The Importance of Being Youthful

Tom Watson, aged 59, has just lost the play-off in the British Open to Stewart Cink. A slightly hungover Kevin, Mick and myself watched as Tom’s game fell apart during the playoff. So close. To those who don’t know golf, Watson would have become the oldest player to win a major, by a country mile. The previous record was 48. It was tough to watch Watson falter at the last hurdle, and not the most positive of endings to our tour. But as he said himself, “this is not a funeral”. It was inspiring, and a deserved slap in the face to the idiots who contended that for him to win would be a disaster for golf. Ageism really needs to put out to pasture…

The Grotto are off to Boston, from where they’ll fly home tomorrow. I’m in Phebe’s bar surrounded by statuesque girls, who smile as long as the drinks and french fry orders keep coming. Actually, that’s unfair. They’ve been very nice to me, scribbling away on their bar for a few hours. The place is empty enough, so I’m not causing too much of an obstruction with my guitar and three bags. Although my pants, shoes, hat and “communists have no class” t-shirt has probably alerted the crazy-police already.

What a tour! Most people we’ve met here tell us that we’ve probably seen more of America than they’ve seen. That’s not strictly true though. The view from the interstate is not the most appealing view of any city, to which any visitor to Naples, Italy will attest.

Are there any morals, lessons, etc, to be learned from such a tour? Plenty. In fact, there are so many that it’s going to be a real challenge to assimilate all of them. I think the two main things you need to take from a tour like this is that…
1. You really must get on well with your travel partners. It’s just too hard without that.
and
2. Organisation is the key. If you don’t know your itinerary and plan routes in advance, check hotel locations, travel times, stage times, etc, you will get badly caught out. Even with all of that, you will inevitably have a few bad days due to unforeseen circumstances… like early unwanted wake-up calls denying you much-needed sleep, etc.

The past two months are a bit of a blur to me at this stage, so I thought I’d break up the adventures into small episodes. Rather than drowning you in a flood, I’ll publish them daily over the next week or two. I hope you enjoy them. Do send us your comments or throw some feedback our way – always lovely to hear from you.

Take care for now,
Tadhg

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