Two years ago came an invitation from the then Captains, Sonya Foster and Brian Farmer, to a cup of coffee in the clubhouse. Overwhelmed by their kind hospitality, which included a small biscuit, difficult to get at in its tight cellophane wrapper, the meeting led to my appointment as Newsletter Editor, a post subsequently approached with considerable trepidation. At least initially. A bit like stepping into Bates Motel for the first time. Now, twenty four editions later, experience of breachable boundaries, coupled with reader inertia, not necessarily the same as disinterest, has found one in a slightly comatose state. The monthly challenge remains real enough, the brain scratching and research enjoyable and at times educational, and the monthly “bring it all together” meeting with Jose, the webmaster, a date to anticipate with relish. Unlike the flat period which unfailingly follows publication. A sort of emptiness. Reminds one of those far off days when reaching finals was a regular experience. Win or lose there followed a void. Until the next tournament started. So, let’s get to grips with the “next tournament” which, in this case, is the December issue. The last of 2016 and, if early signs are meaningful, perhaps the shortest.
It is the 345th day of the year as fingers caress responsive keys and so far not a jot or tickle (Mathew 5.18 sort of) about which to write. The month of Sagittarius and Capricorn, turquoise, zircon and tanzanite, lies dormant thus far. Clutching at straws, perhaps a good time to slip in a word about a personal and sartorial decision?
Bronchitis has been protracted and not enjoyable. Domestically instructed on a regular basis to “wrap up nice and warm” one has endeavoured to obey, and this has meant long trousers. Pause for gasp of astonishment, but true. The longest ever Perry spell without shorts. In Spain anyway. Not wishing to allow bronchitis back into one’s life if possible, there is a current mental battle going on between shorts and long trousers, bearing in mind that temperatures have dropped and will possibly go lower. This break with long established tradition may occasion some cruel comment from members, and bring a superior smile to Arthur O’Connor’s face, but health comes first?
Nicola Sturgeon, the feisty wee Scottish leader, is hell bent on keeping all things tartan in Scotland but there are those closer to hand who are keen to restore an event which has been missing from our social calendar since Iain Macaulay could no longer play his beloved bagpipes. Now that we have our own wee, but not feisty, thus far, Lady Captain from north of the Border, there are moves afoot to restore haggis to a gastronomic evening of entertainment. Details are on the notice board but that doesn’t help those members who are elsewhere so, to be helpful in soliciting support for this idea, please read the following and then email your booking to Alison. She needs support because a goodly number of members will already have begun the annual migration to South Africa by that date.
This interesting internet address hides the identity of Bill Field, whose name has not featured much of late. There was hope that his absence from the fairways, occasionally, and rough, more frequently, might indicate romantic success but, sadly not so. A dislocated shoulder is the true culprit, and not for the first time. It first happened 12 years ago and has repeated itself 8 times in the interim. Bill awaits the availability of a suitably sized hospital bed and will then be out of action for up to 3 months. We can but wish you well, Bill, and soon, but think of all those nurses?
Usually one of the highlights of the social calendar suffered somewhat on Saturday 3rd., when the rain was torrential and early on earned cancellation of play.
So, no best dressed buggy competition, but later in the day, at the lunch, several of the ladies could be observed in colourful finery, with Mary Evans and Lilly Lagerwerf sharing the first prize for fashion. Erling Johnsen won applause for a pair of spectacular glasses and was generally in good spirits, it is reported. The two statements are not related. The raffle was well supported, as ever, and the disco which followed the traditional meal kept members twisting and shouting until the night grew cool.
After the Turkey Trot was cancelled on the 3rd. the Great Washout gathered momentum by bestowing a similar fate on the multitude of Lady golfers assembled here from all over for the Seniors and Liga Final, and then, on “re-arranged” Monday 5th all our members were further denied. Another official and early cancellation.
Our Ladies Section is a vibrant body, not one to let a little rain get in their way. There was a mass of prizes waiting to be allocated, representatives from seven clubs to entertain, so, ever resourceful, Bingo became the battleground with Vic Hilliard, Ron Chesterton, and George Kirk doing their stuff as callers and organisers. Although not yet reported on, lunch will inevitably have been of an indulgent disposition. Not that there is anything new there, especially when the Ladies are involved. It has been noticed.
