Author: Dawn Slaughter

New Lidl in East Twickenham

For those of you who like Lidl or are curious, the new one in East Twickenham, between the club and Richmond Bridge, opens today.  The Deer Park Primary School are moving into the two floors above it.   The store includes a bakery (yummy), toilets (good news) and ample parking – although that might not be the case today or tomorrow as people go and take a look.

The Twickenham vaccine programme is going full swing and I gather a couple of our over 50s now have jabs booked.  They vaccination centres are doing a great job, even though it is reported the London area isn’t as well served as the rest of the country.  Hats off to everyone involved – from the meeting/greeting, checking details as well as the nurses administering the jabs and keeping everyone calm.!

Bowls England Announcement Regarding 2021 Season



22nd February, 2021 by Matt Wordingham

Today’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions enables Bowls England, counties and affiliated clubs to prepare with confidence for the 2021 outdoor season.  The Prime Minister’s announcement confirmed that outdoor affiliated bowls clubs will be able to open from 29 March.

Our overriding objective is for as many bowlers as possible to enjoy our sport in a safe manner this summer. Bowls is a naturally socially-distanced, non-contact activity and plays a key role in the mental and physical health of many across the country. The positive prospects for the new season provides a great boost to bowlers and the sport in general.

Whilst the overwhelming majority of existing bowlers are eager to start playing and are likely to have received their first vaccine, we understand there is a degree of nervousness about returning to the sport. We will be working alongside our development partner, the Bowls Development Alliance, to support affiliated clubs across the country to create Covid-safe environments, building on the fantastic efforts of many club leaders last year. This work will include:

  • ‘Return to Play’ guidance for affiliated clubs
  • Resources and best practice to support the safe running of clubs
  • Online rink booking and cashless payments
  • Promotional material and funding advice

We also aim to facilitate as much domestic competition as possible. We have developed a series of Covid-contingency scenarios and, with the information now available, will look to reshape our national competition schedule. We will issue a further update on the championships and competitions programmes once we have had the opportunity to consult with counties and clubs on any potential changes.

Our National Open Weekend planning will continue and we believe there’s a good opportunity to encourage people, who are looking for a new fun, family outdoor activity, into our sport. We will be working with affiliated clubs who sign up to empower them to deliver Open Weekend events that are Covid-safe and give new players a fantastic first experience.

Chief Executive, Jon Cockcroft, said: “With the roadmap laid out by the Prime Minister, we are excited about our sport’s prospects for the coming season. With sensible interventions in place, bowls is a sport that can be enjoyed authentically and safely within the government guidelines and it will be a huge boost for the wellbeing of the bowls community to be playing the sport they love and connecting back in with their local communities. We will be working in partnership with all stakeholders, notably affiliated clubs, to navigate through any challenges and, whilst mindful to retain a level of caution, are very excited about the outdoor bowls season beginning soon.”

We understand today’s developments will provoke a range of questions and we would ask people to bear with us as we work through the various implications. As soon as we can, we will be issuing more detailed guidance on the Bowls England website.

Good News for Us and Giles C!

There was an amusing article in Saturday Times’ magazine (there are others) from Giles Coren regarding the number of cooking shows there are on television and cooking is no longer fun.  An excerpt from near the end …

Now, cooking is literally all we do.  And when I say cooking, I mean digging out whatever we can find at the back of the fridge and scraping the mould off it and heating it until most of the bacteria are dead and slapping it down in front of our family, again, for the eleventy-fifth time that week and saying “Get it down your necks, it’s all there is and then I want you suited and booted for another miserable bl**dy walk in the rain.”

Some days, it has certainly felt like that!

Well, later this afternoon, we might get news on when we can get together outdoors – thank goodness the weather is getting warmer – and we’ll be able to meet up for a Bring-Your-Own drink/food in fours in private gardens.  This will enable us to get some enthusiasm back as (A) we’ll be cooking something for somebody else and (B) we’ll be able to have face-to-face social contact.  Hooray for us and Giles!  Fingers crossed for outdoor sports as well as we have a lot of golfers amongst us and at least they will be able to enjoy doing something different.  It’s definitely looking good for the outdoor bowls season even if indoors still looks a bit iffy.  Must stop speculating and wait for the update!

