On Saturday I had a lovely excursion out of Tana to a small town called Anjeva (pop. 5,900) in a very small but beautiful train with two-man rattan sofas with thick comfortable maroon cushions and overhead Raffles fans. Lovely. The sofas were actually glued into position rather than bolted so I'm not sure how secure they would have been in the event of a crash but we really didn't go much above 20 mph I don't think. The 4 hour walk was up a mountain from 10.00 to 4.00 with a two hour sit down at the top which was a bit too much in 30 degree heat. I was exhausted so happy to sit in front of my computer screen and read the rugby text.
My team have been allowed to play in the Christmas Cup. On Sunday we played what I thought was the quarter-final but it seems now it may have been the semi-final. There were rumours that we were not going to be well received but I went with Pal the manager anyway which was lucky because neither Riva the coach, nor Charles the fitness/backs coach turned up and we only had one sub. Among the forms you have to hand in before the match are the registration cards/licences for the players with photographs and a form containing the name of the coach so Mr D. Moloney was duly handed in. My record now stands as Played 1, Won 1. We played well enough to beat a very average opposition team which after 5 weeks(?) without a game or training was very good. Again our forward power was impressive and they were told explicitly before the game not to kick the ball away and by and large we stuck to that and so controlled the game through the forwards. We scored one try by No.8 from close range and won interception. Everyone was very happy to get the team back on track and as Pal banned all the females from attending until January there was no supporter trouble and as the match wore on they seemed to follow my very English example of applauding our good play rather than running onto the pitch and baiting the opposition. At the end everyone shook my hand and Pal's hand and the players' hands and each others' hands, it was lovely. Even more ironic was the announcement at half time that as recipients of the fewest yellow/red cards for last season we were awarded the Fair Play trophy. Thank the Lord they don't take supporters conduct into consideration. So, I have written a match report for Pal to deliver on Tuesday evening in the village and I will help with training in the village next Sunday and, I don't know how, we will be in the semi-final (or perhaps even the final?) the following Sunday. Dizzy heights.
John 'the Brilliant' Cornish has also managed to get hold of 4 kitbags full of rugby gear from Redingensians which we hope to get sent over in the New Year with all the stuff Sue Bastone got hold of from LVS. So if anyone else has anything at all let me know and I'll make arrangements