Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Family first

I see a record number of people viewed the blog yesterday and today and they all had nothing new to read. I apologise to them but Lesley and I have been away from home seeing to my mother. There is some athletics news and most of you will have seen it in Graham's Yacket-e post. I'll come back to that and the other news later.

When the time comes to "put yer mother in a 'ome" there are always issues that you were never really prepared for and this weekend my sister, brother and our various partners have had to deal with the fact that our mother can no longer look after herself and is potentially a danger to herself. Leave alone her distress at being left alone in the house where she has lived successfully for the last ten years. Anyway, the deed is done. She's installed in her own little room with a view of the adjacent public school's tennis courts - currently covered in snow. The carers are as kind and friendly as you could wish for; the other residents will no more remember who she is than she will remember them. So maybe we don't have to worry about her any more. Hah! some hopes!

And coincidentally the government's meaningless cap on payments for care are proposed. I actually don't know anyone who could come up with £75,000 plus board and lodging without selling their house. Maybe it isn't the cruel con trick that it appears to be. But in any case it will all come too late for mum, so file it away with all the other things that make the Tories the loathsome party......

More seriously, it doesn't half make you wonder how things are going to turn out in twenty years time when it's our turn. I'l probably still be writing this blog and Lesley will be worrying about English Schools cross country. There is a starter who turns up in Exeter from time to time who must be at least eighty, so maybe I really will still be starting races for your children and grandchildren....

Anyway, well done to all the athletes who competed at the Midland Indoors at the weekend. See Graham's email for the details, but it looks to me as though more of our athletes made the trip than for several years, so that is a good sign. Put it together with other indoor results recently and the showing that our youngsters made at the schools cross country and the future is looking fairly good.

What have I been up to, athletics-wise? Well, I had a meeting with Chris Mallender and Matt Foad about the future of the Avon Network. Matt is the Coach and Club Support Officer for Avon, Somerset and Dorset, Chris is his boss, the Midlands and South West Team Leader. Until six months ago the network had the services of Tim Snowdon as coordinator, and he organised the courses that were put on and generally operated as the network supremo. But he got a job somewhere else and the organising devolved on to me who happened to be chair of the network at the time.

Now, I can chair meeting till the cows come home, but doing the work of a professional athletics organiser is not what I signed up for. But it seems I shall have to go on doing it in some form because, thanks to the government's generosity to sport and other little things like the Olympic legacy, there will only be half the money there was before. But at least there is some money and we do have ideas about how it could be spent. I shall have to get down to work on the plans before very long. You may well be the first people to read about them.

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As a student I worked in a hotel in Devon. We waiters worked in pairs, sharing a work station, and my partner was an Italian called Giorgio....