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