Day two in Holland - brought to you by Alistair Linden, the club's Education Officer...
Hallo! The Hotel de Ruwenberg is truly a magnificent venue. Sitting in the dining room for breakfast there are magnificent uninterrupted views across a vast flat landscape uncluttered by any semblance of a hillock! In fact if a herd of zebras hove into sight you would swear you were somewhere within the Serengeti expecting background music from Elton John wailing ‘The Circle of Life’. As it is we are parked next to the River Dommel and simply treated to the vision of a herd of aqua cows bog snorkelling their way upstream amidst assorted ducks.
Today the work really started. We are sharing the venue with a pack of Wolves, to continue the wildlife theme. They have emerged from some conurbation in the Midlands called Wolverhampton. We are housed in C Wing and I’m glad we are not sharing their accommodation because everything there seems to be damaged. Every time we meet their players declare that everything is ‘Bustin’!
A morning briefing was followed by Cpl Lofty Brown had regimenting the whiteboard pens into line and then it was off to breakfast. A breakfast of meat, cheese, eggs, fruit and porridge saw our group powered by gas as we travelled on bikes to the sports ground belonging to the local amateur side RVVK St Michelsgestel. Their neat little stadium surrounds a 400,000 Euro 4G carpet of a pitch.
The match against Wolves went well. The team played well and the practice provided a great learning platform to build on. As I write this Captain Ashcroft is surgically dissecting the tiniest detail of the footage with the coaching team and players.
Once again Team Medic Squiffy Brown was distracted this time by troublesome insects. He spent the best part of 20 minutes unsuccessfully corralling bees away from his vicinity. So far his skills have failed with regards to transport, technology and apiculture. What challenges will our hero face tomorrow?
I on the other hand due to historic battle damage have been unable to enjoy the joys of cycling and have had to hike to and from the ground via the little hamlet of St Michelsgestel. I negotiated my way across roads, weaving between cars, scooters and bikes. So far the car drivers have been courteous whilst those on two wheels stop for no man. The hamlet has several shops including a supermarket called ‘EMTE’. Whether this is an accurate description of its manifest I have yet to discover!
Tonight’s challenge is a lesson in perspective. It is to convince Lofty Brown that the horses in the field next door are not far away but simply Shetland Ponies.
Vaarwel voor nu.