Clubs represented included El Condado, the ultimate winners, Santa Maria, Guadalhorce, Miraflores and el Parador.
Come Thursday 8th. another curious date for a Members’ Competition, there finally came some on course action. Eleven teams of four shot-gunned into play on Europa determined to enjoy the outing within a Bramble format. Winners are known but further details not yet available!
1st. 98 Ursula Wetzel, Geoff Thompson, Peter Robinson, Val Wicks.
2nd. 95 Louis Lentelink, Bob Rainbow, Manfred Wetzel, Felima O’Callaghan
The Hilliard tenure came to an enjoyable end in the “outdoor” section of the clubhouse, approached by a few with some expectancy of temperature discomfort. They need not have worried. The upright heaters were on parade and the atmosphere for the most part comfortable. The food again earned complimentary comment and the wine was sufficient for most. The Vic and Pauline double act was well prepared and the prize giving lengthy. Few will have gone home empty handed. Generous is a word that springs to mind but, after the firm financial controls of recent times, this has been an expansive season to the benefit of all members. On this particular occasion though it was the Captains who kindly footed the pre-dinner drinks bill.
Tribute was paid to Absent Friends including Ken Muir, Joan Stock, Siren Johnsen and Jill Hornsby, all of whom have left us this year.
Small gifts went to “people to whom we have turned for advice” including Iain Macaulay(“Father of the House and always helpful”); Alan Jewett; Danny Rees; Judi Lentelink; Carol Rees(“Always there for Pauline, so valuable”.)
Next up for appreciative reward were the Organisers – “the army of helpers who have worked so hard to support our Captaincy”. These were Brian Farmer – Mens’ Interclub. Connie Maphar – La Liga . James Reid – Mixed Interclub . Roy Davies – Captain in many of the Seniors’ matches. Karen O’Connor – Ladies’ Seniors. Arthur O’Connor –“just about everything! Handicap Secretary, Roll Ups, and also frequent captain in Seniors’ matches”.
Then “for those who have helped us to carry out our duties” came gifts for “Jack Perry – Newsletter and biographer. Lilly Lagerwerf – Ladies’ Roll Ups .David Evans – Stableford League. Les Wicks – Photographer”
Group Four winners were those who did so much to help raise 10,000 euros for Cudeca. “Damien Murphy – Auctioneer and total fruitcake.” Derek & June Steele – Tombola”.
Not overlooked, and rightly so, were Committee Members, “for their support, advice and hard work”. Gordon Edwards, Wendy Hinds, Richard Hinds, Jenny Chesterton.
“The Roy White trophy is awarded to the individual who has been most help to us as Captains. It is usually received by the unsuspecting but is cherished as a great honour. We have always tried to be a bit different and this year we have had the support of two very special people, so would like to present the trophy jointly to Arthur O’Connor and Jack Perry”.
(ED. As one of the unsuspecting recipients I was more than pleased to share this prestigious trophy with Arthur, whose devotion to club affairs in various guises is remarkable.)
After wishing Peter Edstrom and Alison Kirk, their successors, well, the Captains came to the real core of the prize giving ceremony, the tournament winners.
Winners – Mary & David Evans
Runners up – Carol & Danny Rees
Winners – Karen O’Connor & Val Wicks
Runners up – Wendy Warren & Mary Evans
Winner – Lotta Syversen
Runner up – Pauline Hilliard
Winners – David Evans & Roy Davies
Runners up – Andy Park & David Moore
Winner – David Wilson
Runner up – Jack Perry
LADIES’ STABLEFORD LEAGUE
Winner – Mary Evans
Runner up Jill Davies
MENS’ STABLEFORD LEAGUE
Winner – Dean Moore
Runner up – Arthur O’Connor
LADIES’ MEDAL WINNERS
Winner – Connie Maphar
Runner up – Kate Bradley
MENS’ MEDAL WINNERS
Winner – Chris Parks
Runner up – Bruno Schaeffer
Lest it be thought the evening was all eating, drinking and formalities let it be known that, cometh the hour, cometh the music, as ever in an event orchestrated by Vic and Pauline. “The Spanish Beatles”, having contained their patience, sprang into very lively and familiar action. Soon the small dance area was overcrowded including, for a slower than average couple of numbers, (the dancers not the tunes!), this editor and his Beloved. Just married when the Beatles first burst on the scene and changed the world of music forever. She later reckoned He was more Ed than Ore or Oti. Darcey Bussell was watching from afar and smiling, as always, but diplomatically chose not to score us.
