Our FB friends – Russell O’Donnell & Mel Brereton

KC18-2Joining other enthusiasts who took up a paddle, ‘Lincoln Loose Lincs’ was the name of a University dragon boat team we were once part of and where we met our friend Russell and his partner Mel.

A dragon boat consists of a person on the front screaming the timing; 20 paddlers being screamed at paddling to stay in unison; and a person on the back keeping the waka dead straight so as not to be screamed at if it should venture across into another lane and crash with another vessel.  Russell was strong and so always had bum parked in the engine room; BCLaire also paddled and I had sole responsibility for steering the thing.  I was also the coach.

As we chewed the fat, we reminisced about the kindred spirit the dragon boating environment effervesced and how the team was more about a social core – anything we did on the water was a bonus.

KC18-3 Dragon Boat PhotoWe pondered what some of the fellow ‘loose’ team mates might be doing nowadays  …  Toni, Cate, Justine, Sam I Am, Karen, Erik, Christina, Tony Burns, Sarah, Lisa, Baz, John, Peter, Bella, Penny, Jann, Julia, Mike, and the like.

I still hold them all responsible for a health incident I encountered that resulted in a haemorrhoidectomy!

With more sunshine hours than almost anywhere else in the country, Nelsons topography caters for many an outdoor adventurous type.  Creativity is also vibrant and was the birthplace of the World of WearableArt that has gone onto becoming a globally recognised icon.  It certainly is a ‘wow’ spot of paradise.

KC18-1For Russell and Mel, they have made their residence in sunny Nelson with two youngins’ – Eva and Zane.  They own and operate a business called ‘Baby on the Move’ specialising in rental and sales of baby products.  Soon conversations shifted back to fellow dragon boaters with chuckles at visualizing what some them would be like as parents.  And if what we saw in how Russell and Mel are as Dad and Mum – we believe in them wherever they were.

This visit reminded me of the time they left me at a country pub on a mystery bus trip that I had organised.  Hitch hiking dressed in the Grim Reaper fancy dress costume to the next location had its character building challenges.

KC18-4 Dragon Boat JournalThat’s okay though. It also reminded me of the Team Journal from the 1999 Wellington Dragon Boat Trip sitting on a bookshelf that depicts a team where together, everyone achieved more. But extremely loosely!

That story is for another FB Friend visit … with the last words, “never under estimate the Ru!”