It was a strange experience watching both men and women strut their stuff in various states of undress at the O2 the other weekend. Quite frankly after you’ve seen one body you’ve seen them all, but the event lasted for 5 hours. I was there to support my son, Dominic – pictured – who was competing in the Professional category of the European Fitness Model Championships. Having won in Iceland in 2012 he was hopeful of a win on home soil but the competition was ‘stiff’ with the runner-up from the World Champs in Las Vegas eventually taking the European crown. Dominic was a creditable third, though he was disappointed with this.
On the Sunday he took us to a so-called must place to go for breakfast – The Breakfast Club near Liverpool Street Station (though there are others). Now I’m not the best at queueing and having to wait outside the restaurant for an hour for my breakfast wasn’t something I would normally stand for but “it will be worth it”! Based on an American diner, the place was packed. The food was great too but having been up for 5 hours I would have eaten anything – still it delayed Christmas shopping on Oxford Street!
Having spent the morning at the Sudbury Rowing Regatta where better to go for lunch or afternoon tea than the 61st Burstall Show (Flower Show). They seem to have more stalls and activities than there are people in the village. Somethings are easier to resist than others – I had to have a go at the coconuts. First one to hurl a ball down and a hit with it – but the coconut just settled more into its base. That was the closest I got – onto the golf, surely I would succeed here, I play every week. Fortunately the greens at Purdis are nothing like the field in Burstall and I didn’t trouble the score board.
Time to tackle something I knew I could perform at ……. the cake stall!
The first Saturday in August is traditionally the day of the Sudbury Rowing Club Regatta and yes this year it was the 134th anniversary. Having competed in rowing regattas and head of river races during the late 80’s and early 90’s it was good to see others toiling for perfection on a difficult course. I wonder whether if, back in 1880, the river was straight.
The club is going from strength to strength even having a crew at Henley this year. My involvement with Sudbury Rowing Club really began at the end of the 80’s – when we decided to move Alton Blades Rowing Club from Alton Water in Stutton. The reservoir was a lovely tract of water but the management at the time totally favoured wind powered craft. We were not allowed on the water without their safety boat which meant that when the conditions were best – at the beginning and of the day – we could only look at the still water. I understand that the new Alton Rowing Club has much more freedom and I wish it luck.
Rowing is perhaps the purest team sport – you use most of the muscles in your body and you have to be totally in time and coordinated with the rest of your crew. Unlike football, rugby, cricket, etc there is no time for ‘taking a breather’. Imagine a 400 metre track race where all of the runners had to keep level – even round the bends.
The photos are of an eights sprint, using just the straighter bits of the river! You haven’t lived until you feel the power of 8 people in sync.
The contact details are: www.sudburyrowingclub.org.uk and www.altonrowingclub.com
Not something I thought I would ever do but on Tuesday I was honoured to be invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace – along with a few thousand others! Not sure who all of the Royal party were but the Queen, Prince Philip (on his 93rd birthday) and Kate were the star turns. We were organised in ‘avenues’ so that they could walk between the crowd. Tea was a couple of crustless sandwiches – yes there was a cucumber one, with mint – and small pastries. Whilst the food was as expected I was a little disappointed with the gardens – apart from the huge lawn the planted areas were nothing special , but then again I’m not the greatest gardener.
The grumpy old man in me had to have a moan about the ladies outfits – a large number of old-fashioned big prints on view, still at least the charity shops will have made a few quid!
Do you believe in coincidences? Eating lunch in the St James Theatre restaurant we discovered that the people sitting next to us were also going to the party (not that surprising) but they were from Ipswich too – Westerfield Road.
Forever the optimist – was I the only one with an umbrella?
We are extremely lucky to have enough footpaths in a relatively small area to create a ‘fest’ in the first place. On Sunday I spent a couple of hours in Copdock & Washbrook trying to find pictures of various animals on signposts! What a lovely day it was too. However the turnout was pretty disappointing – just a dozen souls including a couple of children who ‘dragged’ their mum round the whole circuit in order to win the England football and supporters’ pack.
Interestingly the Parish produce a ‘Welcome Pack’ for new people to the parish. Amongst the items in it is a footpath map and book – if you have a half day to spend you could try to get round all of the paths – the animal pictures have been left on the sign posts.