Monday, 29 July 2013

Play It Again, Matthew

James & family called into Tynemouth at the weekend.  After a stroll on King Edward's Bay, there was an enjoyable dinner at the Percy Gardens HQ.  Matthew has stayed on for the week.  This evening he honed his musical skills - playing the piano before turning his hand to the bodhran.  The tunes flowed thick and fast - Will Your Anchor Hold, Advance Australia Fair, and Scotland the Brave (complete with James' alternative lyrics of The Old Tigerleer).  The neighbours were deeply grateful, and Grandpa didn't enjoy it at all.
on King Edward's Bay

dinner at the HQ

the band in full flow

with an appreciative audience

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Back in Blighty

YC is back home.  Amazingly it's warmer in the UK than Australia, even in Tynemouth.  With a flat calm sea, conditions are perfect for a dip.  YC has managed a length of the Long Sands sans wet suit on a couple of occasions.  Readers will be relieved to hear that he doesn't adopt the Rev T style of swimming.  When asked if he wore a wet suit for his morning dip, Rev T confidently replied: "I don't wear anything!".

YC has posted his photos from Australia on his flickr site(click here) for those who are interested.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Lions win the series

Lions 41 Australia 16
What a game.  After two nerve-shredders, the third test at the Olympic Park, Sydney was superb.  The Lions started well from the off with a try by Corbisero after 2 mins.  They were soon 19-3 up after Halfpenny had slotted 4 penalties, and the Wallabies were down to 14 men with a prop in the sin-bin.  But on the stroke of half-time, O'Connor scored a try for Australia.  With more pressure early in the second half, Australia reduced the  Lions' lead to 3 points.  Halfpenny slotted a penalty, but Australia were soon back on the Lions' line  and were pressing for a try.

But the Lions held out.  They cleared their lines and Jonathan Davies followed up a kick to relieve the pressure.  Gaps started to appear in the Wallabies' previously impregnable back-line.  After a break down the left, Sexton scored a try near the posts.  North followed up with another try, then Roberts set the seal on victory with a try on 68 minutes.  Now the celebrations could begin.  The last 10 minutes saw Australian supporters trooping for the exits, while Lions supporters enjoyed every moment.

After the game, YIC grabbed an exclusive interview with Warren Gatland who said: "I would like to thank all our fans for their fantastic support - especially those in the Turks Head Tynemouth and Tristan Miller in Canada.  We could not have done it without them.  I must apologise to Rev T for the stress of the first 2 tests - but I'm sure it is all worthwhile now.  I hope we made the trip down under worth while."

To which YIC replied - "You did."
at the Olympic Park

the stadium

Lions kick off the test

Lions supporters celebrate at the end

Monday, 1 July 2013

Tasmania and Ben Nevis

With no midweek game before the final test match, YIC is in Tasmania visiting Edward and Vicky Duff.  They live in Shearwater near Devonport on the north coast of Tasmania.  Edward is the son of Uncle Sandy (Grandpa Duff's brother) and so is Rev T's cousin.  Their daughters live in Canberra - YIC met them for dinner (see post of 19 June).   Edward (known as Geordie over here) brews his own beer.  YIC thought it diplomatic to sample the odd half (strictly out of family duties readers understand....)
In news from the UK, Lois Gordon and Emma Duff have climbed Ben Nevis.  They summited in the early hours.  The weather wasn't great - see photo below - but they were raising money for the good cause of The Alzheimer's Society.  You can sponsor them here:
at Cataract Gorge, Launceston

Edward & Vicky Duff

Emma & Lois at the summit

Jacobite train with Ben Nevis in background