Monday, 18 July 2011

Well done Darren

I know, in a small way, what it is like to be disappointed for years at missing out in a big golf tournament. In 2002 I went to Sydney to play golf in the Gay Games. At the final hole, a par 3, I needed a 3 to win the silver medal. I took a 5. Not only did I not win silver, but I also missed the bronze medal on countback. I was gutted.

It was only years later, when I won a medal at Eurogames in Antwerp, that I was able to put the disappointment behind me.

Dareen Clarke has played professional golf at a high level for 20 years. During that time he has watched as lesser golfers won major championships. He came close on many occasions, but he never did. Now, at 42, it was surely too late.

Last week I was at Castle Stuart near Inverness to see Darren Clarke and others compete in the Scottish Open. I took this photo of Darren.

This week the Open Championship took place at Royal St Georges near Sandwich. And amazingly, as the top golfers in the world failed to stay at the top of the leaderboard, Darren took the lead with one round to play. And even more amazingly, despite huge pressure, he held on through 18 holes of the final round to win the tournament and become a Major winner at long last. So occasionally nice guys do come first. Well done Darren. Fantastic.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Birthday weekend (2)

The weekend after our Spanish sojourn, Andrew knew that we were meeting some relatives and a few friends for lunch on Sunday. There were people who could not come to Spain, some for health reasons. We had initially expected that there would be half a dozen of us - in fact there were 32 in total.

As far as Andrew was concerned, that was all that was happening over the weekend.

Not so.

As a surprise, I had booked front row tickets for Les Miserables on the Saturday evening, an appearance at a friends 30th birthday party at the Shadow Lounge, an overnight stay at the refurbished St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and a Sunday morning visit to Tate Modern for the Loan Miro exhibition.

I think he liked his surprise.

Neither of us has been to Les Miserables. It was magnificent. Powerful and moving. And Alfie Boe was fantastic. We enjoyed the stay at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. The architecture is amazing. Not everything was good about the hotel though, which is disappointing in an expensive five star hotel. The next morning we found the Joan Miro exhibition to be really interesting and well curated.

And finally we all had a good meal at Palm Court Brasserie in Covent Garden. So that was the birthday celebrations over. It had taken a lot of organising for the two weekends in Malaga and London. But it all worked really well.

But that is it for now - no more organising for another decade.