Sunday, 8 March 2015


My amazing friend. My really truly a-fucking-mazing friend Ms Elise Bethancourt Barker has been doing something wonderful and slightly surprising. Elise has taken up Boxing. Taken up Boxing in an attempt to raise money and raise awareness of cancer research in aid of Macmillan's Cancer Support. She has spent the past few weeks training hard, really hard. No mean feat with a demanding job (A Director of Marketing and Communication somewhere in the NHS) a demanding husband (Iain) and demanding children (Harrison, Max and Sophie). So, it is fair to say that Elise already has her hands pretty much full to try and fit in training too.
It isn't surprising that Elise is doing something wonderful. It isn't surprising that she is doing something wonderful for Charity. It is slightly surprising that that something wonderful is boxing.  When I think of boxing I think of black eyes and broken noses, not something I would associate with Elise!  Elise is Boxing with 'Pink Collar Boxing' ( And has adopted the 'fighting name' of Elise 'Boom Boom' Barker.
So, off we went to support her in her first 'bout' I think that they call them at the City Rooms in Leicester. I must admit I was little bit scared (mainly for the other person!) and I mean I'm a gentle person, I don't do violence ... BUT this is my friend and I don't want her to get hit and I don't want her to get hurt and I want her to WIN ... So, Take No Prisoners Barker ... Hit FAST Hit HARD ...
What a splendid way to celebrate #InternationalWomansDay?
Sophie was feeling quietly confident, she explained her Mum's preparation involved a lot of thought and tactics. And Max added that his Mum was 'Prepared, Tactical and Determined'. 
Iain had ensured that 'rent a crowd' were there: Mark & Jo, Richard and Jeanette, and Chris & Rachael. And they were in good voice.  The Music certainly help to build up the anticipation and the atmosphere. 'Snap: You've got the Power'; 'Queen: We will rock you' and of course, 'PJ&Duncan: Let's get ready to rumble.'
Elise seemed calm, although probably hiding the nerves and chaos of emotions, and displayed her legendary 'steely determination', a look she has been practicing for years and which seems to suggest 'Just Don't'; 'Don't Mess'; 'Or I may not be responsible for the consequences'.
know very little about boxing but found a few Muhammad Ali (he knew something about boxing) quotes to inspire her: "Float like a Butterfly, sting like a Bee. The hands can't hit, what the eyes can't see."
Actually, considering I'd always considered myself somewhat of a pacifist, against the whole notion of violence, but actually I really rather enjoyed it. I think 'PJ&Duncan: Let's get ready to rumble.' over-excited me!
Iain didn't have any considered, helpful last minute advice for Elise, but confidently commented: 'She knows what she's gotta do.'  Yep, So, Take No Prisoners Barker ... Hit FAST Hit HARD ...
It was all quite exciting, and the competition was tough. But Elise WON ... Fantastic Effort. Well Done Elise. We are all very proud of you.

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