Scottish Wife goes golfing

29 10 2013

Julie (aka Scottish Wife) and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary last week. Hard to imagine back on October 25th 1980 as a couple of 26 year olds that a third of a century later we would not only be retired but have dual nationality and be living thousands of miles away from what was then our home in Dorset, England. Our own kids, aged just nine and seven when we moved to Canada, are now close to 30 and we ourselves have made the transition from proud parents to proud grandparents. Like most couples, I’m sure, we have been through good times and bad. The bad times have always been short lived and, on reflection, have usually been brought about by some error in judgement or lack of sensitivity on my part. My recent bright idea to publicise  SW’s new Shawmail address in the form of an email announcing a parting of the ways was perhaps not quite as clearly phrased as I had intended, although it did confirm my suspicion that some of our friends and relatives don’t read their emails as attentively as they probably should. I also have to say that for every sympathetic email I received, Julie got half a dozen saying that she “should have ditched the old ba$tard years ago”.

One constant in our marriage used to be that I was the one who did the sports stuff and Julie was the one who watched. Before we were married, Julie used to come and watch me play soccer. Not surprisingly, she soon tired of watching me run up and down the wing on wet and windy Sunday mornings in Division 6 of the Bournemouth League. Once we had the kids, I was usually able to inveigle her into coming along with the other wives and make tea for the cricket team I played for every summer, but that all came to an end the day we tried to sneak in a beer match when a game finished early. I can still see the pitch invasion now, Julie marching onto the hallowed turf at Wimborne St Giles, five year old Kate holding one hand and three year old Joe holding the other, and announcing very loudly: “These are YOUR kids and I’ve already looked after them for three hours. It’s your turn now and I’m going down the pub”. Rain has stopped play many a time in Dorset League cricket matches, but “Wife Stopped Play” was an embarrassing first for all of us in the Gerrings Insurance XI. It was also an event that I have never been allowed to forget by any of the players – or wives – who were there on that infamous day.

Since Kate and Joe left home, and particularly since her retirement, Julie has become a more active participant in athletic pursuits: lots of walking, a gym membership, thrice weekly zumba and now, finally, golf.  Julie’s idea of golf is almost diametrically opposed to mine: she plays nine holes, not eighteen; a good round is measured by the number of laughs, not strokes, (it took me a while, but I have now learned not to ask her after a round what her score was as she a) has no idea and b) basically couldn’t care less); the concept of matchplay, playing for money and insulting your playing partners is completely alien to her, as are some of the most basic tenets of golf. A couple of weeks ago, for example, she was telling me how tough some of her shots had been that day because every time her ball landed in the fairway it was embedded in the ground “and it was really hard trying to hit it out”. When I pointed out that at this time of year we played lift, clean and place she gave me an old fashioned look and asked how she was supposed to know this stuff if I didn’t explain all the rules properly.

There are a couple of basics that she and her friends have grasped, however. Knowing that even in the 21st century guys have a tendency to moan about women being on golf courses unless they’re driving a beer cart, I suggested that she and her friends follow two rules: always try to keep up with the group ahead and, if they can’t, invite the group behind to go through. This has paid dividends: a few weeks ago at Comox golf club a group of guys who Julie and her friends had invited through bought them coffee when they’d finished their round – something that’s never happened to me. And last week when Julie’s group was waiting on the first tee they were joined by a couple of guys who’d already played nine holes. They were very appreciative when the ladies invited them through but were in no great rush. “We’ve got time to flirt first, right?” said one of the gentlemen. This has also never happened to me.

first birdie

Julie eyes up a short putt on the 160 yard 8th hole at Mulligans for her very first birdie.  (Picture, courtesy of Paula McRae). Another rule to remember: there are no gimme birdie putts in golf!

As the picture above shows, though, there’s the occasional success that all golfers can relate to. How cool that Julie’s friend Paula was on hand to ensure that Julie’s first birdie was recorded for posterity. Your Scottish dad would have been proud indeed, Jewie!

All da best, especially to Mickey, Paula, Cathy and all SW’s golfing chums.

Dave B.




8 responses

29 10 2013

Ah David! what a beauty this was. It had the usual chuckles which are always greatly enjoyed, but it also had the little peek into your earlier life. Thanks for that and thanks again for taking the time to write your blog. Look out for Julie in a year or two…you may be on to a hiding on the course.

30 10 2013
Bagger Dave

Thanks, Martin. There are already enough people out there giving me a hiding on the course without adding Julie to the list.

29 10 2013
John Mccomish

I can remember the cricket incident well, it was the same day I was bowled out by a girl in the second match from a long hop that must have bounced about 4 times before hitting the stumps!

30 10 2013
Bagger Dave

I’d forgotten that, John. My other great memory was the match where Rusty got out LBW first ball and moaned about it all the way back to the pavilion. We persuaded him to turn around and insist on continuing his innings. He did and, sure enough, was clean bowled the very next ball. Happy days, eh?

30 10 2013

Congratulations D and J, I hope you celebrated in style. I’d like to remind you that 35 years is ‘coral anniversary’. After mentioning this at every opportunity for several months, I got a necklace! A friend is going for a coral island jaunt. So Dave, you’ve got two years to save up!
Much to G’s amazement I have also been playing a bit of golf but very much under Julie’s rules and only in sunshine. No birdies yet, just one par, so well done Julie!

30 10 2013
Bagger Dave

Thanks for the reminder, Maryann. I think I’ve got a bit of coral on a mantlepiece somewhere, so I’ll put it away for safekeeping. Sounds a lot cheaper than a coral island jaunt. Maybe you and Julie can go off golfing together next time we’re over, while Geoff and I cook supper…

30 10 2013

Congratulations Julie on the birdie and my condolences for you know what (how could you take it for that long?)
I also got a birdie today on a 343 yard par 6, felt good.
‘The boy stood on the burning deck playing cricket
The ball went up his trouser leg and hit his middle wicket’
I could never understand why my mother didn’t like that nursery rhyme.

30 10 2013
Bagger Dave

I can’t understand why you’re not considered one of the great contemporary poets, Peter. Congrats on your birdie. I assume Aurele won.

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