I'll come to the athletics in a moment, but first I must pay tribute to our friend Tony Baxendale, who has died quite suddenly. He had developed secondary cancers and was starting treatment. This meant that we were pessimistic about his chances but thought he had a good while yet. But less than a fortnight later, he is gone. Obviously, his wife and children are devastated at how quickly it was over, but Lesley and I too are knocked a bit sideways. We have known him and his family since 1976 when we both moved to Sodbury and our two families went on holiday together for several years. While we were still able to enjoy late nights we spent New Year's Eve together; but in the last couple of years we decided that New Year's Day was a more appropriate time to get together. He was a quiet man, vegetarian, an expert DIY-er (as you'd expect from a lecturer in building) a huge support to his family. They and we will miss him tremendously.
So that's why we didn't appear at the track this week. Our apologies.
And another thing -
The weekend was spent going to Oundle to visit mother. She is looking so well and happy, compared to how she was before she moved into her current accommodation. Bright red fingernails even! Our visit was interrupted by another resident demanding to know whether we were thinking of renting the place and assuring us that she didn't live there, was just visiting for the day. Amusing for us, who could leave soon afterwards: not so funny if you work there, I imagine.
Well now, athletics....
The network meeting went on till nearly ten o'clock, but our plan was accepted. I suppose it was bound to be given that the four of us who wrote it made a majority of those there. There was one surprise - typical of England Athletics. There's a chance of getting more money for athletics in the area if we write in a plan for increasing participation through Run England and also for something they are pleased to call "Satellite Clubs". I'll say more about that once I understand it properly.
So now we have to set about getting some detail into the plan and submitting it to EA. The fun just never stops!
Club committee met on Friday. The only discussion of real importance was about the lack of money for developments at the track. The throwing cage and the area around it really aren't good enough, but it seems that there is no priority for putting things right. What is needed is hard standing all round the cage - like there is round the old throwing cage. The circles themselves also need radical work doing on them. Not only do they not drain properly, but the surface is gradually degrading. Matt Spicer says it's like throwing on cobbles - and I suppose he should know.
Another busy week ahead. Got to go......