England v Australia, Third Test, Edgbaston, Days Two and Three, 30 and 31 July 2015

I explained in the preceding entry, about our travel day, that Ivan Meagreheart (my smart phone) wrote the Edgbaston Test match reports for King Cricket in 2015.

Ivan The Smart Phone Reporting
Ivan The Smart Phone Reporting

This is a link to Ivan’s Day Two match report, which was published by King Cricket on 22 June 2016.

This is a link to Ivan’s Day Three match report, which was published by King Cricket on 11 July 2016.

I couldn’t have put this stuff better myself…

…no, really…

…so I think I should simply let Ivan tell the tale.

A link to the scorecard might help demystify the material for the less well-informed reader – here.

Everybody loves a happy ending.

England v Australia, Third Test, Edgbaston, Day One, Travelling Not Watching, 29 July 2015

We didn’t attend Day One of the Edgbaston test on this occasion, as the test started on a Wednesday. We booked our traditional Heavy Rollers Thursday and Friday at Edgbaston.

With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been great to have booked Wednesday through Friday, but you can’t have everything.

Ivan The Smart Phone Reporting
Ivan Meagreheart The Smart Phone Reporting

Ivan Meagreheart, my smart phone, took up the King Cricket reporting duties for the whole of this Edgbaston adventure. In June 2016 King Cricket published Ivan’s report on our travelling day, Day One, here.

Ivan summed it up very well, I don’t think I could possibly improve on Ivan’s piece.

Ivan’s reports on Days Two and Three will no doubt go up on King Cricket in the fullness of time and will then find their way onto Ogblog.

Aquilonis, Trio Mediæval, Wigmore Hall Lates, 24 July 2015

Trio Mediæval are the Norwegian early music answer to Bananarama. Need I say more?

We’d seen them at the Wigmore Hall before, bought one of their albums and everything.

Now they were back for one of those midsummer Wigmore Lates, to perform Aquilonis: a musical journey from Iceland to the Mediterranean via the coasts of Scandinavia and England.

Click here for the Wigmore Hall Stub for the concert.

They were also to be followed in the bar by live music (unspecified on the site). I have a funny feeling none emerged that evening, although there might have been a combo who played without handing out any notes.

We arranged to go and see the Sonia Delaunay at the Tate Modern earlier – click here for that piece – then eat at the Tate Modern, then leg it back across town.

What could possibly go wrong?

Nothing. That’s the simple answer. The logistics and timings worked perfectly.

The Trio Mediæval concert was delightful. Not as jaw-droppingly wonderful as the “Words of the Angel” concert we saw some years ago; that album – click here – we still listen to a lot. But still delightful.


Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern, 24 July 2015

What an amazing evening we lined up.

This exhibition early evening at the Tate Modern; grab some grub at the Tate-Mod, then on to the Wigmore Hall to see a couple of short gigs there – click here.

The Sonia Delaunay was really interesting; fascinating life and I like much of the work too.

Top stub from the Tate itself with links etc. explains it all, reviews, the lot – click here.

Great start to our evening.

Z/Yen Outing To See Middlesex v Surrey T20 at Lord’s, 23 July 2015

Our now traditional Z/Yen outing to see the Middlesex v Surrey T20 fixture at Lord’s.

We had a few late dropouts this year which allowed us the opportunity to treat some other people; Mark Duff, Sebastian Yeandle, Clive Hyman and Niclas Ljungberg to name a few.

We did the usual “everyone chip in to a picnic” thing; I was in the office that afternoon, so went round the supermarket with Linda to ensure we had good food coverage.

I recall that Sebastian was keen to see round the pavilion, so came suited and booted for that purpose – I took him round during the break between innings and showed him some cricket from the Long Room at the start of Surrey’s reply. We saw several wickets fall but, because of our Long Room location, we didn’t see Nick Gubbins ignominious tumble, failing to celebrate a catch – click here.

Niclas Ljungberg is but one of a long line of people from non-cricket playing countries whom we have tried and mostly failed to get into cricket.

Niclas, with typical Swedish politeness yet directness, wrote the following in his thank you note:

Many thanks for hosting the picnic at Lord’s yesterday, and for the enjoyable combination of plenty good food and introductory sports education.

Mark for some reason still seems to think this is a superior form of athletic activity to cross country skiing, I guess he just hasn’t quite seen the Northern light yet.

For those, like me, of the Middlesex persuasion, the important bit was that the ground was heaving with people and they saw Middlesex play really well on this occasion – click here for the scorecard.


A Net At Lord’s After Dumbo Nearly Gets Into Trouble, As Reported By Dumbo on King Cricket, 22 July 2015

King Cricket published Dumbo’s report of almost surreal happenings on the way to Lord’s, click here.

Was It Because I’m Black?

My conversation with the police and Dumbo’s paranoia combined makes Kafka read like a level-headed guy’s straightforward narrative.

