Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Wednesday 7 December 2016

2 to 6 December 2016 – Center Parcs, Jazz, and an Unexpected Quiz Result


Sue and I missed Robert and Lyn’s annual visit to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest last year due to our South American trip. This year we were fortunate to receive an invitation for the entire weekend, rather than the normal day pass that we’ve had since the early 2000s. Our recent visits are recorded here. Earlier visits involved the entire weekend, accompanied by legendary figures such as Maureen and Trevor.

889 Pine was a spacious, luxurious sort of place, with an upstairs living room and games room, and a handy sauna in which to wind down after the day’s activities.

This year the team was Sue and me, Robert and Lyn, Stuart, Roger and Louise.


On Saturday morning we tripped past the singing reindeer to the sports hall.


I’m almost totally incapable of hitting a badminton ball, but Sue is a bit better at it. I just finish up with a jarred shoulder and ‘Nil Points’.


Lots of people use bikes, but Sue and I enjoy walking between venues, especially in the good weather that usually follows us to Sherwood Forest.


This dove somehow got inside our chalet!


But we managed to keep this chap at bay.


Saturday’s ‘hydro bikes’ activity had been cancelled, so we instituted a photographic competition in its place. Up to five images from each attendee will be collated and independently judged, the results to be published here in the next week or so. So I’ll leave any slideshow until then.

Then we went swimming, before adjourning for an excellent meal and a ‘Patagonia’ slideshow.

Sunday morning started with squash. Can you spot the ball?


Cars are mainly tucked away in a big car park. Tourist traps can be utilised by those without bikes or serviceable legs.


‘Short’ tennis (an indoor variety with a soft ball that is hard to miss) triggered a thirst, so we sat outside and were entertained by a brass band.


The B and C teams battled out a game of table tennis. Sue and I were undisputed champions at that. (The standard was dismal!)


Five of us enjoyed a bout of floodlit night tennis. As usual, woolly hats and gloves were needed, but it was good fun.

After that we adjourned to the beach for the traditional carol singers and fireworks display.


And that’s it really – excepting more sauna, more good food, a few games, a good night’s sleep, and Monday morning tennis of various sorts before slipping off for a short rest at home.

Then Sue and I joined Reg and others for Eagley Jazz Club’s annual Christmas dinner, with the excellent Tame Valley Stompers on stage.


Tuesday saw us enjoying another Christmas dinner, this time at the Spinners with Stuart, Lyn, Bev and John, and Hugh and Sue.


Unfortunately, Stuart was taken ill during the meal and left in a hurry. We were able to start with a round of free drinks, having won the quiz (this is a Very Rare Event) last week. Hugh and Sue’s annual visit to the team generated a few extra brain cells this week and although we scored 16 points fewer than last week, by some dint of fortune we managed, after a nail biting tie break involving the number of minutes in The Full Monty, to reclaim the vouchers that we had spent earlier! Unbelievable really, and John had to be reminded of his campaign to give winning teams a handicap of 5 points for the next week’s quiz, as he gets fed up with the same teams winning week after week. I can remember winning once before, probably several years ago…

Well done everyone. You are geniuses. See you next week.