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Published: September 15th 2019
Rippinggale in the morning
I love the church in the sun. It is hundereds of hears old. Every village has one.
It was great to spend a day with Richie and Ness on my way from North to South. Even better, I had a home cooked meal. Thanks Ness. I’ll be sure to try and replicate your pork and noodle stir fry when I get home. We shared a scrumptious lunch together in Grantham, they made sure I got to the station on time and I arrived in London on the eve of the 5th
and final test of the Ashes.
“Fair play to your lads. They certainly deserve to win the Ashes. They’ve been the better team all series.” This is how many conversations with strangers start. They see us in our Aussie hats and shirts and want to start talking about the cricket, which until now has been great viewing for all Australians. Things continued this way on the first day of the last test, when Muz and I went with 6 of his English family and friends. All live in and around London and like the strangers we met, they paid compliments to our cricket team and star batsman, Steve Smith. We sat in the sun and drank warm beer as the game started quite evenly. Then we
parted company and hoped our batsmen might do well on day two to give us hope of another test victory. At night we went out with two other Australians, one of whom we know from Parkdale Cricket Club. It’s great to catch up with friends on the other side of the world and I really appreciate the experiences that I’ve had courtesy of the cricket we have come to watch in the UK.
An interesting observation of Test cricket in London. It has some of the vibe and style of Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival. I saw many well dressed spectators and before the start of play I saw a group of people sharing a bottle of champagne just outside the gates. They were drinking from plastic cups, just like people do in the car park at Flemington. One difference is that cricket seems to be mostly for men. There weren't many female spectators at the Oval.
On day two we met up with Adam, who had tickets for two days of the match and we made use of our memberships to the Surrey County Cricket Club. It was great to watch the game from the long room and
explore the pavilion, but the cricket match was slipping away from us. By the end of the day, we noticed a change in the once flattering English cricketing fans. Not all, but some, flocked to us in our green and gold to brag about their team for once. I guess they have been waiting a while for the opportunity, but I certainly found some of them much less pleasant to talk too. Day three was another good day for the poms, and Muz, Adam and I decided not to go near the pavilion that day. We stayed in our seats outside, enjoying glorious English summer weather. This was a great contrast to Manchester, where Muz had observed that there are three types of weather; raining, about to rain and just finished raining. But from what I can make out London has the perfect climate. It is always sunny (except for night time), the temperature is just right and it never rains. No wonder so many people live here. It is because of the weather, I think.
So, I’m now sitting at Heathrow, waiting to catch a plane to Malta, where I will see Leanne and Nathan for the first
Music outside the ground
I think these are the same guys as the ones who played in Manchester.
time in three and a half weeks. Can’t wait to give them both a hug and do what we have done so many times before. And with the likely outcome of the fifth test being a loss to Australia, I would like to go somewhere that nobody even knows what cricket is. Good luck to Muzza, who has tickets to the remaining days of the match. But for the Stevensons; well … Malta and Italy, here we come.
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