Half Notes H1 2024

  • Following the sabbatical, the decision was made to move on from Strat House, which was reduced, so no more full time employees. For me, this means looking for a job for the first time in a decade.  I still am!  But I know I’ll get there
  • In general, that means I’ve reduced my activities within my budget, so not as much going on, but there were a few exciting things
  • I carried on through the winter with the Canal Trust volunteering, although that has been reducing as I’ve been going to interviews.
  • I took part in the Winter Run again, my 8th time at this race which is definitely one of my favourites.
Selfie of me at the finish of the London Winter Run, with more runner behind me and the looking back up the finish straight along Whitehall
Me at the end of London Winter run
  • Following on from volunteering at the MLB Baseball last year, I’ve been getting more involved in the sport and In February I did a one day clinic in umpiring training. This was followed by a practical day in March at the indoor baseball facility.  Here, I was lucky enough to be loaned protective kit for the summer, for when I actually umpired games. A few weeks after this, I did my first game as a base umpire, partnering with the far more experienced Peter.
Dressed up as an umpire
  • Getting opportunities for more has been difficult, partly due to the local teams having their regulars and them not wanting to pay for more than one. But in the last weekend of June, I was part of the team umpiring at the Summer Cup, a 2 day tournament.  Over the weekend, I covered 6 games, 3 as a base umpire, 3 as a plate umpire. A lot of hard work, a fair few mistakes but by the end of it, at least I felt confident in what I was doing, even if I needed to learn more.
  • I took a trip to the Chilterns, for some walking and camping.  I plan to do a little more of this over the summer, camping rather then the YHA due to budget.  (that’s the picture at the top)
  • I got my eye fixed!  Following the detached retina in 2014, over time I had a cataract develop in the right eye. So finally asked optician about it and got it foxed relatively quickly. I’m still short sighted, but at least I have depth perception back 😊
  • Last summer, I’d booked a ticket for Drop the Dead Donkey theatre production, which was a lot of laughs, with most of the original cast.
  • During April, I had a London weekend, with Saturday being training for this year’s volunteering at the MLB game in June and the Sunday running around London with sister and family watching the other sister run the London marathon. Having failed to get a ballot place, she’d decided to take a charity place with a local charity Action Heart – which only needed £1000 raising!  She had spent the winter and spring training and it was finally the day for her to run. Not sure she’d do it again, but it was a great experience.
Sarah in the London Marathon, waving here hands as she runs towards us, with other runners around here
Sarah at the London marathon
  • In May, I went with Jayne to Stourfest, a local festival full of tribute days. We had a great location, the weather was at least dry and a lovely afternoon was had by all
My view at Stourfest
  • Last November, Ewan and I had planned a US trip to watch some baseball games. I decided to still go and had an absolutely amazing time – 5 games, 4 ballparks. We arrived and popped along to a Yankees – Mariners game to stave off jetlag on the first day; then the planned Yankees game on day 2. Then on a train up to Boston to meet up with CC before a Red Sox – Brewers game. Back to NY to Brooklyn for the Cyclones, a High A team. Here we were lucky enough to be invited to the press box where we had the opportunity to see how they streamed the games and how they scored/tracked the games using some amazing tech.  Finally the game we’d actually come over to see – Ewan is a Giants game and they were playing the Mets.
A view from behind home plate at the Yankees baseball stadium. Can see from home to second, with the back of the stadium with ads and a big screen behind
From behind home at Yankees stadium
  • More baseball, with an day back down in London for a Women in baseball try day – getting to bat and play some indoor games, confirming my theory that I am far too old to learn a new sport.
  • And then the London Series game, a repeat of the experience that got me involved in sport last year. This time I was the team lead, which made things go a lot easier.
  • A final coda to the half year – I DID get a London Marathon place in the ballot, the first time in 10 years.  So I’ll be spending the next 10 months training

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