During the week, I received another e-mail, inviting me to do the On-Line Training, ready for the net stage of my Pack Training, 'Talking Tactics'. This was always going to provide a challenge, as experience of On-Line Training at work has never been good - I had to do some training twice as the site didn't register that I had done it, despite an e-mail confirmation and a certificate that of course I'd put in a safe folder, but couldn't remember how safe. I have drawers like that at home. Maybe there should be an App where you can record where you'e put something. Knowing me, I'd call it something different when I wanted it.
I decided to ally my weekend's training with a visit to the town where it all started over 175 years ago. Rugby. I combined it with a guilt trip for the wrinkles, having let them down the week before. 'Of course I love you mum, but Saracens are in the Final'. Little did I know that they would also blow away the media favourites, Bath. Dear Media, there is more than one way to win a rugby match and it is the range of styles that is interesting. Defence is interesting, Scrummaging, when does properly, is interesting, otherwise we have a game called basketball. Anyway, 3 tries to 1 for the League's top scorers, Saracens, not Bath proves the fact. But I digress.
Rugby is a town dominated by a huge concrete tower that looms up on the horizon whichever way you enter Rugby. Ironically it is the cement mill? or would you call it a factory not any homage to Rugby's famous residents? On the way we visited Ryton Organic Gardens. I shocked my mother, not by my outrageous behaviour, but she thought I'd taken her to a garden centre. Garden Centres are, in my opinion, for people who have given up living. Flowers and plants are beautiful, but looking at garden implements, Mrs Bridges Chutney, and Cotton Traders' middle aged leisurewear does not equal entertainment. From what I could see, Ryton is how gardens should be, higgledy-piggledy with weeds (green manure), unstructured flower-beds, bees, vegetables mixed in and a sense of chaos. A lovely colourful vegetarian menu, where people come for the food, not just the obligatory coffee and cake after the visit.
I will re-visit the town, closer to the start, to visit the fan zone and maybe walk around Tom Brown's Schooldays. Rugby will be one of the places to be this World Cup.
So I needed to tackle the on-line training, pardon the pun. I opened my e-mail In Box to access the link, to find an e-mail asking me for my final Final payment. YES! All done and paid for. I'm going to the World Cup Final. Here's hoping England will be there too. After opening the link, the fun started. The training wouldn't play. I had to unblock pop-ups, but where? I've joined the Apple brigade, after years of cursing Windows, so had to hunt around for 10 minutes until I could find the pop-up unblockers and the volume to hear "David" introduce the training and then Maggie Alphonsi welcome us to the World Cup. There were 11 modules, on what should be 'Grandmother to suck eggs' training. Yes, I know to arrive promptly, with clean uniform worn properly, and good personal hygiene, but many of the other modules were a little more detailed than that. How to communicate, assist with spectator issues etc. If it was left to me, every school and college leaver would undertake this training as it gives them the basics of how to be a good employee, including making eye contact, standing up straight, being calm and confident in a work environment as well as explaining the best way of being courteous whatever the age, gender, disability, etc. I did get frustrated, however, as each module awarded you three stars, and I couldn't build up three stars on one module, despite getting every answer right (4 times), meaning that I didn't get a perfect score, despite listening to David and his Mr Tumble voice and explanations several times. I gave up, but did write an e-mail to see if my total could be adjusted manually.
Apparently we think five times faster than we can speak, as we had a memory test on some of the Cup's chief facts, so we need to listen properly:
48 games on 44 days, 20 teams playing at 13 venues in 11 cities, there were 203 matches involving 83 teams to get the final 8 countries to qualify. There will be over 400,000 international visitors, hopefully getting chance to visit Rugby, as well as the matches and fan zones.
Everyone can get involved, for minimal cost, I'll test you on the facts at a later time.
PS Paul Weller's new album is brilliant.