Saturday 30 June 2018

Boiling Over

Played for the second team today against Wollaton 3, at an attractive Kinoulton ground that offered no shade from the sun which used the pitch as its own personal anvil for the entire day.

We lost by about 100, I don't really remember much about it as I wasn't allowed to bowl and was banished to field at the  same place on the boundary for two hours. Still a bit frazzled despite that factor 50 and the cap - it was very hard work out there although everyone tried hard, even fielded a ball with a dive for the first time in two years.

I may not be very good at fielding but I do try. Being naturally this clumsy is very frustrating.

I was just glad to get off the field as I was beginning to melt. Very unusual for me to want an innings to end.

When we batted, wickets fell regularly against very good and terrifyingly young bowlers. I of course had to bat number 11, and I only faced two balls before our innings ended. Seeing as I think I fielded the ball 6 times, that with my subs the match cost me £1 a ball, tremendous value that.

Still there were house martins over the ground and butterflies in the hedgerows, so there was something nice to see.

My face is still hot now.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.06.18

Thursday 28 June 2018

The Magic Traffic Island of Delight

So, a few weeks ago I noticed the  council workers were out seeding the traffic island near where I work, the one that has a romantic McDonalds background.

Well, in the last couple of weeks, it has become the nearest thing to a tropical hideaway this side of The Seychelles. One shouldn't be surprised, as they do it every year, but I just love how a barren, polluted wasteland becomes a colour riot for a few weeks every year, as if a Sony Bravia TV advert was being filmed there.

It starts off white and red, as the dog daisies and poppies come into bloom first, but soon after they are overwhelmed by the sun orange arrival of the corn marigolds, which give the island a kia-ora glow for a month or more. Cornflower is also present, and seems to be attraction for the pollinators that visit.

I stranded myself there for a little while as I rode home this evening, a modern day castaway marooned amid roundabout traffic, wondering how all the nature survived the exhaust emissions, and wondering how I was as well.

Indeed I couldn't stay for long. This beautiful asylum is in every sense, only a temporary one.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.06.18

Wednesday 27 June 2018

More Fairy Creatures

Their numbers are  increasing, the 5 spot burnet moths are now beginning to crowd the thistleheads, to fight for space on the vivid purple flowers, to blur the air with their scarlet wings.

The most dramatic sights will be when the teasel heads come into flower; they will end up looking like burnet moth tennis balls.

The pollen has affected me for the first time in my life this year - it was irritating before but after going in the badlands yesterday my nose felt like it was full of soda water. Today, after taking benadryl, I haven't been sneezing but my eyes are a bit sore and watery.

It would appear I am one of the many people who are suffering for the first time this year.

All the days of not paying any attention to pollen warnings...will probably a very outdoors person and cricketer, I'm stuck with it for a few weeks.

Sleeping bags. Looking at sleeping bags for my tent.

BTW what are the pink flowers? Anyone help?


All text and  images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.06.18

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Fairy Creatures are Back

Heading home on my bike, chain replaced and Strava running as an experiment, I was delighted to notice the flickering fairy forms of 5 spot burnet  moths back on the campus badlands, feeding off thistle.

I say it every year, these are creatures straight out of Lewis Carroll. Normally if you see things like these, you should assume you are on something.

Lots of meadow brown flying about today, and also happy to see small skippers enjoying the thistles as well. Pollen counts so high it feels like my nose is permanently fizzing; I've never had a reaction like this before.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.06.18

Monday 25 June 2018

Running no Matter what

A local newspaper reporter sent me some action photographs of me bowling against Bingham on Saturday, and although they made me look aggressive and powerful, the stomach was also rather too evident for my tastes.

Some would say that at 45, I'm allowed to have one, but I don't actually want to look 45 so I've realised I've kind of allowed injury worries, and laziness, stop me from doing the exercise I should and so I've lost fitness.

Plus I eat bad food when I'm bored.

So, I've still eaten a bit of bad food, but I've run 7.6km, had a long bath, had my awful hair cut, and then spent an hour bowling at nets tonight. It's been hot work, to say the least, and running  alongside water just made me incredibly thirsty, and also wishing I owned a floating gin palace and could drink as much of the stuff as I wanted without getting fat or indeed dying.

I do actually want to drink more gin, but not with tonic water as I can't stand the stuff.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.06.18

Sunday 24 June 2018

Drunk Batsman are Still Better than I

Well, I wasn't expecting to be playing today, but found myself agreeing to play a "fun" fixture between the Under 15s here and a group of adult players of varying ability.

I'm not sure refusing was an option to be fair, but when the weather was this glorious, who cares.

The  club was holding a festival all day, with kwik cricket for the juniors, a nixed game of rounders, and finally the main event, a tryout of the ECB's proposed "100 Ball"  format for the franchise English Premier League, for whom I am writing this report now.

I didn't turn up until just before the game, but interestingly some of  our players had been enjoying the refreshments since lunchtime, including our two opening batsman. As we batted first, this was a bit   problem, but they did a least manage to score runs, which I didn't do, out caught by the best player on either team when I tried to smash the ball over his head. The chap who took a five for yesterday was bowling, and must have been really pleased at this victory.

Anyway, we made 62 in our 100 balls, mainly due to a couple of the young lads' dads who pitched in and were better than most of us.

When we bowled, I opened up and the best player walloped my first ball for 4 so hard it burnt the velvet from the moles' heads. The other opening bowler he rocketed into the trees a couple of times, before ramping me - the humiliation! However he got overambitious and was caught, and I removed our 75 scoring batting star from yesterday. But we still lost, despite various dads threatening loss of  allowance.

Dear ECB, not sure if the format works yet. It may need a test on sober players!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.06.18

Saturday 23 June 2018

Drained and Exhausted

Today I was back in the third team, playing at Collingham against Bingham 3s - as  opposed to Bingham 2s who we played here a couple of weeks ago - yes we have two teams from the same club in our division, which is allowed because it is the bottom, most rubbishiest division.

Collingham was looking good today, and very busy as a lot of folk came to watch the first team game they had, but we too had a lot of relatives present as well, some of whom would have plenty to be proud of.

My parents came as well, but ended up watching the wrong match. Such is our competence level.

So Bingham batted first and thanks to some fairly average - ahem - bowling and fielding during I was horribly clumsy and got very cranky for being told off - racked up 110 after about 15 overs, the skipper having seen most of his first over end up in a hedge. Under swallows, wagtails and keening buzzards, we fought back, as I hurtled in, beat the edge a million times but took only the one wicket with the worst ball I bowled.

I'm getting frustrated with not being able to take wickets  despite bowling well and slowing the runs down.

Happily one of our first year juniors went through the batting order to finish with 5-55, and very happy  his folks were too. They still ended up with 256 though, far too many.

It looked about 220 too many after tea, with 4 wickets for 6 runs down and our 3 senior batsman out bowled by the sort of nagging short runned darter I hate the most. But other young players then batted for 30 overs, one of whom scored 75 while his father umpired and was presumably very happy. Hence we batted our full innings and scored 136-6 as the sun began to set.

It was such a hard day though. Despite being clumsy and unco-ordinated in the field, I still gave it everything, running rather faster in the outfield than I have done in a while. It pains me to be such a cretin. AND WHY NO BLOODY WICKETS. Me want a 5 for lol!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.06.18

Friday 22 June 2018

More Life in the Verges

The mowers have left our verges at work mercifully alone, and they are utterly fantastic, buzzing and fluttering with life.

On the largest scale, there are rabbits, lots of rabbits. Adult rabbits, baby rabbits, and a dead rabbit that looks like it might have met its end in the jaws of a fox. Magpies cry, and make calls like a football rattle, looking for carrion.

The verges are full of flowers, orchids, pimpernel, ragowort, the two flavours of willowherb, vetch, and the birds foot trefoil that is the only survivor of the meadow we planted - slightly disappointing.

White clover is everywhere.

And where there are flowers, there are pollinators. Lots of red tailed bumble and common carder workers, hoverflies, beetles, and suddenly large numbers of meadow brown butterflies fluttering everywhere. They don't stop much, but a couple of them did stop for just long enough for the big lumbering writer to snap!

Very pleased! I hope it continues.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.06.18