London, Day 3 and the Losing of the Ashes

This is a poster up in my sister’s kitchen, espousing the good old British spirit which carried us through the war years.

Spent most of Saturday setting my a wireless network and generally tidying up my sister’s laptop. IT literacy, like most things in life, is a relative measure. To my sister and her partner Angela I am fully qualified technical support. To someone like Jones I am a technical disaster waiting to strike. He knows the latter is a more accurate appraisal of my IT abilities because he has to field the panicky calls from me whenever I blow something up. However, this time all appears to be working ok after my tinkering.

This weekend I also had the chance to meet Jo and Stewart, friends of my sister, who will be in Melbourne at the same time as me. They are heading over there for a wedding in Airlie Beach, and are very sensibly only attending one day of the 4th Test at the MCG. Rather less sensibly, they are taking their baby son Lewis with them on the trip. Although Jo, like my sister, is a nanny by profession, so if she can’t handle it, I’m not sure who can.

Looking forward to seeing them again in Melbourne, it will be nice to have a couple of familiar faces there.

Last night, I joined my friends Tom and Joy at a carol service at St Paul’s Hammersmith. Tom was one of three flatmates who put up with me for my final two years at university.

All three of my ex-flatmates from that flat are now married. Probably the first to go (my chronology of these matters is a little vague) was Koji – who married Hwee-Sng when he returned to Singapore after graduating. Hwee-Sng was also studying in Edinburgh with us. Tonight I fly out to Singapore for 2 nights – sometime tomorrow I will see them again for the first time in over 10 years.

My sister, with her customary sensitivity, stops outside my door this morning, and announces “I think you’ve lost the Ashes.” Like I lost them myself, personally.

“I know” I reply, gruffly. I had, at some point during the night, switched on Radio 4 LW on the little radio I put beside the bed last night for precisely this purpose. Mercifully I missed the denouement itself, but I got the gist of the way things had turned out, even in a semi-conscious state.

Mornings are not a time when I like people telling me things I’d rather not hear, especially if I already know them. Tom and Koji, I imagine, both learned this. But Alison sounds positively cheery about England’s capitulation. Having recently opined that “There’s too much cricket chat on your blog”, perhaps she thinks this will reduce it.

Ha! Little does she know. Plenty of cricket left in this series. Still time for England to win two Test matches, and cast a gloriously artificial sheen on the series result.

Come on England. Keep calm and carry on.

14 thoughts on “London, Day 3 and the Losing of the Ashes”

  1. Oh oh oh! Singapore! You are going to love Singapore and if you don’t, I’ll eat both my legs. It’s such an odd mix up of the best parts of the UK (which is to say, Marks & Spencer and everyone speaks English) but it’s like the UK has been fast forwarded to a time where there is nice arhitecture, no yobs, where everything is neat and tidy and people are polite. It’s also very modern which I (and I suspect you) will like.

    Quinn, I kid you not, it’s the most efficient country I’ve ever visited so I know you’ll love that aspect. If you get time go visit the Night Zoo or Night Safari (I think it’s called the former) you won’t regret it – amazing time.

    And lastly, please find out tips from friends on how to travel long distances with small child – currently I am hoping I won’t have to resort to a Calpol & Whiskey cocktail. Have a great flight and a great Christmas!

  2. Right. Well I’m guessing you were expecting a comment from me at some point AQ… but I’ve just been reading Alyn’s comment and need to ask – what are you on about re “nice architecture”?… have you no appreciation for the architecture of yore? (one of the many things I’ll miss about living over here)

  3. Now – onto the important things:
    OK. So Australia has won. So my 1 (one – AQ – note..moderation is a good thing) day at the SCG may not be quite as exciting as I’d hoped.. but now I hear we’ve got another goal and I’m going to run with it: [from SMH]
    “Not only is Ponting intent on inflicting only the second series whitewash in Ashes history – Australia’s 5-0 win in 1920-21 being the other – he wants this summer to mark the starting point of another era of Australian supremacy in the oldest rivalry in cricket.”

    C’ARN AUSSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Alyn,
    Small Child Travelling Phrases;
    “I don’t know”
    “Put it back”
    “Ask the air stewardess”
    “No I can’t”
    “Hang the cost, make it a treble please”

    I learned all those on a single flight with yourself, before we had finished taxing to take off.

  5. Travelling with Mark, phrases:

    “Did you check your pockets?”

    “Are you sure you didn’t pack it in your suitcase?”

    “Are you sure it didn’t fly out of your hand and into the river?”

    “Do you want me to go in after it? I can swim you know!”

  6. Quinn,
    Flintoff was on the radio this morning saying they would be playing for pride in the next two tests and that they had plenty of pride within the team.
    Personaly, I would ditch the pride and add a couple of decent batsmen. I’m sure they would give you a game if you brought your own bat.

    Respect for posting a sporting comment without subtly drawing the converstion round to two goals scored on Tuesday night.

  7. At last, some semblance of an account of the Wiseman – Diana Amsterdam trip!
    And good architecture? This place is hoaching with it! Will the modern buildings of today stand the test of time? I feel there is an analogy to be drawn with hymns and modern choruses.
    I’m inclined to think that the Poms will manage at least a draw in one of the two remaining tests and avert further humiliation. As a small-minded Scotsman I’m happy to be proved wrong though!

  8. Just got a text from Quinn saying he’s in Singapore. No doubt pointing out subtle flaws in thier efficiency.

  9. Msr Le Quinn,

    It’s been a frequent source of perplexity in the dark recesses of my cranium that you are undertaking a trip of such magnatude without someone to capture the true essence of your experience.

    It’s been a frequent source of mirth that you are heading to the sunny side of the street and waving vigorously as you go and avoid “in the bleak midwinder” being sung with near dirge-like monotony.

    If you get the chance, watch Muppet’s Christmas Carol.

    Merry Christmas, Mr Quinn, Hi5 some Aussies from us and wave to the land of the long white cloud.



    You are a meano!

    ‘Very well, I shall know how to act. I am most seriously displeased.’
    (Lady Catherine,Pride and Predjudice)

  11. Andrew, I hope you realise the consequences of Jen’s updated profile. Not only has she thrown away that shirt (the only blue item in her wardrobe), she has engaged herself in, what can only be described as, retail therapy to end all retail therapy and some serious choclate consumption – not of the celebratory kind. She may have seemed quite calm in her comment but, you should know that was the censored version – you should have seen the original!

    ps Forgot to mention, the therapy bill’s in your name 😉

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