Well, everything permitting, and assuming nothing truly dramatic happens tomorrow, most should be able to work out what the blog after this will be about. In truth its now got to the point where I dont care what they tell me, I just want to hear the news of what it is now. At least then I can make a few plans, regardless.
So lets do something totally different, cricket. If you listened to most people in this country, there is a forthcoming series of matches, that are the all important cricket matches of the summer, The Ashes, England against Australia. And in truth of cricket history, thats probably right. But in terms of a match that easily tops that for competition, both between the players, and the fans, it happened today, in Manchester. Yes, India, and Pakistan.
For those old enough to remember the comment (I think it was Enoch Powell?) about supporting the country they live in, well its fair to say today that he’s be rolling in his grave if he saw that, lol! Hated the man intensely, but I thought of it today watching the home fans supporting ‘their’ teams!
Considering that until 1947 they were one country, under British rule, I guess its no surprise that since the separation, the hostility between them has been immense. And the departure of East Pakistan, to become Bangladesh did nothing to quell the storm.
But it shows the difference between fans of various sports. Today, at Old Trafford, 26,000 avid fans of both countries entered the ground together, and could happily sit together to watch the game. Yes, when you think of what that might be like, with football (soccer) fans, I shudder at the thought. And yes, England, and Australia, the same will happen, however much enmity there may be on the ground, in both cases.
One last cricket fact that amused me, and set Twitter on fire. If you play a cricket tournament in England, in May, and June, you have to expect rain at some point. When fans bemoaned the fact their teams game had been called off due to said rain, the Indian fans were just happy to say it was fate, and they had to accept. Then, New Zealand, against India was rained off, and you would have thought it was the end of the world, judging by the Indian fans reactions. So yes, fate, until it affects them, how ironic? But anyway, I’m sure the ICC will ensure they win in the end, lol.
Video time. I wanted something with a sub continent feel to it, but at the same time, very British. Think this qualifies on both fronts?
Strictly, as of 4.00 yesterday afternoon, until a week on Wednesday, I’m not on medical leave, I’m on holiday. Ironically, as with March, it would have been my Saturday (every 5th week) to work this week. Of course, as history has dictated, I havent worked since that fateful day in March, and of course, accordingly to several medical sources, it seems that March 9, 2019 will go down as the last day of my working career. So why, you ask, does this week count as holiday, technically at least?
Well back at the end of last Summer, we are asked to pick our 2 preferred weeks of holiday, and this week, starting tomorrow was the start of the first of mine. I hadnt ever got to making any serious plans for this, in truth. So where would I be, if fate hadnt stepped in, who knows? Its actually possible I’d be where I am now, sat at home, as the US trip this year was always going to be September. I might also have been in Belfast, as Ireland are playing 2 cricket matches there in these few days (first was today), but had not made any definite plans by March on that.
I know where I would love to have started my holiday week, a day early, and that was Pine Bush, New York. Yes, yesterday was UFO day there, and yes, Stacie was there (its not far from here), and yes, I’m jealous. I will state now that if I’m allowed to still do International Travel after having been by the neurologist, its on my target list for next year, believe me. And yes, if I do, I’m definitely doing the full Alien look, and if I can find a flying saucer/space craft to travel there by, yes, I’m doing it, ideally in said Alien outfit. Or new Alien body, who knows? 😉
Why did I pick this week, you may be asking? Well, a week tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, so I would have got an extended holiday, thats why! But now, does this even count as a holiday any more? Technically yes, but strictly, well?
Video time. This is most definitely not live, however much they might want it to look like it is. Apart from anything else, the male ‘singer’ didnt even sing on the record. Oh, and the lead singer’s outfit, yes, I’d love it, if anyone is offering?
When I first went to first class cricket matches, which at a guess would be towards the end of the 1960’s, the only action that took place outside of the cricket field tended to be the polite applause of the crowd from time to time, combined with the tea and sandwiches at the tea break. Getting the signature of a player was akin to mission impossible, as seemingly they all seemed to think they were above the need to sign books for young cricket fans. Didnt stop us trying, mind. It also was the case that one of those early games was the first time I was seen on TV, as my mother told me she had seen me running across the field after the game, presumably in search of said elusive autograph.
Nowadays, especially in India, the game has changed beyond belief. Apart from the craziness of the fans over there, we even have cheerleaders, and live music happening during the games, between overs at least. Yes, I know, it would be great fun to be a cheerleader like that, but I’m far too old, far too fragile now, and far too intersex (lol) to ever do a thing like that.
