Sunday 8 May 2016

Norman Churches and Grinding Cricket

Today, on the hottest day of the year, and frankly all of last year as well, found myself playing cricket at the pleasant setting of Colston Basset's cricket ground, on the edge of the Vale of Belvoir. Apparently this village, as well as Cropwell Bishop nearby, are famous for cheese, although the only thing that was cheesy anywhere near us was my safely unused bowling.

Initially we had met at the Kelham Road ground, where I was delighted to find that a great tit had nested in a fencepost by the main gate. The bird itself wasn't terribly pleased however; when I tried to peer into the nest it hissed at me! Twice! Can't say I blame it.

After driving over to the match, the skipper lost the toss and condemned us to 40 overs of scalding hot fielding. Luckily I was on hand to take a scalding hot catch - so I'm telling everyone who wasn't actually at the game - and some talented youngsters did our bowling for us while I patrolled the covers like Jonty Rhodes on barbiturates. Unlike Belvoir last weekend, there weren't many birds to be seen, but plenty of flirtatious pairs of orange tip and small tortoiseshells fluttered by, and yellow brimstones flew the boundary edge.

We did well to keep our opponents to 225 odd, and then went out to bat against the most insanely accurate bowling attack I've ever faced. Some insanity made our skipper put me in at the nosebleed inducing position of 3 in the batting order, and after getting involved in a run out where the guy the other end wouldn't have got in even if he was in a Tardis, I settled down to keeping the ball out with my legs and testicles. And bat, very occasionally.

I was out LBW again. For 3 this time, after what seemed like batting for 6 hours. Tell me what these wooden things they give us to hit the ball with are will you?

After getting out, and exchanging light disagreement with my run out partner, I had time to explore the ground. It was dominated to the west by an intriguing ruined Norman church, where some truly old graves were patrolled by tawny mining bees, and ground ivy enjoyed the moist conditions at the base of the walls, snuggled under spider's webs.

We lost by about 130 in the end, against a much better side. But we are an improving club, and the results will me come. But me. I HELD A CATCH!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 08.05.16

Great tit nest

Grinding it out

Super accurate bowler, this chap

Pavilion and our fans

Sadly, not going so well

Sun in the trees

Up at the church

The tower

Cowslip grave

The open nave

Gothic setting

Across the graveyard

Snug ground ivy


  1. An interesting church and well done on holding the catch. Lovely to see a cricket match in progress - so symbolic of fast approaching summer!

  2. Thanks Robin, it was hotter yesterday than any day I can remember from last summer