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Thursday, May 29, 2008

The way this happened was like something out of another Stephen King book - "Needful Things", or perhaps "Rose Madder"

It was as if the book chose her.

I was walking past an op-shop when something big and white caught my eye. In the days preceding this I had wanted to find a Stephen King book to read, as I had finished "The Dead Zone" in under four days. I first read "Insomnia" ages ago and it was one of my favourites. It has been enough time that I have forgotten the details of the book although I do remember some of the story.

The book peered out at me from the front window of the op-shop. It seemed to be whispering "Buy me. Buy me." I found that I couldn't walk past the shop, even though I was in a hurry.

So I did the only thing I could do, I walked inside. The shop smelt of dust and mothballs. I asked the man "how much for the Stephen King book in the window?" He escorted me to the display and pointed at a bronze cup.

"This one?"

I was perplexed. I was sure I said 'book', what was he playing at?

Then he pointed at a set of handkerchiefs.

"This one?"

"No, this one." I put my hand on the book.

He tapped his hand on a set of glassware.


"No, this." I kept showing him the book but it was like he couldn't see it. I thought perhaps his eyesight wasn't good.

"This one?" he put his hand on a stuffed toy.

Either that or he was having a lend of me.

"This one." I tapped the huge, hardback white book in the window for the last time. He finally got it.

"How much is it?" I asked, knowing full well I would pay whatever he said just to get out of there.

"Three dollars."

"I'll take it."

The book is amazing, very compelling and fast paced.

The irony is the title: Insomnia. When I read it last night I fell asleep immediately!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

For some reason it has become increasingly difficult to find a Sunday Bag in Australia. Unfortunate, as these bags can be used for the driving range and proper rounds of golf, not just par 3s. At present I do not have fourteen clubs so I have no need for a large bag. Sunday Bags can be carried easily and are convenient for walking the course without a buggy.

The Sunday Bag also has a rich history, as this Art Deco representation of St Andrew shows. The larger stand-alone bags seem to have become more popular but some (like myself!) prefer the Sunday Bag for convenience.

The Sunday Bags vary in price and features. Here are a few examples:

Women's Mulholland Sunday Bag Endurance $599.00
All leather, holds up to 10 clubs

Clearly, this is a top of the range, quality leather item. This actually reminds me of expensive luggage. The kind you would be scared to run over cobblestones or gutters. Impractical for my own purposes but perhaps more suited to someone with a warm car and golf cart.

Golf is a messy game - the last few times I have played I ended up with soaked feet, socks and shoes, muddy cuffs on my jeans and a rogue splash of mud on my cheek that I didn't notice until I entered the bathrooms at the 19th hole. Another memorable time was when nobody graced the golf course except for my partner and me. Why? Because rain, hail and lightning were forecast. We knew this, but our enthusiasm overpowered the weather. I remember teeing off on the second tee with hailstones the size of marbles peppering the back of my head. The second green was so covered with hail that it was completely white. Do you know, it's actually surprisingly easy to putt over hail. Or it was that day, anyway!

When we returned the pro shop, we met a golf professional who is a childhood friend of Trevor Immelman, winner of the green jacket at the 2008 US Masters at Augusta. He gave me some advice he learned in South Africa. "If there is lightning and thunder, put your bag under a tree, get away from the water and lie down flat in the middle of the fairway." Good advice.

Or you could do what we actually did when the thunder and lightning rolled in. Just played faster.

Palm Springs Sunday Bag $14.99-$39.00

2 way divider. Web handle for carrying short distances. 2-point adjustable single harness strap. Balls/Accessories pocket plus a full-length clothing pocket. The bag doesn't specify how many clubs the bags will hold but one would assume it to be around 7-10. Comes in five colours.

Nike Skinny Range Bag $49.95 -$69.95

Three pockets, holds around 7 clubs. Lightweight and compact. Fits a substantial number of clubs despite the small size.

Titleist X80 Carry Bag $49.95-$59.95

The bag features 2-point adjustable sling, 7.5" molded top with divider, Velour lined zippered accessory pocket and pen holder, amongst other things.

Personally, I had a hankering for a Wilson Sunday bag to match my Wilson Staff cap (see previous post "my new favourite accessory"). For some reason when I tried Ebay, the only Sunday Bags available were from the US. I was in a hurry because I wanted to play the following week and I didn't want to hire clubs and a buggy again. I just had to put faith in US mail.

Fortunately I found the perfect match in Maryland:

Wilson Deluxe Sunday Golf Bag in black. Light weight, weighs less than a pound. Convenient zippered pouch for balls and accessories. Adjustible shoulder strap. Easily holds up to 7 clubs.

Price: wouldjabelieve... $23.50 (including postage)

And my wonderful seller sent the bag First Class mail, allowing it to arrive on the Tuesday before my round.

No more club hire for me!!

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Has this ever happened to you? You're about to sit down to dinner or settle in to watch a TV program and the phone rings. But it's not friends or family. It's one of THOSE calls. The faceless, survey taking, dinner interrupting sources of constant annoyance. Sometimes you wish you could find out who they are. You're left asking Who Called Me? But there is no answer.

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