England v Pakistan at Lord’s, Day One, 14 July 2016

Simon Jacobs joined me at Lord’s on the first day as a result of Charley “The Gent” Malloy’s indisposition.

I had secured the same front row of the Lower Compton seats for this day as I had on Day One of the Sri Lanka test a few weeks ago. I walked all the way, using my new “temporary rucksack” method strapping my picnic bags equally weighted on my back and got to Lord’s nice and early. I chatted for a while with a gentleman neighbour who had similarly booked the same seats for both Thursdays.

Simon phoned me just before the game started to say that he was queuing outside and arrived at his seat having missed two overs, no runs and no wickets.

I had prepared a similar picnic to the Sri Lanka test, including The Lord’s Throdkin and drunken prawns. Also including wild Alaskan smoked salmon bagels, in honour of the absent Charley the Gent, whom we toasted at that bagel juncture.

At one point, I warned Simon that he would need a pseudonym for my King Cricket reporting and Ogblog purposes. I even offered him a chance to select his own pseudonym, but that point soon got lost in other conversation.

As always on these occasions, the day passed incredibly quickly. We discussed politics (Brexit, Corbyn) a lot. Also cricket and some more general catching up, following on, I suppose, from our dinner a few months before.

Towards the end of the day, the conversation turned to Simon’s godson, who has recently moved to London to live and work, so Simon is now able to see a lot more of the young man.

“The only problem is the Generation Y language”, said Simon. “Example. I sent him a text arranging to take him out for a meal and the reply came back:

Awesome, Simo

…I’m not sure about my name being abbreviated to Simo and I am sure that the adjective ‘awesome’ is excessive for such a small matter.”

“Good point, Simo”, I said. “What adjective would the lad use if something genuinely awe-inspiring were to happen to him?”

“Exactly”, said Awesome Simo.

We then tried to banter a bit in young-person speak, but we were terrible at it. “Wicked”, “warped”, “sick”…it was a peculiar amalgam of yoof slang expressions from the 1990’s up to around 2010. We all-but admitted defeat…


…it was just a few overs before stumps and Awesome Simo had to leave, so our conversation continued by text, at least in the matter of keeping Simo appraised on the match. A few minutes after he left, a text from me to Simo:

Wkt Woakes awesome Simo

A few minutes later, me to Simo again:

Final ball wkt Woakes again totes amazeballs

As I was walking home, a text from Awesome Simo to me:

Wow amazing thanks again for like totally the best day EVER


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