Family Ties

An amazing story told by the Irish World Mixed Doubles representative – Louise Kerr.

Last year in Fredericton I asked Jenny Riordon of the Australian seniors team if I could swap tops with her at the end of the world seniors as my mother’s maiden name was Reardon (different spelling, same pronunciation).

On Monday there I was asked to go and play at Stranraer in a bounce game against the Australian ladies who were staying at the North West Castle and practising at the ice rink.

I knew Jenny would be there but she was stunned to see me walking in with her Australian curling top on.

Jenny’s husband Peter has done some research in his ancestors and discovered that he is descended from John James Riordan who was born in Cork in 1815, emigrating to Australia in 1839.

My mother was born in Bandon, Co Cork and I still have Reardon cousins living in Cork City.

The family reunion was worth a special photograph.
LouiseKerrTwinsFrontLouiseKerrTwinsBack

WMDCC 2014 Team Profile – Louise Kerr

Always the bridesmaid!

Always the bridesmaid!

Name -­ Louise Kerr
Age ­- 54
Occupation -­ Journalist

Earliest curling related memory ­-
Outdoors - During the Arctic winter of 1963, my parents took three-year-old me with them to Elrig Loch for an afternoon’s curling with Mochrum Curling Club. There were some older kids there ice skating, so a wooden box and a bit of rope were found from somewhere and Sandra Jesson spent the afternoon towing me round and round the loch. When the sun went down and everyone was packing up to go home they remembered me. My father tried to lift me out of the box but my backside was frozen to the bottom.
Indoors - Before Stranraer Ice Rink opened in 1970, going to the old Ayr Ice Rink when Mochrum were playing and spending the three-hour session skating on the little rink cordoned off at the end of the curling rink (it was an ice hockey stadium). I just loved the cold atmosphere, the feel of the ice under my feet and the unique sound of the stones rumbling down the sheet.

Favourite curling destination and why - Garmish-Partenkirchen. I just loved the place – especially after the snow came. It was magical. Curling in the old 1936 Olympic Stadium was a bit special too. German engineering at its best.

How do you relax away from work (and curling) - Hacking out on my loan horse Tara and being a world class couch potato.

The person you most admire, alive or dead, and why - Ernest Shackleton. If you know the story of Shackleton rescuing all his men from the Antarctic in 1916, you realise you would follow him anywhere and trust him with your life.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity - The First World War.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure - A silk pillowcase to sleep on – a la Nigella.

What is your favourite word - Has to be ‘allegedly’. It can keep reporters in a job.

What’s your biggest fear - Forgetting to write allegedly or falling off a very high building. All that time to think on the way down.

Last gig you went to - Donny and Marie Osmond in the SECC, February 2013.

The film you can watch time and time again - A Man For All Seasons. The battle of wills between Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More over the King’s order to his clergy to break with the Catholic Church . Paul Scofield won an Oscar for his performance as More and no wonder. “I am the King’s loyal servant but God’s first”, said More. Henry chopped his head off.

What are you best at - Two things. Baking a Christmas Cake and setting a fire.

The sport you won’t watch - Any motor sport.

And finally, what did you have for breakfast - Fresh orange juice, black filter coffee and a Star Bar.

WSCC 2014 Team Profile – David Whyte

DavidWhyteProfile

drawing by member of Gourock Curling Club who did portraits of all members and made them into a book to raise funds for Rotary!

Name - David Whyte
Age - 58 (I know – I can’t believe it either!)
Occupation - C.A./Charity Director

Three things you really like?
1.Skiing.
2.That moment before you fall asleep after a hard day.
3. Golfing after 9 on a sunny evening in June or July with nobody else about.

Three things that really annoy you?
1. Litter/Graffiti
2. Car drivers who jump queues then try to cut in
3. Skivers at work

Three things from your ‘bucket list’?
1. Visit New Zealand (and Australia)
2. See AC/DC live
3. Ski powder in Whistler

What was the last film you saw? Argo

And the last book you read? Philomena by Martin Sixsmith

Give us a playlist of five of your favourite songs (and artists)
1. Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer
2. Things my Father Said – Black Stone Cherry
3. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
4. Chances Are – Vonda Sheppard and Robert Downey Jnr
5. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

And one song you never want to hear again? Shadduppayourface – Joe Dolce

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind? Tony Tierney’s joke repertoire – know them by heart.

What’s your favourite meal? Prawn Cocktail, Pasta Carbonarra and tablet ice cream with toffee sauce.

Washed down by? Koppaberg pear cider

Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people? The moment we won the Worlds in Tårnby, I jumped on JohnJo and wrapped my legs around him – Want to do it again !!!!!

You can save one prized possession. What is it? Gold Medal

What keeps you awake at night? People who snore!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? If you have something to say, say nothing – should have remembered it before I did this profile.

