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Est-snow-nia ?  Est-no-nia !!

Published on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Est-snow-nia ? Est-no-nia !!

It'll be cold, they said. There'll be snow, they said. Make sure you take some warm clothes. And so it was that I set out in the first week of January for Tallinn and the Yonex Estonian International with a packing list which included my thickest jumper, warmest winter coat, new Nordic jeans (a Christmas present bought specially), thick tights, winter hiking boots, a scarf, a woolly hat and two pairs of gloves. Those who know me will know that I'm always cold, so I was determined not to be caught out in sub zero temperatures. Arriving in Tallinn, I stepped out of the airport, bracing myself against the temperature... which at the time was reading plus six degrees!! Ok, this was just trying to lull me into a false sense of security, I wasn't going to be fooled that easily, as it was clearly just a blip. I was a bit warm though...

I had the luxury of a late start the first morning, so having watched the sun rise about 9.15am (very strange for it still to be pitch dark at half 8 in the morning), and having had breakfast, I once again togged myself up, including both pairs of gloves and the hat, and stepped out of the hotel into... plus five degrees and bright sunshine. Look, the weather was bound to get worse later, there had not been a year in living memory when they hadn't had snow at the tournament, I wasn't about to be caught out!

Most noteworthy match of day one was a men's singles, where the Spanish guy, having won the first game, was 17-8 down in the second. It was noteable as a lesson in never giving up - he won 22-20!

After a busy second day, we headed into Saturday and quarter and semi finals. Between sessions, were were lucky enough to be taken on a guided tour of part of Tallinn and hear about its history (for a change, no marauding English invaders, but instead the Danish and something about a flag falling out of the sky - I'm sure Wikipedia will explain!). It's a pretty, if fairly compact city, but worth a visit, although we were too late for the award winning Christmas market. And finally, the mercury fell below zero degrees and I was grateful for the multiple layers I was wearing. 

The days passed in a flash and suddenly it was finals day. I was up for the men's singles final, between Lucas Claerbout of France and Hashiru Shimono of Japan. It was a hard fought match and the crowd really got involved and ultimately saw the Japanese come through in two ends. All too soon, the tournament was over. It was such a pleasure to be at such a well organised event, where our hosts really looked after us and made us feel welcome. So with eager anticipation, I once again donned my full compliment of winter gear and stepped outside into... plus five degrees and drizzle! Oh well, maybe next time there'll be snow...

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