No Longer Known At This Address

This will be the last post to appear on this blog – but don’t despair (in the unlikely event you were thinking of despairing) I shall be continuing to write at my new address, which is, so retune now to stay in touch.

This has partly been forced on me, in that this blog is now full – not of words (I can have as many of them as I like) but of images.  I didn’t want to delete old posts (out of sentimentality, mainly) and other options, such as archiving some of the posts elsewhere, seemed too laborious, so I’ve decided to make a clean break and begin a new site.  There is something rather exciting about starting with a completely blank slate and it would be nice to think it might help me recapture some of the joie-de-vivre I seem to have had when I began this blog, what now seems like many years ago.

Older readers may be reminded of the time Radio 1 switched its frequency from 247 to 275/285.  If I had any space for images left I might try to find one of their DJs of the time wearing one of the t-shirts they produced to publicise the switch.  Or perhaps it’s for the best that I don’t have the space.

It goes without saying that I’m immensely grateful to everyone who has followed, commented on, helped to publicise or simply read this blog over the last six years and I hope you’ll continue to do so on the new site.

See you on the other side!

Closed For Refurbishment




Mid-January, and the cricket pitches of England lie fallow, as does this blog.  There have been one or two rum goings-on here recently (bits dropping off, for instance, rather like its author) and a short period of closure for repair and refurbishment seems in order.  I hope to be back soon.

Five Years : An Anniversary (and the latest on Ned Eckersley’s beard)

Five years.

As David Bowie once observed, “it’s not a lot“.  I think he went on to add “it’s all we’ve got” and “my brain hurts a lot“, so there was obviously some serious pencil sucking going on in Beckenham that evening.  I mention this only because WordPress has this week reminded me that I’ve been now been blogging for five years and I decided to commemorate this anniversary by taking the day off and going to the cricket instead of writing anything.

On the other hand, I realise that many of you out there in Internetland will be tuning in hoping to find out the latest on Ned Eckersley’s beard.  I don’t wish to disappoint, so here is the state of play as of this afternoon.


Eckersley's beard 27.4.14

The beard appears to have been pruned back and now, I’d say, gives its wearer something of the look of Errol Flynn playing the part of an Elizabethan sea captain.  More on the beard, and my month in sport, to follow in due course.

One Million Fairly Similar Words For Snow

Experts are claiming that this weekend’s snow event is already the best-documented since records began, with almost half a million tweets, fifty thousand blog posts and over a million photographs already available on the internet, not to mention innumerable Facebook updates.

A future historian of everyday life, writing from the year 2112, will have this to say –

“It’s quite hopeless, from my point of view.  As with every aspect of everyday life since the invention of social media, there is simply too much evidence and I don’t know where to start.  In future I’m going back to the seventeenth century, where every scrap of evidence is invaluable.”

And here’s my contribution to the white noise and light … this lunar, deep-sea object is a poppy in the backyard, Saturday night –    


(Stop it! You’re making it worse! – A Future Historian)

Follow Me On Twitter (or not – it’s entirely up to you)

After years of Twitterscepticism, I have resolved to dip a tentative toe into the Twitterstream, so, if you’d like to subscribe, I believe the application form is to the right as you look at it.

As I currently have no mobile equipment that allows me to Tweet on the hoof, or much idea of how I can use it constructively, my Twittering is likely to be of a fairly passive nature to begin with.

I shall be publicising my posts on this blog via Twitter (if I can get it to work), following a few of my favourite bloggers, and perhaps a few stars of the Twittersphere, such as the belligerent QPR midfielder-philosopher Alain de Barton.  

Plus of course, James Taylor (the noted gourmet).

Christmas With The Stars … Of Leicestershire C.C.C.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t do Twitter, but I am intrigued by the notion of having access to the workings of the minds of today’s sportsmen, unvarnished by the gloss of media training.  I thought I’d have a look at Cricket Tweets, a site which aggregates the Twitter streams of those cricketers who have accounts, and see what some of Leicestershire’s stars (and a few who’ve decamped to Nottinghamshire) have been up to over the Christmas break.
(Warning – this no-holds-barred expose of the sometimes brutal word of today’s professional County Cricketer does contain swearing.) 
As Christmas approaches, solid opener Matt Boyce seems a little underwhelmed by the quality of his Twitter stream –
This was my everest this morning… @adamray112 was getting off the toilet “#comingthroughweasel”
Updated via Echofon at Saturday, December 17, 2011 10:31 AM
as was up-and-coming speedster Nathan Buck –
Time to go home! Great 3 weeks in Potch to get us ready for the Lions tour to Bangladesh. God my tweets are boring. #zzzz
Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:36 PM
Wantaway starlet Josh Cobb was taking time to reflect on some of the deficiencies of his performance last season, and resolving to do better next year
@mvclayton @mongoosecricket I’ll have a crack in 4 day cricket. Can not do worse than last year ha
Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Monday, December 19, 2011 9:26 PM
Unsung hero Wayne White was taking a – no doubt brief – break from his rigorous dietary programme –
beware any takeaways within a 5 miles radius, youre in for a big order.
Updated via web at Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:41 PM
T20 specialist Harry Gurney was at a bit of a loose end following his move to Notts –