WSCC 2014 Team Profile – JohnJo Kenny

Junior JJName - JohnJo Kenny
Age - 53
Occupation - Realtor

Earlier curling related memory - On a snowbound winters day circa 1972 when the entire UK sporting programme was wiped out there suddenly appeared this weird sport on the t.v. Highlights of the Canadian curling championships. A roaring crowd and all these long haired young (ish) guys in fancy, bright outfits wielding these fascinating ( and noisy) broomsticks. It looked fascinating and I was captivated. Then several years later when a curling rink opened in my home town I couldn’t wait to go in. It took me a long time to recover from the image that greeted me. A host of local farmers and shopkeepers (in slightly more conservative dress code than the Canadian’s I had witnessed).. propelling these granite blocks across what,to all intents and purposes, looked like an asbestos barn with an ice floor. And no roaring crowd what’s more. A few weeks later a local worthy kitted me out with a slider and the ubiquitous (in these days) knee pad. The worthy slid a stone perfectly down the ice and told me to do the same. I followed his down and with my very first stone I played a perfect in-turn ” chap and lie.” Mind you I didn’t realise at that point that my next successful in-turn hit and stick wouldn’t come along until 1997!

Favourite curling destination and why - Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. Great place. Great people. Good memories ( qualifying for worlds).

The person you most admire, alive or dead, and why - Easy… My mother followed by my father. Too many reasons to list.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity - American politics.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure - Chinese curries

What is your favourite word - Turquoise.

What’s your biggest fear - The emergence of a strong SFBT ( society for banning turquoise)

Last gig you went to - Steve J Ward, my nephew…( check him out!)

The film you can watch time and time again - Cinema Paradiso….and I do. The edited clips sequence at the end gets me every time. Brilliant.

Something we might not know about you - I was once car jacked by an armed robber and then on escaping and returning to my office was jumped on by a dozen ” enthusiastic ” policemen who thought I’d been the bandits getaway driver. Try explaining that to the neighbouring businesses.

The sport you won’t watch - Motor sport of any type.

And finally, what did you have for breakfast - 2 coffees ( de-caff) and a cranberry cereal bar.

WSCC 2014 Team Profile – Neil Fyfe

NeilFyfeProfileName – Neil Fyfe
Age - 52
Occupation – Police Sergeant

Three things you really like?

  • Driving a powerful car with the music up loud (within the speed limit of course),
  • Skiing,
  • Sunshine,
  • The sixth vodka and coke,
  • Quality family time,
  • winding Bill Gray  up,
  • partly ignoring questions in surveys

Three things that really annoy you?

  • Completing questionnaires,
  • People who have inflated opinions of themselves,
  • crumbs on the kitchen counter

Three things from your ‘bucket list’?

  • Skiing holiday with my kids,
  • Visit Vancouver and the west coast of U.S.A.,
  • Represent Ireland in the Mixed Doubles with my daughter

What was the last film you saw? Captain Phillips

And one song you never want to hear again? Crazy Frog – Axel F

What would be your specialist subject on Masternind? Stranraer Criminals – Circa 1999-2014.

What’s your favourite meal? Something Italian.

Washed down by? Milk .

Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people? I have a secret crush on Bill Gray.

You can save one prized possession. What is it? My memory – but I fear I’m losing that battle already.

What keeps you awake at night? Worrying that somebody will find out about my secret crush.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Treat people the way you’d like to be treated yourself.

WSCC 2014 Team Profile – David Hume

DavidHumeProfileName - David (Alan Alan Alan) Hume
Age – “O M G I didn’t realise you were that old” – PJ Wilson’s reaction when completing the entry for the 2011 World Seniors, in Minneapolis. So it’s that, plus three.
Occupation – Mostly retired – but occasional semi-professional tree hugger

Three things you really like?

  • To see the family all really happy at a family party
  • To watch the sunrise in a beautiful remote place, or more realistically the sunset with Julia
  • and a bottle of really good white wine
  • To drive the par three 5th

Three things that really annoy you?

  • Idiotic signs on the M8 e.g. telling me to make sure my windscreen is clear. How on earth could I read the sign if it wasn’t
  • Litter louts
  • Skips that are rude to weak players (that would be Curling skips not the sort that Litter Louts should make friends with)

Three things from your ‘bucket list’ – There’s aaaaaa hole in ma bucket dear Lisa dear Lisa

What was the last film you saw? The Railway Man

And the last book you read? The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay – highly recommended

Give us a playlist of five of your favourite songs (and artists) - These are Not necessarily favourites but music that marks a point in my life

And one song you never want to hear again? Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind? – Guided tours of Copenhagen (ask the team!)

What’s your favourite meal? – Pre gold medal pasta

Washed down by? Happy beers later

Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people? – Drinking a pint of Guinness standing on my head. This used to be my party trick until I broke my neck.

You can save one prized possession. What is it? – My memory

What keeps you awake at night? My grandchildren

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? “Don’t swerve for anything smaller than a pig” By my grandfather on driving in Ireland.

Fail to prepare…..prepare to fail

Ireland Men - seniors 2014 -1The Irish mens’ senior squad and the Irish mixed doubles pair were all at Dumfries Ice Bowl at the weekend for some practice ahead of the world seniors and mixed doubles championships.

They were lucky that teams from other nations were also at the Ice Bowl for the same purpose and bounce games against the Scotland ladies seniors team and the Welsh mens seniors team gave Johnjo, Bill, David, Tony and Neil the chance to sharpen their competitive teeth ahead of the white-hot heat of the world championships.

