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Taking full advantage of home comforts

Jet lag is always one of those things you encounter when you do some long haul travel.  Dubai is 4 hours ahead so it means you go to bed and get up really early.  I was in bed at 8pm for the first few days and up again by about 6:30am.  It's amazing how much you can get fitted into a day when you start that early!  It's just as well as we had so much post to go through!  I'd also received my 6 month supply of Kinnesio Tape.  My feet don't function as they should so I apply some tape to them for every round and every practice round instead of using an orthotic insole.  I found the insoles were uncomfortable and unstabilised my swing, however the tape is stuck to my feet and helps activate the lazy areas.  It's amazing stuff and Shane my phsio is an expert at applying it for all sorts of ailments!

I always like coming home as I get to eat lots of cooked breakfasts.  I really miss the bacon, eggs and breads.  It's mainly the breads that I miss when I'm away, you just don't get soda bread and potato bread around the world!  I think I had 4 or 5 breakfasts this week, some at breakfast time and some at lunch.  I wasn't really fussy as long as it was all fried.  I'm not really meant to eat it, I should stick with complex carbohydrates that are full of nutrients and release energy slowly but it's a treat and I couldn't help myself!  I'm also away for 6 weeks on the next trip, so I was stocking up or that's how I justified it to myself!

It's always a busy time when you come home, not only do you have to visit friends and family - I haven't seen them for 6 weeks and won't see them for another 6 weeks but you also have to get all your health appointments fitted in.  It's like an MOT every time I get home; visiting the Doctor, Dentist, podiatrist, gym and the golf range.

Wednesday was also my birthday; I turned 34 this year!  I almost forgot about it.  It's not something I tend to focus on as I generally don't know what the date is.  Bev reminded me with an Ipad mini.  I'm never really up on technology but Martin Weigle had one a few weeks ago and I thought it would be perfect for Tour life.  It's small and light.  I can Skype and check e-mails on it, and play some games or watch movies and read my books so it's the perfect present and I was well chuffed!  Then we headed to the passport office; a really glamorous birthday!  The staff were excellent and sorted us out in next to no time.  We needed a second copy of our passports so we can get visas organised whilst we are away.  It's a huge factor in this lifestyle and one you don't always think off but players have been rejected from countries before because they don't have 2 blank facing pages in their passports.  All we had to do was call back after lunch to pick up the new passports.  Sorted! 

Bev had arranged a small family dinner at the Dirty Duck, one of my favourite restaurants, with both sets of our parents.  I really enjoyed my venison and then we headed back to Mum's for my birthday cake. 

We were up early again on Thursday and headed down to the Antrim Forum gym to blow the cobwebs off.  I'd not been there before and it's a great facility.  I'm really trying to get into the rowing as it's a good cardio warm up, but I still find it a very tiring exercise!  I spent a good while stretching, especially my hip flexors and groin as those areas tend to get tight whilst sitting on planes.  I was going to pop into the pool but it was busy with all the kids from the local schools at their swimming lessons so we headed home for lunch.  I spent the afternoon sorting through all the new clothes I'd received from Premium Golf Brands in Cork. They supply me with CK clothing for the season.  The clothes are fantastic and I really enjoy wearing them.

Friday was a busy and slightly unusual day for me.  I'd media day to do for an upcoming local event that I'm the ambassador for.  It's a great privilege to help this event get off the ground and I really enjoyed speaking to all the local press.  Unfortunately I can't mention it yet but all the details should come out over the next few weeks!

One of my other favourite things about coming home is getting to catch up with the rugby and the guys I know who play for Ulster.  I'd managed to get some tickets and headed up to Ravenhill with my brother and sister in law.  We had a great night and I headed into town with a few of the guys after the match.  They are recognised by everyone in town and treated like VIPs all the time. It can be a little overwhelming when people want to talk to you all the time, I think I'm lucky because very few people actually recognise me so I have a relatively normal life!

I had a physio session with Shane down in Dundalk on Saturday afternoon.  It meant I could catch up with him before he headed out to the World Match Play in Arizona this weekend.  He inflicted some pain on me as I had a lot of recovery time before my next event and then ran through some corrective exercises.  Things I need to do to improve my body to help improve the golf swing!  I am weak in the left leg, core control, scapula control, left spine rotation and have defective feet; there's a lot to work on!

I finally got a walk in up the coast, the only one of the week.  It was lovely to get out in the sunshine and to see both Portrush and Portstewart so busy.  We walked from the West Strand to Portstewart had some lunch and then back again.  The perfect end to the weekend!

I also managed to fit in 12 holes with Brian Johnston and Joel Taggart from the BBC at Shandon Park.  It was great craic, Joel was just home from a golfing trip to Spain and had plenty of stories for us.  It was a little cold and the course was muddy but we made the most of it.
I'm heading off to Dubai on Wednesday this week to practice with Robin Symes and the Korean kids again.  I hope to also watch some of the World Match Play.  It'll be interesting viewing at any rate with Shane v Rory and Graeme v Padraig in the first round!