Monday, 29 November 2010

Sambrook's, skittles and sermons

YC has just spent an enjoyable long weekend in London. On Friday he journeyed to Wonersh to see nephew Matthew and niece Phoebe. This involved some detailed indoor tent building on the sofa and checking that Matthew remembered the one-eyed dinosaur joke.

Left - YC: what goes ha ha bonk? A man laughing his head off. Matthew - noooo!
Right - Grandpa gazes wistfully at the tent building whilst wondering if anyone will refill his glass

On Saturday the Green Wyvern Refugees convened for their annual get together. This year's cultural visit was to Sambrook's Brewery in Battersea. This micro brewery was set up in 2008 and already supplies numerous pubs in London with Wandle Ale (a fine 3.8% session bitter) and the stronger Junction Ale (named after the nearby Clapham Junction). There were numerous opportunities for tasting the ales (including a newly developed porter called Powerhouse); YC coped personfully with this. Indeed so intent was YC on sampling the wares that he nearly missed the bar skittles competition of the century, in which Lois narrowly prevailed over Alex.

left - Green Wyverns in Sambrook's
right - Alex wills her throw to success but can't hold off Wigan's demon skittler

On Sunday, YC heard Emma preach at St Paul's. This was not the cathedral, but St Paul's Church in Lisson Grove where Emma is the pastoral assistant. The church is in the centre of London about a mile north of Oxford Street. It was Advent Sunday, so YC enjoyed giving hymns such as "Lo He comes with clouds descending" full welly. Afterwards, lunch with Emma & Clare Kelly at 'ping pong' (a Chinese restaurant offering Dim Sun, green tea, and red wine - hurrah) rounded off a fine weekend.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Grand Slam Dram

Scotland beat South Africa at rugby last weekend. This doesn't happen very often, so Rev T thought it would be appropriate to celebrate with a drop of "Grand Slam Dram" - a malt celebrating the famous 1990 Grand Slam in which England came second. YC thought it would be polite to sample a glass too, and can confirm it is a fine malt indeed. YC wonders if readers can still name all the Scottish players who took to the pitch that day. Hint - Paul Burnell, Kenny Milne, and David Sole were in the front row. You can look at the line up here (and sing along too) if you are struggling to remember.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dartmoor Days

left - one of the many impressive tors
right - heading for Yes Tor
more photos

YC ran the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) over the weekend with Paul Hainsworth. The OMM was held on Dartmoor this year. YC had never been there, so was interested to see the various tors (granite rocks) on the hilltops. The weather was great on the Saturday (high clouds and some sun) but not so great on the Sunday (wet/windy/low cloud etc) - "just a typical day on Dartmoor" was one marshal's dry comment.
We were entered on the medium score event where competitors have to visit as many checkpoints in an alloted time. This made for good running away from the crowds on the linear courses, but also ensured we became acquainted with the pathless tussocks and peat hags. Our progress was leisurely at times (which we blamed on both having colds but might also have been due to lack of fitness/old age etc) but always enjoyable. We even found time to climb Dartmoor's two 2,000 foot hills on the first day, which kept YC happy.
Other folk spotted there were Jane Saul & Robin Witchell on the "social" short score - which turned out to be very social when they had to form a human chain with several other teams to cross a chest-high swollen stream; Steve Birkinshaw & Jethro Lennox who were 2nd on the elite (which entailed a mind boggling 80 km of running); and Duncan Archer from DFR who was also on the elite and finished a creditable 5th.
YC would also like to reassure readers that he even found time for some training on beer. If you find yourself with an hour or two to kill at Bristol airport, then check out the Butcombe Bitter in the upstairs bar. After 11 hours of running around Dartmoor, it truly hits the spot.