Tag Archives: golf

Holiday

We have been away on our holidays. We flew out on Friday 15th July and got back to the UK on Wednesday 27th. Our first task on the day we left was to take Dexter to the kennels for his holiday. He went to the same place as last year to kennels in Blean. It had taken him a few days to settle down last year but this year, he settled in straight away apparently.

Dexter in the back of the car, ready to go to the kennels for his holiday

Dexter in the back of the car, ready to go to the kennels for his holiday

After dropping Dexter off, our next task was to finish packing. All we took was summer clothing, forgetting we were going South of the Equator where it is now Winter! Doh! We left early as we were flying from Heathrow, which meant travelling some distance on the M25 which can be an absolute bastard of a road.

The M25. On it's day, it can be a nightmare

The M25. On its day, it can be a nightmare

Fortunately, on this particular day it wasn’t and we arrived in plenty of time. Checked in and cleared security. We boarded the aircraft, an Airbus A340 which is not exactly the biggest of aircraft, and settled down in a packed aircraft for our 11 hour flight. We flew South East over France, along the west coast of Italy, crossed the Med, continued over Egypt and headed off over the Indian Ocean. I know this because it showed our route on the little TV screen in front of me. It was the only thing I could get to work on the somewhat antiquated In Flight Entertainment system and it was all in French. We didn’t actually see anything for 2 reasons. First, none of us had window seats. Secondly, it was dark outside and thirdly we were flying at an altitude of 9,375 metres. Eventually, we arrived at our destination – the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport and I have to say it’s the first time I have arrived at an airport that has a name bigger than the airport itself! Thankfully, the locals have abbreviated the name and call it “The Airport” because in our befuddled state of mind, we simply couldn’t handle that number of syllables. We were met by the Virgin Holidays rep and took a transfer coach to our final destination which was an hour away. We slept most of the way there. We got to our final destination, the Heritage Le Telfair, a 5 Star Golf and Spa resort and it was absolutely gorgeous. We had two suites with views across the Indian Ocean. The suites were enormous and we had one on the ground floor with its own patio area and another one directly above with a balcony. There was a brief discussion as to who went where as some members of the family didn’t want to share with others because they “snored, farted and belched”! This was quickly resolved and PIL and CJ were banished upstairs where they could fart, snore and belch to their heart’s content and us blokes could have some peace and quiet!

The view from our suite

The view from our suite

A brief history now follows. You can skip this part if you want.  The island was visited by the Arabs and Portuguese during the Middle Ages. It was uninhabited until the Dutch bumped into it and established a small colony. After eating most of the dodos living there, the Dutch cleared off. The French then settled there, stuck corks up the bums of the remaining dodos and scoffed the lot. They also used it as a base to capture British merchant ships returning from India with valuable cargos of spices and other stuff the Brits nicked from the Indian sub continent. This pissed the Brits off big time so they invaded and as usual, beat the French. It became the Empires main sugar-producing colony. It became an independent nation in 1968 and a republic in 1992. The official language is English but everyone speaks either French or Creole and English only when necessary. It is a fantastic place although we saw very little of it.

Le Telfair is absolutely wonderful. The staff, whether they be waiters, house keeping, gardeners or whatever, were fantastic. Warm and friendly and nothing ever seemed to be too much bother. IMG-20160802-WA0038

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We settled down in our rooms and unpacked and then we went for a walk along the beach and a general explore of the resort. The kids also searched for more Pokemon on their phones!IMG-20160802-WA0000

We jumped into one of the pools dotted around. IMG-20160802-WA0034

We behaved like tourists on holiday and we were having a great time.IMG-20160802-WA0033

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I cannot properly describe how absolutely idyllic the place is. Within a very short time, the beach bar staff knew our usual order (3 beers, a Sprite and a diet Coke in case you’re wondering). Every evening we went for an evening meal and we had food we never dreamt we would eat. We had squid, octopus, every colour of snapper fish there is, goats cheese and every meal was fantastic.IMG-20160802-WA0018

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We had wine with our meals and the wine waiter would take the time out to explain all the different varieties of wine they had on offer (a lot), the grapes used for each type, where it came from, how special varieties were grown according to the climatic and soil conditions in each country. It was a delightful education eating and drinking here.IMG-20160802-WA0009

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On our second day, Ed and Greg went off to play a round of golf. PIL, CJ and yours truly went with them. Bear in mind that neither of them had played since our last holiday 12 months ago and they were rubbish then! Greg, however, was wearing his golf shoes and claimed he would be brilliant. Despite this claim, PIL got 9 second-hand golf balls just in case. As we arrived, the heavens opened and it poured with rain. Greg teed off at the first hole and the ball shot off into the distance. A fantastic shot if he hadn’t sliced it. The ball went off at 45 degrees to the intended direction and despite a search by us all, remains undiscovered.

