Balls and Delicacies

Full house here. Manville, really. Three big ones and one small one. Lots of noise, lots of joking and laughing. As it should be, really. Off to Top Golf today to hit the driving range, which should be good fun – Monkey loved it when we took B’s sons once and dad and my brother P are both keen golfers, as is B. Only me that’s no good, but it was fun when we last went, and golf is one of those things I’ve been meaning to get into for years so perhaps now is the time to cut my teeth on it. There’s a driving range close to where we live, so now’s as good a time as any.

I was always good at sports, and most things I’ve tried I’ve just taken too – never was I the best of the team, but it all came quite naturally and I was probably average, solid and fairly good, just never exceptional. Golf, along with tennis, is one of those where you can’t just go in and get the hang of it immediately though. Just like tennis, which I’ve tried only the once, it frustrates me as the ball just doesn’t go where I meant it to, and that’s if I’ve hit it in the first place. I used to play several sports regularly when I grew up: handball, badminton, table tennis, volleyball and at one point I even did what was called jazz dance, which was some kind of mixture of ballet and can-can. Very weird.

Chiswick is the place for it – we have huge sports grounds just a stone’s throw from our house, and there’s a fancy gym and exclusive members’ clubs on every damn corner. Not that I’d be willing to part with lots of money on a monthly basis just to use a steam room and a SPA (not my thing at all), but I’m sure you can just hire a tennis court at the sports ground without having to sign up for any membership. So that’s my plan – to get good at golf and tennis, which both seem like sports to me that are probably brilliant fun once you get reasonably good. And I am bloody ace at badminton, so any racquet sport should come easy to be honest.

Gorgeous weather. So lucky and so well timed, as it’s the end of October and you might have expected cold and rain. Instead it’s 20 degrees and sunny. Dad and P both arrived in winter coats, having left a Scandinavia where the first snow had fallen and the temperature had crept down to -4, and they’ve kept raving on about how warm it is here. The land with no seasons.

Because I usually visit Sweden either at Christmas or in the summer, I step into a beautiful postcard every time. I either get Winter Wonderland or Summer Paradise, and it’s easy to forget the inbetween. When it’s Christmas, I forget that scraping stubborn ice off the windscreen isn’t a novelty like it is for me, that had I stayed in Sweden I would never stop the car just to take photos of the forest with heavy snow weighing down the pine trees. October, along with April, is probably the shittiest time. October cold and miserable, no permanent snow cover yet so not even pretty and still far away from Christmas. April rainy and miserable, snow melted away to reveal grass and nature that’s yet to wake up and spring to life again.

Last year, B and I spent Christmas at our old flat, the one that used to be mine before B joined our little crew, as it was my Ex’s turn to spend it with Monkey lat year, but even though I’ve been in the UK once or twice before for crimbo, it was still weird. Not a snow flake in sight and just didn’t feel like Christmas at all. Still, it was a brilliant laugh, as everything is with B – cooking, drinking, dressing up to the nines, going to mass on Christmas Day and playing board games in the evenings. This year we’re off to Sweden however, and I hope it’ll be a normal Christmas and not one of those rare freak warm weather ones without snow. Doesn’t happen often, but it’s shit when it does.

I need the snow, I need Donald Duck on TV on Christmas Eve and I need Christmas HAM and not some dried up fucking turkey. What’s up with that, anyway? The poor man’s chicken, tastes of nothing, bleurgh. And don’t get me started on that evil stuff called Christmas Pudding – whoever came up with that should be shot. Then again I should probably keep my patriotic little trap shut, seeing as I’m from a place where fermented fish is considered a delicacy.

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