Party at Kim & Micky’s House, 26 April 2015

Janie and I know what Kim & Micky’s parties can be like, so we hadn’t arranged anything for the Saturday evening and had arranged to take the Monday off.

This was a relatively small gathering by their standards, Sunday during the day, in honour of Kim’s birthday.

The usual suspects were there, plus some of the less usual suspects and of course Kim’s menagerie.

Imagine a smaller version of Never The Bride (shown above at Milton Keynes) performing in a conservatory

It was the first time I had seen Never The Bride, who Kim arranged to perform in the conservatory. In truth Kim’s conservatory is a bit small for the Never The Bride sound, even when the group turns up with just a core of performers and keeps the amplifier’s volume dial well below eleven.

Still, Never The Bride were very good and got everyone at the party singing along by hand picking the sorts of songs that most people of a certain age know well enough to sing along to.

Janie might remember more about the party than I do. We left relatively early in the evening, having been there since lunchtime, but I think a few people stuck around until very late by all accounts.

Not only did we take the next day off (pretty sure we played tennis and used the time pretty well) but we also had nothing arranged for the following weekend either.

I think that was more to do with having left dates clear for our impending Ireland trip than a need for a week or more’s clearance after Kim’s party. Perhaps a bit of both.

Whatever the reason, the next non-work thing in my diary is our visit to Lord’s on the Bank Holiday Monday, just before we set off for Ireland.

Each His Own Wilderness by Doris Lessing, Orange Tree Theatre, 18 April 2015

This one didn’t really do the business for us.

We found the bohemian older generation a bit too bohemian and the surprisingly conservative younger generation irritatingly conservative.

Perhaps it all meant more in the late 1950s, but it certainly didn’t pack a punch in the way that its contemporaries (Wesker, Delaney, Osborne and the like) did.

Good cast, well directed…here’s a link to the Orange Tree resource on the play/production…including some review quotes indicating that some reviewers really liked it…

…but others didn’t:

You get the idea. I think we might have escaped early and cut our losses at half time on this one. Janie might remember for sure but I have no recollection at all about the ending and do recall not caring.

Spanish food at Don Fernando rounded off the evening nicely nonetheless.

 

Dinner With Micky, Bleeding Heart, 15 April 2015

After an early exit from the office, Micky helps me out by looking at mum’s old engagement ring, I then help him out (not that he needs help) by sponsoring dinner at The Bleeding Heart.

An old haunt of the Binder Hamlyn crowd, perhaps I have known the place for as long as Micky has known it…no probably not quite as long. Since 1988 in my case.

Still, I hadn’t been for years and what a treat to get glorious spring weather so we could take our dinner in the yard.

Micky found a particularly good rose wine with which he persevered all evening; I joined him after trying a couple of the excellent Kiwi whites (a speciality of the otherwise resolutely French establishment).

Micky knows the Bleeding Heart crowd well and has more stamina than me, so in the end he suggested that I leave him to it. Having done plenty of eating and drinking, moreover with fatigue creeping up on me, I was delighted to comply.

First of the Summer Whine, King Cricket Match report, Middlesex v Nottinghamshire Day 2, 13 April 2015

King Cricket published this piece in July 2015 – click here to read it.

It is a pretty self-explanatory piece and gives no clues towards the mayhem that would later break out in my 2015 match reports, with my possessions increasingly taking over the report writing role. Frankly, the idea had not yet occurred to me.

The only idea for a runner that crops up in this report was Charley “the Gent” Malloy’s forgetfulness regarding the bottle of wine. I guessed that the “offending and delicious sounding bottle would somehow never quite find its way to be downed in part by me. I could be wrong, but in April 2016 let’s just say that I’m still waiting.

To understand my King Cricket match reports you need to know that:

  • Ged and Daisy are nicknames/noms de plume for me and Janie. Friends are all referred to pseudonymously;
  • King Cricket match reports have strict rules: “If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.”

If you want to know what actually happened in the match and on the day we visited, then click here and scrutinise the scorecard. It wasn’t one of Middlesex’s more glorious days.

Carmen Disruption by Simon Stephens, Almeida Theatre, 11 April 2015

“What was that about” said Janie after the show; proof positive that her review would not be 100% positive. “I liked bits of it but it seemed all over the place at times and I’m not really sure what it was trying to say.”

Janie has a point.

Yet it was a very entertaining play/show in many ways.

Centre stage as we walked in was a dying bull, or rather a moving facsimile of same. It remained pretty much centre stage throughout.

Men were dressed a women, women were dressed as men, it was sort of about an opera singer, sort of about a toy boy…

…read the reviews and figure it out for yourself if you wish.

Excellent Almeida resource including links to several full reviews – click here.

The reviews were more or less universally excellent. It certainly deserved the high praise for an extraordinary production.

We are big fans of Simon Stephens writing, so we delight in this play’s success, but I think we prefer it when his writing is a little more direct.

Still, we enjoyed our evening and had bragging rights for having seen this production early on.

Middlesex v Nottinghamshire Match Preview, King Cricket Piece, 10 April 2015

This King Cricket piece was published in June 2015 – click here to read the piece.

Titfer and Provisions
Titfer and Provisions

The piece pretty much speaks for itself. It was a heartfelt, if slightly tongue in cheek, tribute to Richie Benaud, who died on the day I was preparing to go to the cricket with Charley “the Gent” Malloy for the first time in 2015.

In all seriousness, I asked Janie if she thought it was in bad taste. She used to treat Daphne Benaud and had met Richie several times. Janie thought that the piece would have appealed to Richie’s sense of humour. But she didn’t think that Richie would attempt to use self-service checkout machines in supermarkets.

 

Two Evenings At Lord’s In One Week, 7 April and 9 April 2015

Stephen Potter, of Gamesmanship and Oneupmanship fame, wrote a lovely piece for the original Boundary Book entitled Lord’smanship.

“I am a member of the MCCC” is a phrase in which “MCCC” the initials, are indistinguishable, after two gin and tonics, from “MCC”.

This lack of distinction came in handy that week, as I ventured to Lord’s on the Tuesday for the Middlesex County Cricket Club (MCCC) AGM, forum and party, then on the Thursday for the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) new associates evening.

I went with some trepidation for the former meeting, as I was very supportive of the new commercial agreement between MCCC and MCC. I had agreed in advance to put up my hand and say so, at the post AGM forum.

Which I did.

To some useful effect, I believe.

The party afterwards was great, as always. Reuniting with good folk and salivating at the prospect of a new season about to begin. Such joy.

Then to Lord’s again on the Thursday evening, for the MCC initiation evening. Good wine, good grub, very pleasant. Also a sort-of Freshers Fair where the different bits of the MCC displayed their wares.

I believe I first encountered Mark Ryan that evening and made a mental note to give real tennis a try, once I had a bit more time on my hands. It took me best part of a year, but I saw that resolution through.

No gin and tonic that Thursday evening, just wine, but by the end of the evening I think I indeed was making the phrase “MCC” sound indistinguishable from “MCCC”.

Result.