Greg about to tee off. We all took cover.

Greg about to tee off. We all took cover.

Naturally, the rest of us found this incredibly funny. Greg did not though. At the second hole, his ball travelled about 60 feet from the tee. Even funnier! However, Greg now had the serious hump and despite telling him that he’d made a rod for his own back, we agreed not to laugh at him again. At the third hole, he took his tee shot and I gazed off into the distance to see where it went. I couldn’t see it so called out, “Did you see where it went mate?” Whereupon, everyone fell about laughing again because I hadn’t noticed his ball had travelled 17 feet six and three-quarter inches! Ed was equally as good! PIL, CJ and I decided then to go back to the club house so that we wouldn’t be tempted to laugh at the pair of them but also because it was chucking it down with rain. We left the two of them to it, went to the club house and had something to eat and drink.

Ed striking a golfing pose

Ed striking a golfing pose

Every now and again we would see them flailing about in the distance. IMG-20160802-WA0003IMG-20160802-WA0002

The rain continued. The half point brought them back to the club house where they rushed over to ask for some more balls! They had two left. So PIL got another 18. Just in case and off they went to do something called “The Back Nine”.

Greg. Note the shoes which were supposed to turn him into a golf ace.

Greg. Note the shoes which were supposed to turn him into a golf ace.

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They both seemed to play much better without the unkind remarks and laughter and they did have a good time.IMG-20160802-WA0007

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Eventually, we saw them again playing the 18th and last hole. A Par 5 apparently. They were some distance away but we knew it was them because we could see one broad-shouldered figure and one very tall figure. Plus, who else but the English play golf in the pissing rain wearing only shorts and polo shirts? We decided to go out by the final hole and keep our eyes peeled for their balls as they approached. We kind of hid behind a bunker so as not to put them off. When Ed and Greg finally arrived they blamed us for having to take 6 shots to get to the green as all they could see were our three heads popping up from behind the bunker. They said we looked like a trio of “bloody meerkats”! They didn’t mention loosing another 8 balls until much later!

 

PIL, CJ and me watching Ed and Greg playing golf. Not a pretty sight!

PIL, CJ and me watching Ed and Greg playing golf. Not a pretty sight!

After that, PIL went to the Spa and had a massage and facial. The rest of us went for a massage the following day. It was bliss.

The next installment of our holiday adventures follows soon.

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

 

My Family

I often forget what it says at the top of my blog thingy. “Life, The Universe and Everything That Matters to Me” and rabbit on about something trivial, so now to write about the most important thing in my life. Family. Obviously all the opinions stated are hugely biased and why not? They’re my opinions so I’m allowed to be biased.

Dick.

Terribly boring. Hasn’t got a clue about most things that involve any technology more sophisticated than clock work and has issues with that as well. Spends most of his time attempting to avoid carrying out the tasks that PIL, the love of his life asks him to do and wonders why she gets the hump with him. Boring job that pays the bills (just). Rough men stand ready and all that.

Taken a split second before face slapping the snow. Again!

Taken a split second before face slapping the snow. Again!

PIL.

Drop dead gorgeous and totally unaware of it. When she walks it looks like she’s chewing a toffee with her butt. Smashing! Has a really cool job up in London working for this huge multi national company that apparently searches for engines. I believe they search for all kinds of engines such as automobile engines, aero engines, motor cycle engines, marine engines and probably more. I think PIL specialises in marine engines for fishing fleets as she’s always on about “trawling the net” and stuff like that. Dress code seems to be pretty casual and I have to say she fills a pair of skinny jeans admirably.

It's a hard life

It’s a hard life

Ed.

Our eldest. An ambitious young man who has continuously set himself goals. For some years now, he has set his heart on working in the City of London and that’s exactly what he is doing now. It’s with a company that deals with all the Tier 1 banks (whatever they are) so he gets to see every aspect of the financial world and he’s loving every minute of it. The company he works for seems well structured with continuous training, a commitment to promoting from within plus well thought out expansion plans. The possibility of working in places like New York is strong which is another aspect he likes the sound of. He worked hard at school and at University to achieve his goals. Like his younger brother and sister, he not only worked hard but played hard too with a great deal of success on the playing fields at rugby, football, basketball and cricket. Crap at golf though. Ed isn’t the best when it comes to trains as we have often waited at our local station to pick him up only to get a call from him to say the train got lost and he is now twenty miles away and can we come and get him as he spent the cash he had for a cab down the pub!

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Greg.

Did well in his ‘A’ levels and won a place at Aberystwyth University to study Human Geography with Economics. Greg decided to have a gap year as he had been in the education system from the age of 3 and really fancied a break after 15 years. PIL and I were happy with this. Then, he discovered a course that really caught his imagination, International Relations. So, he changed his mind and went to college to take a further two A levels; World Development and Film Studies. The former because he had become fascinated by this subject and the latter because he had always been interested in movies. He has conditional offers to the Universities he has chosen. He now has to decide and accept an offer from the one he thinks will provide him with the best education and also the best sports facilities as Greg also played football, rugby, basketball and cricket for the school. He also ran cross-country. Like his older brother he is also crap at golf. A fascinating person with the ability to name the starting line ups for all the Premiership football teams, the defensive and offensive starting line ups for the NFL plus the starting line ups for all the NBA teams plus all the rugby teams in both hemispheres and yet cannot remember where the dish washer is, how to turn it on and where all the stuff goes when its finished and needs emptying!

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CJ.

Having only just become a teenager, CJ has a long school career ahead of her. Like her two brothers she loves school and all that it has to offer. That, to a great extent is down to the school. She is currently at the Junior school and plans to board at the senior school come September. She is currently studying for the Common Entrance exam that will allow her to do this. As well as being clever like her brothers, something they got from their mum rather than me, CJ is also like her brothers in being very sporty. In 2014 she took part in the schools cross-country race. She came second. Not, I hasten to add, second in the girls or her age group but second overall! Earlier this year she was asked to swim for the senior school in a major inter school competition. She rocked up expecting to swim for the under 14s and actually swam for the under 16s! She came third in the individual 50 metre backstroke and wiped the floor with the opposition in the backstroke leg of the 50 metre medley relay. She’s captain of the Netball team, plays hockey and was in the ‘A’ team a year early. She’s also House captain and it has to be said her school reports are brilliant. To top it all, she was awarded the David Gower Sports Scholarship to the senior school earlier this month against some really stiff competition. The future looks bright for her as well. Now all we can hope for is that as a boarder at the senior school, they will get her to clean her room up. Messy just doesn’t sum it up. She leaves a trail of discarded water bottles, Ben & Jerries ice cream containers, shin pads, hoodies, trainers and hockey sticks all over the house.

Getting ready for some sport or other

Getting ready for some sport or other

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PIL and I don’t really mind though, our kids are just bloody brilliant and we love them all to bits and we are so proud of everything they do. (Well almost everything. There have been one or twelve little episodes that we won’t go into here, the toe rags).

Dexter.

Of course Dexter is an integral part of our family. Every household should have a pet of some description, whether it be a dog or a cat or a gerbil or a budgie. A rat, a snake, a spider or lizard. Dexter is a lovely, stupid dog that we love to pieces. Except today when he decided to roll around in some pretty pungent badger crap! Bastard dog!

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Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

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Post Holiday Post

I don’t know about you but I find that within ten minutes of returning to work, it’s like I’ve never been away! Having said that, the memories remain and what memories they are. We had a fantastic time in Florida. We did all the things we wanted to do although they weren’t necessarily the things we thought we would do and we didn’t do some of the things we intended to. That’s the nature of our holidays. We make plans and change them.

We’ve been a number of times before but despite that, returning to the Theme parks was no great hardship. We enjoy them immensely. All you need to remember is that it is likely to be hot and that you will walk many, many miles, so comfy footwear is a must.kids@harrypotter

PIL, CJ and I watched Ed and Greg playing golf and were full of admiration at how they were prepared to demonstrate to all and sundry just how monumentally bad they were.

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Having said that, they were both far better than the rest of us by a long way. At least they could hit the ball! They spent a lot of time searching for their balls, they hit houses, they may have hit a car or two, they plainly enjoyed playing from bunkers and from in amongst the trees.Elltreegolf

Both of them blamed their miscued shots on their selection of the wrong bat to hit the ball with and they both had an absolute blast!Elliott for par

During our travels around the course we found large numbers of balls lost by other players which made them feel a bit better about their own efforts. This feel good factor was increased by coming under attack from wayward golf balls from other golfers while we were lounging around our pool. On our last day, before going to the airport, we all played a round of crazy golf. PIL got a hole in one while I got hit by a ball fired off by someone on another part of the course.

We ate huge quantities of food. All of it was fantastic, the portions were enormous and we were given doggy boxes to take home what we couldn’t eat.The whole tribe eating again

At Animal Kingdom, we had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.

The Rainforest Cafe

The Rainforest Cafe

At Magic Kingdom, we managed to get an early lunch at the Crystal Palace. At Universal we stuffed our faces at NBA City. At the Florida Mall we went to The Cheesecake Factory to eat. We stuffed our faces at a different place every day and every place was excellent. We drank Butter Beer at Harry Potter World and it was disgusting.wwohp-butterbeer

We got told off at one place because Ed had forgotten his I.D. so PIL ordered a beer on his behalf and we got caught. You have to be 21 to drink alcohol in the US and while Ed is 22, he still got asked for ID and it’s taken very seriously there. No ID, no alcohol! Oddly enough PIL and I never got asked for ID! Apart from beer and donuts, we also got food in so that we had meals at home too although I’m not too sure what “Turkey Bacon” is. Be prepared to put on weight although not as much as you think because of all the walking you do getting around the theme parks and shopping malls. Places like the Cheesecake Factory, Rainforest cafe and Crystal Palace are very popular so expect a wait if you haven’t booked a table in advance.

All the parks, whether they be theme parks or water parks get busy from early in the morning so ensure you get there in plenty of time so you can either get a good spot or beat some of the queues.BombBay2

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We purchased express passes for Universal and Disney. They don’t apply at Harry Potter World but work well in the rest of Universal.

Harry Potter World

Harry Potter World

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Not so good at Disney though as you are limited to the number of rides you can go on and it’s at specified times only that you have to book. Everyone of them is great fun though. We did have a bit of an issue at Universal with “technical problems” causing delays on some of the rides. We waited for ages to get on the Hogwarts ride because of this. We were stood under that bloody talking hat for a long time and every three minutes it would start its speech:

“You are about to start your journey…..”image2

We bloody weren’t! If I’d had a gun, I’d have shot the damned thing! A thousand people driven potty at Harry Potter World!

There are absolutely loads of things to do and every one of them is designed to part you from your money! However, it’s all worthwhile and we loved it.

Shopping is a breeze too. We took the minimum of clothes and bought loads more out there but with so many outlet centres, it worked out quite cheap to buy clothes and stuff. PIL got a beautiful Michael Kors handbag for a fraction of the cost back in the UK. Mind you they did have a sale on which saved another 40%. And yes, in a very short length of time, she has lost her house keys, car keys, phone and tablet somewhere in the depths of that bag as well as her make up bag, purse and $6 in change.

We stayed in a fantastic house with it’s own swimming pool so if we didn’t feel like going anywhere, we could just stay at home and slob out in the pool area. Just be aware that the wildlife like living there too!

Sam the Snake

Sam the Snake

Lizards are there in abundance and so are snakes as we discovered on a couple of occasions. Plus there are all kinds of weird insects. (Well, weird to us).

It ain’t cheap but my advise to anyone is to go. You will have the time of your life and have great memories (and a gazillion photos) to remind you of one of the best times you ever had.

PIL organised the whole thing and she did an excellent job of it.image1

It’s no wonder I wish she wasn’t my ex wife! Thanks PIL, we all had a great time thanks to you and we all love you to bits.

Thanks mum. I had a great time. I love you.xxxx

Thanks mum. I had a great time. I love you.xxxx

Thanks mum. I had a fantastic holiday. I love you xxxx

Thanks mum. I had a fantastic holiday. I love you xxxx

Thanks mum. I had an awesome time. I love you xxxx

Thanks mum. I had an awesome time. I love you xxxx

Thanks PIL. I had a stupendous time. I love you xxxx

Thanks PIL. I had a stupendous time. I love you xxxx

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.auto

Holiday report II

We are still here. The authorities have not deported us yet. Of course just because we are on holiday doesn’t mean that the rest of our world stops. Upon our arrival PIL decided we should eat more healthily. In America? Land of the ginormous portions? Yep. PIL decided that both Ed and I should stop taking sugar in our tea. The only sugary things in the house are Krispy Kreme donuts that we hide in the shopping trolley every time we go to the supermarket. PIL gets the serious hump about it and gets really annoyed if we eat one.

PIL

PIL

And really, really ticked off when we leave the empty box in the fridge!

While we’ve been here Ed received notification of his degree result. On tuesday 21st July he will graduate from the University of East Anglia with a 2:1 in Business Management. PIL and I are chuffed to bits. Ed’s pretty happy too! We will be at his graduation ceremony and we will undoubtedly have a bit of a cry.

Wednesday:

Today we descended upon the other part of Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure.Island of Adventure

This is where Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione hang out.Harry Potter

There’s other stuff as well but we decided to get Hogwarts out the way before it got packed. (And boy, did it get packed!) Here you can buy a complete Hogwarts school uniform and people did. You can buy all kinds of wands and people did and then stood practicing casting spells with their new wands. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that they were just pieces of stick that some enterprising bloke had picked up off the forest floor and no matter how well they waggled their wand they would not ever cast a spell because it’s not real. Any story where a ginger kid has two mates has got to be fantasy. We went on rides and walked hither and whatever the other word is that goes with hither. We scoffed about two cows worth of meat

Our lunch

Our lunch

and two acres worth of spuds converted into chips, drank drink until we could drink drink no more. It was blinking hot. We had a great time again.

Thursday:

Blizzard Beach. This is a great water park. It has the most frightening water slide ever.

The "Crap Your Pants" water slide at Blizzard Beach. I think Disney call it something else.

The “Crap Your Pants” water slide at Blizzard Beach. I think Disney call it something else.

Not only does this ride scare the crap out of you it does two other things:

1. It gives you a huge wedgy that takes for ever to pull your trunks out of your bottom as the crotch of your trunks is up around your tonsils and

2. It gives you a dreadful enema if you’re not careful. Fortunately, Disney has realised this and has a great many rest rooms nearby.

I did not go on this slide. It takes an eternity to walk up about a gazillion steps to get there and I could not be arsed. The kids did though and loved every second of it. However, Blizzard Beach does have a lot of other water features and slides most of which we went on. The best is a very pleasant and gentle meander in a rubber ring around the whole site called Cross Country Creek. We all went on that several times during the day.

Cross Country Creek

Cross Country Creek

We chomped our way through a least one cow, a sheep and a pig during our visit. We returned home to our house on the golf course completely knackered, bloated and very content.

Friday:

Supposedly a day of rest. So, in keeping with our new found desire to become fit and healthy human beans, I got up and went for a run.portrait of a mid adult man jogging in a park

Two strides into the run I realised I’d made a mistake. I am not as young, fit and supple as I used to be. My knees are a mess and the extra weight I now carry around certainly doesn’t help. So for the outward leg of my run it was a case of brisk walk, slow staggering run, brisk walk, slow staggering run etc etc. The inward bound part of the run was a non stop run all the way home. Total distance covered 12 miles. Ooops. Missed the decimal point! 1.2 miles. They say every journey starts with a single step and how I wish it had only been a single step!homer_running

After breakfast, Greg and I went for a haircut and on the way, we sorted out tee times for another round of golf. At 10.04 precisely, the boys teed off.

Ed tees off

Ed tees off

After watching their previous round, I was not expecting great things and both PIL and I were not disappointed. They were bloody awful again. The thing is, despite not being very good at golf they are ultra, ultra competitive and got more and more frustrated as they went around the course.Todd3

Some of the conversations they had with each other made PIL and I crack up:

“What are using for this hole?”

“Last time at this hole I used a 9 iron and hit someones house, so I think I’ll use a 5 iron this time.”

“O. Good idea. I hit  a house at the tenth so I’ll do the same as you I think.”

Whereupon, they both sprayed their balls in all kinds of weird, indiscriminate directions, not necessarily in the direction they wanted them to go.

Balls were lost never to be seen again.

Gregs second shot at the ninth

Gregs second shot at the ninth

Some, however, were seen more often than the lads liked.

Er. Sorry mate. The ball is still at your feet

Er. Sorry mate. The ball is still at your feet

Usually, you can see the ball flying through the air but as they were travelling in completely unpredictable directions, we never actually saw them. Some shots whizzed off into the distance about 3 feet off the ground. Others shot off fifty feet into the air but at 50 degrees to the intended direction. Hopefully, they will play another round before we leave. PIL, CJ and I enjoyed it even if Ed and Greg didn’t.

Then we went shopping again. I actually managed to buy not one but two hats that fit on my buffalo sized head.buffalohead

The kids think I’m bonkers because they say my hats are basically the same but as I like to point out, one is Adidas and the other is Under Armour so they are completely different.

My new Adidas hat which is completely different from....

My new Adidas hat which is completely different from….

My new Under Armour hat

My new Under Armour hat

During the course of the day we managed to eat a whole flock of chickens and possibly a duck or two. Eating so much can only end badly.

Coming soon……..

Is that a snake???? Am I becoming my sister????

Have a great day.

More Dick soon.

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