Ours is not a big sporting household. We don’t play, we don’t watch. Except this week. It hasn’t paid off though, with Germany losing the semi-final of Euro 2012, and Nadal losing at Wimbledon (opening a tantalising door for the awful Andy Murray).
Yesterday, we even attended the cricket. Australia played England in the opening match of the One Day International series at Lord’s. I’d never been to a cricket match before (I’m a terrible Australian).
The forecast was for ‘white cloud’, ie. certain rain. When we arrived I was momentarily cheered to see that our seats were under cover. It mattered not, however, as the wind blowing in our direction brought a steady stream of mizzle straight into our faces for the first 2 hours.
The mizzle stopped play 5 times before it brightened up a bit. Australia were rubbish though. I thought we were good at cricket, but my knowledge is based on our performance in 1985. When I was growing up in rural South Australia we had 2 TV channels, one of which perpetually broadcast the cricket.
As we sat down, B’s first question was: ‘Who’s out there?’
Me: ‘I don’t know the names of all the players’
B: ‘First I need to know who is in yellow and who is in blue’
Compared to this I am a veritable encyclopedia of cricket knowledge. I managed to answer a few questions on the rules and scoring system and within a few hours was happily spouting all sorts of nonsense about powerplays and silly mid on.
Despite the miserable forecast, I chose to wear a dress with 3/4 sleeves, summer scarf and trenchcoat. By 2pm I admitted defeat and put on my 50-denier tights (in the ladies, not in the stands). I probably don’t need to mention that in Australia, you don’t tuck a pair of winter tights in your bag when attending a summer sporting event, ‘just in case’. Then I tore my trenchcoat in the seat hinge.
As the afternoon wore on, Australia’s performance deteriorated and the crowd became more and more drunken. I’m well accustomed to the English capacity for alcohol, having lived in the UK for 7 years. But even I am occasionally shocked to see them getting well stuck in at 11am.
When the players retired for tea, we went home. I couldn’t take another 4 hours being humiliated by raucous, jeering English. I get enough of that at work.
Australia lost, by the way. Here’s a couple of photos, including a rear view of Brett Lee:
And a cold-looking B: