For the first few weeks going into Mushy March many of us have been shuffling around our sofas, grabbing snacks and watching some really great curling on television. First it was the Canadian juniors, then the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and of course the Tim Hortons Brier, which was held last week at a rambunctious Rexall Place in Edmonton. While some fanatics likely watched the games at work on their IPhones or whatever, many of us from the retired crowd tuned in at home, then most of us likely stayed up past our bedtimes to take in the evening draws.
International curling at all levels has become a huge spectator sport and these talented rock stars of all ages have quickly become instant celebrities and proud ambassadors of their province and their nations. Our junior men’s and women’s teams did very well at the world championships in Sochi, Russia, while at the Scotties, a young and sassy foursome from Ontario, skipped by Rachel Homan, romped through the competition and will represent Canada at the world’s in Latvia this week. Meanwhile, at the Brier showdown in Edmonton, some wily old veterans clashed with the upstart curling stars of the future and the result was a wild week of keen and amazing competition before thousands of ecstatic fans.
As Albertans we were quite disappointed when the perennial championship Kevin Martin rink sputtered in the beginning and failed to make the final four, despite a thrilling six-game winning streak that went right down to the final stone. Then as the best curling fans in the world, we got over the shock by Saturday morning, shuffled the deck, picked our favourite, put down our bets, and stuck around for another super curling finals weekend. There is absolutely no doubt that the spirit of curling is alive and well and growing throughout the world today, even though it has changed just a little from its humble beginnings in Scotland on a frozen outdoor pond, complete with corn brooms and kilts, which must have been a wee bit chilly and cheeky on a windy day.
I fondly remember learning how to curl so many years ago at the old Provincial Mental Hospital rink, did a little jam can curling on the Battle River, played in the Ponoka Composite High School League, then as an adult joined teams as a member of the long-standing Ponoka Curling Club. The games were always invigorating, except for all the blisters from sweeping, but my favourite “granite memories” came from taking part in bonspiels, which featured keen competition and camaraderie, as well as all the “extra end” socializing in the room at the top of the stairs. Hopefully the same love of the game will continue to generate lots of fall and winter fun and participation at all our friendly local curling rinks, big or small, town or country, for curlers of all ages. As well as hosting their mixed, men’s, ladies’, seniors’, and super leagues each sea son, the Ponoka Club features a learn to curl session with little rocks for the youngsters, along with many special family events and annual bonspiels. Maybe you would like to put together a curling team during the summer for next season — watch for registrations and information in September.
Some questions get the greatest and wildest responses
We all like to think that we can answer most of the questions that are thrown our way, but then again here are some of wild, ridiculous, but quite often brilliant answers that came back in response to actual quick quiz.
• How is dew formed? The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.
• What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on? If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed.
• What happens to your body as you age? When you get old, so do your bowels and then you get intercontinental.
• Name a major disease associated with cigarettes? Premature death.
• Give the meaning of the term “Caesarean section” The caesarean section is a district in Rome, which was led by the Emperor Julius Seizure.
• What is a fibula? (A small lie). What is a terminal illness? (When you get sick at the airport!). Name the four seasons. (Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar)
• How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized? The body is consisted into three parts, the branium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The branium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: AEIO and U.
Let’s hope that Mushy March goes away just in time to hide all those Easter goodies, but whatever the forecast, just go ahead and have a great week, all of you!