Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The 7 P's...


...stands for Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance...so having a hubby with a stinking cold who cough and shuffled all night means that on the day of the tour I wake bleary eyed and with a sore throat too - thank Babes....

As an exercise teacher, I can tell you that the 7's P's are very important and that going into classes unprepared is a nightmare. Stress levels increase and you just dont enjoy it - and this is after 25 years of teaching - still prepare, still enjoy teaching.

As for the tour, the Rules were late and at 11pm last night I was trying deparately to make something vaugly resembling a "Necklace" out of pasta...cunningly cooking the spaghetti and wrapping in it oil and a plastic bag in the hope that it wont break (and having an uncooked one in a toothbrush holder just in case I broke the rules!!) all of which reminds me why I like to try and be organised as I feel somewhat frazzled on the start of the tour and only wanting to stay in bed with a box of tissues....let us hope that the Welsh Team have had better preparation than I have had, which aslo included a week from hell at work.

So,no 7's Ps, but guess what - 4 P's! And that makes all the difference. Four Prytherch girls on tour yet again - no doubt laughing enough to test the strength of any pelvic floor and having fun - that coupled with no doubt gob loads of Berocca (which will sort this cold out) will mean that 4 is sometimes better than 7.

Arrivaderci Baby x

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Chanelling a bygone era...


The infamous "Handbag Trials" usually involve 4 items (supposedly one from each sister)where once a whistle is blown, then the items have to be produced and adorned. The aim of the trial is to show that you are a responsible adult and can keep hold of 4 precious items whilst on tour. Having a tidy handbag helps and keeping an eye on the others either pinching items from your bag, or that they do in fact produce all items as requested. We tend to have on random item (the rawplug springs to mind) an animal/person (this year the Italian Stallion, an item to wear and the ubiquitous lipstick - usually red, which none of us wear, and so thankfully, this year, we have been allowed to choose our own colour (and I am tempted by a bright orange...).

The adorn item this year is a "silk" headscarf to be worn in the stylish manner of past filmstars such as the delightful Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, with of course, big sunglasses (that orange lipstick will look pretty fab if you ask me..). However, my gut feeling is whilst the first few attempts will be good, as the day wears on I am such that I will more likely be channelling Hilda Ogden.....

The hope is that the Welsh team will also be channelling a bygone era - and no, not the past few years when we have lost/drawn with Italy, but the 1970's where Wales were kings of the field - maybe we should have gone for flares....

Spaghetti


Now, whilst some of the Tour Rules are there to make the journey fun, there are some rules which add stress, and thanks to baby sis, she has come up with an evil plan that we all have to look after a piece of spaghetti for the entire tour...

Not content with the fact the trip is supposed to be a time away from responsibility, this kind of thing will drive me mad...or to be devious...and I have a couple of plans up my sleeve. The thing is, why do some people have to make life a challange and others want to have an easy way out? Me, like routine, knowing what is coming up and days of nothing. On days off, no watch no deadlines and no pressure. Feel the wicked thoughts creeping into my mind about my 6" piece of spaghetti that I must not break...and what I really want to do with it...

In addition to this, I somehow have to make a piece of jewellery out of pasta! REALLY.....?! Ok for the school teachers on half term less fun for us none liking-making-things-from-paper-cartons-oh-how-I-wish-I-was-a-Blue-Peter-presenter-person...think I will be Extremly devious and make a HUGE chain of pasta hoops to make a sling shot.

So, a tour with naps, sightseeing and looking after a piece of pasta...what happened?

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Queen decrees..


...finally, the rules have been brought together and it now feels like the tour can begin. As you all now know, I am a creature of habit and like to know what is going on where - although, when on holiday, my form of relaxing is not to have any rules at all even to the extent of getting to the destinatio with no accommodation, and I would hate to be stuck at the same resort for weeks on end... So, sometimes a leopard can change its spot, or maybe just wear its coat inside out...and it was exciting to see where the Queen was going to go with her new rules - and as you know, I thought that the gentle nature of the Queen would bring us a more civilised and well behaved year on tour...and so, thus it is.

Rule one - each day we are allowed to have a nap - anywhere anytime
Rule two - We have to each out once each day in a nice restaurant
Rule three - the Queen only has to have an alcohlic drink every other round...although we all have a get out card, this applied rule is quite different.
Rule four - we have to eat some rocket each day (you heard it hear first!)

