Monday 30 July 2018

The Flutterers are less Tired than I

I've had a very busy weekend, as you know, and with the weather getting dryer and warmer again I was hoping to have a nice me sort of day, getting some more intense exercise as I'm feeling very flabby this week.

I went into town, did my food shopping, and picked up "Labyrinth" for a pound at the DVD stall on the market. I then went through the library gardens, admired how busy with bumbles the lavender was. The large whites also loved it.

A new bush has come into flower lining the bowling green, and this one is very popular with bees and holly blues. They don't settle much, holly blues, but when they do they do tend to feed at leisure enabling you to get a shot.

So, I went home, had some halloumi for lunch and stuck Labyrinth on. And promptly fell asleep for 3 hours, mind invaded by cavorting muppets and the Bog of Eternal Stench.

I was shattered. Still feel shattered now, but early on I was immobile!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.07.18

Sunday 29 July 2018

Helicopter Funs

No cricket for me today, and even if I hadn't been working at our rather large works summer fete, it was  rained  off anyway so no loss.

It really is a large event, and on a personal level it involves a lot of social interaction both one to one and one to many and so I find it totally exhausting on top of what was already a long day.

But it went well, which was very gratifying, and one of the highlights was the landing of the local Air Ambulance helicopter, whom we support.

I've never been close to a helicopter landing before, and the noise was a grinding road, the downdraft sufficient to blow a sign onto my legs.

After it had gone just as dramatically, I saw a swallow swoop along the same tarmac with barely a sound. They still win, do the birds.

Apart from at taking people to hospital.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.07.18

Saturday 28 July 2018

Of Bat and Bats

This has been a very long day of cricket, played against Kirkby Portland 3s in the reverse of last week's fixture which we won rather convincingly.

I've been really looking forward to it, as it was to be played at their outground at Newstead Abbey, haunt of Lord Byron who presumably wrote poems there while hobbling around on his club foot and collecting unmentionable snippings from his lady friends and storing them in lockets.

I had no plans to do the same, merely to do cricketing things as well as I could. Wish I'd had a go at the  poetry.

The ground itself was tiny, the wicket so slow as  to be made of melting plasticine, and the crazy short boundaries edged by thick holly bushes so retrieving the ball after a 4 was hit an exercise in bleeding sado-masochism. We lost the toss - bad move - and ended up being unable  to make much of a breakthrough on the world's slowest wicket. I was off form, jumping too much into delivery, but the pitch didn't help.

No-one else was having much joy either, but we kept at it and fielded well after a shaky start. As did I. They got 212-3, which I didn't think was too bad on that deck.

Then while we had tea, the rain came, and knowing well their own ground, the "oppo" as we cricketers say, were keen to get on with it, rain or not. And so, against what  last week was ordinary bowling, we struggled on a deck that was turning to mud under  our batsmen's feet. We did come off for rain, and we thought that was it, but understandably they wanted to get back out, and much arm waving and concerned looks at  patches of sawdust went on, as lightning flashed above the ornamental lake.

A bat flew out of  our dressing room, and flittered about in the light. So strange to see a bat by daylight.

It was about 645pm, and the rain eased, and  out went went again. It gave a chance for the Saturday Captain, who wasn't actually captain today, to get a very good 50, as opposed to my 1, where I tried to pull a short ball from outside off stump. Ouch.

Well there we go. Can't do well every week. Unfortunately.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.07.18

Friday 27 July 2018

Finally Water Falls from the Skies

It was very welcome, but it started when I was riding my bike home. It actually felt very nice, but the  occasional big drop down the small of my bike made me shudder and thus wobble rather alarmingly.

The smell of wet earth was very noticeable immediately. Apparently it's produced by bacteria in the soil, and we evolved to be super-sensitive to it in the far past, perhaps to help us find water.

Hopefully the local hedgehogs will be able to eat and drink well tonight. I've been good at putting water out, and certainly someone's been drinking it, but the local birds are the most likely substitutes.

I do hope, however, I get to play cricket at Newstead Abby tomorrow.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.07.18

Wednesday 25 July 2018

A Sneaky Silver Y

I was watering my plants this evening when I returned from work, when I noticed that I had flushed some mothly flutterings flushed from the lavender.

It skuttered off low above the straw dead grass, before alighting under a leaf on the back of a Polish planter next door.

I very carefully approached, stealthy as a bison as usual, and managed to get a not terribly good shot of the moth. You can see why it is called a "Silver Y". Mostly they are seen hovering about like mad things feeding in the day, and are a late summer species. This one was was obviously heading for bed.

As I should but never do.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.07.18

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Everything is Going to Seed

The grasslands at work are now so arid and Spanish looking, the more so because the last of the flowers, the rosebay willowherb and a few thistles, are now going to seed. Hairy fluffy seeds of all manner of interesting architectures, blowing away in the wind.

Kind of felt like that myself after moving some heavy stuff around in a hot as hell warehouse after a heavy weekend of cricket.