The strange thing about baseball is that it seems to be the one big sport that lacks cheerleaders. Maybe because there really isnt a suitable moment for them to do there thing, who knows?
In truth, the cricket season here in England has been ticking over for a while now, relatively quietly. But yes, the reason I’m doing this, tomorrow, just outside Dublin (Malahide, to be exact), there will be a 1 day international between Ireland, and England. By fate, and tradition, this game seems to end up being affected by, or even abandoned by rain, but lets hope its fairer conditions tomorrow. No, I wouldnt have been there, even if my health hadnt gone AWOL, and of course the irony is, weather permitting, I will now get to see it on TV, as opposed to being at work while it was going on. I had considered going to some games later this month, in Belfast, but clearly that wont be happening now.
But the real cricket event of the summer, involving the same 2 countries, the first ever test match, being played at the home of cricket, Lords. I hadnt considered attending previously, but clearly wont be doing so now. To think, the first time I visited Lords, which would be around 1977, ladies werent allowed in the hallowed pavilion then! That was for a county game, as one of my bosses at the time was a member of Middlesex, and I thought I was male, so… I wonder if that makes me the first woman ever to watch a game in the pavilion at Lords, lol? I doubt it, but?
I have no idea if there will be cheerleaders at Malahide tomorrow, there certainly wont be for the test at Lords, for sure. But yes, I still, despite everything have that ambition to dress like a chorus line dancer, or cheerleader. Yes, Clara Johnson, you havent quite stopped me yet, though I suspect dancing is now beyond me.
The video? Well, strictly yesterday would have been more apt, but it fits in for today, so we will have to live with it. To say this video is a bit crazy, is putting it mildly. This is the 12″ version of the song, but in honesty, I’m not sure its better than the original. But you can easily find that, so…
Would you believe, with a title like that, that the inspiration is cricket, not politics? Oh, and a bit of LGBT issue too.
Of my 3 main incidents of transphobic personal issues, 2 are related to people of West Indian origin. Thats not to say that all West Indians are transphobic, or that the issue purely relates to them, because neither would be true. Because equally, my biggest wolf whistle also came from someone of the same origin, not that I was ever sure if looked above my boobs, but anyway… Oh, and I know numerous others who have been nice to me too.
Oh right, back to cricket. One of my main issues with cricket over the years, has related to the so called ‘sledging’ that goes on, to the opposition. Personally I dont think its needed, though I remember one hilarious moment on Sky Cricket, where Niall O’Brien was sledging his brother, Kevin, in one of those televised 20 over games.
Anyway, supposedly, yesterday, one of the West Indian bowlers is said to have made a homophobic comment to the England captain, Joe Root. I dont know the actual words used (they werent picked up), but Root’s reply was,
“Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”
And Root is right, there isnt. Seemingly the bowler concerned said something apologetic in reply, but it wasnt apologetic to LGBT people, just to Root, judging by later reports. Its all gone over the top, in 2 directions on Twitter, anyway.
Firstly, there are those declaring Root worthy of sainthood for what he did, but in truth, all he did was what you would expect from any decent person. Great for him saying it, but hero worship is taking it a little too far.
The opposite is the homophobics on Twitter, saying that because we dont have the actual words said to Root, it isnt true. But hey, why would Root say what he did, and seemingly the umpires report after play to the match referees, if it wasnt true?
Anyway, regardless, I want to say thank you to a fellow Yorkshire man for standing up for LGBT folk. At the same time, I’m not going to declare endearing love, and hero worship for it, as some have done, seemingly.
But yes, things need (in an ideal world) to change, both in a sledging, and homophobic way. Sadly, I dont expect perfection in my lifetime, but who knows?
OK, video, some very early, very raw punk stuff from the Stranglers. 2 songs for the price of 1 video, lol
Also known as how to ensure you dont lose a cricket match.
I’m old enough to remember a time when all cricket matches were played in the daytime, though in truth, thats probably a thing many younger than me can say, though I do remember all the hype about the first game being played under floodlights.
Now even the odd test match is played under lights, and lots of limited over (especially the 20 over games) are only played under lights nowadays. Before today, my funniest memory related to this was an English game, Kent playing someone at Canterbury, and before the game even started, they knew the floodlights werent working. Now, knowing they had a couple of hours before it would get too dark to play, you’d think they’d reduce the overs, get the game in before it got dark, and get a result, right?
