Tuesday, December 31, 2019

(Temporary Backup) Tuesday 31 st December 2019...goodbye decade!!!

Hard to believe it is the last day of the decade!!!!

Fitting that I should play tennis this morning as for the last decade tennis has been a huge part of my life on the courts and in the stands and in the next few months as I take off on another epic journey tennis will still play a huge role in my life!!!

We finally have the plaque made for our wonderful and greatly missed tennis partner, Carolyn......the shadows do not give it full justice but it is a lovely tribute!!

Jen and Loren the other members of the group that has played together for many years!!

After coming home and getting changed I went up to the Tuesday market to buy the last of the little gifts for the children not registered bin the schools we are going to but always come with their Mum....so at least they get a little something..I bought another 120 pairs of baby socks and some hair stuff!

Then went over to my old casita where all the gifts are stored and spent three hours there putting socks into 440 bags for the girls.

Everything is coming together I will sort the gifts out into the schools tomorrow and on Thursday I have a work party with three compressors ready to inflate 500 soccer balls...I do have amazing friends willing to always help!!

Tonight going for our final Mexican Train game of the year and ordered a fun cake to take over!!

I do expect to be home well before midnight and may watch the fireworks from my roof top if I stay awake!!

An amazing  last ten years..

Bring on another year!

 Any blessings and best wishes to all my family, friends and everyone out there..be safe and happy!!

Yashi Kochi!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday 30th December 2019.....an amazing sunset!!!

Special one year old birthday today...Izzie!!!

Enjoy this shots from my roof top this evening!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday 29th December 2019...slow day!!

A lovely Sunday morning watching two live soccer

games from England with breakfast included!!

I then took the dogs for a walk...little Scoutie is the inquisitive one..

Then I went to get her...

‘Twas fun!!!

This evening Gracie went to a wonderful small house dinner party!!

I needed a relaxing day because tomorrow everything gets into full swing!!

Today Birthday celebrations for my Uncle Bram...93 years young!!!! You saw a photo of him on the blog a few days ago!!

Also celebrating her birthday my childhood sweetheart, Anne and today is also the birthday of Ryan who is with his family celebrating in Florida...

Yashi Kochi!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Saturday 28th December 2019...a productive day!!

it seems now that the nice weather has returned and I

have just about recovered from my slight cold....

Enjoyed two hours on the courts again this morning it was a fun time?

Afterwards I went and picked up two mor donations this is so special because I have just about reached my goal and almost everything is paid for?

I spent three hours this afternoon bin my old casita where Jen and I sorted through 144 kindergarten bags filled with little goodies and placed a pair of socks in each bag.

We then started to work on the 280 small purses and inserted a pair of socks into those bags as well!!!

Slowly everything is coming into shape and I have a few more days to sort them out into the correct number for each school.

Gracie cooked me a nice turkey dinner this evening, really lovely and now at home going to watch my new series I found it is called DCI Banks about a date from my country back in England, Yorkshire ...I am enjoying the first series!!

Apparently today is National card playing today so I thank my friend Paula for sending this to me!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Friday 27th December 2019....a relaxing day!!

Tomorrow starts a really busy week for me culminating in the delivery of the toys next Friday..so apart from playing a great two hours of tennis this morning I have relaxed....had another great in home massage and just chilled!!

This article was in the Malibu Times!!

Pepperdine Waves women’s tennis player Ashley Lahey is aiming to end her college career in the spring of 2020 in a similar position she is winding down the current calendar year—sitting atop the world of college tennis.

Ashley Lahey captures the ITA All-American Title.

Lahey, the top-ranked player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s women’s singles poll, wants to close her college career with a NCAA national title with her Waves teammates. 

“It’s my senior year and my last chance to do it,” she said. “It would be something incredible. These girls that I play with—every year has been amazing, but this year, I’m just so excited to be around them. I want to give us the best opportunity to take home a championship.” 

Lahey is certainly on that track. The fourth-year Wave aced her way through the competition during Pepperdine’s fall 2019 season. She went 16-0 en route to winning three tournaments and garnered back-to-back ITA Player of the Month Awards. Now the No. 1-rated college tennis player from sea to shining sea, Lahey accomplished all that while grinding through a heavy school load due to majoring in sports medicine with a focus on pre-medicine. 

It’s because of all of that that Lahey is The Malibu Times’ Athlete of the Year.  

The South Bay native has put a ton of hard work into her tennis game but said numerous individuals in her orbit deserve credit for her becoming the first Pepperdine tennis player in decades to be ranked No. 1 in the nation. 

“There is so much that goes on behind the scenes with every single day having to go out there and practice,” Lahey noted. “You need people to motivate you, and this semester my teammates have been incredible. They are so positive and just so much fun to be around. I look forward to practice just to be around them.” 

The right hander has a special connection with Pepperdine’s coaches. She said the staff, which includes head coach Per Nilsson and assistants Pete Billingham and Jaan Kononov, help her through tough times and make the training sessions worthwhile on days she doesn’t want to practice. 

