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The Filthy Lucre Tour
Camped outside parents`
27th Apr 2006
Two new sports in a day

With a jaunty 9am start, I gave my sister Joanna her first driving lesson - something I agreed to at a some what late hour in the pub last night. I probably wouldn't have done it if the rest of my family hadn't looked quite so horrified by the idea. Jo doesn't have a provisional driving licence (though she's 1 so we did it in the sports club car park across the road from my folks. Given that the car is automatic and possibly not the hardest thing to drive (I'm struggling for a while trying to think of something harder), it all went jolly well. Apart from one brief moment where she either had better spatial awareness than I'd given her credit for or was about to drive into a tree. Tricky call.

Continuing my Trying New Things ideas, I had a go at some fishing with my brother Keith. He'd arranged to go with a friend of his (Ronny) and I rather rudely tagged along. Still, they were very good natured about it. Keith spent a goodly while teaching me to cast and by the time we got to the end of the afternoon (which was quite soon, as we'd turned up at four and the place shut at five) I think I was pretty much casting like a pro. I was very pleased to have caught more than Keith and Ronny, but discovered later that the idea was to bring fish out of the loch and not fling the shrubbery behind you into the water.

As soon as we got home from this hunting expedition, I finally made the racketball date my mother has been asking me for for about three years. Previously I've always found an excuse to get out of it before, as I had a speaking suspicion that my mother would be past the point of letting me win in case I got cross. This time, though, the excuses had run out. We tried to play doubles - racketball is very similar to squash but with a more springy ball, and the way racketball doubles work means that the person on the team best placed to hit the ball hits it - you don't take turns, except for the serving. Teaming me up with Joanna meant that she was pretty much always in the right place to hit the ball, and I found that my niche in this game involved seeing where the ball was going and ambling out of the way so that Joanna could hit it. Mum spotted this fairly quickly and I landed up in a singles game with her instead. She pretended to miss a few shots, gave me as many lets as I needed on service, started forgotting to count up her own points and then realised that even the combination of all of these efforts was going to result in me losing badly and getting cross, and stopped counting completely. Towards the end of the game I was actually managing to hit the great majority of shots with the stringy part of the racket, but I'm not sure ball sports are entirely my thing.

Next: Hexham, Into France, and the Palace of Versailles
Previous: How Not To Go Dinghy Sailing

Diary Photos

Camped outside parents`

Curiously named fishing paraphenalia

Getting my rod out, and Ronny`s posterior

Fishing pro

Playing my mum at racketball

Beaten by my mum at racketball

Joanna driving (gulp)

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