Well, here we are in the Czech Republic, the continuing fallout from having a milestone birthday in the summer! This trip is courtesy of friends in the Reform Curling Club, my mother club, who, after a successful foray to Andorra a couple of years ago, set up the Reform Touring Club, to facilitate educational and cultural visits to promote international understanding and friendship in other curling nations.
Not at all like the incoming tours to Scotland! Mcleanscotland in association with the Royal Club recently looked after a group of Swedish curlers (the evidence is here)! Great fun was obviously had by all.
Reform members of course are a much more serious group! A ten hour cultural immersion (on foot) yesterday with a wonderfully knowlegeable local guide Zeska, was ideal preparation for today's start of a bonspiel. Ten Reform teams are playing alongside six local sides in Prague's fabulous four-sheet facility. They are playing for four titles: the Reform Touring Club Championship Prague 2007; the Touring Club Nearly There Ones; The Must Try Harder Brigade; and We Are All In Practice For 2009.
Why am I here? (A question I ask myself often). I'm only masqerading as a Reform member, of course. I am an embedded correspondent, working undercover for the Scottish Curler magazine, to bring you real life dramas from the curling front. There is considerable hardship involved in this activity. That wonderful airline Jet2.com (hereforward to be known as Jet0.2.com) managed to lose my suitcase on the hazardous journey from Edinburgh to Prague. Did this faze your entrepid editor. Not one bit. Remembering of course the old advice that there are four ways to reuse underpants - you turn them inside out, then backwards, then to the front but still inside out. Might actually have to purchase a new pair if the case fails to appear.
And the next time you see me I may be sporting a beard!
Right, I better sign off and get back into disguise. For the full report on the trip, you will have to read November's Scottish Curler magazine. Have you subscribed yet?
PS Don't forget that the Mini Tour is at Hamilton this weekend. Play starts tonight. The results are here. With any luck photos of the winners will be on Curling Today next week sometime, assuming that the Editor's retreat from Prague is achieved successfully without further dramas!
Photos from top: The outside of the Prague rink; inside; Karel Kubeska (Prague's Mister Curling) met Helen Burton's team in the first round game.