In the meantime, Margaret B’s hard planting work from a couple of years ago is blooming in Rita’s Garden.  Still some gaps to replace those summer bedding plants .

Mascara Warning! Teddington Park Lane Stables

You may remember that last Sunday I asked if any of you had used Park Lane Stables in Teddington.  They were desperatelylooking for donations in order to keep the stables running and prevent the landlord selling up when the lease runs out in May.  Shiriey O responded saying their grandaughter had had some rides there and it was definitely a cause worth supporting.

Well this was on BBC Breakfast Television on Friday

If the link doesn’t work, type “YouTube Park Lane Stables” into your browser and it should be the top item.  You don’t need a YouTube account to watch it.

So thank you for anyone that contributed.  You can see how much it means to them.

Spring is on the Way

Well the temperature has certainly risen – 10C at the moment and going up to 14C!  It’s a shame the sun isn’t out but maybe that will come later.

Not a lot to report today except the news that family maybe able to make visits to care homes and hold hands with their loved ones (under covid guidelines)  Hand holding.  A small physical gesture that has been missed by many millions of people for the last months.  The possibility that maybe four people will be able to meet outside from April is good.  April still seems a bit of a way away but holds good for the outdoor season at all our various clubs, anyway.

Australian Open Ladies’ Final on now.  Osaka is definitely the favourite and, apart from the odd blip, she has looked very strong.  Brady was unfortunate enough to arrive on a plane where there was a positive Covid case, so spent the first fortnight in her hotel room hitting balls up against the mattress on her bed!

THe men play tomorrow.  Mevedev looked in exceptional form against Tsitsipas in yesterday’s semi-final.  He will need to keep that up v Djokavic.  He made an interesting comment in that Djokavic has won many grand slams, so the pressure is on him to win rather than Mevedev.  This is true in bowls too.  You play a top player and it will rely on their mental ability to stay strong.  The underdog can relax and play their game (although of course we all hope we don’t make a complete muppet of ourselves!).

A few of us ‘youngsters’ have had side effects following the AstraZenica jab.  They state they shouldn’t last longer than a week.  We all hope that is true!  The Pfizer jab doesn’t seem to have had the same reaction.  We’re all different though so our bodies react differently.  It would be very boring if we were all the same, wouldn’t it?

The goldfinches are lining up on the feeder.  It’s good to see them.  The redwings which were chomping their way through the berries on the tree outside only seem to appear when it’s really cold.  Teh robin and wren are happy hoovering up the bits the goldfinches and tits toss out onto the ground.  Having bought a whole tub of fat balls, none of the birds seem to like them.  Doh!

Right I’m off to pound the Isleworth-Richmond loop now then to feed the baby parrot fish in the Chairman’s office.

Elpis and Hermes with Silver Shark in the background

What are you doing?

Football, Tennis and Snooker

Well Kevin K was a happy boy last night!  It’s good when your team have a win be it local, county, professional or country.

Brenda D has been glued to the tennis.  There were some unbelievable shots in the Nadal match.  Tsitsipas scraped through but it could have gone either way.  Djokavic is currently on court now (9.00 am UK time) and the unseeded Karatsev is giving him a good run in the first set.

We are guaranteed one British player in the Men’s Double finals as Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares face Jo Salisbury & Ram tomorrow at 2.00 pm Australian time.  If you’re a lark up to get a very very early worm, you could watch it live!

There was some snooker on Eurosport yesterday.  It’s not a favourite of mine but I know some of you are very keen.  There must be golf and cricket on some channel from somewhere too.  Gone are the days when television started at lunchtime with Watch with Mother, then stopped, then re-started in the evening.  Who else remembers sitting there after the last programme watching the little white dot disappear with a whine?!  Did they also play the National Anthem every night or am I imagining that?

There was a post on the Bowls Middlesex page yesterday than Vic Mould (former County Competition Secretary) had passed away.  I don’t know if any of you knew him, but condolence messages can be passed on to Andy Docker if you wish.

