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Little things mean a lot on 25 April 2020

Ben's a winner
I am the champion!

This was an Anzac Day like none that we have seen before. No parades of veterans marching proudly through the streets. No crowds to wish them well and cheer them on. No gunfire breakfast to warm the cockles of the heart. No game of two-up to fritter away the weeks pay. No game of footy to take away the voice for a few days at least. And, above all, on this solemn Saturday, no golf to frustrate the hell out of you.

Instead, the isolation brought people to their front yards and footpaths to set up shrines and to lay out fields of poppies and to light candles. Some played their radios and televisions at full volume. Some dragged out their cornets. Some dragged out the trumpets. Some their clarinets. And some dragged out their bagpipes. And a lot just stood in silence. Lest we forget.

But, the isolation has set people off on all sorts of tasks that they have been meaning to do for years and years. Ben has obviously been sorting and cataloguing all those shoe boxes of photographs that he has collected over the years and came across the little gem above. The size of the trophy suggested that it was a Major but he couldn’t for the life of him remember what it was.

So, he resorted to the Statistics pages on the web-site but could not find his name and figured that somehow he had been missed out. He then searched laboriously through the archives (he hasn’t been able to find the trophy yet but the lock-down will last for a while longer yet) and discovered that it was the Matchplay Championship for 2011. Sure enough, his name did appear in every place in the various lists that it was supposed to (how could he think otherwise?). He was just looking in the ‘wrong’ one.

Which just goes to prove that little things do mean a lot whether it is Anzac day or not.

It was a Beast of a day on 23 April 2020

This should save me from insanity!

Things were pretty beastly. It was Thursday and there was still no golf to be had. Youtube lessons, interviews and classic games are no substitute for actually getting out in the fresh air with a few of your mates and flailing vigorously at the infuriating little white (or yellow, or orange etc) ball. Not to mention the walking and coffee and cake and chit-chat.

So, it was during a little trip to the local shopping centre to stock up on a few necessary supplies for the fridge and pantry and who should be striding down the ramp to the shops? It was the Beast himself.

Naturally, we stopped for a chat while taking great care to maintain the requisite social distance. And, just as naturally, the topic of golf came up after we had dispensed with the niceties. And, during the conversation, Bill revealed that he was saving himself from insanity with a little practice net that he had rigged up in the back yard using a piece of netting that he just happened to have lying about in his shed. He has also taken care of matters with respect to occupational health and safety even to the extent of fencing the water hazard. It’s highly unlikely that he will need his scuba for ball recovery unless his game has gone off more than somewhat. Crowds of spectators are probably only slightly more likely.

Methinks this could be the next project with the bird netting recently removed from the tomato garden bed. There were a few tomatoes left but they were never likely to ripen so they contributed to a very nice batch of Tomato Relish. And, it tastes almost exactly like the relish that Mum used to make! That’s if the old taste-buds have a memory worth relying on.

Will the review on May 11 lift the restrictions on our favourite game? Golf, not AFL, you idjits! Maybe, maybe not. When they do, it is likely that it will be under all sorts of limitations but, hey, we can put up with that. But, don’t forget, this is going to be around for a long time. The show isn’t over ’til the fat lady sings and she hasn’t even done her warm-ups yet.

Stay safe and well and we will see you on the other side (of the pandemic, not the Pearly Gates).

If It’s Belgium, This Must Be Tuesday 14 April 2020

How good is golf!

Back in 1969, there was a (not so) great movie ‘If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium’ made, based on the premise that the only way to keep track of of where you were on a bus tour of Europe was by means of the day of the week. In 2020, in the midst of the shutdown by way of contrast, it is difficult to keep track of the days of the week without golf. Tomorrow is short game practice, so today must be Monday. Yesterday was short game practice so today must be Wednesday and tomorrow we play golf. Yesterday was golf and tomorrow is golf so today must be Friday. Knowing the day of the week – easy peasy. Now, who knows what day it is!

There’s always the newspaper. Getting it home delivered is good. You get to go outside and search about the footpath, the road and gutters, your garden, and neighbour’s garden to find where it has been cunningly deposited by the passing tosser. Then, there is a good ten minutes trying to find the edge of the plastic wrapping so that you can upwrap the damn thing. Though, sometimes they spoil the fun by having a ragged, unstuck end that makes it easy to find. Then you get to strip out all the advertising wrap-arounds and inserts and sections you never read. Ah, The Good Food Guide, it must be Tuesday. Then you get to the good bits, the comic cuts and the puzzles page.

Easter did help a bit. Good Friday called for Hot Cross Buns – home-made, of course. A couple of batches does wonders for the waist-line but did eat into the stock of flour and the supermarket shelves are still bare of that particular commodity. On Sunday, the Easter Barramundi left a chocolate Murray Cod which gives the rather toothsome problem of deciding how to deal with it. You can’t really cut fillets off it so, do you just nibble from one end to the other. If so, do you start at the head and work to the tail or vice versa. Or, start from both ends and meet in the middle.

Trips to the shopping centre don’t really define days of the week but you do need to get necessities (if they are available) and visits to the chemist to get prescriptions filled are sort of necessary but you might need to get your temperature taken to get in. Brumby’s is open for business but seems to have relatively few customers. Probably because people are desperately trying to use up all the flour that they bought in a panic a while back.

Television is not much help. Every second program seems to be a repeat. Lots of historic football games on offer as well but not too many repeats of great games of golf. Maybe there is on Stan or Foxtel or somewhere. That sort of leaves YouTube. Who knew that chipping could be such a simple thing and there are only about fifty-seven different ways of doing it properly. Or, that getting an extra ten or twenty yards on your drive could be so easy. And, as for curing that hook or slice!

Looks like it’s going to be at least May before there is any hope of getting some real golf into the system but do not hold your breath. You could get very blue in the face if you do. Stay together but apart. Practice your hygiene, if not your golf, and we will see you on the course and not in an ICU.