Now, before the speculation begins as to whom I may be referring, the answer is Astraea, daughter of Astraeus and Eos. Although she abandoned the Earth way back in the Iron Age, seeking to escape the wickedness of humanity, she remains very much with those of us born between August 23rd and September 22nd. Having ascended into Heaven she became the Constellation Virgo. More recently, on the 13th., September 1932 a young baby joined the Virgo ranks and, many, many years later, found himself scribbling away on behalf of La Cala Golf Club members.
Virgo is the sixth sign of the Zodiac and the second largest constellation. Qualifiers have always been the butt of jokes about tidiness, attention to detail, workaholicism, and far from being mutable.
This we accept and go about our duties diligently and without search of reward. What I find less acceptable is that Virgo also rules the intestines yet research fails to confirm whether other Virgoans have bowel problems? IBS and your editor have been closet buddies for many years now.
An investment of two euros per competition might not sound likely to make you a fortune. Unless of course, you are a Syversen, whose stock of golf balls must by now be creating storage problems? September began well for them with 9 balls each from the Two’s lottery but it was to get better, Lotta walking away with 17 later in the month. Rumours that they have been seen on the approach road, car bonnet loaded with brand new balls at competitive prices, have been strongly denied.
1st 32 Kate Bradley (plus 0.1 to 20.2)
2nd 32 Pauline Hilliard (on handicap)
3rd 30 Lotta Syversen (plus 0.1 to 12.1)
1st 33 Les Wicks (on handicap)
2nd 33 Peter Penney
3rd 32 Chris Slattery (plus 0.1 to 4.4)
Kath O’Connor, daughter of Karen & Arthur, has won the Welsh Ladies’ Order of Merit for 2015. She was presented with the trophy at Royal Wimbledon GC where she was playing in the Home Internationals. Wales finished second to England but only by half a point. Kath’s personal record was the best of the day, winning 5 of her 6 matches, and only losing her singles to England on the very last hole! Well done, again, Kath. Congratulations from us all.
This competition included a Chinese lady, a Zimbabwian, and at least one American so the title was, mildly put, intriguing? Efforts to find out what lay behind it have failed to clarify anything. 28 pairs played Stableford with both scores counting towards the total. Prize giving was a prolonged affair with no less than eight pairs stepping forward for their traditional red, white or rose reward. Scoring was close but eventually the top three were announced as
1st 76 Lotta Syversen & Mike Fisher
2nd 72 Johan Van Wershoven & Arthur O’Connor
3rd 72 Pearl Fisher & Brian Farmer
Afterwards there was a BBQ and “entertainment” including various permutations of the “light fantastic” by happy members.
This young Peruvian has already appeared in the newsletter, albeit via long distance internet, but he has now put in a personal appearance, delighting those to whom he was introduced by grandparents Pauline & David Moody at a recent gathering in Patio Geranios. The already sturdy baby is a keen bouncer as was swiftly discovered after inviting him into my lap. Any change in my vocal tone will, it is hoped, soon revert to normal.
1st 33 Lotta Syversen (on handicap)
2nd 33 Carol Rees (on handicap)
3rd 33 Kate Bradley (on handicap)
A three way tie is rather rare?
1st 36 Chris Slattery (cut 0.2 to 4.2)
2nd 35 Roy Davies (cut 0.2 to 9.3)
3rd 34 David Lansdowne
September has seen two comparatively new members in action. A good chance to ask them a few questions and “introduce” them to the membership at large. They are Alan and Clare Hemson who hail from Crowthorne in Berkshire, but additionally bought a town house in Monte Alto in July this year. Alan is yet another IT person, on the sales side of the business, whilst Clare runs her own Domestic Cleaning business – “Call Clare” So, any member needing to know how to remove red wine stains from carpets, white shirts or shorts, just ring! Alan plays his golf at Sonning, near Reading, and is currently off 4. Clare keenly aspires to this level but has a way to go yet, as she freely admits. They have a son, James, aged 26, and a much loved Labradoodle by the name of Priya who will be travelling with them in future. Although young by local standards(!)their aim is to retire in three years and spend more time with us all here. We look forward to it and, meanwhile, greet them well.
Every year Patrick Murphy, Resort Director, and his team invite owners, family and friends to play golf and then indulge themselves! This year there were 14 groups of 4 including some names not known to everyone. Golfers but not yet members, perhaps? Anyway, we all did our best out on Campo Asia on Wednesday 9th but were overshadowed by a popular Dutchman who had been in the golfing doldrums for a while.
