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Keane on cricket

July 20, 2013

There are few times and places when it is socially acceptable to have a drink in your hand at 11am, but in my opinion, when one is at Lords – the home of cricket – for an Ashes Test Match against Australia, and the drink is a glass of Veuve Cliquot champagne, then the cloak of acceptability fits snugly.

It was the start of a very long and entirely acceptable day, which involved a myriad of experiences, including meeting with a flighty horsey girl called Trot who is the mother of British Lions hero’s Ben and Tom Youngs. Let me start at a Trot although we all know one should learn to walk before one should run. It seems she was given this nickname as a young girl simply because her horse would not trot. I managed to get a few horsey jokes in such as “I don’t suppose play will be interrupted by rein” and wondering where all this would lead but she took it all in good humour.

Also in the executive box, amongst the dozen or so guests, were a couple of charming young men from the group Keane. Tom and Tim were huge cricket fans and That Nice Lady Decorator is a fan of their music, so they were lined up to be made to be photographed with her. They were to disappear at lunchtime to do a short acoustic set for the legendary BBC radio commentary team that comprise Test Match Special. They did not come back so I hope it went well.

Keane at Lords

That Keane Lady Decorator with Tim and Tom or is it Tom and Tim?

Now to the cricket. What a fantastic day. It has to rate as one of the best days, if not the best day, of Ashes Test cricket I have ever experienced, certainly in England. Even the epic fight back in Brisbane when England were 500 for 1 in the second innings, which I witnessed a couple of years back, was surpassed by the combination of 16 wickets falling in beautiful sunny conditions at a truly great cricket arena, whilst being supplied with complimentary champagne, beer, Pimms, wine and a very decent lunch, amongst a score of very interesting people. I do so love to see the Australians being so comprehensively out played. There will be more drama today I am sure, but in my humble opinion, we already have enough of an advantage as to be just about certain of winning, to go 2 up in the 5 match series. What deep joy. The only thing that could have improved the day would have been to secure another customer for the foreign exchange services of Currencies Direct.

Then, after a traditional celebratory pint at The Warrington, we met up with film star John Otway to chew the fat over how things are professing for Otway The Movie, and it seems these are developing extremely well. He has discovered that the minimum entry criteria to be nominated for a BAFTA is to secure 7 cinema screenings, and now has close to 50 confirmed or being discussed, so in true optimistic Otway fashion is excitedly planning his acceptance speech. I asked how the process of securing such a nomination took place, but as always with the old self promoting English Treasure, he was short on detail, long on exuberant public relation excess. We ended up at the Portman near Marble Arch for a late dinner, for two reasons; firstly it has been very good the night before, even having the two best beers in the world side by side, Fuller London Pride and Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, in that order, but was within a short stagger of our hotel.

Chris France

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