Her handbag choice is a silk headscarf to be worn in the style of someone who would drive around in a small sports car in the 1950's

However, her extra point for prizes does include stadning on a table to sing "O sole mio" (or even just one cornetto) and dancing with an "Italian Stallion" (I hope it does not mean a horse...or if a man, how do we qualify his stallion like qualities...)

so maybe some spot changing after all...3 sleeps to go x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Time OUT


this week has been a week from hell - for various reasons....I have had to deal with endless complaints, niggles, not enough time AND a poorly child. Friday was a sigh of relief, and after training all I wanted to do was to go home and chill...but in the car, dear husband asks " so when exactly are you going to sort out GYM - you wont be here next weekend..." - blah blah blah...really, just a quiet night in would have been ok, but the relentless merry go round of jobs, people whinging and wondering how to split myself into many pieces is frankly quite exhausting..........Luckily in my head, I had the answer to "what will I be doing next weekend" LOL!!

It is without doubt that the accululative effect of a weekend of NO responsibility lasts far longer than the weekend itself. As a working mother, to have time off, where the only thing I have to get ready is me, is worth more than any therapy money can buy. Add to that the chance to sit and chat with sisters about any thing and everything, then nothing can be better...oh yes, being abroad means no phone calls, emails or any form of contact with the outside world. I can be a new person. A person who spends at least 30 minutes getting ready, someone who dresses up and wears high heels, someone who sips cocktails, eats fine food and goes to bed with all her make up on.

So whilst doing all the bloody miserable chores I have to complete this weekend, these images will be playing in my head...cleaning toilets at 9am = sipping latte on the piatza, bring ing tins of paint to be thrown = lunch in a chi chi restaurant, marking rugby pitches and cleaning men;s changing rooms (joy...) = high heels, tight jeans and assymetrical top with mega amount of slap.....so whinge at me all you like you miserable buggers - this time next week I will be in Rome xxx

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Secondo te chi vincera' la partita di rugby


...which apparently means, So who do you think will win the rugby (hoping that Sofia has not dobbed me in...) and I am not sure. I am more sure than I was this time last week when we were on our way to Scotland (how quickly does time fly!!) But after the win, I feel more confident that if Hooky is picked again at centre, the increased pace and rapid change of direction (if sometimes a bit unpredicatable even for his own team mates) puts those big Italian forwards on the back foot, than maybe, we can win. Although the scepure of how close Ireland came to losing is scary....

Having been to Italy once, I can tell you that the majority of the city will carry on as normal - and even look a bit distainful at the rugby supporters (esp us Welshie who are madly passionate in supporting their team with a range of paraphinalia which is a bit mad....)BUT Rome is a magical city and the sights take your breath away - Living history...

Me, personally, am planning all my outfits...including something called a "Bumpit" which I am expected to wear on the Friday night. Now, this does not sound good, but it is a bump that lifts your hair into a good bun shape which is all in keeping with the "Mad Men" themed evening....

So, a city that doesnt care much, and four girls who are on a mission to have a good time and wait for their precious team to WIN> think that passion alone should wing it in the city of love....xxx

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

it's begun....


ok, now getting quite excited when I realise that the main tour this year is about to begin...and I have never been soooo disorganised!! As a bit of a control freak, I like to know all details, so having a blank sheet with only 8 days before I leave for Roma is very stressful - what do I pack? What am I going to wear?? At least I have managed to get some tickets......phew

Now, why should clothes be so important? I am sure that Husband at home is rolling his eyes at this, but in all honesty, us girls like to make teams....team identity and knowing the dress code is an important part of this. Dont want to pack to much just-in-case-clothes, nor miss out on packing that dress...shoes...accessory...that will be needed (or worse, having to spend money buying something when you have it at home and you could be buying prosecco instead...)

So, I am looking forward to Sunday when all the sisters get together and set out the RULES>..this year, the Tour needs a name, so free bottle of bubbly to the best idea.....

Girls on Tour - Men in Skirts (well, my fantasy of Brad Pitt in his Greek gear is not far off a Roman Soldier...)
LOL - bring it on!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The banter


Well, Scotland, despite missing the girly banter and shopping, was an awesome trip. Edinburgh is one cool city and I wish I could have stayed longer just to eat in a few more cafes/restaurant/bars.....

Stealing the show, was little boy - an avid rugby fan, he entered in to the spirit of things, and was up, fully kitted out and ready to go by 9am...bearing in mind that the KO was not till 5pm. So, we spent the day travelling on the open top bus, walking around and generally being stopped by an endless number of people who wanted a photo of "your cute boy" and if he got asked once, he got asked a thousand times, "so, who are you supporting then?" - this from both the Welsh and Scottish fans, which is some indication of the good humour and banter of a rugby match. There are not many city's you could take a 10yr old to, crammed with thousands of (drunken...) sports fans there to see their team win - and feel utterly safe. (see pic of him and the Welsh Ladies...he was mortified when they kissed him goodbye!).