An irony of all this, as I write this up for Ogblog some nine months after the event, is that Dumbo is now a surprisingly regular feature at Lord’s, what with the Middlesex strategy (work) and real tennis (rest and play).

For collectors of the Dumbo pieces (there must be loads of you out there – don’t be shy about it), this is Dumbo’s third report; the previous two in reverse order are:

Dumbo fans can also rest assured that this piece is not the last word from Dumbo; there are two more 2015 pieces by Dumbo which will be Ogblogged once King Cricket has done his worst with them.

England v Australia Day 3 at Lord’s, King Cricket Report, 18 July 2015

Janie and I (or should I say Ged and Daisy) went to the Saturday of the Lord’s Ashes test in 2015.

My King Cricket match report linked here, describing our day, was published on King Cricket nine months after the event. That fact is in no way a criticism of King Cricket. My “deal” with him is that I write these quirky pieces when and if I darn well feel like it; he publishes them when and if he darn well feels like it.

This was the first of mine published on King Cricket for some time, as I am reliably informed that some big piece of cricket news has reliably turned up in the past few months whenever King Cricket has been about to reach for my pile of unpublished articles. As it turned out, a few minutes after King Cricket published this piece on 18 April 2016, a big story indeed broke. Rob Key (one of King Cricket’s favourite players) retired. Having just published mine, that at least enabled King Cricket (aka Alex Bowden) to concentrate on writing a wonderful tribute to Rob Key, published on Cricinfo – click link here.

But back to my report on Day 3 of the Ashes test at Lord’s – click here if you didn’t click to see the report above.  This piece is, in a way, the third part of a trilogy.  It builds on a couple of earlier pieces about Ged and Daisy encountering Mr Johnny Friendly, an MCC member, friend of the family and real tennis enthusiast. In reverse order:

  •  the one linked here – Anyone For Real Tennis describes the Sunday of the New Zealand Test (24 May 2015) is the direct prequel to the Day 3 Ashes report;
  • England v Sri Lanka Day 3 (14 June 2014) – linked here describes a similar encounter with Mr Johnny Friendly the previous year. I misspelt Jane Austen as Jane Austin in this piece and King Cricket missed the error when he subbed; both of us metaphorically ate our own livers for the error in private, but I decided to milk the pun. Thus this piece inadvertently became the first part of a trilogy.

The irony that I myself have now enthusiastically taken up real tennis in the months between writing this piece and it being published is not wasted on me.

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 do want to know about the cricket itself, you might want to have a look at the on-line scorecard – here.  But if you are an England supporter you probably don’t want to look.



Nahda by Sevan K. Greene, Sandpit Arts, Bush Attic, 17 July 2015

An interesting looking production in the Bush Attic; we thought we’d give it a go despite it starting quite early (19:00) on a Friday. Janie made it to mine with bags of time to spare.

Excellent stub for this production on the Bush site, sparing me the trouble to explain it all – click here.

This short piece was really a few sketches presented together, overlapping more in their subject-matter (female and second generation identity) than the stories themselves.

We enjoyed it and were glad we invested the time to see this production.

I hope the Bush use that attic space more after the refurb (I am writing in December 2016). We thought it had great potential for this sort of studio work, much like the Royal Court Upstairs and Hampstead Downstairs.



The Salt of the Earth, Curzon Chelsea, 14 July 2015

I’m pretty sure we went on that Tuesday (14th July) although I have no diary note, so it might have been a different midweek evening that week.

It was something Janie really wanted to see, but we knew we’d only go midweek if we both felt, at the time, that we could fit it in.

Janie’s patients must have run to time. I had more time that week than expected, as I had planned to go to Merchant Taylor’s to watch Middlesex play but (as usual when I plan to do that) it had rained solidly on my planned day.

The award-winning film The Salt of the Earth is well described in its IMDb entry – click here.

It is basically about the photographer Sebastião Salgado and his stunning photography of cultures and landscapes of the world. The film was made by his son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, together with Wim Wenders of Buena Vista Social Club fame.

We saw a preview and picked up a leaflet there from a preview Q&A session with Sebastião Salgado himself, but we weren’t there on the evening he appeared for questions afterwards.

The film was very moving and beautifully made. Worth seeing on a big screen, as we guessed, although small screen would be better than no screen at all.



36 Phone Calls by Jeremy Brock, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, 11 July 2015

Another of those winners at the Hampstead Downstairs. A really excellent one man performance in which you witness a chap’s life unfurl through a few dozen phone calls conducted on his several different phones.

It reminded me a little of The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau, except the one person in 36 phone calls is a man rather than a woman and there are more calls and more devices in this new play – welcome to 21st century communications.

This excellent Hampstead Theatre stub provides all the resources you need if you want to know more about this play/production – click here.

Lee Ross was exceptionally good as the unravelling man, Martin.

I think we might have taken away some food from Harry Morgans after the show that time; the diary silent on the matter. But I do recall this play giving us plenty to chat about afterwards.