No doubt something will be said at the AGM but this newsletter would be failing if recognition of Vic & Pauline’s effort went without additional comment. Their year really qualifies as an era – “A period of time which is distinctive or notable because of its new or different aspects, events, or personages”. They have inclined to play down the amount of work and effort which goes into being Captains and certainly, in the absence of a professional Club Secretary, to which most of us are accustomed “back home”, it would be a huge struggle without considerable help but, even so, they have discharged their duties with innovative energy and enthusiasm for the project. It was strange to see Vic in a dark suit, tie, and serious horn rimmed glasses after a year of outrageous, kaleidoscopic shirts but, as if to prove the strength of his influence, even sober Roy Davies was to be observed in “fancy dress”.
Well done indeed, Vic and Pauline, and thank you. A great shame that your exit left was clouded by controversy, with which you have dealt, so now go off and enjoy your cruise!
…. to paraphrase Tina Turner, and the answer is nothing. Just that December will remain in mind for having “discovered” Shania Twain, a leading Country & Western singer for more than 25 years with 85 million records sold to date. Denied outdoor activities of late, more time than usual has been spent at the computer or watching TV. On which latter device, whilst channel hopping, there she was. In concert. It is unlikely we will be adding any of her discs to our ancient collection, though she has a pleasing voice and manner, but at least her scenically pleasing photograph will make a change from those of the Captains and regular prize winners. Vic and Pauline probably know all about her!
Not just because the rains took an overdue rest, allowing the Medal to take place on America, but because, later in the day, the delayed Annual General Meeting took place in the Salon Lorca in the hotel. It was extremely well attended with Jenny Chesterton in the Secretarial driving seat for the last time. What a swansong it proved to be for her! She will be pleased when Judi Lentelink picks up her baton.
Proof that there are no glass ceilings in our club was the sight of Captain Vic convincingly outnumbered on the otherwise all female dais. Also in action for the last time was Wendy Hinds who, after three years of hard work as Treasurer, dedicated to the task from day one, presented her figures in the usual clear, precise and understandable way. Cees Lagerwerf will takeover her post.
Because of holidays, and the end of year heavy work load in the Webmaster’s office, it is likely that this newsletter will be a few days later than usual. Certainly the Minutes of the meeting should have been distributed to members well ahead of then. They will have presented Jenny with a real task because, for the second successive year, there was a controversial matter to debate. Any Other Business took twice as long as the rest of the agenda! Opinions expressed were lengthy and feelings ran deep. It was impossible for Jenny to keep pace, however fast she drove her pen. We must now await the official report which will have been approved by the new incoming Committee.
In the meantime the results of the Medal can be announced and will please Les Wicks who has ended the year in a flurry of good scores and may not have too long to wait before he achieves his long held ambition to reach single figures. We wish you well in the new year, Les.
1st. 76 Lilly Lagerwerf
2nd. 78 Jill Davies (plus 0.1 = 14.7)
3rd. 79 Carol Rees (plus 0.1 = 11.8
1st. 69 Les Wicks (cut 1.1 = 11.1)
2nd. 70 George Kirk (cut 0.9 = 12.0)
3rd. 72 Roger Dew (cut 0.2 = 7.10)
Surprise, surprise but Roger was not available to be illustrated but we need not have worried because Big Mike Fisher is always happy to fill photographic space and, after all, he was fourth with 76 so, loosely speaking, was third present?
As the only player to register a two in Tuesday’s Medal Alan Jewett went home with 19 more balls than when he left. Bet he wished they were the new Bridgestone B333-S instead of just Soft Noodles?
