Sunday, June 24, 2007

First attempt at captaincy of the season resulted in a comprehensive hammering and I'm wryly reminding myself of the old adage that captaincy in 90% luck and 10% skill but you shouldn't try it if you don't have that 10%.....

But deep down, I know that there was nothing I could have done that would have materially affected the outcome of the game and I have nothing to reproach myself for. We're just not good enough right now.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Raining again.

I'm supposed to be playing cricket this afternoon but an abandonment might not be a bad idea as, once again, we are nowhere near full strength. The club is in a trough, with our best players leaving or continually unavailable. As vice-captain, I'm partly responsible but any attempt to get your best players to play more is doomed to fail if the team is continually losing in their absence.

We were pre-season favourites in some quarters but are now staring at a relegation battle. Next weekend's annual tour can't come soon enough - we are in desperate need of some team bonding and togetherness that we can take out onto the field with us for the second half of the season. Cricket and beer in (sunny?) Weymouth might just do the trick.
The idea that people from outside the Government, 'high-profile public figures', would join the cabinet under Gordon Brown got me thinking. First thought was that it feels slightly undemocratic - Lord Ashdown is not a sitting MP and therefore has not been elected by the people - what right would he have to take his place in the Cabinet and form public policy?

On reflection though, I've decided that the idea is actually a pretty good one. We need to get away from tribalism and factionalism in politics, and the trend of Government ministers meekly toeing the party line regardless of conscience. If people outside of the Government can bring a fresh pair of eyes, good ideas and their independence to bear on policy, it's got to be a good thing.

Hey, it's the closest we'll get to Proportional Representation any time soon.

Last song on the iPod: Lloyd Cole & the Commotions - Lost Weekend

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Facebook is the craze that's sweeping the nation and even I cannot remain unmoved forever. To my eternal shame, I created my own Facebook profile a couple of weeks ago and am delighted to have more than 20 people claiming to be my friends!

To be honest, it's nothing more than a good way to waste some time but hey, it gives you the opportunity to throw metaphorical sheep at your friends and what could be more fun than that??

Last song on the iPod: The Beach Boys - Surfin' USA
A knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours list for Ian Botham, England's most famous cricketer. It's as much for his charity work as for his heroic efforts for England in the late 1970s and early 1980s but anyone of a certain age remembers the summer of 1981 and the series against Australia which will forever be known as 'Botham's Ashes'.

Despite the fact that his unbeaten 149 at Headingley is invariably seen as his finest hour, he himself admitted that it was a glorious fluke. In truth, he was a better bowler than a batsman but his unshakeable self-belief and his insistence that he could do anything on and off the field turned him into one of the most exciting cricketers of all time. His knighthood is well-deserved.

Monday, June 04, 2007

'By Tre, Pol and Pen shall ye know the Cornishmen', so the saying goes. A fab week in Cornwall with particular highlights the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and the Tate St. Ives. Not to mention the picturesque setting of St. Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula, a place of which I never tire.

All this after an eventful trip to the Nordic countries where a fool and his luggage were soon parted. Fortunately it appeared in Stockholm, unquestionably my favourite Nordic city, in time for a cracking night out where I finished up drinking and dancing till 3am with my new Swedish friends. Happy days!

Last song on the iPod: Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine