Tuesday 29 August 2017

A Map and a Rucksack

I have not forgiven the trespasses of my Trespass rucksack, as it finally falls to pieces in a great orange mass of frayed material and dangling zips.

Utter rubbish. Hardly used.

So, I've picked up a 25l Eurohike one now, which only cost me £10 from Millets and will be far better for bike rides and walking. In the sense that things won't fall out of it.

I also bought my first ever map, an OS map of the surrounding area so I can learn to read maps, and find walking, running and cycling routes I haven't yet discovered.

You will find my bleached skeleton in a ditch, 400 yards from the nearest village I couldn't find.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.08.17

Sunday 27 August 2017

No Cricket but Biking Instead

I  could have played cricket today, for the local side Upton in a friendly match, but frankly after the long season my back and left leg were very sore after yesterday's match. , I tried to have a bit of a run about but it was very very sore, so I had to cancel.

Skip won't be pleased about that. Neither was I, as it was a great day for cricket, and Upton is a nice ground.

So had to make the best of it, and decided to take a rare opportunity to cycle for pleasure on a nice day for it, for a bloody change.

I took myself out into the country lanes, listening to the cricket on Test Match Special, and enjoying the sun on my arms and legs. I visited the Sibthorpe Dovecote, a scheduled  ancient monument that had over 1000 nest holes inside it, and the Flintham Community shop where a can of San Pellegrino orange and pomengranate went down incredibly well.

Their drinks can rightly take their place alongside Barrs, and if they are reading this they can feel free to send me some free products!

When I got back, I wanted to have a serious read in the garden, but ended up falling asleep in my sun chair. Almost like the middle aged man I am.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.08.17

Saturday 26 August 2017

Under the Ruined Church my Bowling was Ruined

Today's match took me to play Keyworth. Only we didn't play at Keyworth, we played them at the beautiful ground at Colston Basset, a village out towards the Leicestershire border not part away from Cropwell Butler, the home of Stilton cheese.

We didn't see any cheese, but we saw a lot of skydivers leaping out of planes taking off from nearby Langar.

I played here on a Sunday last year, when there more flowers, and the ruined church was full of bees and butterflies. This year, there are big queen bumbles seemingly looking for a hole for the winter, and all the thistles have gone to seed. Buzzards circle the ground.

At the start of our innings, vultures were circling as well. We found ourselves 15 for 4 at one point, as extremely talented young bowlers bowled it straight on a tricky wicket. I could hear the joyful roars of the opposition as I explored up the hill.

Luckily we had youngsters, seniors and guests down the order who were able to stabilise the situation and crack a few much needed runs. Even I ended up batting for 9 overs at the end, and after all my lamentations the other day about being rubbish, managed to hit a boundary and score 10 whole runs as we scored 112.

I thought this would make me confident to bowl, but it didn't quite happen as I expected. My first ball, against their top bat, was absolutely stone dead LBW. Next over there was another big LBW shout, and a nick behind that wasn't given. For some reason, probably because I don't like bowling at left handers, I let one bad ball go an over, while others weren't fielded.

It stressed me. I was so angry with myself, and I was trying too hard. I was going for 6 plus runs an over, while bowling some utter beauties. I was devastated. So mad. No wickets.

We had other bowlers who bowled better, and we actually had them 7 down before their old head skipper came in and calmly won the game for them. A lot of us weren't right in the head out there today, I know I wasn't, but then I'm usually like that. I have a highly self punitive nature.

Still, it's been a beautiful day in a beautiful setting.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.08.17

Friday 25 August 2017

Gardening for Sanity

Been a very busy day today, as organising Tour of Britain related stuff far too quickly with far too little time left has been a bit of a stresser.

Luckily I was able to take time out for an hour to finish off digging out all the major weeds from my garden...up rooting dandelion with their tuber like roots that go on miles deep.

Wonder if they are edible???

The thistles too are a knotty problem, but other stuff was far easier to handle. I'm still leaving the borage in as the bees love it. Lots of common carder and honey bee around while I was forking away. A robin even came to watch me, but not too close.

Then I went inside and found a moth like a bit of wood on the stair carpet.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.08.17

Thursday 24 August 2017

I Spit on my Batting

It becomes more of a comedy by the day!

I've been playing today, at our home ground against a sort of wandering cricket promoting side of over 40 players - in age that is, if there were 40 of them that be totally stupid and unfair.

I took the day off to play, as this is our special cricket week and they needed a couple of players. I love cricket anyway, so it wasn't hard to get me to play to be fair, but what I thought would be quite a genteel fixture against some middle aged chaps, ended up involving me bowling to guys who play 12 divisions above me and are very good at hitting my bowling for 4 and 6.

It felt like a Sunday.

For some reason, I couldn't stop bowling low full tosses, probably trying too hard, in between bowling the odd wicket taking ball - I ended up with 2-56. It was a pleasant afternoon, where we blooded a new captain who like me was expecting weaker opposition.

I was already sporting a large bruise from being smacked on the arm while having a practice, and then my hands smarted while fielding a couple of hard hit shots, I'm amazed with my degree of crapness I stopped them at all.

The clouds scudded over, a single raindrop was felt, the sun shone occasionally. The ground felt pleasingly soft under my spikes. The apples on the tree at the field end are nearly ripe. Other bowlers were better than me, it didn't matter. I've missed too much cricket in my life to ever be more than a third team player.

But what gets me is my inability to bat. I eventually went in at number 10, against pretty average bowlers, and after nicking one through the slips for 2, resolved to bat straight after that. Which I managed for about 4 balls, before a big floaty ball brought out the urge to drive the bloody thing.

I stumbled over my left foot, ended up doing a sort of ice skater pirouette, and ended up being stumped by miles.

The actual act of playing an offensive shot got me out. Trying to score runs ended up in me looking like an arse. I can play straight bat defensives, but don't seem to be able to hit the ball more than 20 yards before the cricket gods inflict some sort of calamity upon me.

It is doing my head in. I want to score runs. But luck, and temprament, are against me.

As well as my own utter clumsiness.

Still enjoyed my day though!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.08.17

Monday 21 August 2017

An Ashy Mining Bee?

There's a three story Georgian terrace near me that has a garden I've long admired from a distance but I've never taken a look at until today.

It's a bee paradise, with loads of them on the flowers. Interesting to see solitary bee species on there, and what could be my first ashy mining bee, although I'm not sure. THe smell of the fluffy yellow flowers was overpowering, no wonder bees were swarming on it.

UPDATE no it isn't but it's an unfamiliar bumble whatever.

It's a plant with another sweet cloying scent, like buddleia.

I'm glad I went and had a look. It disrupted my run, but that was rubbish anyway as I have a very stiff backside!


All images and text copyright CreamCrackeredNature 

Sunday 20 August 2017

Up on Swallow Heights

it was our last Sunday game today, and we found ourselves out at Oxton, a ground we played at last year with the world's most ramshackle pavilion that was wetter inside than out in the rain, and sheep baa-ing right up to the boundary edge.

Well this year a new pavilion has appeared, with nice tables and a nice kitchen and dressing rooms you aren't at risk of drowning is, but of course progress means we means a bit of charm.

It's still a sunning setting, above the Tolkien sounding Green Dragon pub, with the constant twitterings of swallows and house martins as they feed up for migration around the ground. THere are trees and open fields, people going for walks, and a dog who decided to field the ball for us and cover the ball with slobber.

Oddly enough our young leggie bowled his best ball of the day after that.

As ever, it was a long old slog in the field, but our heads never dropped. As captain, like I was today, I'm not bad at this aspect of the job, although I'm tactically probably quite hopeless. Our Under 15s had a lot of energy today. Ah, I wish I was young again.

So, they got 290. Ahem.

So we batted, and I did my nature walk. Not much to see, apart from a giant parasol mushroom one of our team insisted I took a look at. It was markedly warmer than yesterday, thank god.

We batted well, for all our 40 overs. One our number, our only senior team player, got 64, and even I hit a boundary in scoring 6. Slightly annoyed by my batting partner running me out trying to give me the strike though. That was my highest score since May.

Great day though, enjoyed myself, and the Oxton chaps said we were a credit to our club. Can't say fairer than that really.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 20.08.17

Saturday 19 August 2017

Autumnal Cricket

Brrrrr, shiver shiver shiver.

Let's how we felt today, as we went out to Dale Field to play Whatton and Aslockton, a jolly bunch of chaps who like to take cans of beer to games, and indeed turned up today with what appeared to be an old style Watney's Red Barrel Party 7.

We were much more pro. We just ate jaffa cakes and ate Sensation crisps while waiting to bat.

For bat first we did, and on a super wickets, we did well to get to 168-6 off 40. Of course, I didn't bat, so I dressed up warm and walked the ground. The trees at the allotment end are laden with big, red apples, and sweet chestnut trees are similarly fruitful.

Autumn lurks, and today we felt its cold hand upon our bodies as it blasted us with a freezing wind. At least it blew the showers away.

We bowled superbly of course, to leave the opposition 56 all out. All our victims were bowled, but I was disappointed to only take 1 of them, despite the fact I was swinging the ball around a lot. I just always had the best batsman to bowl at, the one who scored a century last time. Although I got the other good bat out with a Wasim Akram style inswinger (at a tenth of the pace!).

Three victories for our teams today, a major major day.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 19.08.17