On The Beach by Steve Waters, Bush Theatre, 25 April 2009

This play was part of a double bill of plays about climate change known together as The Contingency Plan.

We only fancied the first part; On The Beach.

The Bush was still above the pub on Shepherd’s Bush Green in those days.

It was well acted and produced, but we both found the first play a bit long, ponderous and not entirely plausible. We didn’t seek to book nor did we regret not having booked the second part.

On the whole the double-bill was reviewed jointly, so our take is only partial:

I Do Declare, MTWD Piece, Middlesex v Glamorgan Day 3, Lord’s, 24 April 2009

I took Michael Mainelli to Lord’s on Day Three of this  match, having taken Charley on Day One.

Hippity wrote up Day Three, having apparently jumped into my picnic bag in a fit of pique:

I Do Declare: Middlesex v Glamorgan Day 3 – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – I Do Declare: Middlesex v Glamorgan Day 3

Middlesex CCC Season Is Up And Running, MTWD Piece, Middlesex v Glamorgan Day One at Lord’s, 22 April 2009

My article on MTWD tells the tale of the day – the first day of the county championship season for Middlesex.

MIDDLESEX CCC SEASON IS UP AND RUNNING – click here.

You get Charley The Gent and a passing mention of Nigel “Father Barry” White (just named Barry in this piece), together with both of the lads’ wives with pseudonyms long since forgotten.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – MIDDLESEX CCC SEASON IS UP AND RUNNING

If you want to know what happened in the match, click here for the scorecard.

You can have various takes on a day of cricket. King Cricket, who takes a particular interest in rotund cricketers, wrote up the same day thus – click here.

Even more strangely, it seems that King Cricket published, that very same day, a short piece about Hippity and his cricket ball – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to King Cricket, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

A cricket ball in an unusual place

Stranger still, King Cricket published an abridged version of the MTWD piece at a (by King Cricket standards) lightening pace – i.e. within a calendar month – click here for King Cricket’s Middlesex v Glamorgan match report.

Just in case anything ever happens to King Cricket, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex v Glamorgan match report

 

Dartmouth With the Worms, 17 to 20 April 2009

It seemed like a lovely idea for Janie, her sisters and the husbands/significant other to gather for a long weekend somewhere nice. We settled on The Dart Marina in Dartmouth. Very nice.

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We gathered on the Friday as the afternoon went on. I think Janie and I got there first, obviously, as we had by far the furthest to travel. We all agreed/decided that the pub adjoining (part of, really) the hotel would be our best bet that first night. It was old-fashioned fish and chips type food, done very well.

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On the Saturday, Phillie, Tony, Hils and Chris had planned a pootle around town while Janie and I went off to meet our friends Nigel and Viv (who then lived in Totnes) for lunch – more pub grub.

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This time we took it easy a bit, though, as we knew we had a big meal planned for the evening in the hotel’s posh restaurant:

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If it looks as though we spent most of the weekend eating and drinking…well you’re not entirely wrong. But that was about to change.

The Sunday plan was for Phillie and Tony to do a bit of gentle shopping while Chris, Hils, me and Janie did a proper walk. Chris and I planned the walk and off we set up the hill. Hils (no aptronym here) started protesting vigorously that we must be going the wrong way as we were walking far too much up hill. Now despite my spatial and directional challenges, I am quite good at plotting routes on maps. Moreover, Chris works for Ordnance Survey and is a specialist map guy.

In short, I think we were going in precisely the right direction, while Hils was barking up the wrong tree.

Still, once we explained the plan to her, which included descending to a lovely sounding village with a pub, she calmed down and cheered up.

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By the time we got to the pub, Hils was a convert to this walking thing and has undertaken many walking holidays since. Must be to do with the pubs…I mean the exercise.

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In the above photo, I’m sporting a West Indies ground staff tee-shirt from Nigel and Viv’s recent sortie to the Caribbean (was it Antigua or Barbados, I forget?) with Charlie and Dot. When I sported the tee-short again in front of Charlie later that summer, it had the desired effect (intense and voluble envy).

That evening we ate in the third of the Dart Marina’s restaurants – the bistro -style one, which we decided was possibly the nicest of the three for our purposes, not least because the weather smiled on us enough to enable us to eat outside under the patio heaters. There was some debate about meal timing and whether or not Chris and I could choose the wines we wanted to pay for rather than the house wine that Hils insists is always adequate. The photographic evidence (below) suggests that, for once, Hils didn’t get her way:

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There are other photographs from that trip – click here for the Flickr set, but in truth they are for completists/connoisseurs – the ones that tell the tale are included in this posting.

Forums Galore, MTWD Piece, 13 April 2009

Just ahead of the 2009 season, I wrote a piece for Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) about other cricket on-line forums:

Forums Galore – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – Forums Galore

 

Parlour Song by Jez Butterworth, Almeida Theatre, 11 April 2009

Coincidentally, at the time of writing this (early May 2017) we have just seen a new Jez Butterworth, The Ferryman, which was excellent.

While I remember Parlour Song pretty well, it hadn’t dawned on me that it was also a Jez Butterworth play.

There’s a good trailer and stuff on the Digital Theatre Plus site – click here.

It was a very good, very funny play. All three members of the cast: Amanda Drew, Toby Jones and Andrew Lincoln were terrific.

I don’t think it sent us into quite the level of ecstasy that the critics describe, but we did enjoy this one a lot, without finding much depth; it is basically a slightly quirky, sinister comedy about suburban infidelity.

But it did for sure signal Jez Butterworth on that upward trajectory to playwriting stardom.

Cricket Lovely Cricket? by Lawrence Booth, MTWD Book Review, 11 April 2009

As a warm up to the new season I read a book and wrote the following book review for Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD):

Cricket Lovely Cricket? by Lawrence Booth – click here.

Just in case anything ever happens to MTWD, I have scraped the piece to Ogblog – only click the link below if the link above doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – Cricket Lovely Cricket_ by Lawrence Booth

Brad Mehldau, Wigmore Hall, 9 April 2009

Janie and I had encouraged the Wigmore Hall to bring in more jazz, so we felt almost duty bound to attend the first gig by a new curator of a jazz season, Brad Mehldau.

Even on an awkward Thursday evening.

Highly acclaimed, is Brad, and highly accomplished too.

This concert was Brad solo playing the piano – not as much to our taste as small ensembles. Perhaps not totally our style of jazz either, although we left the Wigmore Hall very much looking forward to seeing Brad and the rest of his trio in the autumn.

 

The Fever by Wallace Shawn, Royal Court Theatre, 4 April 2009

I saw Wallace Shawn perform this piece in early 1991, I think at the Cottesloe, but perhaps upstairs at the Royal Court…to be Ogblogged (with accurate details) in the fullness of time.

But Janie hadn’t seen it before and Clare Higgins is a cracking good actress.

Also, in the post crash times that were late 2008/early 2009 when we booked to see this production, I thought the piece might have a different, meaningful resonance.

In many ways it did.

Yet it wasn’t quite the same thing as seeing Wallace Shawn perform it himself. How could it be?