I don’t usually watch sport on TV, but while I was doing my ironing, I thought I would watch the gold medal mixed final in badminton played at NEC, Birmingham.

I learnt a little bit.  Firstly, they have a little rest when they get to 11 points and then continue to 21.  When I play at the U3A, we don’t have a little rest at 11, we play straight through to 21, so, I can only deduce from that, that we at the U3A are fitter than these young ones playing for gold.

The commentator said the female  England player was not playing up to her usual standard, because the opposition wouldn’t let her play well.  I must remember that.  It is not that I am having a bad day, or losing in fact, it is the opposition’s fault for not letting me play well.

Some of the rallies were so long that I was in danger of scorching my ironing, so, I modified my ironing.

They have a new feather shuttle every two or three points.  We at the U3A use plastic shuttles, much more economical, and the keeper of the shuttles, usually like one shuttle to last a whole year.  When the edges get a bit frayed, they put the shuttle back in the tube hoping that the next time it appears to be played with that the frayed edges will miraculously disappear and we won’t notice.

I am sure if these Commonwealth players had to pay for their own shuttles they would be using plastic too.

I guess we can’t all be U3A badminton players. I am sure that the Commonwealth medal winners are not aspiring to play like us at the U3A, and in reverse, we wouldn’t want to play with them, or against them.

I am sure the Commonwealth players would not like to accept the way that we play either.  What’s a service fault?  You mean I can’t serve when the person receiving has got their back to me!!!!!!!!!!  I’ve got to keep both feet on the ground when I serve, really!!!!!!!  An overarm serve is not allowed.  They can do underarm in cricket, why can’t we do overarm in badminton?  Can I have another serve, that one wasn’t very good!!!!  You can’t have two people on the same side who can’t move, that would never do.  We’ll try and get at least one player on each side who knows how to serve, can walk quickly, even if not actually run, can keep the score, knows what side to stand, and doesn’t mind playing with a human obstacle on their side of the court somewhere.  At least they know where the obstacle is.

And if you don’t quite know the rules, you just make some up that suit.  We can always have three people on each side, Badminton triples.  They don’t do that at the Commonwealth of Olympic games, but, the courts are much, much smaller there.  They only have a maximum of two each side, but they seem to take up a lot of room, and only move two steps either way and they have the court covered. Our courts are much bigger and we have the obstacle to contend with.  They would never cope.