No, too simple for the jobsworth’s, they started a 20 over game, and about 4 overs into the second innings, it got too dark to continue, match abandoned, no result! Spectators were only ever going to get about 24 overs before dark, but if they’d had a 12 over match, they would have seen a result. Seriously?
So this morning my time (evening Australia time), one of the teams from Sydney, were playing Brisbane, in Brisbane in that 20 over league over there. Sydney batted first, made a pretty good score of 186 in their overs, and then Brisbane came out to bat. Quickly, their 2 star opening bats were out, and they were in a lot of trouble. Suddenly, as their second star bat is walking off the pitch, one of the banks of floodlights ‘fails’. ‘Remarkably’, given that it was the home team in a big hole, despite not much visible effort to sort the matter, they claimed they couldnt get the lights to work again, and the match was abandoned, how convenient? Even 10 minutes, and 2 overs later, they would have declared a result (Brisbane would have been losing heavily), so handy, wasnt it?
I know, it might have been a genuine issue, but the timing was rather immaculate if that was the case? Of course, suggesting someone conveniently switched off the lights, surely not, lol?
Fine, its a 14 game season, but if Sydney miss the playoffs by 1 point, then well, they might be a bit more than annoyed?
OK, video time. A rather cynical song for a Brisbane cricket team, given they did just the opposite. Oh, and before anyone thinks Christian Music, and an LGBT person promoting it, her Episcopalian Church is one that is very pro on LGBT issues! So thanks, Debby, in more senses than one tonight
One thing I’ve always noticed in disclaimers, messages, and the like at big sporting events is the comment about ‘home team’ being fully supportive of diversity, and family issues, and the like. To be fair, in one of these cases, I’ve never heard it said in this country before a sporting event, but anyway… And to be fair to the majority of teams, these may be an exception to the rule, but I do wonder?
No names being used here, but sports fans will either know who I’m talking about, or will be able to google it with ease.
Firstly, lets cover the home issue, and one of my favorite sports, cricket. I know, US folk, you dont get, but dont worry, I’m getting to your sports shortly! One of the regular England Cricket Team players this week isnt getting ready to play for his Country this week, because he’s involved in a court case! Violence to others, homophobic behavior are the 2 main issues, probably brought out by over imbibing of alcohol, but all the same… I know, he might have needed to celebrate, and ‘chill’ after the game, but drinking can be kept to a sensible level, and at least the LGBT community wouldnt know what a homophobe he is, but anyway, all done now.
The thing is, I’ve seen numerous postings from England cricket fans saying that he’s being picked on, because he’s a celebrity, and that he’s being robbed of playing for England. No, he’s a violent homophobe, who started the events that led to the court case! Makes me glad I’m an Irish cricket follower, anyway.
So, to the US. Firstly, baseball. One player missed the first 75 games of the season, not due to injury, but because he was banned, because of some pretty serious domestic violence issues. To be fair to his previous team, they wanted rid of him, and most of the other 30 teams didnt want him, for obvious reasons. But one team, when they knew he was on offer signed him as fast as the world wide web would let them. To be fair, its seems most (if not all) of their players are as enthused about the signing as me. But clearly, despite comments prior to their games (I’m sure), this team are more interested in performance, than morals. In an ideal world, the guy involved will get a jail sentence in the near future, and I hope it costs the team money, support, and other things. However, given the state of the team that he plays for, the locals are just as likely to admire him for what he did!
Lastly, the shambles in College Football. A classic tale of events that did happen, then didnt happen, in terms not only of domestic violence, but in who reported it to who, and why nothing was done about it, and other numerous things. The coach who, within a week said he knew nothing about it, then when it was showed he did, said that he had known about it, and passed the information on, well, what would you believe, probably not much?
But again, over the last 2 days, there have been numerous protests at the school over events, and not in a positive way, re the domestic abuse! No, numerous supporters asking why the coach has been suspended for events, and demanding he’s given his job back. I suspect we will have an ‘inquiry’ which will tell us little or nothing, he will get his job back, and the university will hope the issue just goes away.
So yes, the next time you’re at a sports event, and hear the announcement about caring about diversity, family issues, and everything else, just laugh! They may do, but only until money talks louder!
Right, video time. One of those songs that many people, especially at the time, didnt realize was a cover version. As you will see shortly, it was. In truth, the cover version is far better than the original, but anyway…You choose.
Firstly, the cover
Secondly, the original version.
