We Are Not Amused

Queen Victoria may not have said it, but I certainly did on learning that the last Test Match of the India/England series had been called off at the last minute, while those who had bought tickets for the first day were still traveling to the ground. I expect that Lancashire County Cricket Club were not amused either. Hosting a Test Match is an expensive business -, preparation money lost, on top of having to refund ticket holders.

Still, I concentrate on my own displeasure. The last match of a see saw series…the last Test match probably until next summer, unless Australia does something about its damn fool quarantine policies…and I had prepared for five days of hedonism.

Meals, both human and canine, had been planned for speed of execution….wok and slow cooker featuring largely. Wild suggestions as to making puff pastry for tarte tatin treated with contumely. Outer gate locked to repel boarders, the telephone to be off the hook until lunchtime here – end of play in Manchester – and no appointments booked before afternoon.

All set…and then the blasted Indians refused to play……. the virus, of course….

Or was it? The whole team had been out on the town in London to celebrate the opening of an Indian owned hotel chain’s latest acquisition and the head coach and a few other back up staff tested positive. None of the players.

An assistant physio later tested positive. None of the players.

Yet at midnight before the first day of the Manchester Test the players told their ruling body that they would not be willing to play, for if they caught the bug they would have to quarantine in Manchester and thus would not be available for the big money spinner for their board….the India Premer League, sbout to start shortly. The fact that the same players had partcipated in the earlier rounds when India was undergoing the ravages of the virus, before stands packed with fans with no protection whatsoever did not seem to weigh with them.

So sod the cricket lovers who wanted to see them…sod the arrangements already made…they were off.

Hell and damnation! All the things I had pushed aside reared their heads… tarte tatin….making sausages….pistolei….talking to the local association about making up the road….appealing a parking fine – .paradise lost.

But in a way, paradise regained. As I was readjusting my sights, I received an e mail from friends who used to visit us every summer when we lived in France. They braved the rigours of the last house we had in France when we had just taken it over….and made that summer special for us.

The kids took our little boat on the river at the foot of the gardens, the friends cooked a barbeque, we sat out in the late evening while Tim outplayed Owen Glendower…who boasted that he could call spirits from the vasty deep. Tim could do better…he could call owls.

We spent a magic hour while he called, and gradually indignant owls replied to his challenges, first one, and then others, until the woods on the river bank resounded with their eery cries. Sitting out there, in the dusk, as the bats whirled out of the eves, was the most magical evening I have known.

And to top it all they sent over a photograph from that year….which epitomises for me our happiness.

A new venture…everything before us…together.

Thank you, Tim and family.


33 thoughts on “We Are Not Amused”

  1. Less an opportunity lost Helen, as much as one taken away. I’m sorry your pleasure was probably removed by a bit of gamesmanship for money. I’m pleased you heard from your friends though as a pick-me-up. I hope more games appear on radar for you.
    Massive Hugs

    1. Now I gather that their plane was already chartered…..what a bunch of hypocrites. Still at least there is the rest of the county championship on the radio….
      Tim;s letter brought back happy memories, though…

  2. Rather reminds me of the time when I were nobbut a kid and I saved my pennies (quite literally) to pay for a solo expedition from Grimsby to Le Mans… whereupon both of Aston Martin’s entries coasted around half of the track and retired hurt, leaving me then with twenty-three hours and fifty-eight minutes in which to choose another marque to support.

  3. The predictable demise of test cricket, which has been creeping towards the crematorium for several years now, is not news – the blatant disregard for fans, sponsors and clubs in the grab for the filthy lucre was truly sordid. With the rise of T10; T20; ODI around the world and the inclusion of limited over in the equally sordid Olympics, the nails were being hammered into the wrists and feet of ‘real’ cricket. It’s like draughts/checkers taking over chess board – what a shame! Then again Mother Earth is in the process of spitting us all out, white bloody balls an’all, so, in the grand scheme of things . . .

    1. It has been a shameful process….thank goodness they can’t monetise our memories. I’ve loved the game since i was a child, never thinking i would be around to see it killed off.

  4. Lovely memories Helen – we too shared our early days of living here with friends who helped make our lives that bit more magical when there was a part of us wondering what on earth had we done! Sorry about the cricket – since you planned that time for yourself, could you still enjoy it? I like the sound of wok and slow cooker meals.

    1. Tim;s letter brought back so many happy memories of time spent with them – and the fun of rattling about in that house as we started to restore it.
      Time for myself…no chance…a bakewell tart has been added to the list….

    1. We were a lot more active then….I can’t see myself climbing up ladders to stand on a plank resting on two oak beams to paint a ceiling nowadays!
      I would feel better about the culinary treats if someone else were making them for me!

          1. By all means.As long as he does so on his computer, not my laptop. I would like to be able to continue to use said laptop without the screen turning purple, splitting into four or vanishing up its own USB port.

  5. Devastating news. You know how much I simply adore a test cricket match. I live for them. They fulfill me. But the story of the Owl Whisperer who outdid Owain Glyndŵr (I prefer the original Welsh) was a joy and wonderful that it brought back to you such happy memories. And…finally!… I got to meet Leo if only by photo and what a fabulous photo it is! Now to don my sackcloth and grab some ashes the better to mourn a delay in the cricket season.

    1. You might be lucky enough to catch the Ashes this winter….that should console you.
      It’s Shakespeare’s chap who comes up with the boast, so it gets his spelling…the Welsh need no encouragement…..you think the Mafia are bad? Try the Taffia!
      That evening with Tim was simply magical….though I can imagine that there might have been some discussion among those summoned as to what to do about the new bloke on their pitch…
      I don’t have many phots of Leo…and this one is great…so nice of Tim to send it over.

      1. I’m convinced that the best evenings happen by serendipity. I smiled because our daughter has a large jacaranda tree in her yard and a breeding pair of Great Horned Owls have adopted the tree as their new home. We get owl updates regularly.

  6. I cannot comment on the cricket bits here, but I do know the joy of old friendships. Well done them, to know when to call. Lovely old photo.

  7. The cricket was a pain but even more so for all the people who had booked travel to see it. Bet they cannot get their money back other than maybe for the tickets! Great phot of the happy couple 🙂 Hope all is well, I had my third jab today so I hope I am now topped up! All the best to you both, Diane

  8. To cancel at such short notice was a disgrace….
    It was a nice photo…took me back years! So nice of Tim to send it over.
    I hope three jabs will be all that is necessary….it seems to go on and on!
    Look after yourselves.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s