My 30th Birthday Cake

My Birthday Cake

Yummy!!!!! Thanks Vanessa and Jane. Jane was a little upset that I created pac-man to take on apple…

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Game of rugby explained.

Too true…

At Last a rational explanation of the Game of Rugby – (by Ockie Oosthuizen (ex Springbok prop)

It is largely unknown to players and followers of the modern game that rugby started off purely as a contest for forwards in opposition in line-outs, scrums, rucks and mauls. This pitted eight men of statuesque physique, supreme fitness and superior intelligence in packs against one another.

In those days, the winner was the pack that won the most set pieces. The debasement of the game began when backs were introduced. This occurred because a major problem was where to locate the next scrum or line-out.

Selecting positions on the ground for these had become a constant source of friction and even violence.

The problem was resolved by employing forward rejects, men of small stature and limited intelligence, to run aimlessly around within the field of play.

Following a set piece, the ball would be thrown to one of them, who would establish the next location either by dropping it or by throwing it to another reject for dropping. Very occasionally, a third reject would receive the ball before it would be dropped, and crowds would wildly cheer on these rare occasions. Initially these additional players were entirely disorganized but with the passing of time they adopted set positions.

For instance, take the half-back. He was usually one of the smallest and least intelligent of the backs whose role was simply to accept the ball from a forward and to pass it on to one of the other rejects who would drop it, providing the new location for the forwards to compete. He could easily (given his general size) have been called a quarter forward or a ball monkey but then tolerance and compassion are the keys to forward play and the present euphemism was decided on.

The five-eighth plays next to the half-back and his role is essentially the same except that when pressured, he usually panics and kicks the ball.

Normally, he is somewhat taller and slightly better built than the half-back and hence his name. One-eighth less and he would have been a half-back, three-eighths more and he might well have qualified to become a forward.

The centres were opportunists who had no expertise but wanted to share in the glamour associated with forward packs. After repeated supplication to the forwards for a role in the game they would be told to get out in the middle of the field and wait for instructions. Thus, when asked where they played, they would reply “in the centre”. And they remain to this day, parasites and scroungers who mostly work as lawyers or used car dealers.

You may ask, why wingers? The answer is simple. Because these were players who had very little ability and were the lowest in the backline pecking order, they were placed as far away from the ball as possible. Consequently, and because the inside backs were so diligent in their assigned role of dropping the ball whenever they received it, the main contribution to the game made by the winger was not to get involved. Their instructions were to run away as quickly as possible whenever trouble appeared, and to avoid tackles at all costs. The fact that the game was organised so that the wingers didn’t get to touch the ball led to an incessant flow of complaints from them and eventually the apt description “whingers” was applied. Even though the “h” dropped off over the years, the whingeing itself unfortunately has not.

Lastly, the full-back. This was the position given to the worst handler, the person least able to accept or pass the ball, someone who was always in the way. The name arose because the forwards would understandably become infuriated by the poor play invariably demonstrated by that person, and call out “send that fool back”. He would then be relegated well out of everyone’s way to the rear of the field.

So there you have it. Let’s return to the glory days of a contest between two packs of eight men of statuesque physique, supreme fitness and superior intelligence. The rest can go off to where they will be happier, playing soccer.

Regards,

Ockie

First drive in the UK

Got my license converted from a Zimbo golden credit card to a boring pink UK one last minute (not complaining), just so I could drive up to Keswick for the mountain festival. Not my car, but meeting the owner up there as she was on a business trip. So license arrived last minute in the post so all the efforts to put me on the insurance were not in vain.

Having not driven in London, let alone the UK. Having lived on this here island for four years. Plus not having driven in probably close to a year. As you may well imagine I was pretty nervous and rightly so.

It took us over an hour to get out of London which is nothing new to anyone that has driven over here before. So we were on our way…M4, M40, M42 and then on to the M6 up to the lake district.

Coming from Africa I have never felt so anxious on the road before let alone a motorway, well to be fair I don’t think we have motorways back in laid back Africa, they would only get classed as highways. How true that is I don’t know, I can only speak from my experiences driving in the RSA.

Back to the driving experience, I constantly felt I was being sandwiched between cars and massive lorries which was pretty scary for little old me. You definitely have to keep your wits about you. Lorry drivers, yes massive lorries just pulling into the lane In front of me to overtake another lorry. Not worrying about giving a good enough distance between vehicles. Eeeish…this was exactly the same for some of the cars zooming up the motorway. Thinking about it, maybe there was something I missed getting my license, although as I mentioned before lack of motorways could be a pretty good reason for this lacking skill, if I can call it that.

Once past Manchester thing got a lot better…less traffic and beautiful scenery, god I love getting into the country. Although still on a motorway so not entirely countryside, but still better then cramped up London. Apologies to London lovers!

Arrived in Kewsick a good five or six hour later at our amazing little cottage nestled next to a beautiful noisy babbling river…highly recommended after a drive like that.

Keswick - Babbling River

Bike, Bat and Trap (Kentish style)

Day started with a 45 mile cycle into the beautiful county of Kent. Three of us set off from Clapham Junction at 08:30 and arrived in Maidstone just before 12:00 through some exquisite English countryside, and what a beautiful morning it was after a week of solid rain…bliss! We were welcomed into Doug’s folks house, who are fantastic hosts I have to say! With an amazing spread of food, wine and everything you could want…we started off with both plain and cheese scones…coffee and tea. Sitting in the back garden along side some apple trees with the sun dancing between the clouds! Smells of smoke and meat braaing (bbqing) in the background…summer as it should be! I was planning on cycling back to London at some point but after champers, a full belly and a few bitters, decided, stuff that…

About twelve of us walked down the road into this amazing park next to Doug’s folks place…we were on our way to find a patch of grass to play this very unique game, unique to Kent that is…called “Bat and Trap”. Now I am cricket fan and play every now and then. If you know cricket this is another take on that. It started in local pubs in Kent so I am told, and after some research this game is “ancient”, so it goes way back if you didn’t know what ancient meant. There are even leagues amongst the pubs in Kent. Which I found pretty interesting…anyway if you still interested and I have not bored you already, bat and trap is played with about eight people, four aside. Although we stretched the rules and played five aside. Each team gets a chance to field and then bat. The batting side takes turns with this contraption made of oak, trap, (see image) the bat is also made of oak and is similar to a ping pong bat but thicker. The contraption is long box with a type of see-saw bit in the center. On one side you place the solid rubber ball (similar to a lacrosse ball) the batters aim is to hit down on the other side of the see-saw which fires the ball up into the air and then you have to hit the ball in the direction of the goal and fielders.

The goal is set up with two sticks which are about 4 meters apart from each other and about 13 meters or so away from the trap. The fielders have to stand behind the goals and their aim is to catch the ball as it comes flying towards the goal, goalkeepers. If caught the batsmen/batwomen is out (is there a superhero called batwomen???) if they manage to score a goal through the two sticks, the fielders get to nominate a thrower who tries to hit a little, very little target on the front of the trap, if they manage to do this the batsmen is out. So the object of the game is to score as many goals as possible before all batsmen are out and then the fielders get a chance to score more goals. It is quite hilarious watching everyone trying to smack the shit out of this little ball…I know for a fact I was trying too. All in all was great fun and very amusing to learn this new sport. One to add to my accolades…

Bat and Trap

We retired from bat and trap, few people with sore shins putting their bodies on the line and decided to play a game of football, three aside which as always is great fun! I am not the biggest football fan, but do enjoy playing, then again that is the case with most sports for me…all in all a great day in Kent!!!! Meeting new people and having a jolly old time!