First Success for Coalition

Well, the England-South Africa Cricketing Coalition won a major international tournament on Sunday, ending “35 years of hurt” (the BBC news website there, perhaps slightly over-egging the sense of national disappointment at not having won an ICC tournament). ¬†I must say it’s been a bit of a shock, witnessing England play confident, aggressive limited-overs cricket. ¬†I don’t suppose the presence of Kieswetter, Pietersen et al can rightfully be considered part of a coalition since, unlike the Lib Dem activists in Birmingham this week, the exiles’ South African compatriots are, er, not overwhelmingly approving of their presence in the England side. ¬†Their actions are perhaps more analogous with the MPs who have defected from the Lib Dems to the Labour party, except of course that the cricketers have, it turns out, joined a winning team. ¬†At least in the shortest form of the game, at least for now…

However welcome or unwelcome they might be, and realistically England have always had a fair few ‘foreigners’ in their ranks, it’s hard not to credit them, and perhaps the Zimbabwean coach Andy Flower, with the change in attitude of the England team as a whole. ¬†South Africans (and Australians, for that matter) always seem to possess so much more of a winning mentality than Brits.

So the presence of Lumb, Kieswetter and Pietersen at the top of the batting order, and the attitude they bring to their game, quite apart from their heavy contribution in the runs department, must have had a massive effect on the confidence of the overall team.  That said, how much the bowling unit needed an injection of confidence is open to question, given that Broad, Swann and Sidebottom are not known for their diffidence.

Last weekend, in Yorkshire, I didn’t manage to get a bat as Maggie seemed unwilling to hand it over. ¬†What’s more, she despatched my third delivery through square leg for four. ¬†I decided it was time to go back to the swings.

Perhaps my weekend off contributed to some rustiness this weekend, but Holy Cross’ return to Falkland produced a dismal defeat, with my own brief stay at the crease consisting of a lot of flapping and scratching around, before being predictably trapped LBW and departing for an ignominious duck.

However, onwards and upwards. ¬†Wednesday night sees the mighty Bellevue team swing into action for the first time this summer. ¬†And the sun, apparently, is going to shine…

The Day after the Election

It’s the day after the election, and if the media accurately reflect the mood of the country then it would seem that we’re being consumed by post-election fever. ¬†However, one suspects that for most of the country it’s more like post-election indifference, and the media are frothing about the possibilities of coalitions here and minority governments there for their own amusement more than anything. ¬†Having surprised myself by becoming moderately exercised about the election this time round, now that it’s over I would quite like someone in authority to just sort the whole mess out, form a government and get on with it. ¬†But the whole thing seems destined to be played out on our TV screens for some time to come. ¬†


The first cricket outing of the season was not spectacularly successful. ¬†Having washed my hands in countless places where the Nanny State has placed large danger signs to warn you of the fact that the water is VERY hot, it almost came as an ironic pleasure to have my hands nigh-on scalded by the water from the cold tap in the changing rooms at Inverleith Park. ¬†As regards the cricket, well… grinding out 16 runs before being trapped LBW was not in the script, particularly, but such is the lot of a batsman sometimes. ¬†The following week, playing for the 2nd XI, I made some unknown single figure score before getting myself run out. ¬†So far, so distinctly ordinary. ¬†This weekend my only shot at redemption will be if I can persuade Maggie to bowl me some rank long hops so I can dispatch them into the children’s play area. ¬†The family and I are spending the weekend in a North Yorkshire cottage to celebrate my mum’s 70th birthday. ¬†Mum and I left early this morning to drive down, and after a recent series of late nights I was mildly worried about my prospects of staying awake at the wheel. ¬†However, sleep was never a threat with my mother’s minute-by-minute account of a recent wedding lasting until just before Alnwick. ¬†Shortly after, I received a text from Nasty Jen, reminding me to vote today, or as she put it, “2day”. ¬†Not entirely sure what happened there.


Somewhere near Morpeth, we stopped at a Little Chef for a coffee.  The young waiter seemed unable to speak anything other than Teenager, which, when combined with the local accent, made communication tricky.  However, we managed to secure a couple of coffees and made good our escape.


Neebs, sadly, and perhaps uniquely, there was no great crowning moment which sealed victory in the Scrabble tournament. ¬†I did play a word which used all my letters (I can’t even remember what it was), however my thunder was somewhat stolen by DC who had already played a (better) seven letter word the round previous, and garnered considerably more points. ¬†I nullified this to some extent by harvesting 40-odd points from JAGS on a triple-word score, and then Mrs G finished her letters almost immediately afterwards, denying DC his turn in that particular round, and sealing a single-digit win for me. ¬†There may be no great crowning moment, but with a little bit of encouragement I’m quite happy to talk about it anyway, as you can see. ¬†As for the Pronouns thing – as far as I understand this was an example of the media getting a story wildly wrong and propagating it enthusiastically. ¬† A highly unusual occurrence, I’m sure you’ll agree. ¬†I believe that Spears have launched a new *version* of Scrabble, which allows the use of Pronouns and the like. ¬†The rules of “proper” Scrabble, as I understand it, remain unchanged. ¬†


If it ain’t broke…