Messing About On The River - Frances and Terry O'Callaghan
After a car journey full of diversions with the closing of the A43 due to a race day at Silverstone, we finally arrived at the Park and Ride rendezvous in Oxford. A seamless transfer to the river and our punts.
The first part of the afternoon involved chauffeured punts so the 14 of us set off for 30 minutes of relaxation on a beautiful day gliding past colleges, a cricket match with the thump of willow on leather and amateur punters, pedalos and rowing boats whose antics gave us a nervous flutter of what the second half of the afternoon was to bring. Our chauffeur regaled us with interesting information as we went including the 'fact' that St Hilda's College, when female only, was painted pink to deter male interest. Wonder if it worked?
Petanque (in picturesque Lyddington village) - Bob Wakefield
The Petanque evening was enjoyed by all who attended but some education is needed to appreciate it fully, this was provided by a young man who bravely attempted to enlighten us 50+'s who of course knew it all already!!
The teams were made up of sixes
All ages, sexes and mixes
Confusion reigned and some started to fuss
After the teams were named "them and us"
The terrain was all dusty,
Our boules were all knobbly and rusty,
Soon the teams began to shine,
Having already trained on crisps and wine.
The jack was so small
It weighed nothing at all,
It was flung down the park in a hurry,
Both long and short, we didn't worry.
"Them" won our struggle,
It was such a muddle,
Who won each end was a fight,
But for us it was "Them" on the night.
Carol P tried so hard giving so much,
So deft with lob, spin and touch,
But her game did go wrong and she with each miss,
Said will you all stop taking the p...!
New 50+ Petanque Rule:
"May throw it in any legal direction"
Tree Ninjas - Richard Coles
We arrived at the Tree Ninja Centre in the dark depths of Salcey Forrest Northampton shire.
Tree Ninja is a cat's cradle of wire ropes, cargo nets, rickety wooden bridges and of all things 5 wooden round log steps which revolve when you place your foot upon them 8 m off the ground (great!)
All this is split up into 6 high routes and each is accessed by its own twisty rope ladder and ends with a zip wire. After being kitted out in safety harnesses (which was quite pleasurable really) we were instructed as to the use of the 2 carabineers attached to the safety harness, and was told "have both carabineers attached to the safety rope at all times, and when moving about on the 'run' move 1 of the carabiners at a time to the next safety rope, and both carabiners must be attached to the safety rope when traversing between the trees". One at a time we climbed up the twisty rope ladder to the 1st 'run', this was a nursery 'run' to show us just what the rest of the 'runs' would be like, and this is where I noticed a nagging fear that kept me company for the remaining routes. No words I can say will convey to you what goes on at Tree Ninja, it's a lot more than dangling from the tree tops. The sense of achievement and the adrenalin rush is something else and makes you forget the tiredness in your arms and legs.
Summer Walk - Ann Cook
Temperatures in the high 20's and thunderstorms all week, walking eight miles in this heat we must be mad. Still 22 of us turned up early at the pub in Ansty near Coventry and set off walking across the fields towards Barnacle. What a good thing I took the secateurs - good growing weather for brambles this week. This was a good opportunity to catch up with old friends I had not seen for ages (must make more effort to do more club events again).Along the Coventry Way and onto the Coventry Canal pathway to Hawkesbury Junction where we stopped for lunch - pretty little spot with a good pub, just what the 50+ers needed before tackling the route back to Ansty along the Centenary Way. A pleasant walk and the weather was kind to us, a nice cool breeze now and then. Well done Richard for supplying the energy boosting Jelly Babies, and many thanks to Jenny for organising another very good day out.
BBQ & Games Evening - Carol Pullen
Once again the club was blessed with sunny weather for our annual BBQ and games at Stanion Village Hall and the free drink went down very well on a thirsty evening. Bangers, beetroot burgers and other various items were cooked and consumed and then it was down to business for the rounders match.
Normally this is a very laid back game but the PE teacher in our midst took over and after setting up the pitch to the correct size (not normally undertaken!), we were then bullied into playing correctly. We did get our own back by insisting that everyone had three hits at the ball, just in case we kept missing it; this club idiosyncrasy was not overruled!! So after being shouted at we began to enjoy ourselves and the whole game started to get very competitive and we learnt one very important rule - if you get to second base you score a half rounder so even those amongst us who cannot run fast had a chance of scoring. The men (and some girls) thrashed the ball, and thanks to Steve, we managed to retrieve the ball from the hedge on a number of occasions. Me - well I only hit the ball three times and each time I was caught and out - I must practise before next year.
Whilst all this was going on others were taking part in the 'plank' race and we could hear 'left' 'right' 'left' 'right' going on as they walked in unison, I think! There was also a very gentle game of Boules being played though I am sure this was just as competitive.
A pleasant and social evening in good company and thanks to Barry for the use of the hall.
Canal Boat Trip - Alison Cardozo
Well I was thrown in at the deep end, a new member and my first write-up.
Having amassed at Linslade at 8.30 am we took control of two boats - Wild Thyme and Lady Jayne, with 12 of us on each boat.
We set off at approximately 9.30 with Lady Jayne more loo-less than clueless [a small hiccup with the facilities].
Travelling north we hit our first lock of the day [no damage!] and after a couple of hours we turned round and headed back southwards. While executing this "3 point turn" one of the boats nearly deposited 3 crew members on the bank, and that was BEFORE we moored up at the Globe Inn for liquid refreshments.
It was at this watering hole that we encountered Barney Bradley the west highland terrier on his Triumph motorcycle, complete with helmet and goggles, oh, and his human companion.
All back on board for lunch, a fulfilling experience - but rather too much pork pie!!
Everyone had a turn at the tiller and operating the locks, which came thick and fast towards the end of the journey.
We moored again for tiffin at about 4 pm and unfortunately Lady Jayne became grounded, but with a lot of brute force and the odd barge pole she was freed before our last leg of the trip back to Pitstone Wharf, arriving around 8 pm
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. Many thanks to Paul and Marilyn for organising the event and we're all looking forward to the next one.
Ed's note DON'T MENTION THE PORK PIE!
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