just a round up of some recent cricket matches for all of you friends and family around the world who have expressed an interest, to be sure. it is indeed a perhaps the case, look you see, that i should update after each and every game. for some reason, though, i suspect some of you might quite prefer the longer read, with a number of matches accounted for all at once.
the cricket season is, then, well under way. to be sure. we've already witnessed one major tournament, what with Pakistan being surprise and exceedingly worthy championships. but we are at the other end at this stage, as in the proverbial "grass roots" game. James is continuing his passion for the game at the first age level at which one can play competitively.
not that James is in this first picture, though. but he shall be in many of the more to follow.
yes, that there is young William and my (considerably) better half, stood upon a slight hill or if you like at the top of an embankment sort of thing. it overlooks a cricket ground, of course. not just any cricket ground; this is the one which is home to the Guisborough teams. the ground is the "Gubba", then, if you like.
we went off to this match on a splendidly sunny, breezy sunday morning. it was a delight to play the game, as it was only late on that it was confirmed. Gusiborough, like a few other areas of the region, have been struggling to get enough players in at each age level. one or two villages and suburbs have had to withdraw this season, be it for a lack of players or a lack of available funding. this is a great shame, but also makes it all the more better than many places are fielding a side.
one of them quasi portrait images of James getting ready to go in and bat? i don't see why not.
oh yes, the kids are all expected to wear as much protective equipment as possible, with the helmet being compulsory. whilst it's rare at this level for a bouncer to fly so high as to strike the batsmen, there's mis-bowled deliveries and throws in with the hope of a run out to be considered. better, i would presume you all agree, to be safer than very sorry.
what was the result of this particular match? well, as ever, my view is that so long as the game is played in the correct spirit then the game of cricket is the ultimate winner. in this instance that was the case. considering the struggle Guisborough have had to get a team together they gave an admirable performance, but in the end our side won comfortably. that said, there were one or two players in the Guisborough side of clear talent and exceptional promise. i'd like to wish them well for future games.
the above is indeed the match underway, but look closely. if you click on the image perhaps it makes it bigger enough for you to spot, with the first image of this post as your guide, young William and my (considerably) better half strolling along the top of that embankment thingie. should it help i did attempt to "centralise" them in the picture.
indeed, should you be wondering, there is to be some video on the go in this post. this would be despite the fact that some of you appear unable to play it. in that regard, it would seem to be those who view on a mobile device that struggle. with this in mind, for those on a pc type of computing device or with some form of mobile device which can play it, here's James batting in this particular match.
hopefully the quality of that is ok, or at the very least watchable enough to give you a good idea. indeed yes, the video is taken to transmit in a slightly delayed live broadcast capacity. i send it from the ground we are at all the way over to New Zealand, so that the boys' grandparents, or if you like my parents, may keep in touch and watch.
magnificent, this technology that we all have and somewhat take for granted. less than two decades ago such a fast and cheap way of sending video would have been unthinkable. perhaps we should all spend a bit more time appreciating the wonderful things we can do with all this connected internet business and considerably less time using it to be mean, but perhaps that's just a dream.
yes, that is indeed William stood before, or in front of the "Gubba", or if that works better with the "Gubba" behind him. as i have possibly already mentioned before in this post, it truly was a wonderful and glorious day to be up and about for cricket. but i suppose all days are so.
of the many splendid things about early morning cricket on a sunday is chatting to fellow parents. this would be from both the home and away sides. we're all up and about early for the same thing, so why not sit and have speaks as we enjoy the game. it's always interesting to hear how others came to love this great game, and how they came to be involved with it all.
something of a mix up with the rest of the pictures and videos, alas, as i clearly did not order them properly. the above, for a start, is James preparing to bat in a match against a side from Thornaby, or as it is more commonly referred to as the principality of Thornaby. there are many who refer to this opulent, luxurious and generous region as "the Monaco of the north". far be it from me to intervene and say otherwise.
it will be close, if not further, to thirty years since i am aware of being in Thornaby. it might well be, however, that i have passed through or near it in those years. my memories of the place are that it had a massive department store, and my Mum bought me Pitfall II The Lost Caverns for the Commodore 64 from it when we went. was that my last trip there? if so, what a wonderful way to remember it. still, all the same, an absolute delight to welcome the Thornaby team to our ground.
