Daisy and I were invited to spend the day with the Middlesex Committee and their Nottinghamshire guests, by dint of my advisory role regarding the Middlesex strategy. I’m not sure whether that makes us guests or hosts in such circumstances. Perhaps a cross between the two; “ghosts”?
I had enjoyed the splendour of watching from the Committee Room before, but this was a first time for Daisy. She is not a girl to be overwrought by any social situation – don’t be deceived, dear reader, by the occasional bit of dramatic/poetic licence in King Cricket match reports. So Daisy took to the event like a duck to water. Daisy Duck…hmmm.
We chatted mostly with Middlesex folk before lunch – the Nottinghamshire guests had taken pole positions in front of the big window – as guests indeed should. In that morning session they witnessed all the wickets that were to fall that day; three quick wickets to close the Nottinghamshire innings, then a good start for Middlesex, then three quick wickets before lunch.
Then lunch in the Committee Dining Room. A first for me as well as for Daisy and very splendid it was too. Not only the grand setting, full of history, but also a very fine meal. We both started with scallops supported by some black pudding and belly pork, followed by a splendid beef fillet with a well posh jus, rosti potatoes and trimmings, apple crumble desert and cheese. Nice wine and a little drop of port with the cheese.
After lunch, we watched the cricket from the committee dining room balcony for a while; something special to have done at least once in a lifetime. Watching Robson and Simpson bat well from up there added to the sense of occasion.
The afternoon passed quickly. We got to chat with some of the Nottinghamshire guests during that lunchtime period upstairs and then some more in the Committee Room afterwards. The cake at teatime looked splendid; Daisy tried some, whereas I had no room. Where she fits all that food in that tiny body of hers is anyone’s guess.
Daisy wandered off to call her sister and when she came back some minutes later saying, “oh, have they started again, then?” my answer was, “yes they have, but I think they might be about to finish”. I was right; it was getting gloomy and soon they came off for good.
Still, we’d seen some good cricket. We thought we’d walk back to the flat – it was barely raining, but then got caught in a heavy shower when we were so close to home it seemed ridiculous to take cover or call a cab, but we were still far enough away to get soaked. The suit looks fine again now I’ve had it dry cleaned – thank you for asking.
In theory, a day with several strategy meetings and a chance to watch some cricket in between. In practice, a day with several strategy meetings, a pleasant beef bap in the Long Room Bar with Richard Goatley in between and no cricket whatsoever. I went home and did some of the work I’d planned to do tomorrow.
In theory, a morning with real tennis first thing and a chance to catch up on some reading and watch some cricket too, given that I’d got ahead of my work yesterday. In practice, yes to the real tennis – a good game, yes to plenty of reading, uninterrupted by cricket; indeed no cricket whatsoever. A heavy shower around 14:00 put paid to any chance of that.