Welcome to 2020! We’ve now left the teens behind. As we enter another decade, I look back on the past year. Generally this post is only about my sporting highlights but this year I had a personal one that I thought was worth mentioning again, plus a couple of lowlights.
1. Melbourne Renegades win Big Bash League
On our previous two trips to Australia, we much enjoyed watching 20/20 cricket and, having spent much of our vacation in Melbourne, decided to support the Melbourne Renegades. It helped that they wear red and black, the same colours as our football team OGC Nice.
In early 2019 the Melbourne Renegades secured a stunning BBL Final victory, winning the ultimate grudge match against cross-town rivals the Melbourne Stars at the Marvel Stadium. How I wish I’d been there to see it! Good luck to the boys in the current series. Theyre going to need it as they’ve lost their first four matches.
2. My beloved AVFC Secure Promotion
It was our third consecutive season in the Championship following our relegation from the Premier League during the 2015–16 one. Fortunately, after a shaky start, we finished in fifth place and won the play-offs to return to the Premiership where we’re currently dangerously dicing with the drop zone. Hopefully, we may just avoid the dreaded bounce.
3. Marquez Bros Double Act
The elder brother Marc, 8-times world champion, just keeps re-writing the record books while the younger one (Alex) is this season’s Moto2 champion and will be riding with his older brother in MotoGP next season. My only regret is that I didn’t get to watch any MotoGP live this year, next year there are two events on the (draft) agenda.
4. Rafa Nadal Ends Year at No 1 (again)
What’s more fellow players chose him as the winner of the Stefan Edberg – my all time fave player – Sportsmanship Award in the 2019 ATP Awards. The Spaniard receives this honour for a second straight year and third time overall (2010) for his fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court.
5. INEOS buys OGC Nice
French Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice were taken over by Ineos, the energy group run by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, making it part of Ineos Football led by CEO Bob Ratcliffe, in the hope and expectation that the club would “sustainably compete at a European level” in the future.
On the one hand I don’t really approve of companies using sport to whitewash their activities, on the other as a supporter of OGC Nice I’m delighted we’ve secured stable ownership. Furthermore one who’s brought back the previous successful club management team.
6. Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off
This was seriously cool. This fun and creative competition was organised by Mel at crushedcaramel and Gary at bereavedandbeingasingleparent and judged by Jeanne inthekitchen. Loads of bloggers sent in pictures of their cakes along with their fun stories and recipes. I had wanted to take part but hadn’t found time to bake a cake from scratch so I fell back on “here’s a photo of one I prepared earlier.”
It’s rare I make fancy cakes and apart from the recent wedding cake, I generally only make tray bakes and loaf cakes – nothing fancy. However, my first, and one and only, fancy cake made for a clubmate’s 60th birthday at the behest of his wife won! I was shocked and delighted, and have been floating on cloud nine ever since. I’m still waiting for the offer of a book deal and my own cookery programme……………………..
Sadly, I also had a couple of lowlights this year too though nothing very serious.
We probably watched the least amount of live cycling last year and due to our #adventuredownunder missed our annual trip to San Sebastian to watch the Clasica race. Furthermore, we only attended the start of one of the three grand tours, Le Grand Depart du Tour de France in Brussels! In years past we’ve managed attendance at all three! Looking at 2020’s calendar, it’s not going to get much better though at least the Tour de France is coming to us.
2. Epic Fail
Back in April I decided to sign up for the 20km run as part of the Nice-Cannes marathon, held each year in early November, reasoning that six months would be enough time to train, and it was! I easily and quickly progressed to running 10km but was finding it difficult to take it to the next level. Then I had problems again with my right knee. My physio thought I might need surgical intervention but it turns out an enforced rest worked just fine. However, it meant I couldn’t get the required medical certificate saying I was fit enough to run in order to take part. I was disappointed but on the day which was very cold and wet, albeit with a tail wind, I wasn’t too disappointed to be taking part. I think I’ll just stick to two wheels!