skipping backwards or forwards in time, then, here's a snippet of video of James playing, then. once again he is batting. this video is particularly special as James achieved something that he had been trying to for a while - he sent the ball on its way over the rope to score a boundary.
really sorry that i did not get it in better quality. there is, however, only so far that i can go in getting close to film. that and the zoom thing on this phone of mine would appear not to be the greatest single feature of it.
and so once again to travel in time and another look at the match against (the principality of) Thornaby. here's a picture i managed to get of James just before he went off to take to the field in order to join his team in, well, fielding.
no, the red cap is not a standard part of the team kit or uniform. it is one that James is rather fond of, however. as there are no rules against wearing it - indeed it is wise to do so on hot sunny days - he tends to have it on when not required to wear a helmet.
just a bit more bouncing around with time and space, then. not entirely unrelated to the above, here's the match in action against Saltburn at our very own home ground. i look very much forward indeed to an away day at Saltburn, for a trip to their ground will surely also involve a trip to the seaside and some splendid ice cream. not that our own fair home isn't renowned for ice cream.
our team were somewhat reticent and concerned about facing Saltburn. whilst i have every confidence that the team can hold their own against all, the Saltburn side came with, apparently, quite a formidable reputation for excellence. this certainly seemed quite true at first, for their opening batsmen were spectacular.
but it is seldom, if rare, that games of cricket are determined or decided within the opening few overs. as hoper our team were valiant in stepping up to meet the challenge. we recorded a narrow victory, but one that i believe the team to be proudest of considering the quality of the opponents.
in terms of setting about to win, another achievement for James. here you go, for those that can play it, here's a video of James in delight mode as he takes a wicket.
there is one more video to come, but that's about that for coverage of the actual cricket as such. for the remainder of this post it's just another look at the non-James elements or aspects, or if you will members, of the family. mostly.
which means for those of you who do not care so much for me exactly, yes, an image of me will be on display here. as point of fact it is the next one, so look away or scroll fast should you wish. no fairer warning can be given.
yes, there are some differences to me. no, i have not gotten all that much more palatable or acceptable to look at, but still. indeed yes i have eventually gotten around to trimming my beard, and yes those there are some new glasses. after some four years of being stylish with the ray bans frames a change was required. not least because my eyesight seems to be getting poorer.
and yes, from what i can recall, that is the oversized smart shirt of Nevada i have on, the one i did a blog on not so long ago. further and, indeed, is yes, that is my beloved, world travelling hat. sure it is battered and tatty, but i do love it.
to balance out any unpleasantness you may have from inadvertently seeing a picture of me, how about one of my (considerably) better half? another one, even, since she has ostensibly been seen in more than one above. anyway, sure, here you go.
that is indeed before the club house at our ground. the place where one can purchase most splendid bacon rolls and very fine cups of tea. and, considering the early hour it all starts, potent coffee too. the later being of some considerable use on some mornings.
why sure, for those of you able to play it, here's a final video for this post. a quite special one too, since it shows my (considerably) better half showing her skill and prowess with a cricket bat. not, i am happy to say, being wielded in the direction of my head.
right off the meat of the bat, as certain select commentators used to say. yes, that is James bowling. there was no official practice on, so we went up to have a knockaround anyhow. the hard breathing you may be aware of in that video is due to the running about i, in my less than fit form, had to do in order to retrieve the ball.
speaking of certain select commentators, that one in particular was famed for many things. one of them was wearing splendid hats during commentary and broadcasts, in particular during an inspection of the pitch and wicket. here's William paying tribute to this.
no, you are not mistaken, William does indeed have two hats on there. both were gifts from his Grandad, and he loves nothing more than wandering around wearing them. yes we do try and explain that, strictly speaking, they are not sun hats as such, but surely it (they) must serve to give some sort of protection.
and that's that for another update, friends and family. indeed yes, also all of you who are not strictly speaking such, but are stopping by to read anyhow. with much of the cricket season still to come, i have every confidence that more updates shall follow!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!