The game, thank you, was a fairy tale of great sidesteps, goals kicked and the other team not making the most of having to play against 13 men. Ok, it was not an epic battle, and my blood pressure remained steady (thanks to a constant supply of cans of G&T -Brill idea!).

We sat amoungst Welshies, with their normal dry sense of humour...so when a small band of pipers (in full regalia) suddenly stood up and started blasting some Scottish tune loudly in my ear, a group of them stood up, turned their backs on the pitch and sang Delaila at full blast straight back at them...and then we scored....they stood up again...flower of Scotland (great tune)...and we got more points...and then one of them stood up and shouted "Oi, can you play again, cos everytime you do we score points...." LOL that is what is special about matches, which you dont get sitting at home watching telly - the banter.

PS However, at least if you are watching it on telly, hopefully you are not subjected to the beer farts.....................

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Scotland


Our first ever girls trip away was to Scotland - even missing one of the sisters (new baby) and at the time of going, there were no rules and more importantly, no Queen. The Queen of the Tour idea was born on this first trip - more importantly, on the long journey home, where, moi, being bossy as ever, awarded myself the Queen title for being completely nuts.

Of course, there were forfeits on this tour. It started after a very well bahaved meal at Pizza Express, and then a trip to the pub - which had a spiral staircase...........anyway, as I hardly ever go out, and usually in bed by 9.30pm, the combination of a long journey and food made me soporific...and yawned...in the end the naughty little sisters started to apply a penalty for each yawn (still a feature of the tour). I remember having to walk down the spiral staircase in a seductive manner...now, having applied to Drama college as a teenager and the fact that nobdoy knew me (oh the embarassment) I went for it. Sisters nearly wet their knickers and I therfore blame this trip (and Me) for the start of forfeits - just for the entertainment value that they give to others xx

We did have a second tour (all four of us) to Edinburgh, and it is a fab city. The atmosphere is great, and those Scots in kilts well.....

And so I am off on tour again to Scotland...but no sisters, and my only worry is that someone will blow a whistle and I will be rummaging in my handbag, putting on lipstick, shouting och aye the noo and putting a plastic duck on my head.........whilst husband and child look at me in disbelief...

wish me luck, but more importantly, wish the Welsh Team speed, courage and a little bit of Shane Magic..........

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

the first tour of the season


Well, excitedly and unexpectedly, a new tour has emerged this year. As a mother of a mad-for-rugby 10yr old, his dispondent face each time we go to see a match resulted in us telling him last year, that in 2011 we would take him to Italy. Now, the sisters had also planned that trip and I was in a difficult situation, having to chose to go with husband and child, or sisters - even worse, to go with sisters knowing full well that husband and child were also in the city without me. However, Husband did not find magic deal that sister did and decided we wont be going......

So, little boy and I planned a secret surprise. We worked out how many extra classes I would need to teach to pay for trip...and then set about tickets. Only issue was, trying to stop workaholic husband to not go to work on Friday for no good reason...so in the end we told him yesterday, and he was typically underwhelemed, but then started saying we should have another night in a hotel on the way up,...so think he is quite keen really...

So, pack tonight and off tomorrow after classes - stay in Premier Inn on the way, eat all you can breakfast and off North - with a slight detour through the Lake District (and probably pub lunch). Fish restaurant on Friday evening and tour of the castle on Saturday morning before the match...home Sunday.

Funny thing is, there are no games, no rules, no dress code and I am not quite sure about it all...especially as the last time I went on tour with husband, he kindly fell asleep in the restaurant at 7pm on Saturday night...and I was left wide awake, all alone in the city of love............he'd better shape up this time!!

Anyway, little boy has enough energy for the both of us....let us hope that some of that rubs off on the Welsh Team too xx

Monday, 7 February 2011

the trouble with tickets...


Of all the tours that we have been on, ticket trouble has always been a feature. Getting a ticket to a match seems like a dark art...about knowing the right person...but as I am now a member of the local RFC committee this should be a walk in the park....not so due to communication error that would have seen us going to watch Ireland so nearly lose to Italia last weekend.

In some ways, although the reason for the tour is the match, the fact is it is rarely that I have been in the stadium. Not anymore, and it is a blessed relief, beacuase as a Welshi, I want to say "I was there". This year could be different. Have 2 tickets already - but there are 4 of us. So, I have called in all my favours and emailed all my contacts to see what comes up - I quite believe in Karma, so what goes around, comes around....and hopefully I have been a good girl and will get the tickets in time...