Vice Captain Alison Kirk presented the above scores and prizes on Saturday 17th., after nine teams had braved the elements on America in an AM AM AM, the Captains’ Choice for the day. She did so admirably and with no sign of nerves. Clarity of voice, to the point, and with humour a welcome ingredient. A flying start, Alison. The second batch of prizes went to:
1st. 82 Roy Davies, Heimo Kupso, Sean Jewett
2nd. 78 Bob Rainbow, Libby Robinson, Ursula Wetzel, Jackie Rainbow
3rd. 77 George Kirk, Karl Haas, Carol Rees, Jenny Chesterton
After almost three years of badgering away at the authorities Arthur O’Connor can take a deep breath of satisfaction. The Slope team has visited, had a good look at Campo Asia, and are all set to revise the present ratings. Whether these will be known “early in the new year” as has been muted, remains to be seen, but things are on the move. What does seem certain is that most, if not all handicaps will benefit. All we need now is for hole two to be re-arranged, as is planned, and members will approach the course less apprehensively.
Past Captain Alan Jewett, an enthusiastic Rules fan, tells us that the Royal & Ancient have announced the introduction of a new Local Rule that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green. This is not a new or amended Rule of Golf, but rather a recommended wording for a Local Rule that can be introduced on January 1st 2017. A formal and lengthy-ish statement was about to follow but Flavio has issued a better version which we are able to include at the eleventh hour and to Jose’s delight!
The ALPS Qualifying School is over for another year and, although the weather conditions could have been kinder, some very happy golfers will be making their way homewards having moved up a notch for next season. Not least Baptista Chapellan and Antoine Rozner who both finished 7 under par at 208, closely followed by a third Frenchman with 209. The ground staff put in a great deal of effort to keep the Asia and Europa courses in as good a condition as the elements allowed, and will be delighted to learn that their efforts, and those of Management, and members, mean that the event will take place here again next year, for the fifth time, between 11th and 17th December.
Fear not, this is not about another David Moody swing variation, but merely to remind everyone that winter officially starts today, December 21st. Astronomically speaking anyway, not if you are a fan of the meteorological version.This is the day when the pole’s tilt away from the sun leads to the shortest day of the year. From now until June we will enjoy a wee bit more daylight each and every day.
Most members will be familiar with the 1799 publication and the fiddling about that was done to one of Burns’ better known tunes, the words of which we have all sung countless times without, in some cases, knowing what they mean. What is a syne, for example? “For the sake of” has been added since Burns’ original piece. Certainly few of us get beyond the first verse and chorus. The linguistically inclined might find the following crib of interest.
Tuesday 20/12 broke bright, clear, warm and dry on and around Campo Europa and elsewhere. One’s hopes were high but quickly dashed when Blue Flags were ruled out and Paths Only again announced. Frustration mounted during a lovely day for golf and nearly exploded when there came news that lots of buggies had been seen on the fairways. Later came word from players that the whole course was dry and hard, apart from the 15th., where buggies took evasive action. Later still came news that those riding the hills and slopes had done so against instructions! Which is not to be applauded.
Competitive Laura Thompson had a good day, and was duly punished for so doing, while smiley Chris Park almost played to his enviable low handicap. Well done both. Full leading scores:
1st. 36 Laura Thompson (cut 0.8 to 23.6)
2nd. 30 Lilly Lagerwerf (plus 0.1 to 18.4)
3rd. 29 Pauline Hilliard (plus 0.1 to 24.5)
1st. 34 Chris Park
2nd. 33 Mike Tait
3rd. 31 Richard Hinds
Those Members with internet will have now received, if not yet read, the Minutes of the turbulent AGM. This is not the medium through which to comment other than to compliment Jenny Chesterton on producing what is an amazingly accurate record of the lively discussions. The new Committee meet for the first time on January 10th next year after which the next chapter in this regrettable saga will doubtless be reported.
It would seem appropriate at this point to just express thanks to Jenny, on behalf of all members, for the caring and thoughtful way she has occupied the Secretary’s chair for the past three years. Although not a prominent position the role of Secretary in any club is a vital one. Captains come and go but the administration is demanding and constant. Efficiency and a real interest in the club and its members are essential. Jenny has displayed both, to our benefit. She is Christmassing in the north of Scotland, with Ron and their family, braving Storm Barbara but, by the sound of things, very much enjoying themselves. Which is well deserved and good to hear. Thanks Jenny.