Before he stepped forward though, Patrick Murphy made a short speech of welcome, there was a brief presentation from the Property Department, and then came the prize giving.
1st 32 Paula Lansdowne
2nd 31 Lotta Syversen (on handicap)
3rd 31 Jenny Chesterton
1st 39 Cees Lagerwerf (cut 1.7 to 13.7)
2nd34 Damon Thomas (on handicap)
3rd34 David Gilchrist
Cees deserved his hearty round of applause which restored his usual smile and helped him forget the patch he has been suffering of late, and with which we are all familiar at times?
There were prizes for nearest the pin and lots of pictures taken, mostly for the Resort’s publicity but also for the newsletter, the editor not being side tracked by the diversity and ceaseless supply of tapas, delicacies, and glasses which somehow managed to stay full of wine despite attention at frequent intervals.
I don’t know whether those present have a channel for formally thanking the Resort for its hospitality but it seems appropriate to do so now. Thank you Patrick, and all those on duty.
(It is somewhat frustrating to be faced with knowing smiles when denying any responsibility for this monthly feature. Let me emphasise that I merely type up the handwritten article, not even editing the grammar. I am at pains to make that clear because the topic this issue is quite close to my heart. Or knees.)
I love life here in Spain and to cope with the climate have taken to wearing shorts year round for comfort. The only down side is that my legs, previously much admired by ladies of the opposite sex, have become mottled in summer and red with what may be chilblains in winter. What should I do? Sexy Knees, La Cala.”
“Dear Sexy Knees,
Chaffing or itching anywhere is always unpleasant, I’m a martyr in several sensitive areas myself, so you will be glad to know that I have the answer. I am reliably informed that one past Lady Captain has a large collection of Jane Fonda 1980’s workout type leggings, in a full range of colours. Whether she keeps these for gym work or reasons associated with her man’s fetishes, is unknown, but these could solve your problem. Why don’t you ask around the Lady Past Captains about the contents of their lingerie drawers? I’m sure you will get an immediate response. ElLA”
(Ed. I can’t let this one go. What does “ladies of the opposite sex” actually mean?)
Rain threatened and it was refreshingly cooler as this Trophy Event got underway. 20 selected pairs in deadly combat. Tensions mounted as the scores came in. At one point the Captains held a 3-1 lead but fortunes yoyo-ed until, at 4-5 all eyes were on the last group in. The final outcome was decided with the last putt on the very last hole and led to a 5-5 draw. Anticlimatic but, in accordance with the rules of the competition, the holders kept the trophy for another year.
Afterwards there were tapas and wine, celebrations and commiserations, lots of laughter with few apparently caring who won!
One has been briefly referred to earlier but this paragraph is dedicated to Connie Maphar who celebrated one of life’s milestones on the 13th. Well, to be precise, her birthday was on that date but related events went on for the next couple of days, this newsletter is reliably informed. Monday 14th witnessed the golfing element of her “party”.
Connie planned and hosted the day which began with a nine hole competition. Not your ordinary format either! Connie was to prove a hard task master. There were six teams each with a name reflecting the passage of time …
The fact that only nine pre-lunch holes were played makes a duration of more than three hours difficult to understand? Until you learn that the worst drives had to be chosen, then the best second shot, worst third shot, etc., until the green was reached, Then everyone had to putt from the worst position and continue until ALL balls were in the hole. Scoring must have been a nightmare but eventually results were announced as follows;
1st Arthritis Ladies 63 points
2nd Tena Ladies 59
3rd Alzheimers 57
As might be expected after such industry lunch was a light hearted and enjoyable occasion, as the following pictures might show, Connie rounding her day off by kindly giving everyone a small gift.
(ED. It must be confessed that, due to the sheltered life led by this editor, Google was needed to learn what Tena was about!)
It has to be said that getting much other than the bare score from Captains isn’t always easy! However, it can be reported that this was a return match, the weather was nice, there was praise for Europa’s condition, we lost overall 5-1, and our three pairs team was Bobo Syversen & Ron Chesterton, Roy Davies & Mike Fisher, David Evans & David Lansdowne. Ignoring the advice that “If it goes without saying, let it” the food, wine, and camaraderie were enjoyed in equal parts.
