Davies household. Still plenty of time but all I can say is don’t leave it until Christmas Eve like I did one year with disastrous consequences. Also when you both agree that you won’t buy each other a present this year just ignore it and go ahead and buy her one anyway because she will definitely be buying you one.
It is ridiculous that deciding what we want for Christmas should ever be a problem which it always is because we don’t really need anything. In fact we are not wanting for anything either which I accept is a very lucky situation to be in. The electric bike I’ve just splashed out on is in theory a joint 60th birthday and Christmas present to myself but in reality I’ll want something to open on Christmas Day and it ain’t going to be a bicycle pump.
I will be content with everyone having a relaxed and happy time. Last year we all got together against government guidelines and had our usual family Christmas albeit without the traditional carols at the Morning Star and our Christmas Market Party which had hitherto gone uninterrupted for over thirty years. I’m sorry Boris but there was no way the kids were staying in their pokey flats in London for Christmas and you had anyway by then lost all vestiges of credibility when it came to covid rules and example setting.
Last year was important because it was our last Christmas with Dad who passed away during the summer. I kind of sensed it at the time as he was getting increasingly frail with lots of needs. We had a good time with him and had lots of cuddles and I’m sure he enjoyed being with us. This will be our first Christmas without both sets of parents which I am sure Anne and I will dwell on for a while.
It reminds me that we have a fairly huge task ahead of us in the need to sort out some of mam and dad’s effects. I’m talking photos, letters and other important family mementoes such as mam’s nursing qualification certificate. My idea is to scan all these in and keep them online in a family archive. The nice surprise was in the number of letters we have to work through. People don’t write letters like they used to and fortunately mam kept them all.
I have a plan to write letters myself but it hasn’t got very far yet, entirely due to the speed at which I can put pen to paper compared with the “lightning” flow of my fingers across a keyboard.
This Christmas should represent a watershed in that I have determined to stop full time work and to focus on doing things that I like. This will still involve some work but only doing stuff that I enjoy. Anne’s Vans is also going to take up more of my time which is really cool. It’s such a lovely business to have. When returning customers thank you for the fantastic time they have had that is really uplifting. Lots happening in the Anne’s Vans world which I’m sure you will find out about soon enough.
One of the side effects of the growing success of the business is the need to move our holidays from the summer to either side of the season. This isn’t a hard and fast rule as we fortunately have Coops our mechanic and business partner to fill in any gaps when we aren’t around but it does mean we are less likely to spend long times away during the summer period.
That said we are off to the IoM TT Races this year and the Euro-IX get together in Tempere follows on directly after that. I’m really pleased to have been invited to Euro-IX. We will also miss the start of the season because of our big trip across the pond. 3 ½ weeks or so taking in tobago, Miami, the Big Apple and Boston. A great itinerary but one that will test our constitution with all those hotel nights and dining out. I dare say you will see lots of pics from the trip.
The other big trip already in motion is to do a month following the rugby in the South of France in September of 2023. We are planning to go in one of the vans with occasional breaks in hotels to recover. Already have some match tickets for Nice. Cmon Wales, and Italy for those are the two games I have tickets for and I have already invited an Italian friend. We haven’t figured out what to do about the vans for that month yet but there is a scenario where we only hire to people wanting to take them for the whole month that we are away. We shall see.
Time to make the tea and to upgrade to Monterey 12.0.1…