With the rain continuing to fall, it looks as though Polly’s plot to catch some test cricket is going to pay off. I booked Monday as a day’s leave some weeks back in the hope that the Old Trafford match would run to a fifth day as it did last year when me and Mrs P had such a good day out.
What with England scoring so well in their first innings, Australia’s batting collapse (so far), the unlikelihood of them being asked to follow on and a day’s play lost to rain, chances are that we’ll be handing over our ten quid apiece for what could be England taking a 2-1 lead.
But on that subject, terrific though it would be to win the Ashes back again it doesn’t quite have the same edge to give the Aussies a thumping (hopefully) because they all seem such good blokes. Polite, considerate with none of the usual brash braggadocio we’re used to.
This was borne out by one of Mrs P’s friends whose son works at the Malmaison where the team and their families are staying. He was struggling with a laden tray and as he approached a door up popped Jason Gillespie, he of the Old Testament locks above, saying, “Let me get that for you, sir.”
Sir? To a waiter? That’s good manners above and beyond.
UPDATE: When the players finally got on the pitch about 4pm, there was me watching on tv. No significant action, other than the Aussies cruising past the follow-on total thanks to Shane Warne. But there was a champagne moment, a cutaway shot of a vicar on the members’ balcony, I think, enjoying a glass of red wine.
“Bloody hell!” I thought inappropriately. “That’s Rev Thomas!”
Until not too long ago he was vicar at the church I went to as a kid and who has presided over more family christenings, weddings and funerals than I can remember. A great bear of a Welshman who has a handshake like a vice and is now retired.
Good bloke though. And cause to reiterate the Respect II heading.