Late this afternoon the skies turned incredibly dark as the thunder rumbled over and the clouds deposited 30 minutes worth of torrential rain and, unbelievably, hailstones. HAILSTONES - in July, for pity's sake!
All of which made for swamp-like conditions for touch rugby this evening. For most of us the league ended to all intents and purposes last week, although the top two teams, who were on equal points, did play off for the winners trophy this evening. For the rest of us it was mostly just a question of turning up and mixing and matching, so I made up the numbers to take on the team who, funnily enough, I'd played against in monsoon conditions a couple of weeks ago. This time the rain held off, but squelching through the swamp and slipping and sliding around meant that we all ended up pretty wet by the end. The last time I played in conditions quite so waterlogged was on tour in Nairobi about 17 or so years ago, when I managed to slide through a patch of lime chalk used to mark the pitch and burnt a hole in the top of my thigh!
Nothing quite so dramatic this evening, and it was interesting playing with a different bunch of players with the atmosphere being very different from the more competitive stuff we'd been playing for the past few weeks. So different, in fact, that we were able to get by without a referee with no major problems. I even managed to get on the end of a few moves to score three tries - one of which required (ok, maybe not required, but certainly the occasion and conditions demanded) a sliding dive into the corner which left me drenched.
As, for most of the game, we only had one rolling sub (that's substitute as opposed to submarine), I also got to play the majority of the 45 minutes or so without struggling too badly, so fitness levels are definitely improving (although I'm sure my decrepit old limbs will tell me about it in the morning).
More of the same next week I hope...