Off to Lowdham today, to play those pleasant chaps again.
The ground is a lot smaller than I remember it, which is why when we played here a couple of years ago my bowling was hit into the road beside the ground as I struggled to decide whether to bowl left or right handed.
Hopefully that wouldn't happen today.
The weather forecast had been dreadful, but it was slightly better today, and we managed to get the whole game in by reducing it to a 25 overs a side, the right choice as it turned out because the "Thunder-Rain" - this new term you find in weather forecasts - arrived 5 minutes after we finished.
We bowled first, and although I was very average, some first team quick bowlers did some damage up front and Lowdham never really got away from us, and we dealt with their big hitting opening bat - whom I referred to as Porkins after the chubby X wing pilot in Star Wars - fairly early on. But our supporting seam attack was a little less sharp, and this enabled them to get to 125.
Pretty gettable, we thought.
We were supposed to turn around quickly, but we ended up having tea after their innings and I have to say they really went to town on the salad level in the cheese sandwiches. Big plus for this. Tea was too milky though. Boo.
Anyway, our skip went out to open the batting with a powerful partner, and I chatted with my team-mates before taking in a walk around the ground.
It is surrounded by big horse chestnut trees, but a quick inspection of their leaves indicates that they aren't very well. Leaf miner moths have had their merry sport with these trees, and a lot of them don't seem to be producing conkers.
The other main feature of the ground is the beck that runs along one edge - Lowdham CC keep a specially adapted shrimping net for rescuing drowning balls - that is now well aflower with everyone's favourite invasive, himalayan balsam. Bees like it though, as they did the plentiful thistles and knapweed that grew along the bank. There were butterflies too, orange commas floated across the ground, eyecatching against the increasingly grey skies.
Swifts were about too, taking in their last matches before heading south after their summer stay.
Our batting had now began to flow, after a slightly slow start, indeed the skipper was in great form. Porkins bowled and went for a boundary or two. But we could never quite get up with the rate, and we went down by 22 runs in the end. Disappointing to get close to a win after the tough season we've had. And to not bat. I haven't batted in a match for weeks!
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.07.17