If you’re thinking about going to Kew Gardens, there are some signs of spring, but it maybe better to wait another week or so when the daffodils should come into their own.  If you’re a member, make the most of your membership card and go more than once.  The entrance price is now considerably more than 1d, so if you’re paying to go in, I would wait.  There were quite a lot of children yesterday but it is half term week.  As a child, Kew was the most boring place to go.  Roll on 60 years and there are plenty of activities for children to get involved as well as burn off some energy in the fresh air.

I shall be hot-footing it to Harlequins for my jab.  I see some parts of the country are handing out badges and bags of Percy Pigs (other sweets are available).  Somehow I doubt this will happen at the Stoop.  A free ticket to a match game would be nice.  Oh, I’ve just seen pigs flying by the window!

Wet and Warm-ish

It’s going up to 17-18 C at the weekend.  That’ll almost be shorts weather.  Probably a good time to go and survery the ravages of winter on the gardens and see what needs digging up and check on the spring flowers about to show their colours.  Really looking forward to that.

Meanwhile today it just looks wet!  Probably not the best day for going to Kew Gardens, but it’ll be a change of walking scene.

In the Australian Open, Djokavic came through after a bit of a wobble (and a smashed racquet) and both Jamie Murray with his partner and joe Salisbury and his partner are through in the pairs having played earlier today.  Both lads keeping the British hopes going.

The red scarves would have been waving last night as Liverpool managed a win which should give them a bit of a lift.  Meanwhile red and white scarves will no doubt be out tonight as Brentford play away to QPR.  Fulham are away to Burnley and Chelsea are having a rest after their win v Sheffield Wednesday on Monday and working themselves up for a trip to the coast Southampton on Saturday.  West Ham plays Spurs on Saturday – glad there’s at least one London club at home this week.

I hope most of you are not going to be caught up in the 1.7 million extra shielding group.  We need to get you all back on the green!


Are you Tossing Up Today?!

Shrove Tuesday.  How did that come round so quickly?

I made American Pancakes from “Nigella Bites”.  Sometimes, I have bacon and maple syrup on them but today it’s blueberries, raspberries and Greek yogurt (other yogurts are available).

We used to go to the dentist in Dorking (a squash plyaing friend started his practice there) and afterwards had brunch in a cafe where the pancakes were dressed with fresh orange segments and cinnamon.  Deeelicious!

As a child, we couldn’t wait until after school, and for Mum to make the pancake batter which we would take it in turns to toss them.  The first one was always rubbish and Mum used to put that to one side for herself once we’d all eaten – typical of Mum putting herself last to her family.  Dad always had the first ‘proper’ one.  We then had to take it in turns.  It was always disappointing that Pancake Day only came once a year.  When you think about it now, why could you not have pancakes every day?!

We only knew about pancakes with sugar and a squeeze of lemon.  What are your preferences?  Nutella & Banana?  Peanut Butter & Banana?  Chocolate?  Bacon?  Sausages?

Do you still make and toss pancakes even if you live on your own?  There’s nothing wrong with that (and no one else can see if  you make a dreadful mess and it goes on the floor!)


PS  Vaccine booked for Thursday morning at Harlequins.


Possibility of Self Catering Breaks from Easter – Whoopee!

Not that I particularly fancy going anywhere where I have to cook but a chance of seeing someone else’s four walls could be the opening we’ve all been looking for.  Good Friday is 2nd April (thank goodness it’s not 1st), so not too long to wait.

Schools opening 8th March – get the teachers vaccinated, please!

It was suggested that wearing a mask inside shops and social distancing could be in place until the end of the year.  It  wouldn’t be such a problem as we’re so used to it.  A small price to pay if we have more freedom elsewhere.

Let’s hope some more positive news comes out this week – although I belive 22nd was mooted for major updates.  We all hope that there may be a way to return to indoor bowls even if it’s just for a few weeks before we go outdoors at the end of April.  Maybe a socially distanced BBQ to celebrate the start of the Club’s Centenary would be possible?

Vaccines are being rolled out for over 65’s this week.  Jonathan H, Ange, Lucy, Sarah and I are getting closer.  Good!

Interesting interview with Djokavic after yesterday’s win saying if it hadn’t been a Grand Slam event, he would have dropped out with his injury.  He was certainly moving considerably better and stretching which he was unable to do on Friday.  The power of mind over matter (wth a bit of help from painkillers).