Fingers crossed.........x

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Thr Rules


A game of sport is defined by the fact it has RULES - as opposed to just exercise, where you can happily workout to your hearts content. Rules help players focus on what is needed to win a competition. Rules can be about skill, safety or formation of teams - such as scrums, lineouts or how to kick off. Everyone should know the rules (even refs) although some will test the fringes of what is allowed, as cheating, can sometimes give you an advantage...but being caught cheating has major consequences.

It is thus, that the RULES of the Tour are most important. What time we meet, what to bring, what to wear, and the handbag trial. These help to focus the mind and winning means that all the rules are completed properly. Misconduct does not end in a yellow or red card (although that would be a good idea....) but forfeits. For example, yawning in public whislt on tour is frowned upon - are you not having fun ??!Is my company boring you? (the cheat here is called "excited yawning"...) You are not allowed to talk about work (unless it is really funny...) Even worse is crying...esp if it is over a man...

Forfeits for trangressions:
1. Forfeits can be administered by any member of the group
2. Forfeits must be completed immediately and done in good spirit
3. Forfeits must not break the law (criminal or moral)and should not involve the following - Animal Bushtucker trials..or something you would not do yourself..

In Sport, rules are not meant to be broken (unless the ref does not see it)

Bring on the Tour and let us see who will be playing by the Rules this year and who will be the loser.....xx

Friday, 4 February 2011

you are having a laugh..........


.....groan, really, that is not good. Ok, we did lose but not in spectacular fashion, but bad enough to feel cringworthy when having to go back into work and face those other english people. Hate losing. Paricularly hate losing to the english.....

The thing is...is that on tour it is sometime worse, because after all the getting ready, dressing up, having the pre-match fun,....losing comes like a big bad hangover...and you have to face the other team.

I remember in the 80's...living in Manchester, and SOOOOO enjoying being able to wave the Welsh flag the next time in basketball training. These days, it seems we have lost our fizz, sparkle and belief. And losing is althogther painful.

The thing is...is that on tour...you then have another bunch of good friends to laugh with, sympathise with, give back banter with and generally feel better with..friend, sisters, lovers.........they are all worth their weight in gold. Ok, so the English may have paid the ref a backhander for some of those decisions, but at the end of the day, only Mrs Flood could love that face, but most of Wales would kiss BRadley Davies, Sam Warburton, Lydiagate and snog Shane.....and punch chris in the chops....

Ah well...there are kilts to look forward to next week.............

Thursday, 3 February 2011

predictable...


...well, you read it here first...Hooky is at full back....wonder what other predictions I could make...

Ok..nervous excitement before the match...high hopes and expectation..the whistle goes and Wales holds its breath as SJ kicks off..............now it can go 2 ways....either a tight fought match, with some Shane magic...or a collapse..



As for the tour, there are many things that are predictable. 1. Est will ask for rocket at some point, Waz will be eyeballing the snackage and ALP will be getting us banned from somewhere no doubt, shouting you runts! haha and me, well I dont think I will be repeating the long blonde wig and high heels look - far too much attention...nor the "Lets have another bottle of rose" malarky...or even the try to put on red lipstick without a mirror (or let Waz do it) = I will the predictable bossy sister...or maybe not...after all it is the year of the Rabbit, when all things cute and furry happen.....now now only clean stuff you know...BUT<>

Let us hope that the Welsh team follow suit and not be so predicatable with spreading the ball wide from one to side to the other, but maybe trying something a little daring and run straight at the *** - or maybe take a leaf out the Rabbits book and dig deep when times get tough, glare at them in the headlights and run rabbit run!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

who will be who?


Today, the Welsh team will be announced ahead of the game on Friday (well, The English one is too, but dont know many of them, and so it is irrelevant to who is who). So, will Hooky be at full back? He must wonder about that label of being an "utility back" - able to do many jobs but never quite in the number 10 shirt that he so wants - maybe he was a woman in a previous life - adaptable, capable, talented, but sometimes feeling a bit short changed by life!!! LOL!


So far, the tension of this weekend is palpable - a make or break- if we win, we will go all the way, if we lose, it's all over....so typical Welsh passion....and I wish for the stability of an All Blacks team where you kind of know you are going to win...


So who is who - who will be in and more importantly, who will be Queen this year???


I am somewhat concerend that EJP is reigning Queen and has made the rules...wondering if we will be having to eat rocket sandwiches at high tea, do the Times crossword, listen to Radio 4 and go to bed early....however, I am hoping that the inner Queen that danced down the arrivals lounge in Any Winhouse wig, will be let loose...........


Which one will it be?

What team will turn up?

Who will be Queen?


Watch this space.........