Hopefully, members are beginning to adapt to the new ‘normal’? While we all know that the current restrictions will come to an end at some time, the uncertainty doesn’t make things easy. As I walked the dog earlier today, I was fortunate enough to see the positive impact the reduced travel is having: a couple of deer grazing in a field, bold as brass, where I have never seen them before. They never moved as we walked past, some 200 yards away – amazing. Mind you we have some way to go before: the Great Orme goats walking down Llandudno High Street yesterday (below) was quite something!
On the subject of the new ‘normal, I was thinking back to a time when I was in the military. You would be deployed on an operation and, on most occasions, you would have a good idea when you would return. You would adapt to your new circumstances – the new ‘normal’ – and, if most people were honest, you would tick off the days until you were due to return. This would happen no matter how busy you were and how interesting your job. When you returned, you would have to re-integrate back into family life which, in turn, would create a new ‘normal’. I’m told by some spouses that the return was the most stressful time!
You also might say the same about those times when we change jobs or move house. These events are all stressful and we all cope differently. The difference this time, of course, and why this new ‘normal’ is particularly hard, is because it is affecting everyone at the same time. That said, people out walking are acknowledging each other in a way that I’ve not seen in my lifetime which is lovely. The other side of that coin, though, is that there are people who are not allowed out for a walk, those being shielded or in self-isolation and for whom the days need to be ticked off more quickly. If we can all look out for people living near us who are in this position, we will be doing our bit.
This week I have been looking through some of my books for my next read. It’s an eclectic collection, books about business, leadership and management, soft skills – all topics that I use day-to-day in delivering training and writing educational resources – alongside some classical literature from my childhood – Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows, for example. In the ‘pulp fiction’ category we have the Roy Grace novels by Peter James, a stack of sporting autobiographies (Sir Alex Ferguson and many others), George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 and a wide range of non-fiction including Tail End Charlies. Written by former RAF officer Jon Nicholl, who was shot down and captured in the first Gulf War, this is a moving account of life in Bomber Command during the Second World War and the role of the rear-gunner, who flew operations in a Plexiglass bubble at the back of the bomber.
However, the one I have chosen to recommend to you is golf-related: The Best of Henry Longhurst on Golf and Life – a book that I was given 40 years ago ... Compiled and edited by Mark Wilson and Ken Bowden, the book is a collection of Longhurst’s columns and his writing is a real joy. For those who know little about Longhurst other than, perhaps, he was a commentator on the BBC alongside Peter Alliss for many years, his lifetime of experiences – he sometimes called them ‘jobs’ – was astonishing. Wilson in his introduction states that Longhurst based his approach to life ‘upon the compelling urge to go everywhere and do everything at least once’. A writer, speaker, MP, soldier, broadcaster, golfer, traveller and pioneer, Henry Longhurst, through his writing, gave enormous pleasure to many people and I recommend to anyone who loves golf – which is all of us! – this book. Published by Collins in 1979, the book is now out of print, but second-hand copies are available on Amazon Books.
Please – for those that enjoy their gardens – find some gardening tips for April written by a member of the CMC; you are allowed to guess who wrote this and we will reveal his/her identity as we come out of ‘lockdown’. Also, Andrew Chamberlain our Greens Director has provided an update on the essential maintenance taking place and photos of the work will be posted to the website and on social media later today for those who want to see the work that is taking place. These areticles can also be found further down this page.
Please enjoy too the first of our Spotlight features in which Paul Bagshaw – ‘Baggy’ – our Club professional answers some questions about himself: I gave him 10 questions and one alternative. He answered all 11 so they are all there for your amusement, scroll down to see Paul's moment in the spotlight. Paul has offered to also provide a ‘tip of the week’ to keep us thinking about our game. I was reminded then, of that old classic tip, ‘try to stand further away from the ball … after you have hit it’.
In the weeks to come, I’m sure we can find some other local ‘celebrities’ from around the Club to step into the Spotlight … former captains and members of the Board for example.
On the BBC sport website tonight there is the first ‘Quarantine Quiz; and tomorrow, at 2pm, A Question of Sport comes to Radio 5Live: it will be interesting to see how the Pictureboard round works on radio… Next week we will suggest some films that are available to rent from Sky Movies (free if you are a subscriber) and point you to some of the Box-sets that are available on the various TV channels.
One final thought to hopefully make you laugh? I typed in ‘clap for carers’ on the browser last night to check if it was happening again so that we could show our support for the NHS and all those who are providing care to those affected by the coronavirus. It was fantastic to see other essential workers – the supermarket staff, refuse collectors, postal workers and many others – being recognised for their contribution too. The funny bit for me was the top website hit on Safari? Well, what a surprise! It’s https://www.silversurfers.com – a site for the over-50s ... and I don’t think it was the cookies that selected that site for me alone. Anyway, for those of that tender age or older, go and have a look!
I am sure we are all grateful to our incredibly brave and dedicated NHS staff for the sacrifice they are making to keep us safe. The same goes for the thousands of other people who are supporting us in this worldwide crisis.
By staying home, we are doing our bit. Stay safe one and all and let’s look forward to getting back on the Course.