Jojnjo said: “We had an excellent two days of practice not only playing lots of stones and playing out a variety of scenarios against other teams and ourselves but also were able to refine pre-game routines and some of the other bits and pieces that can be very important during the championship week. It was also good to be in Dumfries, and while we didn’t learn anything about the ice conditions (the stones are being refurbished this week and the ice was being melted down a bit today) it was handy, and of course very valuable, to discover the best dining establishments and purveyors of hard alcohol for our support crew. It was a difficult task but someone had to do it! Seriously it was a worthwhile weekend and I certainly appreciate the commitment of all the guys to travel down to Dumfries for the complete weekend given we are all going to be away from home and work for another 10 days or so in just a weeks time.”

The mixed team of John and Louise also played two games against the Wales mixed doubles pairing of Adrian Meikle and Dawn Watson.

Adrian and Dawn were very glad of some opposition as they hadn’t played a competitive mixed doubles game until Saturday morning! They didn’t have a challenge for the Welsh berth at the championships so were taking the ‘no stone left unturned’ preparation format to the extreme.From a personal point of view we felt the better of the practice games but I was knackered after playing 16 ends as John is now insisting I get up and sweep my own stones! At one end he enquired, with a hint of menace in his voice: “So, Louise…..are you GOING to sweep your stones?”

WSCC Team Profile – Bill Gray

BillGrayProfilePicName – Bill Gray
Age - 54
Occupation – Farm Manager
Three things you really like? Toast and Marmalade, all things Irish, Lazy Sundays.
Three things that really annoy you? Disobedient dogs (mine and often-that’s two), slow golfers.
Three things from your ‘bucket list’?
  • Own a sports car (not just a GTi, Fyfe!),
  • Visit Australia and New Zealand,
  • Curl in Canada.
What was the last film you saw?  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
And the last book you read? The China Thrillers by Peter Kay
Give us a playlist of five of your favourite songs (and artists)?
And one song you never want to hear again? The Birdie Song (tweet, tweet)
What would be your specialist subject on Masternind? Irish Curling 1993-present
What’s your favourite meal? Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
Washed down by? Guinness again! or possibly a good Merlot!!
Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people? I was on a TV show when I was 5.
You can save one prized possession. What is it? My Senior Gold Medal
What keeps you awake at night? Polishing my Senior Gold Medal
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? On the rugby pitch: “if it moves, kick it; if it doesn’t move, kick it till it does!”

WSCC 2014 Team Profile – Tony Tierney

Tony Tierney-ProfileName - Tony Tierney
Age - 64
Occupation – Financial Adviser

Three things you really like? Old Classic Films, Living in the past…..it’s cheaper! Travelling and Holidays

Three things that really annoy you? Bad Manners, Bad Grammar and getting ripped-off

Three things from your ‘bucket list’? Visit more of America especially re-visiting New York, Cruise around New Zealand and Retire

What was the last film you saw? Appaloosa

And the last book you read? Da Vinci Code

Give us a playlist of five of your favourite songs (and artists) Gary Moore….Still Got The Blues, Dire Straits…..Money for Nothing…..David Gray…..White Ladder, Pink Floyd……Comfortably Numb and Gary Moore…..Parisian Walkways(the live version)….to be played at my funeral!

And one song you never want to hear again? The Birdy Song

What would be your specialist subject on Mastermind? Steve McQueen

What’s your favourite meal? Penne Arabriata

Washed down by? Chateauneuf Du Pape

Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people? I was the first Queens Scout in our Troop in Belfast

You can save one prized possession. What is it? Charlotte

What keeps you awake at night? Eating too late

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Read and apply everything in the poem IF, by Rudyard Kipling …..and I have tried to!

“No stone left unturned” for MD twosome

WMDCC-Ireland-PhotoIn the tradition of many Irish teams over the years (but not all) the mixed doubles pairing of John Furey and Louise Kerr have gone down the “no stone left unturned” route as they prepare for the World Championships at Dumfries, April 23-30.
The twosome played their first mixed doubles game since wining the Irish playdowns at the beginning of December when taking on PJ and  Anne Wilson in a practice game at Stranraer Ice Rink on Sunday.
And…. they got on really well it has to be said. Took shedloads of shots off the bewildered Wilsons.  Sitting afterwards having a drink,  feeling very pleased with themselves and filled with confidence for the challenge ahead, they read the rules.
Ah……
Turned out they had played the game the wrong way. Having dumped the ‘lose and choose’ format and played the ‘Irish’ version where, if you win the end you both keep last stone in the next end AND get to choose where your placed stone goes. A win-win format!

NB – players must read the rules before playing in future.

For the few out there who don’t know the story behind the “no stone left unturned” comment, we have to go back to Moscow and the Europeans in 2011.
Two of the ladies team (Jane Paterson and Hazel Gormley-Leahy) had never clapped eyes on each other before arriving in Russia. This prompted Johnjo’s classic line:
“The Irish ladies’ curling team on the eve of a major championships……
Jane meet Hazel…….. Hazel meet Jane.
No stone left unturned.”