It may have been mentioned before but Jose, our more than helpful and friendly Webmaster, is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to music and musicians. He is himself a guitarist of some standing and has been known to sing too. For these reasons alone one tries to bring in a melodic touch now and again, just to keep him interested and on our side! He knew immediately who Shania Twain was, and even to whom she was married! I doubt somehow Jose would be an Andre Rieu fan, and what a glut of his concerts there have been of late? Nor perhaps of Johnny Cash who, believe it or not, has now embraced rock and roll, as evidenced in his Christmas show. Even “Silent Night’, accompanied by his six singing daughters, seemed strangely out of place.
What would the 24th December be without the last of a Scramble filled year? Although a week has elapsed since rain was seen the authorities were un-relenting. No buggies on the course. Paths only. Even the playing presence of Pedro Batista didn’t help so at least two of us were ruled out of action. On another glorious day for golf too. The 11 teams were mostly in family groups, which was nice as the festivities get under way, and there were some good scores in at the finish.
1st. 58.2 Chris Park, Tony Slattery,David Moore, Chris Slattery
2nd. 58.8 Richard & Wendy Hinds, Cees & Lilly Lagerwerf
3rd. 59 Jing & Michael Krupa, Libby & Peter Robinson
Being the Festive Season it was no surprise to see children amongst the gathered members. One or two crept into the pictures without too much persuasion. Jing’s grand-daughter Julia and Chris Park’s daughter Lucy amongst them. Made a nice change.
It is always good to meet and greet new members, this time in the lively shape of Gontero Arnaud and his young son with the “Junior” version of the same name. We welcome you to our friendly group. Time we had a new French family. It is hoped to “introduce” them more fully in time but meanwhile a glowing report on the youngster’s ability and behaviour. Sounds like a good recruitment for the future. Watch this space?
Christmas Cracker Joke for Sonya
What do you call a cat in the desert?
A friend of a friend of a friend
Courtesy of our neighbours Wayne & Sarah Leach we can now embrace film star Tom Cruise.
Notice in a local restaurant
Wine does not make you fat. It makes you lean. Against walls, floors, and other people.
Hard to believe
Chuck Berry is 90 years old.
This is a sort of acronym for the seven deadly sins.
Sloth. Lust. Anger. Pride. Envy. Greed. Gluttony.
It was nice to bump into this former club member recently. He has been through a tough time but was as cheery and outgoing as always. Just limping off to play a flat nine hole course which, in itself, represents a huge achievement. Out for 18 months after having an ankle replaced, twelve of them on crutches. Now waiting to have a new knee which he dismissed as “a piece of cake” by comparison, but will render him inactive for another three months or so? Patrick was always a great golfing companion, knew all the rules backwards and had eyes like a hawk. He was a consistently good performer who could beat most when on his game. His fortitude is to be admired. Good to see you, Patrick. (He is not as one with computers so if anyone sees him more often please show him that he is not forgotten.)
Nice to see Sean visiting us from his university base in California, and even more to see him, his brother Connor, mother and father all playing together in the various festive competitions. Not many such teams around?
Extract from their website :
Good to get Christmas greetings from much missed Johan and Rea van Westerhoven. Unfortunate, nay, unbelievable circumstances dictated their move from Spain to its neighbouring country, one with which they appear to have fallen in love. Lots of flat golf, plenty of cycling, friendly natives, good food and wine, what’s not to like? No wonder they sound so “joyful and triumphant”, to borrow a phrase.
No real problem with Andre Rieu overkill providing he keeps spotlighting this musically accomplished and fun filled character who won a battle with cancer. She plays umpteen instruments very well, including the bagpipes, Iain, sings beautifully, and is a bundle of fun to boot. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in fact. Wouldn’t be surprised if she plays a mean game of golf.
