Sunday, 12 August 2018

I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass

No proper match today, so instead a couple of teams from my work, myself included, had a 20:20 match between two "all star" (LOL) teams captained by a couple of senior managers.

No-one actually knew when it was due to start - I didn't until 15 minutes beforehand - and my pre match warm up of a cheeseburger was nice, but not ideal. It was a pretty mizzly day too. Although rather muggy later on.

As my side batted first, I decided to umpire properly for the first time ever, and felt it would be only right and proper to dress the part.

Very silly indeed, as it turned out, but it was fun waving my arms around signalling 4s and 6s for a bit. Good job for someone with Tourettes. Although I didn't see the best bit, which was one of my team-mates smashing the ball over the pavilion, and straight through the windscreen of one of our senior manager's car. Ouch.

We knocked up 188, of which I only got 10 or so. Wasn't really counting. However, it was my bowling which was more important. With a lurid orange ball, I kept their best batsman - one of our first team players - so quiet he only scored 3 singles off me. Our other bowlers were good too, and we kept them to 156 for 3 to get the bragging rights.

So I played in one winning side this weekend.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 12.08.18

Saturday, 11 August 2018

The World's Slowest Gazelle

Probably my final competitive Saturday match of the season, as the 2nd team took on Wollaton 3 on a pitch that having been thundered on the previous day was as tacky as wet clay. Which this being Notts, is what it probably was.

It's the Keuper Marl that is the main geological feature of the area. I know that from working for a loss adjustment company - my god, that was a boring job.

It was a hot day, and we made the bowlers work hard early on, although as a number 11 batsman my main job was to sit in the sun and watch the migrant hawkers on the hunt, and take photographs. A metallic green beetle, possibly a green dock beetle, was very interested in rabbit droppings. Well who isn't? The crab apples are ripening, and the tiny worker bumbles feed  off white clover on the slightly revitalised ground.

However, the bowlers of Wollaton got on top and began to feed off us. We went from 99-3 to 117 all out. I had  to rush off from umpiring in order to change into my kit, all in order to score 3 runs before being given out LBW from a ball that hit me on the thigh and left a red mark on my pocket.

Perhaps a little high lol...

Tea was excellent, and off went went to field. We actually competed very hard, and I actually fielded with great energy, although the comment of "You're a gazelle today!" was either sarcastic or unwarranted. I desperately wanted to take a catch, but nothing came my way. I did get a bowl, and I was ok-ish but too full.

No wickets, sadly. But I did try, we all did. Lost by 4 wickets in the end. We made them work for it.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.08.18

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Just Bees and Maths

It has been much cooler today, so these bees feeding of scabious - male white and red tailed bumbles judging by the white faces? - were very slow moving an easy to photograph, for a bloody change.

So was the flowerless teasel, naked, so you can see the underlying structure. There is a mathematical slash geometric thing at work here, an Archimedes spiral or some such. I think I read that a few years ago.

It looks great anyway. The camera doesn't do it justice, you need three dimensions to see that structure properly.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 09.08.18

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Naughty Nightime Floofster

Late at night, if I am just coming home, or going out for a breath of air when I'm having a hard time sleeping, there is a female tabby cat that comes to see me, announcing her presence always with a few plaintive meows and a rub or two round my legs before she sets to eating the grass in my garden.

She can be quite snappy, doesn't like to be stroked and will hiss and bite if you try sometimes.

She is also seemingly a wannabe huntress.

The other night, she did her usual thing and I just assumed after eating grass that she had disappeared off into the darkness. Not at all. There was a colossal commotion in the ivy that clings to the holly tree.

A woodpigeon fluttered away in a hurry, lit by a street light. A set of yowling kitty cries followed.

She was stuck about 6 feet up the tree, having had a little fall by the sound of things. Luckily she wasn't hurt, and she managed to get herself down, rather inelegantly.

She then slinked off to sit in a pool of light at the end of the drive, licking her paws and trying to style it out.



All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.08.18

Monday, 6 August 2018

"Classic" Car Rally

Before cricket yesterday, I took myself off down the park to have a look at the East Midlands Classic Car Rally. Now when I was a kid, "Classic Cars" were what I envisaged to be those boxy Bugsy Malone type cars with wind up handles and running boards and an animal on the bonnet.

Nowadays, thanks to the  passing of time, a Classic car can now be a design horror like a 1980s Austin Maestro Van den Plas in excrement brown. You'd have maybe taken such a car if it was a prize on 3-2-1 but you wouldn't want to buy one.

