Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Billy Burners

That was so stressful!! Watching Billy race. Particularly when he's a marked man. "Billy Craske won't win this year" one Dad was overhead to say. And we were aware that one athletics club had trained their team with Billy specifically in mind - running the route several times a week. Everyone, it seemed, was up for it.
So Billy stood on the start line of the Cornish Cross County Championships having won the last two years by a clear margin. That doesn't make it any easier. In fact the weight of expectation was a heavy burden and just before the race he was quite upset.

He waited on the line for the off. Sit in the pack, wait until you hit the end of the slope second time around and then hit the Billy Burners. That was the plan. Billy has many supporters, which is really nice, but maybe even they were concerned when he passed the terraced supporters on the first circuit in fourth place. But as he passed me, I gave him the big thumbs up. Perfect. On the second pass, he'd moved into second (another big thumbs up) and by the time he reached the white house, he'd fired up the Billy Burners and was gone! It was a really great performance. One well beyond his years.
Billyman running through some post race analysis with Findog, who seems to be following in the footsteps of his big brother.

That's a county hat trick - three years on the trot. Which is a very tough thing to pull off. Of course there will be a lot of parents pleased to see the back of Billy as he moves in the summer to Secondary School! But I have some very bad news for them - Findog is following hot on the Billyman's trail - and he quite likes winning too! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Billy's greatest challenge still remains - to get into the Plymouth Argyle Youth Squad! He's there training with the squad twice a week now, and he's doing great. But as the main coach stated, "We don't need good, we've got good. We're looking for something different." I think he gives them that, but then I am his Dad (and running race strategist!) so I would say that wouldn't I? We'll know in a few weeks time whether they think he's different too. Until then, he's just got to let his feet do the talking!.. and hope that Argyle stay in business!

Monday, 14 March 2011


I might have looked like a serial killer as I scrambled across the barbed wire fence, my jacket drenched in blood. But the reality was somewhat different! On a walk down near Pentewan we stumbled upon a lamb that had fallen down the hill and was in a bit of state. It couldn't move and was covered in blood. "Do you know where the nearest farm is?" we asked a local. "Up there, but I wouldn't hold your breath. The farmer doesn't have the greatest reputation for being compassionate!" With two concerned young boys in on the mission, that wasn't what we wanted to hear.

With this information logged we picked up the lamb and took it back to the car. Plan A was to take it back to Mike who owns Carruan Farm back here in Polzeath, see what he recommended. We found his number, and I gave him a call. "You need to get it back to it's mum and then let nature take it's course." Sound advice. We headed back down the footpath, over the fence, through the brambles and up the steepest hill! We could hear the flock, and maybe even the bleating of the mum. Up and up we went, the boys excited by the whole rescue adventure.

When we finally arrived at the field, we put the lamb down. "At first the mum may not look concerned, but in time she will come back." Mikey had said. The lamb made a few crys and one of the mums made some noises. We took our leave and watched from a distance, the lamb unable to move. Nothing happened, but our job was done. Three hours we'd been on the mission and with the light fading, there was no more we could do.

After football yesterday down near St. Austell we decided to go and see what had become of the lamb, or 'Dead meat' as Fin had nicknamed him. Bones and skulls littered the field, so we didn't hold out a whole load of hope, but we did care about the little fellow. Back up the field, through the bracken and over to the flock that had gathered by the gate. And there was 'Deadmeat' up and about, dragging one back leg, but alive and well and with mum! Ah! We were chuffed anyway.

Okay, not the greatest story - but it's the best I've got right now!