We’ve taken up sport. (I say ‘we’, I mean my husband and the Gidg, I am merely responsible for the transport, washing of suitable clothing for said sports, finance and general encouragement). One has been convinced of the charms of healthy competition, and the other has decided to reclaim his youth before it leaves him forever. Tennis and cycling. Well, it was that or golf, and if there is a walk involved then the dogs have to go too. And a pony is way too expensive.
It was a deliberate decision to send Gidg to tennis lessons: we thought she needed to learn a sport which was sociable, would suit her, and would be affordable. So, off to the Country Club in Santa Ponsa for us: to hook up with the tennis coaches for a try out. So far, so good: it’s very cute to watch little kids playing tennis and there is the added bonus (for me) of getting to hang out on the manicured lawns doing nada for an hour whilst they run around the courts getting sweaty. The coaches really impressed me with their inspiring enthusiasm, as they engaged Gidg to keep trying until she managed to hit the ball across the net. One tennis raquet (10€), a skirt (6€) and hat (6€) and a month’s worth of lessons (46€) later and she is ready to rock. Of course I have imagined the wealth we will enjoy once she has become the new tennis world number one, of course I have earmarked my new 10 million euro house, and of course I am biting back my pushy parent impulse. If I start to insist that we rise at 5am to go and practise her back hand, could someone please have a word?
The old man on the other hand has been lusting after a fancy pants bicycle for several months now (we have two which are slowly rusting in the back garden, but apparently they are no good for road cycling). He’s also been inspired by the challenge that Ben Miles has set himself (featured recently in the EWN Ben is planning to cycle from Gibraltar to Norway to raise money for the Allen Graham Charity for Kidz next Spring, that’s a whopping 6000km over 6 weeks. You can get more info at http://www.bensmiles.com). So after a bit of negotiation with a local bike hire company we are about to take receipt of a bicycle made out of ‘angel delight’. He says it’s a bargain (should have been 1600€, actually 400€), but oddly does not include the purchase of pedals, and then there’s the lycra outfit with extra padding which will prevent the possible development of ‘bottom boils’. (Yuck).
I suspect there may be many other ‘crucial purchases’ to come… but at least this way they are both really easy to shop for at Christmas.
In the meantime I find walking the dogs and yoga continue to be free.

(First published on 10.10.10 on http://www.euroweeklynews.com/columns/vicki-mcleod)

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