I'm bored. Trying to do life changey things like eat meat substitutes. Looking into how I could do that. Then I worry my notoriously sensitive stomach wouldn't be able to handle it.

It is time for my long delayed micro adventures I think.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 24.07.18

Monday 23 July 2018

Too Hot to do Much

I went shopping at  11am, and then immediately followed Met Office "Protect and Survive" style advice to stay indoors until 3pm.

Even though I hadn't heard it at the time. I was just dog tired and happy to lie and watch the sci fi movie "Dune" semi conscious.

I did get out at 3pm for a walk to the park - which is now entirely the colour of straw - and along the river, checking the buddleia I found along the way for butterflies.

The days where every such plant would have about 30 peacocks on them are gone. I've seen about 2 all summer. Plenty of whites fluttering about, but there's not so many of the "colourful" species.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.07.18

Sunday 22 July 2018

Death by Sri Lanka

Today I played my last league home game of the season, a Sunday fixture at Kelham Road where we played Notts Arnold Amateur 3s, a very jolly team of Sri Lankans some of whom seem to have played a high standard of grade cricket in Australia and are unbeaten in our division.

This was after progress to the ground was delayed by clog dancers and a man playing a hurdy gurdy.

However, the big guy  with dreads wasn't playing, replaced by a young boy with ginger hair so not exactly a straight swap.

We batted first, and we made decent progress at first against good bowling. My own intention of having a quiet sunbathe was thwarted when I got round to sorting out the sight screens for the left and right handed batsmen. Sometimes  this every bloody ball and was hot work on my own.

At least I got to watch a family of three buzzards find a thermal over the ground and start soaring, keening repeatedly and leading one of  our spectators to think they were  eagles. If only.

It is noticeable, now I've noticed out, that the call of lapwings around the ground is now silenced. There are other signs of a new season approaching; fruit forming, conkers spouting spikes. That sort of thing.

The opposition fielding was terrible, but their bowling was good. Too good. Apart from one player who hit 4 6s while I was putting my pads on and so didn't see them, we struggled to make  much headway. I managed to hit a boundary and score a not very incredible 7. Although how little decent practice I've had lately, that's a small miracle.

We were all out for 128, far too few against this team. The tea was great though. Pity that again I had to restrict myself due to bowling duties. I opened, as I often do on Sundays, and nearly had a wicket first ball again. It did not pitch outside leg stump, Mr Umpire!

Bowled well, but no joy and no luck. Oh well, I've had a hot streak and the standard of opponent was much higher. First team standard, in the case of a couple of batsman who flayed the ball everywhere as they won by 7 wickets.

The heat as well, sheesh by 5pm it was insanely hot. And it's only going to get hotter.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.07.19

Saturday 21 July 2018

Lightning Strikes Twice

Well, today we were facing a new opponent for us today, Kirby Portland 3s who have a home ground at Newstead Abbey which we will be visiting next week hopefully. The sun spent most of the day behind haze, but it was still bloody hot work.

It was noticeable that after our recent fielding successes, we spent a lot more time practicing our fielding before the start of the match, even myself. It helped me no end last week.

This was before we ended up batting first, and I operated a manual scoreboard for the next 35 overs. Instead of fielding, I messed around with numbers while dressed in a Star Wars T-Shirt. This was my way of being useful while we batted. It actually ended up being quite tiring and I had to have a rest.

While I was doing this, our opening bat was making his way to a chanceless and utterly composed century. He actually used to be our opening bowler, but a nasty tricep tear sidelined him from that. So instead of being a brilliant bowler, he's now a brilliant batsman.

Supported by all of our junior batsmen, while me and the rest of the seniors watched with admiration, he then took us to 253 for 5, scoring 149 not out in the process.

Batting I'm afraid I can't even dream of.

Our opponents, who were a lovely bunch of people, were warm in their appreciation as well.

Our regular tea suppliers were on holiday, so our juniors' parents rallied round and produced some excellent food. Which I only had two platefuls of because, you know, bowling. It's what I'm there to do.

Instead of keeping the openers quiet, my job has changed into taking wickets lower down, so I got down to some fielding while there Moriarty Saturday captain bowled 6 maidens to start, before finally taking a wicket. Another fell, then after about 17 overs, I was up.

Wicket first ball. Again. Third time this year. Clean bowled.

Wicket second ball. LBW. Made a very loud appeal like I've seen on television. Two in bloody two!

Missed the hat trick, and indeed nothing much happened for the next few overs. I was getting anxious about being taken off. I was hit for a couple of fours by their best bat. Then a new batsman came in, and after he received a 10 minute explanation on how to bat with a runner, I bowled him first ball with a big inswinger it turns out he was rather impressed with. He congratulated me on it in the dressing room at the end of the match.

Swing was what was doing the trick. Last week it did a little. Today it did a lot. Like round corners a  lot. Although my fourth wicket was a  bit  lucky, it was back again for my 5th.

Another five wicket haul. Second in two matches after never having done it in my life. Lightning strikes twice. Can't believe it.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.07.18