The Pinnacle of Human Achievement

Horatio Nelson began his naval career at the tender age of 12 and rose through the ranks mostly in constant battle with the French, losing the sight in his right eye in 1793 at Corsica, and most of his right arm in 1797 at Tenerife when it was hit by a musketball. The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 was Nelson’s last and greatest engagement and saw a decisive win under his command of a combined French and Spanish fleet. Towards the end of the battle Nelson was hit by a marksman from the Redoutable firing at a range of 50 feet. Nelson’s last words were: “Thank God, I have done my duty. Kiss me, Hardy.”

Following a series of successful discoveries David Livingstone returned to Africa In January 1866 to seek the source of The Nile. Thus started an expedition which was to last seven years and end in his death. He completely lost contact with the outside world for six years and was ill for the last four. After nothing was heard from him for many months Henry Stanley, an explorer and journalist, set out to find Livingstone. This resulted in their meeting near Lake Tanganyika in October 1871 during which Stanley uttered the famous phrase: 'Dr Livingstone I presume?' Livingstone did not achieve his objective, but was the first white man to see many geographical features such as Victoria Falls and became a national hero.

If you’re wondering where all of this is leading… during the week ending Tuesday 27 October 2009 John McKinnie (me, myself, the person writing this blog) became the first simultaneous holder of all the family trophies. The pitch and putt title was won against sons David and John on Thursday 22 October, the tennis title was retained on the same day against son in law Barry, on Sunday 25 October the month’s pool and darts title was grabbed under the most unlikely circumstances (went into the match needing to win by three clear games and managed it in spite of an attempt by John to chalk my head rather than the cue), and finally on Tuesday 27 October the squash title was ripped from son David’s grasp (including two 9-0 wins to me!). Disregard the fact that I’m the ONLY one who can hold all titles at once… carefully engineered so there’s a mixture of opponents.  Find the comparison to Nelson and Livingstone a bit tasteless? Don’t see why, I believe they were both rubbish at squash.

So I’m going into this afternoon’s pitch and putt with a lot riding on it and will probably go round in just under a thousand. Now impervious to my wife Linda’s usual reaction to a win by me (awwwww, isn’t David feeling very well?). And I’m not going to react to the scurrilous suggestion that they’re all letting me win since it’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ve been striving for months to reach this pinnacle of specialdom and I’m gonna milk it!

On the allotment I’ve planted garlic cloves & Japanese senshyu onion seed this week,  as well as planting out my lettuce seedlings. Got a surprise when a large brown beetle squeezed its way out of the spout of one of the water barrels. Turned out to be a great diving beetle.

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