Here Comes The Summer, Seaxe Club AGM, Middlesex CCC AGM and Champions Party, 5 and 12 April 2017

Here comes the summer – as evidenced by the Seaxe Club and Middlesex AGMs.

Seaxe Club AGM, Thomas Lord Suite, 5 April 2017

I managed to arrange my day sensibly for this one, with a game of real tennis scheduled at 16:00 ahead of the AGM which was due to start 18:00/18:30.

I had a good game that afternoon, winning against a gentleman I hadn’t played since my early days. Back then, he had to give me a significant handicap – this time I had to give him some points through the handicap system. Proof positive of progress, albeit painfully slow progress.

Buoyed by my win, after a chat with Daisy on the mobile, I joined the meeting.

This one was supposed to be in The President’s Box as last year (a suitable size of venue) but had to be moved to The Thomas Lord Suite (ridiculously oversized) due to some flooding problems and the need temporarily to relocate some MCC staff to The President’s Box.

Despite the supersized venue, this was still a cosy gathering of the Seaxe clan; depleted in numbers this year but always a joy to see those friendly Middlesex faces again.

The meeting part is dull enough, but it did give Chairman Mike O’Farrell an opportunity to rehearse Middlesex’s statement/position on the new T20 tournament with a group of loyal members/supporters, which went well.

The panel discussion, with traditional libations before and during the panel, was quite lively, with Richard Scott and Shilpa Patel bringing very different perspectives to the questions.

A shame we didn’t get to hear from any of the younger players this year, but the later date for the AGM than usual (presumably because of the champions match this year in Abu Dhabi) and the Champions Party commitments for the following week, probably made the scheduling a bit tricky for players.

 

Middlesex AGM and Champions Party, Nursery Pavilion, 12 April 2017

Not such clever scheduling on my part for this day (my own fault), so I ended up hot-footing it from the City to get to Lord’s on time. My timing issues were exacerbated by the early start scheduled (17:30) and a late change to the AGM venue, which was supposed to be in the Thomas Lord Suite, as last year, but was switched to the Nursery Pavilion at the last minute.

Anyway, I think the AGM started a little bit later than intended; to allow time for the bemused and confused (like me) to be stewarded to the right part of the ground.

The AGM was no more dull than usual, in the main. The contentious issue of the new T20 tournament was handled very well, with Mike O’Farrell signalling what was to come in his opening remarks and Richard Goatley then reading out the statement, getting early applause when the gist of it became clear to the throng.

A big turn out for the AGM with many AGM attendees staying on for the party and some there for the party but not the AGM.

I sat at the AGM with one of my real tennis friends, Barry, together with his son Freddie. At the party, the three of us then got together with another friend/retired client of mine, David and also Barmy Kev joined us at our table.

Barmy Kev got a bottle of wine quite early in the event and kindly shared it with me. I now owe Kev a couple of drinks; a point that needs stating and on the evening was oft-repeated.

The meal was a buffet, with infeasibly small plates – although you could go back for more once everyone had been fed – which a few people (not I, Sir) did.

Before and after the buffet, Gus Fraser hosted a show; basically a reprise of the 2016 County Championship campaign. There were several sections and subsections (Gus got mightily confused/confusing over the segmentation aspects of the show), including video clips and discussion, with the whole 2016 squad forming a large panel.

The final section (or was it sub-section) of the show as a smaller panel discussion with four former Middlesex greats; Mike Brearley, Mike Gatting, Clive Radley and John Embury – the latter being Middlesex’s new President, btw.

In truth, not really my kind of entertainment; personally I would have preferred more time to socialise. But the entertainment clearly went down very well and it was great to relive the successful 2016 campaign and also to hear from those Middlesex greats.

I can’t look at this photo too many times – here it is again!

Middlesex County Cricket Club End of Season Forum and Party, Lord’s, 3 October 2016

This was a great opportunity to see the Middlesex crowd one more time this season.

The forum is usually an opportunity for members to vent their spleens, but in a Championship winning season (have I mentioned that fact before?) there wasn’t too much spleen to vent.

Prior to talk about the successful season, discussion centred around the proposed new T20 tournament and Durham’s penalty relegation.  MTWD have written up the forum, here.

The Thomas Lord Suite is large enough for a lecture-style room for the meeting and a large open space next door for the party afterwards. The mood at the party was as good as you might expect.

I chatted with several of my regular friends and also met some new people – at least new to me. One couple I chatted with, it turned out that the lady, Miranda, went to JAGS but was taught economics by a young David Stretton at Alleyns, as JAGS had no economics teaching back then. Quite a coincidence and an unexpected line of conversation at a Middlesex party.

I always enjoy these Middlesex events, but my goodness the party felt especially sweet this year with the celebratory mood. I hope the gleeful feeling lasts long enough to sustain us all through the winter.

Trying To Work, Somerset v Middlesex Day 4, At The Flat, MTWD Report, 13 July 2016

I know from my own years editing the Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) website that one of the toughest jobs is getting enough articles for the winter. Sportnetwork require regular editorial material as the quid quo pro for providing their site and system.

So when I chatted with Barmy Kev in the autumn, explaining to him what Ogblog is about and offering him some ideas for pieces, the answer was, “I could do with some stuff for after Christmas”.

So here is a link to my first MTWD article for some years, which relates to my doings/listenings on 13 July 2016.

I suspect that many county cricket lovers occasionally have afternoons like that when the matches suddenly get very interesting indeed.

Yes I did catch up with my work in the end as well, thank you for asking, for those Ogblog readers too lazy even to click the link and read a few hundred words. Honestly.