Lahey called her professors inspiring and said they allow her to chase her dreams on the tennis court.

“You still have to commit to their classes, but they have let me travel to tournaments and made that part of my life easy by helping me catch up when I get back by being very available,” she said.

Nilsson said Lahey has the potential to be a professional player and that gets him excited as a coach. He wants to help her any way he can. He called Lahey a firecracker that goes 100 miles per hour in whatever she does. 

“Academics are her hobby. She has a 3.9 GPA in pre-medicine,” he said. “She is as competitive on the court. No matter what she does, she takes pride in it and wants to be the best.” 

Lahey isn’t the only Wave armed with a racquet that finished the squad’s fall season positioned in ITA rankings. Graduate student Jessica Faila is ranked No. 50, sophomore Anastasia Iamachkine is ranked 62nd, and Daria Kuczer, another sophomore, is at 90. 

Sophomore Corrado Summaria is ranked 38th in the ITA men’s pole. 

But Lahey led the charge for the Waves in 2019. 

Last spring, her junior year, she was selected for the 2019 All-West Coast Conference singles first team and doubles second team as she was ranked as high as No. 4 in singles and top in doubles. Lahey had a 19-8 record in singles and advanced to the round of 32 in the 2019 NCAA National Singles Championships.

She entered the fall season ranked 14th and climbed the poles by forehanding and backhanding her way to win after win. She won titles in the Oracle/ITA Masters, Women’s Collegiate Invitational and ITA All-Americans. Twelve of the opponents she downed were ranked. 

Lahey, who spent some time ranked near the top of United States Tennis Association and Tennis Rec Network national rankings before enrolling at Pepperdine, always aspired to be the nation’s top player, but didn’t have expectations to grab the No. 1 spot in 2019. She believes that enhanced her play.

“All I wanted to do was try to play and get better,” Lahey said. “I left all the hoping for rankings and those other thoughts at the door and just played my best. I didn’t think much about being successful. I tried to focus on the process of playing and getting better.” 

The first-ranked player is trying to battle back musings centered on being ranked atop all other college players. 

“That is a little frustrating because I just want to play for the love of playing and train the way I was training,” Lahey said. “I’m trying to deal with that now, where I feel like there is a bit more pressure on me for the next season and expectations I am trying to live up to. I don’t want to think about them. I want to get back to just enjoying tennis.” 

The Pepperdine athlete said thoughts focused on living up to the expectations of being highly-graded can have a negative impact and make tennis unenjoyable. 

“Say my forehand is off and I am not feeling it,” Lahey explained. “I start to get aggravated and that frustration builds and that makes it worse. And when it gets worse, I get more frustrated and then that starts to affect the backhand and I get more frustrated. Every mistake gets me upset and the whole practice just falls apart.”

She said not pursuing perfect tennis makes the sport more enjoyable. 

“If I have no expectations and I am there just to enjoy the day, it doesn’t matter if I hit a every ball perfectly,” Lahey said. “If I make a mistake, I think about what I did wrong and I try to fix it for the next shot and slowly build toward playing better to the end of the practice.”

Her coach said one of Lahey’s biggest struggles in previous years was managing her workload in the offseason. 

“In the summers when she would go off on her own, she didn’t know how to put the brakes on, so she would overtrain or overplay,” Nilsson said. “She would come back to school burnt out, injured. This summer she did a good job of saying, ‘Hey I can’t do this every single day, it’s going to mess up my body, mess up my mind.’ She had an easy summer and did some other things.”

One of those other things was a trip she took to Kenya with a Pepperdine group to help educate underprivileged youth. Lahey said working with and enjoying her time with the African youth revealed that her life should encompass more than tennis. 

Ashley Lahey has the opportunity to teach local kids tennis skills during a trip to Kenya over the summer.

Photo courtesy Ashley Lahey

“I hope I can be in a position one day to try and provide a few more opportunities for kids there and go back and see some of them again and experience life there a little longer,” revealed Lahey, who did teach some of the kids tennis. 

Lahey has been a standout tennis player throughout her years in Malibu. She was the WCC’s Freshman of the Year in 2017, has been named to the conference’s all singles and doubles team multiple times and been named an ITA All-American twice. In 2018, she was the NCAAA Singles Championship runner-up. Off the court, she has made the dean’s list and garnered several academic honors from the WCC. 

Lahey’s favorite on-the-court moment this year was snagging her highest career win by defeating Serbian player Olga Danilovic at a pro tournament in Malibu. A lot of her friends and family members attended the three-set match. 

“I played some of the best tennis I have played in my life, and I finished the match strong,” Lahey recalled. “I looked over at my coaches and all the people that put so much time and energy into me. Sharing that moment with them was special.” 

She is embracing life outside of tennis now. She enjoys dinners and beach trips with her teammates. Since the Waves’ fall season ended, Lahey has focused on school, went skiing with friends and plans to visit her boyfriend in Texas. The tennis stud will start practicing again shortly after the new year. 

