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A shower at cricket nets

February 26, 2014

My picture yesterday of the indoor cricket school at Arundel was unaccountably mistaken for a large shower by one of my French limerick writing followers. Although quickly corrected by others, I was slightly uncomfortable with the idea of a communal shower, unless the context was a saying from the late great Terry Thomas. “What an absolute shower” which was one of his hallmark phrases, delivered in that disdainful upper class fashion that made him so popular. This was pointed out by the Reverend Jeff yesterday and reminded me that when I used to play tennis in those halcyon days of a French summer not two years ago, Mr Clipboard enjoyed himself by coming up with some franglais in the inimitable Terry Thomas style. My favourite was “Quelle morceau de chance, mon vieux haricot”. Anyone care to venture a guess as to which of his catchphrases this alluded too?

old cricketer

My nemesis, Lloyd, the man in the purple crocs and the moth eaten cricket sweater, a shower all of his own

It was on the way back from a slightly less sombre hospital visit in Guildford to see cricket fan, improving after her stroke, dear old Aunt Pam, when That Nice Lady Decorator developed a thirst. We decided to stop at the Swan at Fittleworth for a pint. This is a sleeping giant of a pub, probably 17th century at the latest which was so badly abused by its previous owners that they had placed a table and some chairs in the inglenook fireplace! An unforgivable sin, and a pub to which I swore I would never venture again, until I heard that the rabble that had been in charge had been ejected and the inglenook restored to its previous glory. It does not yet have me complete seal of approval as the omnipresent grey/green paint suggests a gastro pub pretending to be more trendy that it actually is, when it does not need that to be that pretentious, but a decent pint of Doombar (and incidentally a terrible pint of Harvey’s, so bad I had to send it back) rescued it to the point where I consider the jury is still out, considering its verdict.

Once on that slippery pub slope, it was perhaps inevitable that we would return to Arundel and seek solace in beer. With the shepherd’s pie in the oven, consisting of the left overs from that Sunday lunch, garnished with a mash of only vaguely identifiable vegetables, and having arrived home after the first pint, we went to check out if the Red Lion was still offering the second best beer in the world, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. It was, and thus That Nice Lady Beer Drinker expressed contentment, if only after the third pint had been administered.

Earlier, I had been diligently monitoring the Sterling exchange rate via Currencies Direct as I shall be using their services in the next few days. It is currently hovering just above the 1.20 mark, and so if you need to move money into euros, talk to me now!

Earlier still, just after dawn at about 10.30 (Dawn is the cleaner – only kidding – I have That Nice Lady Decorator to do all that) I had tried out my dodgy ankle and managed about 3 miles of walking without ill effect so I am now nearly cured, a bit like a nice ham, and ready for more cricket nets today with the Sussex Seniors. This net practice, by invitation only, (so either I, or more likely my ownership of one of Kevin Pietersen’s bats) has allowed me over the hallowed threshold of acceptability in senior cricket circles. The fact that traditionally, the cricketers retire for a pint at the White Hart afterwards is in no way connected to my enthusiasm to attend.

Chris France

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 26, 2014 10:54 am

    At sex I’m no callow young rookie,
    In fact an experienced cookie.
    If you light up my fire,
    Like a pyre of desire,
    I’ll show you some hot inglenookie !!

    I suppose this could be called hot-dogging !!

    I have never seen a less nemesis looking character than Lloyd. Local bank manager more like.


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 26, 2014 11:49 am

    So were your leg-breaks when you managed to pitch them !!


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 26, 2014 3:37 pm

    Thanks H. Nothing from your gifted pen today?


  4. howzaaat permalink
    February 26, 2014 3:52 pm

    Okay, Rev. Jeff, not a patch on yours, but targets today’s blog reasonable well, I hope :-

    Seniors’ net practice — painfully slow !
    Then it’s off to the pub that they go …
    No more shouts of “Howzaaat !”
    They drink beer by the vat –
    As TT would say, “Jolly good show !”


    • February 26, 2014 4:01 pm

      And what’s more, it’s CLEAN, which is more than may be said for the Rev. Jeff’s — I’ve given up trying to re-awaken his comatose conscience — and a man of the cloth too ! I don’t know …


  5. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 27, 2014 2:19 pm

    Very good Howzaaat-I loved the Terry Thomas film based on the Stephen Potter(?) book about gamesmanship which, I believe, also starred Ian Carmichael as the innocent dupe.

    Sorry Betty my excuses are wearing as thin as my conscience it seems.


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