15.08.10 DCRA Day 3

Happy Birthday Alex! Another year older, but still the youngest member of the team.

As the team awoke at around 6am it was already raining and we set off for the range full of optimism that the Accuweather forecast suggesting sporadic sun would be accurate.

Happy Birthday Alex! Another year older, but still the youngest member of the team.

As the team awoke at around 6am it was already raining and we set off for the range full of optimism that the Accuweather forecast suggesting sporadic sun would be accurate. Sadly it wasn’t. We huddled in the clubroom using the chalkboard to indicate the delay forecast by the DCRA, in the same way Tony Clayton predicts the cut for Queen’s III back at Bisley.

This gave the early details time for a comfortable breakfast before they shot and for a spot of musical tables led by the Main Coach as the cadets, who had been occupying half of the clubroom, had moved out overnight. With breakfast and Feng Shui activities complete and word of a further half hour delay to the shooting, a hardy few settled down to a good game of Scrabble. A prolonged debate over the legitimacy of the work ‘zany’ (worth 48 points on a triple word square) was resolved thanks to the power of the internet and the on-line Scrabble dictionary. Other words such as ‘flange’ proved to be too easy.

Following a foray onto the range by the first detail as the rain eased, news was brought by the Captain that the morning’s shooting had been abandoned and the team returned to the comfort of the hotel. A team meeting was called in the foyer but, with seating a premium, some had to settle for the cold comfort of the raised hearth. One enterprising member of the team found a cosy nook in an unused fireplace and promptly earned the title of Chimney Elf having been captured by the fire guard. The team was congratulated on winning the first three competitions with a number of other top places also going to team members. However, the Captain exhorted the team to raise the stakes and standards yet further. The meeting concluded with the presentation of a card, box of toffee and a cake to the birthday boy, accompanied by recommendations not to eat it all in one go.

By midday the rain seemed to be easing and those on the first detail of the afternoon set out for the range again. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at the range there was a steady downpour with thunder and lightning all around. On safety grounds the DCRA had no option but to abandon all shooting for the day leaving the leader board of the Grand Aggregate cramped, with nobody yet having dropped a point (or maybe everybody having dropped 100 points?).

The team reluctantly headed back to the hotel and used the opportunity to catch up on domestic activities. For some it provided a chance to learn about them. Having loaded their clothes into the washing machine, Dom and Alex deposited their money in the slot, pressed the Start button and left the machine humming away. Returning a short while later, Dom was puzzled to find the empty tumble dryer on top rotating merrily but nothing happening to the washing. Eventually the penny dropped, and further change was fed into the correct washing machine slot. Dom then opened the door of the tumble dryer to stop it and save the remaining time for when the dryer was needed. A little later Alex went to check on progress and, finding the tumble dryer door open and remembering earlier instructions to be tidy, promptly shut it and ran down the remaining time.

A further adventure included the Main Coach who, despite having stayed in the hotel on at least five previous occasions, required one-to-one tuition from the Captain to undertake the novel experience of learning how to use the washer/dryer – Pearl take note!

To brighten an otherwise dull and damp Sunday afternoon, the Captain arranged a tea party with all 21 members of the team proving how spacious the rooms are by fitting into one for tea and cakes. During this the teams for the Coaches’ match on Tuesday afternoon were revealed and while most willingly accepted the Vice-Captain’s choice of team names, a few decided they could improve on theirs. All will be revealed with the results of the match...

For the evening the majority of the team headed to a local Italian restaurant to celebrate Alex’s birthday. Conversation included concern over the likely surge in mosquito numbers following the rain and the Team Doctor declared that he was unconvinced by the suggestion that Marmite is a good mosquito repellent. He therefore resolved to conduct a (non) randomised controlled trial using the Marmite loving Main Coach as guinea pig to see what proportion of Mosquitoes love Marmite and how many hate it.

Dinner was rounded off in true North American style by the presentation of a large slice of cake to the birthday boy, to a lively rendition of Happy Birthday accompanied by tambourines that had been furtively distributed by the restaurant staff while the birthday boy was distracted. See KittyCam for the full event.