From one end of the entertainment spectrum – watching Sophie’s end of term ballet show in a hot, packed Ashville hall on the Saturday – to a hot packed Old Trafford cricket ground on the Sunday watching England play Australia in a One Day International match. Impressive to watch ‘best in the world’ performers – the cricketers were great too.
Setting off on a giddy ‘lads’* day out (yes, I am talking about the cricket now) always gets me excited. The thought that I get to be a kid again, where I’ve got a responsibility holiday (apart from the notion of bringing myself and the rest of the fleet back in one piece) fills me with a unique energy.
Harmless fun and japes, laughing hard, doing things on a whim, going to places and situations that I couldn’t experience in any of the normal modes of me is very good from time to time. Reminds me of the Peter Pan in me. Somebody once asked me and Skip (who couldn’t make this tour) whilst Headingley bound on a damp train full of cricket and commuters, if we were in the Barmy Army. “oh no,” Skip replied “we’re a special ops unit”.
The match we were at had heroics. It had tension. It was two (at times) gladiators equally poised in the balance of mortal combat. The series win was at steak and oh how pleased we were when a Yorkshiremen brought home the silver for St. George (and the dragon). Meanwhile the England football team were outplayed on the field by Germany knocking them out of the world cup.
By the time the match had finished and we’d got out of the ground, the vast majority of car and house England flags had already been demoted to out of sight, out of mind. Not many people were drinking champagne on the train back over the Pennines that night, I can tell you… except us that is. What a superb day. Cardiff next year?
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* J who I’ve known over half my life,also a father of 3 also relishes the rare away missions that life throws at him. The rest of the unit : H, a brilliant chap, has the ability to run scores of miles up mountains and has a wit and interlect just as excersised, likes a day off from himself, I’m sure. T contributes an infectious positivity, R a wise humour and honoured veteran while M shows that growing up in Wales has a lot of parallels to growing up in Yorkshire.