Is it my imagination, or are TV presenters getting younger these days..?
Yes indeed, it wasn't just me who attended the Footvolley International down at Madeira Drive yesterday afternoon - the BBC's Newsround were there too. Minus John Craven, who's too old to connect with today's youth. The young news hound, who to be honest was more of a news puppy, was quite telegenic (he looked like Donny Osmond circa 1965), but I think he was finding the pressure of up-to-the-minute reporting a little tough going.
Having spent forty-five minutes trying to do his twenty second piece to camera (for the twenty-second time), first from the other side of the court, and then from a deckchair in the corner, the film crew finally decided that they might have more luck coaxing a performance out of their young star if they stood right in front of me and blocked my view of the game.
Having tried it three times in this position, the cameraman finally shook his head, sighed, and muttered "Well I think that's the best we're gonna do..." before stomping off, vowing never to work with children or footvolleyers again. It was good to see a man so happy in his work. I'll be looking out for that report on BBC1 at 5:25pm tomorrow. It should be a cracker.
Anyhoo, news crews aside, I spent an hour watching the opening rounds of the Footvolley International from the comfort of a free deckchair. On the left are a pair of plucky Brits losing 18-9 to a couple of Spaniards who'd clearly played the game before, after which they made way for a pair of even pluckier Brits who took on the mighty footvolley nation of Holland, raised all our hopes by winning a few points, battled gamely for a bit, and then lost 18-15.
As for the pair of bronzed beach babes on the right, they're apparently the world champions from Brazil, which is why they're allowed to take on the men. And beat them. Having wiped the floor 18-1 with their first opponents, they came out again to take on the mighty Dutch, and beat them 18-9. Whilst they were doing that, their male countrymen were busy crushing another local pair, and by the time I'd sat there for an hour it had become obvious that this was a 'tournament' in name only. It doesn't finish until 5pm today, but I'm telling you now, the Brazilians have won it.
It was worth going though, if only to pick up my free Lamisil Once goody bag. At least that's what the promotions girl called it. When I looked inside it contained nothing but a leaflet about Lamisil, and a small beanbag featuring their logo. But at least I can walk down the street with pride, carrying my smart canvas bag advertising an Athlete's Foot ointment. It's the must-have accessory this summer.