Wednesday, 30 November 2016

We mostly lose badminton matches

A cluster of towers and belfries and arches
Krakow Cathedral, July 2016
Lots of badminton happening now - one or two matches a week, one or two club nights which may or may not coincide with the matches. My regular mixed doubles partner decided to change his serve this season so that he uses a different serve for men's and mixed matches. The advantage should be improved serving in both types of games; the disadvantage so far in the mixed game is that half his serves fail. My regular ladies doubles partner takes at least two ends to get going, so we've usually lost the first game by the time she's ready to play well. Of course I'm not perfect either - at the moment in the mixed I keep standing too near the net and in ladies my high serve is rubbish. So that just about evens it out - we're all as bad as one another. Which explains why we mostly lose.

Last weekend saw me and Lola II in Surrey where we were volunteer marshals for Run Forest Run. This is the 10km plus obstacle course that I actually ran last year, but this year Lola II and I were put together in the kitchen, handing out tea and coffee, bacon sandwiches and lemon drizzle cake for 150 runners. Most of the hard work had already been done - the bacon and the cakes were already cooked - and the only serious mistake I made was not putting the veggie sausages in the oven in time. Making people with alternative diets wait longer than the rest of us is something I abhor, so to be the perpetrator of this crime was particularly mortifying.

The organisers of the event are longstanding friends who accommodated us while working really hard to make the event run smoothly. Lola II and I volunteered to manage the catering for the evening beforehand, so I made a chilli for ten that ended up being not spicy at all, and Lola II made a classic trifle (my request). The main outcome of the weekend for me, apart from the satisfaction of the volunteering itself, was that a skiing trip to France is being planned, and despite my resolution not to ski this season I immediately committed to taking part. So much for resolution.

There has now been a whole week and a weekend since the Run Forest Run event, and nothing of note has taken place except that, unusually, we won a badminton match. I have completed many things on my list but they are fairly trivial. The loft is nearly empty, so I've been in touch with Ilf the Handyman to come and attend to the lights in the upstairs room that he couldn't access until the loft had been cleared. I've been foolish enough to ask him to re-decorate the bathroom too, which means I have to choose paint and a new bathroom cabinet. Choosing things is always very difficult - I think I'll be able to manage the paint, but I'm not sure about the cabinet. Oh well, it isn't on the critical path.

Tower incorporating the northern gateway to the city
Krakow City Gate, July 2016

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