never knew you needed to know about the EICC ...
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
venue, in the middle of a forest, is very well conceived, you
know. First, you have the main building, with an all-sports
hall, including a climbing wall where the young kids seem to
have the time of their life, I’ve seen people dressed in all
sorts of outfit, including judo, a restaurant, a café – where
the English and Spanish watched some football match two nights
ago, don’t ask me, you know me and football – the squash centre,
with easy circulation, a beautiful glass court, with traditional
courts facing each other, but also a full athletic ground of the
highest quality, and even an ice rink!
what I really appreciated, apart from lovely Ronnie who
basically said to me when I asked him if I could have score
sheets “Fram, it’s your show, you tell us how you want to run
it,” how do you want me to resist to that, was the attention to
details: those little flowers on every table near the courts
bar, that little welcome sign when you enter the squash centre,
the screens with the infos, all those volunteers that keep
making sure that everybody is getting what they need to drink,
to eat, etc.
those people are making a heavy event like this one – two rounds
a day for the main, main and women, so many teams, plates, etc –
over so few days, a special event, which I must say, I’m
Thanks to you all.
You may have seen on our photos the familiar faces of John
Massarella, from England, and Roy Gingell, from Wales, both
didn’t come here to ref, but to assess referees, and that my
friend, ain’t a walk in the park. They basically don’t miss a
match, they are watching, analysing, judging every ref’s
performance, and I bet your racquet that they are working even
harder than when they ref themselves…
Anyway, as I told John, having them around is like having a good
cup of tea English style in the middle of the desert: makes you
ANYTHING YOU CAN DO…
I know, only me would notice that, but have a look at the facial
expression of Camille Serme and her
coach-since-she-was-that-high Philippe Signoret. They are
spending far too much time together, if you ask me…!!!!
THAT WON'T DO...
A white ball for a traditional court...
never knew you needed to know about the EICC ...
"Après l'effort, le réconfort"
After effort comes comfort...
AHH, ITALIAN CHARM....
I know, I know, his girlfriend is a lawyer, I may have problems
publishing this photo, but COME ON, he's got cute legs, hasn't
Well, already yesterday, he was the one outside Herentals' train
station freezing those legs out, dressed in shorts...
You've got people like that I seem to notice... Jose Facchini
is one of them..
MULTI TASK “PAR EXCELLENCE"
hard enough to play tournaments, and it’s also extremely
stressing to organise them. Well, Kim Hannes is actually
doing both as she is now in the quarters.
And I for one was able to appreciate her efficiency, Kim is the lady that kept on
writing back to me with travelling details, train schedules,
Not she was the first one I saw when I arrived in the
tournament office at 9am the first morning…
“Since Malmo, the Europeans, I got on court only twice,” she
says. “I was too busy preparing this event. It’s not easy!” Bet
your racquet it isn’t. Especially when you add Fiene, a lovely little
girl to raise.
Not just a pretty blond, ain’t she…
Framboise reports from
to this little Belgian town doesn't seem like a simple task,
although it's actually not that difficult after all… You have
several ways to come here; from Antwerp – Anvers for the French
– you can take a taxi, a 15 minute drive I’m told.
We French seem to prefer to come through Brussels. We have the
lovely “Thalys” train from Paris to Brussels Midi that takes
1h18 mins, then another hour train from the same station to
Herentals. Easy enough.
Well, not so easy for the Marseille based French contingent
that, for some obscure reason, went and took flights through
Munich then Brussels. Of course, their first flight was delayed,
and they missed their connection, to finally get to the hotel
around 9pm. The word 'bless' comes to mind…
Still, for me, simple enough, as I spent a few days in Paris,
arrived in Brussels to have lunch with a journalist mate who
lives there, and zoom, the slow train that departs every hour at
37 past the hour, passing through lovely towns and greens. I
know, life is tough…
Only thing, yesterday in Paris was about 30°C. Today in
Herentals, around 15… I was warned, so, not too much damaged,
but ask the Italian team how they felt (34° today in Milan) as
they waited for the bus in front of the station, dressed in
shorts. Again, bless…
We are all settled in a charming little hotel in the middle of a forest,
around 15m from the venue. As I just spent a few
days in a hotel off Rue de Vaugirard in Paris – as in loooooads
of car noise – I must say I welcome the calm and peace of the
Internet is free and working fine, the food is delicious, even
if we had to wait a bit for it, the staff here is extremely
helpful, smiling, and efficient. We are going to spend a nice
I saw a few players, the English camp, the French Mafia, the
Italian connection, and a few others I never saw before -
looking forward to meeting them. But I must say I’m a bit wary
of how the heck I am going to be able to handle the competition,
with basically two rounds every day, men, women, and little me
in two languages… This time, it's 'Help me' that comes to mind…
Oh well, with Steve comfortably freezing his butt in Newcastle,
UK, and me, hoping for a warming up of the weather here in
Herentals, I’m sure we’ll be able to inform you of the
competition, trying to make you share the atmosphere of these
Europeans Individuals Championships.
The frog, from Herentals, Belgium.