Nilsson said Lahey taking a break from the court before the Waves’ first 2020 event, the Jan. 17 UNLV Invitational in Las Vegas, is pivotal to success in what he calls the real tennis season.

“Obviously, she is a senior, so she wants a chance to win it all for the team and an individual,” he added. 

Lahey’s goals for 2020 are to graduate from Pepperdine and to play the best tennis she can. 

“Lots of people that have always underestimated me,” she said. “I want to try and go out there and do some damage.” 

  • I am so proud to say that I hit balls with Ashley when she was 12 years old...I didn’t get many back.

I have been so happy to follow her career and have been to a number of her tournaments ...she is an amazing woman!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Wednesday 25th December 2019..... a happy day!!

It was a peaceful and lovely day for me today....

Fred, one of my poker buddies, and his wife Barbara have a family tradition of opening up there house for Christmas breakfast all morning long..it is drop in and they do all the cooking themselves and it was very lovely...good food and nice conversations!!

Around noon Gracie and took the dogs for a walk in town and they always like being out on the leash and then we went to a small house party 17 guests and that also was a very enjoyable occasion..fantastic food and good conversations!

I was home by 6pm and now just relaxing doing some paper work and a little trip planning before settling down to a movie.

Want to wish everyone a very safe healthy and happy holiday season!,

Yashi Kochi

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday 24 th December 2019....have a joyous day!!!

It was a tad warmer this morning and I still feel a little stuffed up but I think being on the tennis courts for two hours in lovely sunshine was a good tonic for me this Christmas Eve!!

Afterwards I had a chance to come home and grab a bite to eat and then head up to meet my friend Daryl at the Tuesday market.

Daryl has a spacious truck and a good job as we picked up 280 purses loaded with nice small gifts for the primary girls!!!

140 kindergarten bags for the girls and these are filled with lots of little treasures!!

Finally 500 pairs of sock!!

All are now safely stowed in my Jen’s casita awaiting me to sort them out I to the schools next week!

So as you can tell the Toy drive is winding down but always still time to donate..contact me..


All that is left is to buy some smaller gift bags and put some little gifts in for the children that are not registered in the  schools we go to but they come along with their Moms!!!

So it has been a huge success and I have almost reached my projected goal of 100,000 pesos.....thanks to everyone who has contributed so very kind!!

The next phase after Christmas is to sort the gifts out into the 12 schools....then the 2nd January inflate 475 soccer balls..I have some elves to help me and the use of four generators so this should be not so bad...

We then make the convey to the schools on Friday 3 rd January 2020.. more on than later.

So a great day......

I want to wish all my family and friends a wonderful holiday season and may all your dreams come true as we enter a new decade!!

And remember to share the love!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Monday 23 rd December 2019.....a tad better!!!

Well I had a good sleep and feel not too bad...

I did decide it would be better for me with these cold mornings and evenings to be driving the car so I did an exchange for the scooter this morning!!

Had a very quiet day at home reading, writing , planning and just being a couch potato....

I do like this..

Have no idea about this....

This is from my Uncle Bram..he will be 93 at the end of the month..he lost his beautiful wife, my Aunt Rita last December and he is doing so well...

This will make my holiday season all the more special......

Here we are Together at the fish and chip shop last year..

Yashi Kochi!!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Saturday 21 st December 2019...happy solstice!!

ok enough already!!!!!

The sunshine and warmer temperatures are supposed to arrive on Monday...today was another gloomy cold day, but a good day for playing tennis which is what I did this morning, always fun and just so blessed I can play so much with no ailments!!

From tennis I went up to the big Mall where two of my friends Rock and Mike were waiting for me with their trucks to await the arrival of Moses and the delivery of 505 soccer balls!!

Moses was on time and the transfer of the balls went smoothly and quickly!!

From there we went to another friends studio, Diane had kindly let me store the balls in her art studio....

The whole job just took over one hour..thanks everyone!!

I went home and got cleaned up and went to yet another friends house, Jen, where I used to live in her casita, for a solstice party!!

Earth will celebrate a special occasion on Saturday night (Dec. 21) as the December solstice officially heralds celestial winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere will mark the beginning of summer. 

It is also the last solstice of the Decade!!

The exact moment of solstice occurs at 11:19 p.m. EST (0419 GMT on Dec. 22), according to the Farmer's Almanac. At this point, the sun is directly over the latitude known as the Tropic of Capricorn. This is the furthest south that the sun will ever be over Earth's surface. 

Up north, the night will be the longest it's been all year, while down south of the equator, people will have experienced their longest day of the year. 

It was a very lovely gathering with some awesome food, new friends and great conversations!

I have another friend who volunteered to make two more crowns for the toy drive...

The one in the back is the original and he did a great job of the two new ones..Thanks Mike!!

Now home and have the little heater on and going to watch a movie!!

Hope you all have a great weekend !!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Thursday 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...