Well, when I first saw an Ireland cricket team play live on TV in 2007, I still wasnt expecting this to happen 11 years down the line. Thats not to say that it was the first time I’d ever followed cricket scores for Ireland, as I’d been doing that for a few decades, generally fairly meaningless matches, other than perhaps the rivalry games with Scotland, and the odd knock out game against an English county, but otherwise its fair to say some of the teams they played were of the less than quality standard. Then, in March 2007, having qualified for the World Cup in the West Indies, they conjured up a tie against Zimbabwe, but its fair to say thats not the match anyone really remembers. No, thats the next one, when against all the odds, they beat Pakistan, and history was made. Another win in the second stage (Bangladesh), and the Irish legend was born. Fine, a few of those players werent actually born in Ireland, but if you’d ever accused any of them of not being Irish, well, it wouldnt have been a wise move!
In recent years, its been fair to say that 2 non test playing nations stood above the rest, Ireland, and Afghanistan. Its also equally fair to say thats no longer the case, because they are now test playing nations! Yes, last year, in their ‘wisdom’ the ICC promoted those 2 nations to test playing status. And for Ireland, tomorrow marks the start of that first test, at Malahide, against, yes, you’ve guessed it, Pakistan!
No, sadly, I wont be there. Given I’d already booked to leave for Seattle a week on Saturday, before the date was known, I probably wouldnt have been able to go anyway. Now, with a damaged back, and only able to work a 4 day week, I have no chance of going, regardless. And of course, the first 2 days of the game, I’ll be working. Indeed, Day 4, same thing. I’m pretty certain that unless there are weather issues, it probably wont reach Day 5, but we will see. But hopefully, Sunday, on Day 3, I get to see some on TV.
Next year, I hope to be able to see the team play a test match (holiday plans are currently congested this year), though who against, no idea? Sadly a few of the ‘golden era’ players will be gone by then, some of whom were young players on that memorable day in 2007. Ironically, Ed Joyce was at that tournament, for England!
But yes, tomorrow will be a special day, and even if my first focus tomorrow needs to be on my job, I’ll be wondering how they’re getting on, in my breaks. Not that I’ll be able to look, being a member of the 1% club who dont own, or want to own a smart phone, with internet connection! And yes, my heart will be in Malahide, even if my old body wont be!
Go you boys in Green, though of course they will be in white for a test match!
OK, video time. Most will know, but for those who dont, the Ireland Cricket team is a united team, covering both the Republic, and Northern Ireland. Thing is, that causes anthem issues lol, 2 different countries (or part of). I think this was first created for the united rugby team as an anthem, but the cricket team quickly picked up on it as well. This is the full length version, not the one sung at sporting events. So tomorrow, 11 men cricketers will answer the call for the first time in a test match! Why do I say that? Well, the women played one years ago, but so far, just the one!
Yes, the blog title is a play on a song title, but unless you’re as old as me, until you reach the video, you may well not know it.
OK, fine, non sports fans might want to walk away here. Its funny, I remember when sport had deep bred traditions, but seemingly nowadays, thats not enough. In golf, for example, in the old days (and not that long ago, in truth), with the exception of the Ryder Cup (which used to be GB v US, but changed to make it competitive), and a Matchplay Championship once a year, everything was individual play, strokeplay, mostly over 72 holes, over 4 days.
Now, we have a tournament in Australia where they play 18 hole strokeplay for 3 days, with a cut after 2, before having a wild 24 person knock out tournament, with matches over 6 holes on the last day! This week, for the second year, we have a pairs tournament going on in the US, with 2 different formulas of play over the 4 days. Next week, in the UK, we have a round robin group tournament, involving 16 pairs in matches over 6 holes, with all sorts of weird rules (time to play shot being one of them), and in a few weeks, in Belgium, we have 1 with 2 days of standard strokeplay, followed by a 64 player knock out thing on strokes, over 9 holes!
I guess this is all to try and bring in a new audience, or maybe its because I’m just old, and set in my ways, but seriously…do we need all this?
The other sport in the UK that seems to be desperately trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’ is cricket. Not satisfied with the rapid fire 20 over stuff, someone has now come up with the idea of 100 ball cricket, 15 standard overs, plus 1 10 ball one! And instead of counties, and affiliation, there are going to be just 8 franchises. Now, lets face it, for example, if there is a franchise for the North, in Manchester, if they think Yorkshire folk are going to support it? Or vice versa? I suspect, in truth, both will get one, for the rivalry. But equally, if they think a West Country franchise based in Bristol, would get support from Somerset?
