September on the wane

There’s a nip in the air now, even in the South of England it would seem, as even there the cricket season has drawn to close.  Nasty Jen and F… have looked a little wistful of late, and are wondering how they are going to get through the winter evenings without the gentle cadences of Aggers’ voice describing the floodlit scene at The Rose Bowl, or Lord’s, as England complete another successful run chase.

Now there’s a thing.  England successfully completing a run chase in an ODI. Again.  Two or three years ago, who’d have thought we could say that.

But NJ and F… need not fear.  One of the joys of being a cricket supporter is that the season never really ends, it just has a short break.  And then Test Match Special returns, only at different times of the day, sometimes in the middle of the night.  The forthcoming Ashes series will return me to a series of familiar experiences… waking up to the radio… shaking off the early morning torpor… feverishly wishing CMJ would hurry up and give a score update… realising that Ponting is at the crease… clocking that Australia are 290-1… groaning, slumping under the duvet, welcoming the torpor back with open arms…

It’s not all good news though.  Frijj chocolate milkshakes, so good they should really be illegal, are no longer 2-for-1 at Tesco.  Bah.

Life’s Rich Tapestry

It’s a Saturday in September, and the cricket season is over.  Saturdays feel a little empty without cricket at this stage, and I didn’t fancy taking part in International Burn a Koran Day, so I headed down to Arboretum Road to help put the cricket square to bed for the winter.  A football match was in full swing, however, and so the remedial work was postponed for an hour.  I took the opportunity for a coffee down at Ocean Terminal.  Stopping off at the news stand on the ground floor, I interrupted the proprietor, a middle-aged lady, having a chinwag with the cleaner.

“That’s me going to be a grandma again”, she says.  “For the fourth time.”

“I’ve got five”, says he.  “You’d better get a move on.”

Distinctly put out that she was lagging behind in the grandchildren count, she paused for a moment before declaring

“Had my first at 36.”

I too paused for a moment, to consider this.  I am now 36, and haven’t managed to have a child yet, never mind a grandchild.  I paid for my newspaper and moved on.

It’s remarkable what you overhear in conversations, without deliberately eavesdropping.  Only a week ago, a bunch of us were in Princes Street Gardens, watching the Festival Fireworks close-up.  Just to the left of our picnic blanket was a group of middle-aged people with, if it’s possible, an even more middle-class picnic selection than we had.  I was quite impressed with our effort, comprising as it did olives, white wine, paté and a cheese board, but they were in a different league.  Behind us, slightly further up the slope, were a couple of girls, getting gradually more and more hammered, and discussing recent visits to the hospital.

“Looks like it did during the Lang Siege in 1578,” declared a gentleman’s voice to our left, as some fireworks landed on the Castle Rock and continued to burn for a while.

“So, I wis thinkin’, right, is ma gall bladder f**ked?” came a voice from behind.

All part of the rich tapestry of life…