Thought I’d prepare for my week ‘inside the camp’ with a look back at a couple of days of pre-Estonia training that Nige [GB Captain] has overseen with the girls at the NTC…
Tuesday - Jan 27th
The girls all arrived on Tuesday morning in time for a brunch put on by the NTC team especially for them – bacon, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (major food groups covered… meat, fish and dairy).
Tuesday was a day of mostly adjusting to being back indoors and the cold weather after the rigours of 30+ degree days in Australia – the rigours being not getting to wear that oh so flattering winter coat, having to apply sun cream regularly to ensure a good tan, oh and giving the best performance by British women in Australia for 17 years!
In the evening, the team ventured out to The River Café in Fulham, the only hiccup being the taxi driver who did that very male “I don’t need directions” thing when he had no idea where the restaurant was…
Wednesday - Jan 28th
The usual perma-lounge has set itself up with the physios – the girls know they can go there not just for treatment but also for all the gossip. Rob [the physio] has been coping very well on his own with Sophie [the osteopath] and all the girls although I think he might be looking forward to packing them off to Estonia so he can get some peace and quiet for a while!
I was lucky enough, along with Rob, to be invited out to dinner with the team tonight. We went to Zuma for some Japanese food, a great recommendation from an expert restaurenteur in the LTA’s commercial team – booked by me without realising that Sarah and Mel don’t list fish among their favourite foods!
After discussing with Bally that simple food is often what both of us crave we braved the sashimi and sushi and it was well worth it – fantastic food and a true feast as every time we finished a dish another one seemed to appear.
Luckily, Nige picked up the bill and we went on to the highlight of the night – Circque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a great opportunity for the girls to get to see this incredible performance, but sadly jet lag caught up with nearly all of them as they took a nap in the dim lights of the auditorium. In fact, I think Annie only woke up for a chocolate ice cream in the interval!
The girls and Nige are travelling to Estonia on Saturday for their final prep before play begins on Wednesday. I'm heading over there on Tuesday evening so I'll let you know how the team are feeling on the eve of their first tie. I'm going to take a camera with me but I'm no David Bailey so we'll see how it goes!
Ciao for now...