Pictures were taken (by the opposition let it be added)which are very dark so, unless Jose can work miracles, they may never appear.
1st 37 Lotta Syversen (cut 0.6 to 11.5)
2nd 36 Carol Rees (cut 0.3 to 12.2) (on handicap)
3rd 36 Mary Evans (cut 0.4 to 21.8)
Not only did Lotta win but this was the day she got 17 golf balls for her Two, there being only one other winner, Jenny Chesterton, who also returned to her table with arms full.
1st 34 Dean Moore
2nd 34 Les Wicks (on handicap)
3rd 33 Bobo Syversen
I’m not sure what it is about this format but it is not greatly popular among male players generally, not just members here. Possibly because it is only half a game? Of course, for that very reason it should be a quicker round than usual. Not this day though. It was later learned that no less than 448 golfers were in action at La Cala! Inevitably some wag suggested that most of them were just ahead of us!
Those without books or cameras chatted amiably enough amongst themselves, mostly speculating as to which of our brigade might be the cause of the problem. Even so some managed to control their impatience and turn in good results. There were eight prizes again with three pairs returning the same score, but two outstanding results rose above all.
1st 43 Jill Davies & Derek Steele (on handicap)
2nd 43 Carol Rees & Louis Lenterlink
3rd 40 Cees Lagerwerf & Les Wicks
The penultimate opportunity to qualify for this year’s Medal Final in October but a sad experience for those glad to be back on America again. The damage done by wild boar’s was widespread and extensive. It will take a lot of hard work and cost to restore it. For how long? The arguments for culling, and the reasons why this is not possible, are oft discussed, but it really must be heart breaking for the green staff.
Anyway, some seized their opportunities and the leaders were’
1st 73 Ritva Hagglund
2nd 76 Kate Bradley (on handicap)
3rd 76 Mary Evans
1st 69 David Evans (cut 1.7 to 16.7)
2nd72 Chris Slattery (cut 0.1 to 4.1)
3rd 73 Dean Moore
September 23rd., saw us move into the third phase of the year, but this might not be so visible here as in some parts of the world. New England for example, where the changing colour of the leaves is a visual delight and gives cameras an insatiable appetite. Our picture is from Japan though.
Here, on all the courses, we have olives in abundance, wild asparagus, figs galore, and in a little visited part of Europa’s 8th., known now as “Moody’s Hole”, there is an apple tree groaning under the weight of its crop. As a youngster, like most, I did my share of scrumping, but as an adult I have managed to resist the urge. Not so a recent buggy partner who picked a sizeable fruit, almost ruined his dentures biting into it, dismissed it as very sweet, and consigned it to the bushes. Members have been warned.
Like Worksop for example. Members from greater Europe may be forgiven if the name means little. For those of UK origin it is a town name, like Macclesfield, or Giggleswick, which conjure up a less than attractive mental image, and little urge to visit. Both wrong assumptions. Worksop, despite the burden of its name, boasts one of the best golf courses in our country. So good in fact that the 1957 Ryder Cup was held there, and long is the list of major tournaments, professional and amateur, of which Lindrick GC can be justly proud. Our very own David Millar was a member there, and Will “The Voice” Jackson currently is. The photograph shows them both at an Invitation Event earlier this year, formally attired and strategically placed beneath clubhouse boards on which they both appear!
This addition to the calendar was introduced by Past Ladies Captain Cecelia Massey and has grown in popularity since its inception. This month’s event was organised by Sonya Foster & Lilly Lagerwerf and, by the sound of things, everyone had a great day! The weather could hardly have been kinder Lunch was a bit different and took the form of tuna wraps with chips, followed by an indulgent dessert which included a chocolate brownie! Somewhat at variance with the format chosen – Sandwich Stableford.
Prizes were won by Lotta Syversen and Carol Rees for Nearest the Pin on 9 and 16 holes.
The main battle produced this outcome:
1st 74 Kate Bradley, Annie Clarke, Paula Lansdowne, Karen O’Connor
2nd 72 Mary Evans, Liisa Lindstrom, Pearl Fisher, Sue Young
3rd 71 Jenny Chesterton, Rea Van Wershofen, Wendy Hinds & Ritva Hagglund
No less than 17 different players took part in the two fixtures so will not be listed here! Partly because their names are not known to the newsletter, partly because of space, partly because we lost this match 5-1, and partly because “memorable moments” are in short supply, especially when you lose. The weather was good it is gathered. For silence read unhappiness.
