This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series FWC Crete Camp 2013

19.7.13 Crete Day 4


well I closed off yesterday’s blog a little prematurely, putting it online using the wifi at Kritiko.

The right kind of sky

The right kind of sky

In Kalives there is a new bar. “Would you like to come to the fish bar. It’s new in town.”. Sounds lovely. Turns out to be an aquarium where you put your feet in the water and fish eat all the disgusting bits. Following much discussion of what ends up in the water, where the fish go to the toilet, the statistical likelihood of catching hepatitis B, and whether catfish can be used as fish doctors (apparently they are in Borneo) a few hardy souls head off to try. They come back half an hour later having missed dessert, all giggly and enthusiastic. What happened to the hard-as-nails Kung fu students? Missing dessert for a pedicure, bah humbug! And most of them were males of the species!!

I can see you from here

I can see you from here

Anyway on to today. Whilst the lunch restaurant is scenic and provides plenty of freshly cooked delicious food, variety is the spice of life. So after morning training today was a picnic on the beach. With commendable foresight given this morning’s hill sprints we pre-ordered cooked meat from the grill. Arriving to pick it up, the place is a hive of activity with meat grilling on all the spits – when we left they just had the gyros (Cretan equivalent of doner kebab) left The “mock chicken nuggets”(made from redundant ram parts) were delicious with a squeeze of lemon and dipped in sheep yoghurt. Also on the menu was kokoritsi – lamb’s draw (squishy bits) wrapped in intestine and roasted, good source of high quality protein, iron, and collagen. Perfect recovery food: a moment on the lips a lifetime on the quads.

Afternoon training in the shade of olive and orange trees

Afternoon training in the shade of olive and orange trees

Today’s maths problem – if you have 15 deep-fried lamb’s privates and 28 people how much better does it taste if you eat it sitting under a tree on a beach by the Med? And what is the probability that anyone will eat any lettuce? Hint: the answer to one of these questions is nil, but we did provide lettuce, honest.

Back to houses and swimming pools for siesta and competitive spoon diving (see last year’s blog for details).

Very hot today – all the clouds have gone and the right type of sky has turned up. Grateful for the chance to acclimatise to English summer on our return.


Like a well-oiled machine all turn up at the airport on time – apart from those using the cranky M25.  You have a choice on the M25: clockwise or anti-clockwise….but whether your choice makes any difference is another matter. Little did we know this was just the first of our travel problems we were due to encounter..

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series FWC Crete Camp 2013

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The red flags are up on a very windy day, so no snorkelling. The kite surfers are joyful – their turn for a perfect day. As the Year of the Snake gets underway it is time to ask the self about its significance, sometimes predator, sometimes prey.

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Here be training

This is not a blog but rather a stream of consciousness. Time is irrelevant as we have returned to our training bubble, otherwise known as Soma Bay on the Red Sea. This is instructor Sunday training with knobs on: uber-megatraining.

If you don’t know about the food, the scenery, the snorkelling then I refer you to previous blogs and video in our diary from that trip here. Nothing much has changed although I draw your attention to the following:

  • You can now get a rare steak cooked rare
  • The service is even more attentive than before
  • The beds are as conducive to sweet dreams as ever
  • The sky is blue and the sea is turquoise

Anyway, conversation is fascinating. “So, Mr Bond, you think you know your patterns?”. “Ummmm, yes?”. “Let us find out how much you have left to learn…”. “Ummmm, right, but could you put down the white cat first?”.

“Why is it so much more tiring than Crete?”. Because your learning is going to a new level. Ah. That is also why your brain is hurting even more than your body.

The workshop in Creative Insults is indescribable (but here we go anyway). The rules are laid out. Four letter words are allowed if sufficiently creative and not standard swear-words. Banned words are the obvious insults any old instructor can come out with. Currently the banned list is not too long, but through overuse “empty calories” may soon be added. Insults must be creative, appropriate, targeted and result in improved performance. Improvisation is a key skill, but this is not standup comedy – it’s a serious aspect of being an instructor. Humour is optional but adds a certain je ne sais quoi. Only the rest of the class should be laughing, unable to help themselves but uncomfortably aware it could be them next.

You see, one of the reasons I like going to places where I don’t speak the language is that I don’t have to tune out other peoples’ conversations. My brain does it automatically as it cannot process the sounds into meaning. My Chinese is largely restricted to “day return to Fuzhou please”, any aspect of food, and any aspect of martial arts. Thus I don’t have to endure “I said to him, so he said to her..” chitchat, but I can spot if an interpreter has not translated a Master’s response to an interview question. However, I have realised that I am missing out on the sheer artistry of insults that are embedded in the Chinese culture. So, mundane Mandarin here I come, and buckle your seatbelts – it’s going to be a bumpy ride once I become fluent in Chinsults.

Our evenings as previously are spent stretching but with added mental pain – Chinese character flash cards. “ooooh I know this one! It’s a bug!”. You said that last time. It’s a lobster. Can’t wait for the late arrivals – lobster is definitely going to throw them – shuffle it back to the top of the pack.

Tonight the Year of the Snake is being celebrated all over the world. Happy New Year.

Awoke to very welcome text message “all home”. Phew! Off to breakfast in the now deserted restaurant.

Arrive at the riverside for training to be greeted with deep-fried dumplings and chilli sauce. Ballast I suppose to lower my stance. Intense morning learning new things, then practise over and over to memorise.

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series FWC China Trip 2012

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