Middlesex Ged Ladds v Bastar Jolly Rogers, Garden Cricket At the Bastar Jungle Resort, 5 February 2011

At the Bastar Jungle Resort, in Chhattisgarh, central plains of India, we had great fun playing garden cricket after our touring on a couple of evenings; especially 5 February.

Tennis ball bounce?
Tennis ball bounce?

I described the background and the matches at length on the Middlesex Till We Die (MTWD) web site when we returned from India. Read all about it by clicking the photo above or clicking here.

The match report doesn’t mention the mess I made of one of my arms by trying to hit the cover off the ball in the final match of the “series”. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose when it comes to Ged Ladd and playing sport. Ironically, earlier that same day I had my 15 minutes of fame as a live cricket commentator and thus soon to be minor celebrity in those parts – see here. 

 

Middlesex Till We Chai, MTWD Match Report, Middlesex v Bangladeshis, 5 July 2010

While thinking through what to do with my old MTWD match reports on Ogblog, I stumbled across this one – I think one of the last (or should I say most recent) reports for MTWD. I thought I’d retroblog it right now.

Here’s a link to the article on MTWD, in all its glory with pictures and everything.

Given SportNetwork’s track record, I have uploaded the text of my MTWD pieces into Ogblog, so if the above “proper” link doesn’t work, you can at least read the text here.

Finally, if you are the sort of person who cannot bear to read a match report without a scorecard, here’s a link to the scorecard.

 

 

 

Race Night, Seaxe Club Evening, 22 October 2009

It took me a while to work out what my diary note for that evening, which merely reads “race night”, meant.

I didn’t remember going to any events about ethnic politics at that time.

Then I remembered a Seaxe Club evening in the St John’s Wood Church Hall, where we raised some money for the cause by betting on movie clips from old horse and dog races.

Apparently this was an age-old Seaxe Club tradition, but as far as I know it has not been done since 2009 (May 2017 is the time of writing).

Barmy Kev and Olivia were there – indeed Barmy Kev wrote a ball by ball commentary match report on the evening for MTWD: Shaggy’s Dog Story – A Night At the Races – click here.

It isn’t normally my policy to take a precautionary scrape of pieces other than my own authored ones, but I thought this one should be held locally just in case – click below only if the above link doesn’t work:

Middlesex till we die – Shaggy’s Dog Story – A Night At the Races

I really cannot add much to Barmy Kev’s piece, other than to say what a fun evening it was and what a shame it (or something similar) hasn’t been repeated.

Middlesex v Derbyshire Day One, Uxbridge, 15 September 2009

This was another of those days when I hoped to see some cricket at Uxbridge but the weather was set foul. My track record over the years on days when I want to go to Middlesex out grounds can only be described as terrible…almost as terrible as Middlesex’s 2009 season.

Middlesex were having a shocking season that year, so it was hard to get reporters. Hence Hippity volunteered to go to Uxbridge and then write this one up…at least that’s what the editor was told.

Hippity’s regular (dry) vantage point

Hippity’s writing career mercifully tailed off after the 2009 season, with just the occasional piece for MTWD or King Cricket subsequently.

Here is the 15 September 2009 report: Soggy Tail From Uxbridge.

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 – Soggy Tail From Uxbridge

Here is the scorecard from the inevitable draw.

For the record, rabbit-friendly “Uncail Victor at Uxbridge” is Vic Demain, who has gone on to grander things – at the time of writing he is groundsman at Chester-Le-Street. Not so rabbit-friendly “Uncail Micheál at Lord’s” is Mick Hunt.

I vaguely remember Tim Groenewald being taken poorly towards the end of this match and there being a resulting health scare (unfounded as it turned out) about both squads. The details are lost in the mists of my memory, although linger somewhere on the message boards. I do remember him being a bit of a thorn in Middlesex’s side on subsequent meetings over the years though.

As for the scurrilous suggestion that Middlesex might end that rotten season coming bottom of the second division, that was an outrage. Middlesex in fact came second from bottom, a full two points clear of the county championship wooden spoon – click here to see the table. Middlesex are yet to “win” that particular wooden spoon ever, I believe.

Middlesex v Gloucestershire Day One at Lord’s, MTWD Report, 27 August 2009

This was clearly one of those days when I had expected/hoped for more cricket time than I actually got.

But I was the MTWD match reporter, so I did my bit – 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 – Tomorrow Belongs To M(iddl)e

Turns out it was a fairly prescient report; not so in the matter of Adam London, but Messrs Robson, Malan and Compton certainly formed a nucleus for Middlesex’s improvement and success, following the dog days of the late noughties.

Kent v Middlesex County Championship Day 3, Canterbury, 7 August 2009

I was the guest of Mark and Geoffrey Yeandle at Canterbury that day. We had a very enjoyable day – Canterbury is a charming place to watch county cricket.

I wrote up the day for MTWD:

Kent Knackered At Nackington Road – MTWD report – 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 – KENT KNACKERED AT NACKINGTON ROAD

And if you really want to know what happened, statistically speaking, here is the scorecard from that match – click here.

 

Animal Spirits or Canterbury Tails, MTWD Match Report, 5 August 2009

It seems we couldn’t find an MTWD match reporter for Day One of the Kent v Middlesex match at Canterbury, so I “sent Hippity” to do the best he could:

Animal Spirits or Canterbury Tails – 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 – Animal Spirits or Canterbury Tails

I actually went to the game myself on the Friday (Day 3) and reported on it, so you can get a more conventional report and find out what happened by clicking here.