Middlesex v Lancashire Day 3 at Lord’s 23 June 2006, Arabian Nights Party at Sandall Close 24 June 2006

Arabian Nights or Moroccan Den?

At the time of writing (January 2017) I was sent scurrying for my 2006 diary when King Cricket reported that Lancastrian cricketer Tom Smith had retired.

Like King Cricket, I first saw Tom Smith play in the summer of 2006, but in my case it was June and the weather was lovely.

My diary simply has a line through the Friday daytime and the word “Lord’s”. That means I went to Lord’s with me, myself and a heap of reading.

By the start of Day 3 (the Friday), the result of the match was barely in doubt; it was really only a question of whether Middlesex could salvage some pride and bat for a day on the road we call the Lord’s pitch.

Click here for the match scorecard.

I remember that day at Lord’s primarily for one silly thing, which, as it happens, did involve Tom Smith.

I chose to follow the sun (top up the tan for tomorrow’s party), so by the afternoon I had plonked myself in the front row of the Mound Stand, closer to the Edrich than the Tavern.

Scott Styris in particular was batting well; with some aggression as well as for survival. On one occasion Styris lofted the ball into vacant space, in my direction; a couple of bounces, then the ball bounced up and pretty much landed on my lap. To this day it is the only time I can recall the ball absolutely coming to me, personally, while watching a professional match.

I had on my lap at that juncture not only the book I was reading but also an apple I was about to munch by way of light lunch.

Tom Smith arrived to gather the ball. I considered throwing him the apple rather than the ball but momentarily thought better of it and simply threw him the ball. I then spent the rest of the afternoon regretting that I hadn’t played that practical joke on Tom Smith.

Smith looked very sharp as a pace bowler back then. I remember being very impressed with him, even though his figures for the day don’t look special. He looked “the lad most likely” that afternoon on a very flat track and I remember carrying high hopes for him as an England bowling prospect for a few years.

Saturday 24 June 2006

There is a line through Saturday which reads “party”, as it was the day of the famous “Arabian Nights/Moroccan Den” party at Daisy’s old maisonette in Sandall Close.

Tony (downstairs) let us use his garden as well as ours (in return for an invitation). Kim and DJ’s company, Theme Traders, themed the gardens up for the party (see picture above).

The weather was glorious for that one and the party really was a huge success. I struggled to take photographs on the night (enjoying myself too much and then couldn’t get the flash to flash) but perhaps some better pictures will emerge from friends.

I can just about make out Bobbie and John-Boy in the background. Tony in the foreground and a few members of the family.

There were quite a lot of people at the party; a few dozen anyway. I’m pretty sure I recall Bobbie, her Dave, Andrea and one or two others hanging around with us until very late indeed; it was one of those parties that people didn’t want to end.

I had just acquired my first iPod and I made up a good playlist for this party. I’ll dump the playlist in a file and attach it as an aside later.

Daisy (Janie) might well want to chip in with some memories of this party too.

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