Careful thought has clearly been given to the marriage of Peter Edstrom and Alison Kirk as Captains for 2017. The bonds between Sweden and Scotland go back centuries. Remember the Vikings? There remains a similarity in languages to this day. A kiss in Swedish is “puss” whilst “pus” in Scottish means mouth, said he, stuck in the marriage theme. There is a town of Inverness in both countries. The Swedes make their own very drinkable whisky, branded Mac(!)kmyra, whilst a blind man would be pleased to see the difference between “polsa” and “haggis”. A study of their respective ingredients, whilst somewhat off putting, makes this clear. To leave this subject on a light note it is observed that swedes are an essential part of the content of haggis!
Literary fans will be aware of the Nordic Noir, Stieg Larsson and the like, but Ian Rankin waves the Scottish flag with equally grim crime. Finally, having exhausted what little knowledge one has of things Swedish, we come to music. Abba come inescapably to mind, of course, but it is only research which reveals names like Rednex, Icona Pop, Europe, Ace of Base, Peter, Bjorn & John. None of whom, to be quite honest, had been heard of until half an hour ago.
Scotland seem to have the edge when it comes to group names though. Wet, Wet, Wet for example. Primal Scream? Simple Minds. Marmalade. The Bay City Rollers. Nor do Sweden have a match for The Krankies, hard to admit now but once a favourite in the Perry household, and eventually neighbours of my brother’s in Australia. In TV terms they were big, way back.
Where the countries really differ is that Sweden do not have a man who died at the age of 37 after writing 550 poems, some with quite bawdy lyrics, and, rather bluntly said, putting himself about quite a bit amongst the ladies. Burns Night, which Alison is trying to re-establish here, has been celebrated on January 25th for 200+ years and generally supersedes St.Andrew”s day in Scotland. Nor, as far as one is aware, do our Swedish friends have anything to compare with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo? With the illuminated castle in the background the marchers and musicians perform with incredible precision and great tradition. This year a group of Zulu’s were there with a very contrasting display. At midnight on a cold Edinburgh night one could but admire their bravery, clad as they were in next to nothing and in bare feet.
Whatever the history books may tell us, they know as much about 2017 as do we. What we do know is that in Peter and Alison the club has two popular members, keen members, looking after our interests for the next twelve months. We can but wish them well and promise them our support.
Numbers are beginning to dwindle. Legacy of indulgent festivities perhaps? Early migratory preparations for those bound for South Africa? Whatever the reason there were only to be 8 teams of 4 on Tuesday 27th = 32 which then became 31 when the Head Greenkeeper again ruled against buggies on the courses. Paths only. No first hand reporting. No Month in Action pictures. No golf for Jack. Again. Mind you, and to be fair to the decision maker, it was later reported that Asia was still wet and slippery in places.
Due to a combination of computer needs and absent operator the results have yet to be verified by the Spanish Federation. We might just be able to squeeze them in later.
For your long frustrated Editor the year ended on a high. December 31st. Campo America. Yet another Soft Bramble. My first competition since early November. It was very chilly and the course has seen better days but, after the period of deprivation, one would have been happy to play in any team. However, Mike Fisher, Brendan Walsh and Peter Hannam made it a come back to remember. Peter was the star of our team. Gentle demeanour, modest of manner, possessed of a unique and deadly putting style, and a good sense of humour. Lovely to see him playing so well after all his health problems. We could have been playing on our own private course. Doris Day’s “Tea for Two” comes to mind.
“Nobody near us
To see us or hear us”
It’s always nice to be able to make your own pace, and we did. Slow! Thanks for the pleasure of your company, gentlemen.
The new Captain was back from his festive holiday and quickly asserted himself, assisted by wife Anna and their two guests, as the following figures will show.
1st.95 Peter & Anna Edstrom, Tom Knutsson, Anne-Christine Uden.
2nd.90 Mike Fisher, Jack Perry, Brendan Walsh, Peter Hannam
3rd.89 Peter Penney, Wayne Leach, Jan Debrauwer, Louis Lentelink
This was the last prize presentation for Vic and Pauline who added a personal note to the proceedings.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed serving as your captains during 2016. We wish Peter and Alison every success for next year. Thank you all for your support and we wish you a Happy New Year”.
If nothing else it seems an appropriate note on which to bid 2016 farewell. As is a further photographic reminder of the Christmas spirit on display at the Turkey Trot.
Finally, Jose and I wish all members a very