Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Moles, moving and medals!

It's a bit of an obscure title I know, but that's basically what I've been doing recently!

First off, the moles. Unfortunately, the molehills started again! I say unfortunately, mainly from the mole's point of view really - unfortunate because this new mole obviously didn't realise he'd picked the wrong garden to explore in.

As soon as the first signs appeared, I rushed online and bought three Dufus mole traps.

The next day they arrived, and I buried them in a mole hill to take away the 'newness'. Two days later, and there were 2 more molehills, and various little places where the mole had popped through the turf, so, grabbing my gardening gloves (moles have an excellent sense of smell) and a trowel, I set to work placing the traps around and between a mound or two.

The first day, nothing happened, but my belief in myself as a mole catcher never faltered once.

The second morning came, and I went to check the traps I had set, and lo and behold SUCCESS!

I have now caught moles on both my last attempts in a day or two - I guess I must be getting the hang of it - especially as I don't know ANYONE who has caught a mole before!

Last week we hired a Luton van with a tail lift to move the last few remaining large items from our other house, which was not too bad, but it tired me out quite quickly.
Shelving units, armchair, other units - all had to be moved, but luckily I managed to borrow a trolley dolly type thing. It's basically a 1" ply board about 3'x2' with big wheels on the bottom, and it was a godsend to me!

I was able to gain some help from a friend of mine, who helped me move the biggest unit to my in laws house 20 miles away, and take it inside to where they wanted it to be.

I brought my bikes and sidecar home too, which was something I've been wanting to do for a while, but with them both in bits or not working, something I could only do with a van like this one.

My Honda CB750 Chop on the left, and my pre-diversion Yamaha FJ600 on the right.

I may have mentioned in the past that Kane does a martial art called Soo Bahk Do, well it's something that I also started some time ago after Kane started enjoying it.
I go to lessons in my local Leisure Centre, and am taught by Master Andrew Scriven, of Scriven Martial Arts.

Ever since I started, I've tried my best to embrace the art, and all it's parts, and I have a lot of respect for Master Scriven and all the people in the club. So when I was told of a sparring competition, I jumped at the chance!

A month before the even I was really confident, and keen to have a go and join in...

...the further towards the competition, and my confidence really left me - and by the time the day actually came, I was scared of the unknown, and SO unsure of my own abilities.

However, the competition was in two main parts - sparring (Deh Ryun), and forms (Hyung).

Forms are a vital part of training in the Soo Bahk Do art. Forms are prearranged patterns designed to teach not just technique but art. When a form is performed correctly it is a thing of beauty. There are many hyungs taught in Soo Bahk Do.

Students from around the South East came and performed their own slightly customised forms in groups, which was really interesting, and they had all worked hard to make their performances as interesting as they could.

The second part of the competition was the sparring. Although some people were unable to make it, there were still enough for the Little Ninjas, Juniors and Adults to make it a very enjoyable event.

I was asked to keep time for the Junior sparring, and it's amazing how nervous I was just having to press a single button on the stopwatch! All the kids did so well, and I knew quite a few of them, making it an even more exciting and inspiring occasion.

After the juniors, it was time for the adults, we were placed in 4 teams of three, and given two fights each and the points for each individual were all added together to make a total for the team.

I was placed in Team 1, with two guys from my class - a Black belt called Glen, and a Green belt called Dave.

To cut a long story short, we did very well, Glen and Dave beating opponents, and I also won BOTH my fights - which was blimmin amazing! The first of my fights was against a friend of mine called Martyn, so I was totally out of my comfort zone and so nervous - especially as I didn't want to hit a friend! (Control is the word in sparring, we have to 'pull' our punches).

Team 1 actually WON the competition, and all three of us received Gold medals for our efforts!

It's been a long time since I've been that proud of myself, and I can't wait for the next competition - maybe I'll even get to compete as an individual - something that will REALLY test my nerve!

Fight One!
I start on the right hand side of the screen, and my friend Martyn is on the left.

Fight Two!
I start on the left this time, with a guy called Graig on the right from a different club.

Medals are given in reverse order, you'll see me - I'm the baldy, beardy one with glasses at the end!

So I guess this means that Team One are Regional Team Sparring Champions!

Soo Bahk!


adam said...

Just watched the vids. It looks very impressive. Tabie says you look good too, which is good coming from her as she's a deadly karate master.

Stiggy said...

Awwww thanks guys!!!

The difference between the 1st and 2nd fights was quite a bit in my eyes - I can't WAIT til the next opportunity!

I bow to Tabs superiority!


Debbie said...

Congratulations on your medal! I couldn't view the videos due to living in 'the sticks' with just dial up but I bet it was very impressive.

Also well done on catching the moles! I don't know if I had mentioned it before but my ex-father-in-law was great at catching them. He would come over to the house whenever we had trouble and catch them in an afternoon. All he needed was a comfortable chair and a beer! *laughing* He'd get them every time.

Take Care,

Stiggy said...

Thanks Debbie, I'm not sure how impressive it was - but we all had a lot of fun on the day!

Mole catching seems to be like any other job... if you have the right tools, it makes life a lot easier!

Funny to hear of your ex-FIL - I shall have to try his approach one day!


Carrie said...

love the mole storey - i may have to seek your advise - we have minks - I wonder will they take the same bate :0))))))