I mentioned my Olympic hat in a despatch some time ago and now I thought I’d tell you about it…. I have many hats on board – the fleecey ‘warmer upper’ for wet windy days, the ‘bush’ hats, the one that makes me look like Lawrence of Arabia, various Buffs and more besides. But my favourite is my bright red (now very salty and less red) Team Canada baseball cap.
It was part of a Canadian Olympic ‘stash’ bundle donated to a charity Auction I organised a couple of years ago by Buffy Williams, ex-coach and team mate from St Hugh’s, my Oxford college, and veteran (she’ll love that!) Olympic rower. Another friend bought it all up and I was kindly given the hat and a shirt. The power of that hat is unbelievable – I put it on and I have the power of champions running through my veins. I can do anything with it on – scare away any Scaredy Imps making riotous noises in my head as we face off a towering wall of water…. Row on for another hour when it’s cold and wet and exhaustion has already settled down for a ride…. Become cheered up when frustrated and incarcerated on a Cabin Day.I am so glad I wasn’t wearing it for The Wash the other day – it might have become Fish Food. Gulp.
Buffy taught me a great deal as coach and team mate – not just about the technicalities of skinny boat rowing but also how to face up big challenges,competition, attitude and approach to life. She is the sort of woman who shaved her head for charity, greeted every single pre-dawn training session with a massive smile, who was out coaching us just days after the birth of her beautiful son and was to be spotted racing down the bankside during one of our campaigns, pushing him in his ‘stroller’. Dedication, optimism and 300% effort every time. That’s how you become an Olympian, I guess. Top top woman and very excited to have a part of that spirit on board. Buffy, if you’re reading this, thank you my friend, for all that you taught me.
The sun was out today and naturally I was to be seen singing and rowing my way Westerly in said Canada hat. Thankfully the sea was a bit less crazed too after its rioting the last few days. So not only could I relax into the rowing a bit more after the nervousness since The Wash, but I could also do some washing and leave the waterproofs to one side – the latter doing wonders for the rehabilitation of my derrière.
Yes, I think we like what we’ve seen of the 70s so far. We’re about three nauties from jumping over into the next degree after a cracking 50 miler this last 24 hours. Happy happy days.
S, D & my Olympic hat x x
War and Peace – Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I cried!
Maggie & Dick – Nothing tame about the Yukon-it’s on my list of things to do. Good luck!
Geoff – David Dicks 360’d in his boat?! Amazing.
Cousin J, George & Monsters- Can you premonitionise some more choc too ? And I still need a shark and a sea turtle? Juicy steak which magically lands in my boat?
Chris & Trevor- Happy 60th & enjoy the bus pass!
Barry Gumbert – I love Monty Python, great offering.
Charlie Chase – Mars bars always welcome.
Dominic Carrington – The ‘How do I hit Mauritius ‘ question. Time will tell.