Just a little insight won’t make this right. It’s too late to fight. It ends tonight, It ends tonight.
So what have I been up to in London over the past day or 2? Well yesterday arvo I headed in to London. I wasn’t in the mood to do any of the tourist things and just wanted to experience a bit more of life in the UK until I head back. I walked around the city and saw the Wellington Arch and War Memorial up close. I explored the streets of the “rich areas.” I window shopped in the shops where I can’t really afford to even look at. I went to Harrod’s, which was having a sale so my temptation to shop was tested further – the Tom Ford Suits, Paul Smith accessories and the Fossils department (yes real fossils) were where I realised I need to become stinky rich sometime😛. I also had a stroll through Hyde Park and had an interesting moment where I walked past Victoria Coach Station and I had a strong and very real urge to jump a bus to Leeds. After that I caught up with Justin, Chris, Ray and Scotty for a pint or many. Ray and Scott are doing there European trip and are part of a tour going to the Lords test match. The excitement we all had about realising our dreams of going to a test at Lords was really strong. It was an interesting, fun night and hey we even met Peter Siddle’s parents.
So today was the big day. It was the day were Juz and I would relive those rainy days going to the Boxing Day test at the home of cricket – Lords, and not just going to a test but going to Day 1 of an Ashes test. I met Justin at 9:30 at St John Wood station…we had meant to meet at 8:30 but had both been late. Although for the record Juz was latest by a fair way so I stood at the station looking somewhat foolish for an hour searching for his face in every crowd of passengers that exited. Nothing could kill my excitement though. LORDS BABY!
To sum up the Lords experience in a few words I think polite, formal and SO ENGLISH do justice. It all starts with the tickets that are beautifully crafted and a great souvenir. Then there is the old proper pom announcer who makes you feel like you are almost going back in time with his posh English accent. Blooming hell there is even a “picnic hamper collection point”! How more English could you get?! It was such a picturesque ground and looks even better with a capacity crowd and a game going on in the middle than it did on the tour. It was also a good touch that British and Australian servicemen and women were acting as some of the stewards.
Juz and I took our seats and awaited the first ball to be bowled. We were sitting in the Grandstand in the second row. That is right! Second Row! We were done at fine leg on the media centre side and although not the best seats in the house they were brilliant in our eyes. Unfortunately we didn’t get our wish to see the Aussies bat and even worse was the fact that England dominated the first session in a somewhat bland fashion. They eventually got to almost 200 before Cook who had played a great knock got out to the first good ball Mitchell Johnson bowled. It was crazy how poorly Johnson bowled for the majority of today as he made an art of bowling either full on the pads or short and wide. The other embarrassing thing about the Australian performance was Haddin’s appalling keeping. He struggled to take even the simplest delivery and of course ended up with a large number of byes against his name and a dropped catch. He made Geraint Jones look like Ian Healy behind the wickets and did it with a smile all day which just angered me.
Luckily things changed later on in the day with Australia getting a few wickets to leave them 6 down with a fair few runs on the board but we were in a much better position than we were at lunch. Johnson’s last spell was even good and a few of the other bowlers like Siddle and Hilfenhaus looked a little dangerous. The man of the day was Strauss though who batted sensibly, smartly and well to be 161 not out at the end of play.
I can’t really believe in retrospect that I have now been to a Lords Ashes test. The cricket was even pretty good and the weather fantastic for England. We expected Boxing Day like conditions (ie Rain) as we thought we had jinxed it with only having tickets to 1 day of the test but for the most part the sun was shining. Juz even needed to buy some sunnies at some point. It really was a day to remember for this cricket tragic and it was brilliant that I got to share it with my brother. As an ending to my time away I couldn’t think of a better day.
Alright I better stop typing as I have a bag that wont pack itself. Although if any of my more geeky-inclined friends can invent a bag that does I would be greatly appreciative. I can’t believe I am heading home tomorrow. At midday tomorrow I start my long 24 trek back to Melbourne and I look forward to seeing all those faces and hearing all those voices and laughs that I missed.
By the way I have added photos for Vienna, Munich and some of Berlin and I will get around to finishing this blog with the rest of the photos back in Melbourne. Although I am pretty sure I will be boring many of you with my photos regardless haha
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