For US reader sake, imagine a baseball team, over 5 innings, 5 outs per innings, and 1 franchise in Los Angeles. You seriously think Angels fans would support it in Dodgers stadium, or vice versa?
The big snag with the cricket one is also the one our cricket board, as opposed to India, Australia and the like dont, is the financial one. Unless these teams employ international names, as opposed to county journeymen, who’s going to come and watch? Snag is, these things cost money, and the ECB dont like spending it, so…?
Oh fine, guilty as charged, I will probably watch some of it, when Sky Sports pay for the rights to show it, I’m sure. But do we need all these gimmicks in our sports, or not?
Video time. The snag with 70’s songs is finding live video performances from back then. Pre video cameras, and at a time when film of so many shows were wiped after use, ah well… So strictly, this is 10 cc. In reality, its one of the original group, but all the same…
Very strictly, the answer to that question, is wherever life takes me, I guess? But strictly, for 2018, assuming I live out the year, some things will happen, some things may happen, and some things almost certainly wont happen, but it would be fun if they did!
Anyway, lets be boringly practical first, things that will happen, assuming the life quotient of course. The biggest, and most obvious one to mention, is that I hit the big 60 next March. I know, who would ever have believed it? But yes, the body is definitely now giving me more than hints that its not as strong as it used to be, so… Hard to believe, that 25 years ago, when a woman hit 60, she retired from work! Now, with a longer life expectancy for everyone, and things, its another 6 years to go! Still, gives me chance to build up my pension, I guess, body permitting. Lets face it, I’ve already had to cut back to 4 days a week, and the back isnt likely to get better, only worse, so…?
The only other definite things at this point, are the fact that I will be heading to Seattle in May for 8 days (yes, already decided the back will be up to that, fingers crossed it stays that way once booked), though that will be the only US trip this year. Yes, thats one cutback due to the financial situation. I thought I might be able to pull it off this year, for the last time, the double trip, but no, now know its not going to happen! I have got a few thoughts for a break in September, but will only be a few days, and will only be in Europe. Well, unless the work syndicate wins the lottery lol! So yes, I’ll be using an airport wheelchair (or 5) in May again on that trip. Hopefully, all will be a little smoother than last time!
The other is, of course, working on a group on LGBT issues at work within our section of the Civil Service. First actual meeting is planned for some point in New Year, but location and date, TBA at present. Quite an honor, quite a challenge!
The maybe’s look trip related. I might try to get to Ireland, for at least some cricket this summer, though sadly it wont be that first Test match, as its literally the week before I go to Seattle. But other games are planned, so time, and finances permitting, it will be nice to meet old friends again, and maybe make a few new ones.
Hey, another maybe, I might write another story or two lol! I really ought to, I have a few ideas, but getting around to it, but yes, I’ll risk putting it on the maybe list, rather than the unlikely one! The other maybe, is my first ever ‘senior citizen’ pass. Yes, the Railway senior discount pass still is permitted from 60, so if I travel on the Railways in September, as I might, I’ll get one then!
The unlikely ones, but not impossible? Well, the first one obviously relates to performing, in an acting sense. I suspect a presentation style performance might be more likely, probably on LGBT issues, but I suspect that will be it. Lets face it, who’s going to want an actress who hasnt done anything much in years, and now has back issues, which means standing for long periods for a role, is nigh out of the question! But maybe, out there is a director/producer who wants to do something crazy, and then, well…?
Then we come to the silly stuff, that ‘could’ happen, but you can be sure wont. Winning a lottery jackpot (I know, theoretically, but me, win anything, dont think so!), getting abducted by aliens, turned into a robot, or regenerating (well, if Doctor Who can do it?) as a young(ish) Clara Johnson might all be fun, but none are going to happen, I think we can safely say!
Lets finish with a dramatic, stat based thing. Look back through early film history, and you find a lot of famous actresses who passed on at 60. Clara Bow is one that immediately comes to mind! Now its fair to say that health matters have improved nowadays, and I have never been a famous actress, so I’m probably safe, but… Still, hopefully we will be doing this in a years time!
The video tonight, isnt a proper one, but it fits the title, and yes, its the Carpenters, so just rolling with it. Just a nice song, that hopefully you can enjoy.
So, one blog to go for 2017, as its back to work tomorrow. Any ideas for something you’d love to hear about, either from this year, next year, or Clara Johnson’s era, feel free to suggest in comments