It’s been a while since I posted, but I do have an excuse as I have been busy mastering two very important skills – motorcycle riding and table tennis!
I posted a few months back that I was doing my motorbike rider training and thanks to Nikki and Matt at MTS I passed with flying colours. Happy days, and now all I want is a long dry summer and I will be happy as a pig in you know what!
The other long overdue area I’ve been concentrating on has my racket technique (or “paddles” as our American cousins call them).
I’ve always loved table tennis, or ping pong as I used to call it when I was a kid. It reminds me of cold Saturday afternoons in our local scout hut where we would wait our turn before finally getting a chance to get warm. There were always about a dozen of us sharing one table (which has one leg propped up with a pile of Ladybird books).
Family holidays to Butlin’s always featured time on the green wooden table and, even if I do say so myself, I became a bit of a dab hand with the old dimpled racket. (Nowadays the rackets are softer and un-dimpled.)
The flooding and dreadful weather of the past couple of months was the initial spark to get back involved in the past-time. Getting rid of the second car (to make way for my shiny new Yamaha) freed up some garage space and an article in the Guardian inspired a quick online search for ping pong table reviews and before you could say “whiff whaff” (the original name for the game) my credit card was £300 lighter and I was looking for a pair of shorts that wouldn’t be too unflattering.
A few days later the table arrived by courier and was surprisingly easy to assemble. I called a select few family and friends and invited them over the following Sunday for a “friendly” knockabout with my table. Of course, there’s friendly and there’s friendly and I discovered that one side of my table could lift up so I could play against myself (called “Playback” by we aficionados) and get some practice in before the big event.
Needless to say the Sunday friendly knockabout became something a little more competitive, and I had the delight of beating my brother-in-law (who really hates to lose, especially to yours truly) and the assembled invitados. I did my best to be restrained and dignified in victory, but what’s the point in that?
So, my new plan? Now I have my motorcycle I can travel to table tennis tournaments. We’re not talking a set of golf clubs here, just a racket and change of clothing and I’m off. I can’t wait…
If you want to see some serious levels of table tennis skill then look no further than this video. Don’t say you’re not inspired…