The Harlequins Rugby Club have been in Bermuda this week to play the Bermuda Barbarians and Friday night I was invited to the ‘gala dinner’ which is a fund raiser for the Beyond Rugby charity, a very worthy cause that in Bermuda offers the opportunity and encouragement for kids to turn away from gang crime and instead put all of their energies into competitive sport.
The dinner was attended by around 400 people and what with tickets, prizes and numerous auctions, which of course in a maze of alcohol reach silly portions – I give you a Juan Mata signed Man U shirt sold for $2,500 – the evening’s events would have raised an awful lot of money.
Harlequins players of varying fame and personalities were in attendance plus a sprinkling of other professionals who were representing the Bermuda Barbarians including a fresh faced, cauliflower eared Marc Jones, who spent the night with our group happily talking mostly ballcocks to our table. The charity promotion was done well without it being in your face. There was a couple of Q&A’s, one around the chances of the home nations in the upcoming Rugby World Cup hosted by Lee Mears.
Friday was quite a charitable day. It was our companies annual global community day and I chose to spend the majority of it in a hot kitchen within a church hall, with a severe lack of equipment as it had been stolen the week before! Anyway a group of us made good use of some blunt knives and big vats to make huge portions of chicken noodle casserole and shepherd pie for Bermuda’s homeless. It was fun but I’m not sure I’ll be able to look at mash potato with the same anticipation again for a while.
I must also mention my victorious return to the golf course at the end of last week.
The last time I played was two years ago and with an attention span of a goldfish, an all consuming job and a young family I have never had the wish or desire to be off at the golf club for hours on end.
Nonetheless Bermuda has some of the most picturesque golfing on the planet and it would be more than foolhardy if I come to leave this island without knowing how to get around a golf course without losing two dozen balls!
Thus I accepted an invite last week knowing that it would be a no-pressure fun event complete with no golf bores. We played a scramble with the rather fortuitous rule of ‘captain’s choice’ or ‘better ball’ when the best shot is chosen each time. I lost so many balls from the tee that it would have taken a fish to play most of my second shots but I was chuffed that a couple of my fairway knocks to the edge of the green were picked and I did, if I say so myself, putt like a demon.
We finished the lovely Riddells Bay course 9 under and won by 5 shots to much chagrin and now I have $200 of golf vouchers to decide whether I want to add to my hardly used golf shoes and play more regularly.