However, there were some beautiful MGs, E types and Triumph Spitfires. My stepfather had one of  the latter when I first knew him.

He drove us to Scotland  with me on the non-existent back seat  with my two gerbils.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 06.08.18

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Phoenix Nights Cricket

Today we were playing cricket away at Walesby, a place I haven't revisited since I was on a cub camp there in 1983...memories of homesickness indeed.

It's a national centre for cub camps. Most kids love it. Aside from the wide games I hated it especially as at age 8 when I joined I was teased like mad for not knowing what a rubber johnny was. I was also in Brown 6, which sounds too much like "Shit 6".

Anyway, I digress.

We arrived at the venue, a sports and social club, to find a country and western singalong concert was taking place for a bunch of older folk wearing stetsons, a sound that accompanied the first half of the match. Posters advertised a Gary Barlow tribute act for the evening. A meat raffle was also in progress. One could imagine a Bernard Manning type comedian coming on.

Not that the game needed anything to make it entertaining. It was manic from the start, with the Walesby batsman coming in, thrashing the ball like mad over the boundary, then getting out. One of  our guy's first over went 4,6,4,6,4, out. And they were all trying to play the same way. They had 70-1 on the board after 8 overs.

But we then started nipping them out a bit more regularly, until we were faced with their two best bats, one the biggest hitter, one the most consistent. I was brought onto bowl to the big bearded big hitter and bowled him after three balls with the first straight one I found. Next over I put the field out and the consistent batsman, now running  out of partners, put one down long off's throat who held onto the ball despite falling down a rabbit hole.

We knocked them over for 130, and two strong opening bats meant that a potentially awkward target on a sporty pitch was achieved in quick time for the loss of only one wicket. Thank god for that as well, because it was bloody hot out there, I had to umpire for a bit and my face felt chargrilled after 15 minutes.

I wanted to get away before the Gary Barlow tribute act as well.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 05.08.18

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Time for a Shotgun Marriage

We had no official game today; instead the third teamers and some juniors not yet playing adult cricket on Saturdays took ourselves off to Sir John Starkey's ground at Southwell to play "an exhibition match."

Actually it was an intra club friendly played in a lovely setting, and a chance to enjoy a pressure free game of cricket, although as ever I still got nervous when I bowled and batted.

The two teams, picked by one of our cricketing families, were evenly matched but not even; we should have had the stronger  bowling attack, they the stronger batting.

Batting first, we had an ok start but we never really took real control of the innings. Batting down the order, but not at the usual submarine depths on a Saturday, I had a chance to explore the ground.

Built on the wealth of fruit growing - this is where the Bramley Apple was brought into being  and indeed the first tree still stands in the town - the facility now acts as a wedding venue and fed up with my life I went into the little wedding gazebo and married myself, or something.

Didn't bring our batting any acceleration but I  liked the flowers.

I did get out to bat today, and managed to score 16 not out and see us to 144 for 7 off 32 overs. It seemed like it might be enough at an excellent tea time.

It wasn't. The guy who scored 149 not out smacked my first ball for 4, and his girlfriend decided she was going to be better than him. My line was good, but length was a bit variable and despite getting some bounce, didn't do very well. Neither did the rest of us really, apart from an excellent spell by a ten year old who will be a superb bowler in years to come.

But it a lovely day. Shame my body ached so much at the end of it.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Last of the Flowering Teasel

Odd sort of  day at work - the embankment that stops unwelcome "visitors" getting onto the grasslands was improved today, resulting in the clearing of a lot of teasel and willowherb. Hopefully this will have already seeded the ground however and there will be a recovery next year.

There's not much left in flower, a bit of hairy willow herb, a few thistles, the pennyroyal - and onesolitary clump of teasel upon which red tailed bumbles were feeding.

The willow herb has seeded into the most amazing fractal like designs, a sort of higher dimensional geometry, a fractal pattern that goes on forever no matter how much  you magnify it.

Nature is maths, and maths is nature.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.08.18

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

In the Wet Patch

Soooo, amidst all the  bunnies dying of myxomatosis at work - I saw three affected rabbits within 10 metres of each other today - I came across a little flash of colour among the still straw brown grass at work.

On the exotic location of a roundabout, a little patch of ground had somehow been able to absorb a bit  of the rain that has fallen the last few days, and gone noticeably greener than its surroundings.

And within that, although there are none anywhere else in the town, a little clump of birds foot trefoil has bloomed.

It was a most surprising sight!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 01.08.18