The last Saturday competition for two months attracted 65 members and 3 guests. The advertised “twist” proved to be that only the best score counted on all holes except the par 3’s where both counted! Inevitably this led to some post match card revision. Seven players didn’t read their play lists carefully enough, assumed the tee-off time would be 0930 as usual, arrived late and found the buggy convoy had departed, ready on their respective tees for the 0900 shotgun start. The Captains were somewhat displeased but were still on parade and smiling behind the laden trestle table on the 1st tee, hosting and dispersing a variety of snacks and drinks to passing players.
It was my pleasure to play alongside Ritva Hagglund, something of a club legend, and the charming Kirsti Makela, she of the near perfect English, good sense of humour, sound golf game, and unique swing. She and Rea Van Wershoven would make a good pair!! How their club heads ever finds the way back to the ball is a mystery. But they always do. Heimo Kupsu was my travelling companion and this ancient Finn still hits the ball a formidable and enviable distance. When at home, where the summer has been a wet one, fishing takes priority over golf. Perch are his main targets and, if you ask him nicely, he will whip out his Smart phone and show you the sizes of his catch. 30-35 cms in length some of them.
Prize giving followed a seated lunch of assorted tapas, and was a generous occasion. There were rewards for Nearest the Pin on all five par 3’s, for both men and ladies, and no less than eight prizes in the main competition. The top three being
1st 51 Carol Rees and Cees Lagerwerf
2nd 50 Danny Rees & Roger Dew (on handicap)
3rd 50 Maddie Brooks & Tauno Rautainen
Judy Lentelink was on duty throughout as “Official Photographer” so we are indebted to her for the relevant illustrations of the “Captains’ Fun Day”.
There should also be a vote of thanks to Brian Farmer & Sonya Foster, our Captains, for both organising and supervising a most enjoyable day.
In years to come Mr. & Mrs Robot, by then Captains, might be following in the footsteps of the innovative Hilliards. Recent pictures show plenty of space for golf courses on Pluto, with landscape likely to make La Cala seem flat by comparison. John Crombie will doubtless be interested in such speculation, being an avid fan of space and intergalactic movements.
Most members will have seen the musical. Fewer will have read the original novel written by Victor Hugo(1802-1885). Even less will realise that we have within our membership ranks a pair with things in common with the great writer, although there are no literary ambitions on their part, not even to start contributing to this newsletter. Which would make a nice change!
Clearly stung by being beaten 3-0 here earlier in the month Miraflores put our a very strong, low handicap team for this return fixture. Our ladies made one change, Lotta stepping in for Hazel Gilchrist to partner Lilly Lagerwerf. Our other two pairs were Maggie Coombs & Karen O’Connor, Kate Bradley & Sylvia McGarvie. Try as we might, and we did, we could not manage even the half which would have given us the overall win. Instead the 12 league points were shared equally.
No frills. Friendly sounding. Easy to remember. But what does it mean? For what is it short? Nothing apparently. Pronounced Boh-Boh it claims to combine bo(urgeois)+bo(hemian) according to David Brooks, an American journalist, in his book “Bobos in Paradise”. My Universal Dictionary, without which life would not be complete, defines the name as “Informal, a liberal, highly educated person who combines a bourgeois, affluent lifestyle with non confirmist values and attitudes”. I don’t know our future Captain well enough yet to comment, but Lotta would know I guess!!
There were puddles and soggy patches on the course today, and winter rules in force. This last minute newsletter entry, as the month closes, is simply to record the unofficial best scores. Even if finally correct it is too soon for any handicap changes to be known.
1st 35 Lotta Syversen
2nd 33 Ritva Hagglund
3rd 32 Rea Van Wershoven
Lotta, Ritva, Rea!! As they might say in the House of Commons “The A’s have it.”
1st 36 Roger Dew
2nd 34 Alan Jewett
3rd 34 David Evans
This has been the Month of Lotta who won no less than four competitions and was runner-up once. To say nothing of her millions of balls! Must surely be a Virgo?
Exercise, it is said, is good for you. But is it? A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks only water, but is still fat. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives a maximum of 15 years, if lucky. A tortoise, on the other hand, doesn’t run, does mostly nothing, yet lives to 150 years?
When you reach my age all you tend to exercise is caution.
Just remember that with proper care the human body will last a lifetime.