Got the flat to myself all night, what shall I do? Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Wednesday, December 21, 2011 5:56 PM

 Josh Cobb had a suggestion –
@gurneyhf: Got the flat to myself all night, what shall I do?” polish the bishop
Updated via Twitter for iPad at Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:01 PM
(Believed to be a reference to the small bust of Archbishop Cosmo Lang that Gurney keeps on his mantelpiece).  And the consequence was …
Well… The having the flat to myself thing ended up with being in a random karaoke bar in town… Thanks for the suggestions.
Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:36 AM
On Christmas Eve, lanky paceman Alex Wyatt was on a goodwill mission to my birthplace –
Kettering – one of the worst places to go out. Standard of clubs, terrible, and people even worse #britaingoingdownthedrain
Updated via Echofon at Saturday, December 24, 2011 4:16 AM
Well, Alex, I believe they speak very highly of you.  Harry Gurney, unfortunately, was still not usefully occupied –
250 headshots with the ACR, time to find a more productive hobby.
Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Saturday, December 24, 2011 11:46 AM
Good to see, though, that someone was thinking of their family.  Back to Matt Boyce –
 Welcome @maisiegmorris to twitter. The trendiest 91 year old grandma with her new iPad2! Looking forward to seeing her tomorrow!

Updated via Echofon at Saturday, December 24, 2011 3:06 PM
And how about this heartwarming picture of festive domestic bliss from Captain Hoggard –
Merry Christmas to one and all santas drinks and nibbles in the fireplace rudolphs food is ready ernie tucked up alarm set 4ish ? Hope later
Meanwhile, Wayne White was heading out on the town, full of seasonal spirit –
happy xmas to everyone and be safe 2night celebrating. god bless us all x
Updated via web at Saturday, December 24, 2011 7:01 PM
The day itself dawns and crafty twirler Jigar Naik is first with the festive greetings (his punctuation, perhaps, betraying a hint of anxiety about the state of L.C.C.C.’s finances) 
Merry Christmas to all. Have a great day and a wonderful, prosperous new year ????????
Updated via Echofon at Sunday, December 25, 2011 6:56 AM
It’s not clear whether Wayne White has been to sleep, but, if so, he wakes with thoughts of absent friends –
@jamestaylor20 merry xmas james. i miss you x
Updated via web at Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:11 AM
Tiny Tim responds with “God bless us, every one”
@wayneAwhite you too! merry christmas Wayne! Have a good one!
and –
@whereaglesdare2 follow luxury menswear brand… 50% Christmas sale please visit
But it seems that all is not well with Wayne White –
where is my car?
Updated via web at Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:11 AM
mother “did anyone spike your drinks?” “i hope so
Updated via web at Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:16 AM
Josh Cobb is full of Dickensian good will –
 Merry Xmas too one and all, enjoy your day and get smashed. #butthendontdrive.
Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Sunday, December 25, 2011 12:21 PM
But it is clear that something has gone horribly wrong over at the White family household –
@cobby24 So kind! In horrible nick here, family looking at me with Disaproving eyes
Updated via Mobile Web at Sunday, December 25, 2011 2:41 PM
@cobby24 More embarrassing telling my mum to f-off as I’m spewing all Over her house
Updated via Mobile Web at Sunday, December 25, 2011 2:56 PM
By late on Christmas Day, as the spirit is wearing off, Josh Cobb has discovered an exception to his offer of good will to all men –
 “@LiamJKinch: Have a shit one” miserable bastard

Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Sunday, December 25, 2011 5:51 PM
and Wayne White is in agreement on this point –
@cobby24 @LiamJKinch Horror bloke, imagine his face at the dinner table
Updated via Mobile Web at Sunday, December 25, 2011 5:56 PM
(In fairness, having looked at occasional second-teamer Liam Kinch’s Twitter – which I won’t reproduce here – he does seem a bit of a wrong ‘un.)  But on a more wholesome note, over in Smeeton Westerby, noted sociologist Greg Smith is putting his break to constructive use –
Loving the Ukulele that Santa brought me, not sure the rest of my family are enjoying it as much as me.
Updated via Twitter for iPad at Monday, December 26, 2011 10:01 AM
Nathan Buck, however, seems to have spent Boxing Day at the sales in a shoe shop (my best guess as to what he means by this enigmatic Tweet) –
#OFFICE staff excite me
Updated via Twitter for iPhone at Monday, December 26, 2011 1:56 PM
And it’s left to Matt Boyce to end Christmas on a note of good old  fashioned farce
My dad has locked my car keys along with my house keys in the boot! We are in Birmingham and my spare key is in Leicester! Busy @acfwyatt ?
Updated via Echofon at Tuesday, December 27, 2011 8:46 AM
Busy he may be, but probably not in Kettering.

A Good Feed

I wonder how James Taylor’s getting on in India.  Let’s have a look at his Twitter feed-

Good to be back playing again! However 50 overs in the dirt felt a very long time! #heavylegs!Now off to the hard rock cafe for a good feed!
Hmm.  I do wonder when these Bunter-ish tendencies began to set in, and I think – by studying the self-same Twitter, that we can begin to get to the root of the problem.
I believe we can trace it to the time that JT and his M8s recently spent occluded in the England Performance Centre in Loughborough (a place that we locals only speak of in hushed tones, in case we scare the children).  Precisely what goes on there cannot be spoken of openly, but rumour has it that – amongst other horrors – the aspiring England players are buried up to their necks in ice (rather like the treacherous in the ninth circle of Dante’s Inferno) –
No I can’t send out for a curry


 and force-fed MaxiMuscle by Andy Flower and his Grim Crew.
It’s only natural that – when they’ve made their escape – these young players should emerge craving  sustenance.  Twitter corroborates this.  What is Taylor’s first thought before setting out for a night rescuing cats from trees with the Manchester Fire Brigade (just the thing, I’d say, to eliminate his vulnerability against late movement in the early overs of his innings) –
Out for a quick curry!! Then on call all night with manchester fire service! Wish us luck!
I also note that he has re-Tweeted a photograph taken by fellow inmate Jason Roy of the pair of them getting stuck into the Pic’n’Mix, under the rubric
@JasonRoy20: Be rude not too wouldn’t it. @jamestaylor20 and I taking pic’n’mix DOWN. #neededforlongjourneys
But perhaps there is an alternative explanation – that this is an example of a player misunderstanding his own publicity.  Yes, one feels like saying, you were described as “Lilliputian in stature but gargantuan in his appetite for runs” and  as “A tiny man with an appetite for big hundreds”, but that was a metaphorical appetite, not a literal one.
Another tip to avoid this tour ending in tears – bearing in mind what transpired during the Rugby World Cup – would be to avoid any bar advertising a dwarf throwing contest.
You never know what might happen.

Stump Watch for May 2011

We interrupt the cricket coverage to bring you this month’s edition of Stump Watch.

Strange how writing a blog intensifies one’s awareness of the passage of time.  It was in the first month of this blog’s life (May 2009)  that I first complained about the cutting down of this tree.  Now it is, at least, a sizeable and rather attractive bush.  By the time it is fully grown again I do wonder where this blog and its author will be.  Quite possibly at one with Nineveh and Tyre.

Cycles in the sporting world are slightly shorter, I suppose.  I see that I wrote on 2nd May 2009 –“good news from Lords – James Taylor … one of Leicestershire’s bright young things, has registered his  first  first class century and helped save the  match”.  (In fact it wasn’t at Lord’s, but Southgate).  Two years on, Taylor has eight first-class centuries (and three list A ones) to his credit.  If he retires at – say – thirty-five, this blog will have to run for another fourteen years to mark the end of it.

It also occurs to me, incidentally, that when Mark Ramprakash reached his hundredth century, there was unanimity among the commentators that he would be the last to achieve this feat.  If Taylor plays for as long as Ramprakash, could up his current rate slightly and avoid playing too much international cricket, he should exceed it without too much difficulty.

“Owing to Unexpected Calls On My Time …”

Thought this might come in handy one day – a sort of Edwardian Out of Office Assistant : 

(Not quite as interestingly occupied as this, I’m afraid).

But do stay tuned.  Coming soon – some dramatic new developments re. the Stump, the continuing story of Nest Watch and – of course! – the start of the cricket season.

Aut Tace Aut Loquere Meliora Silentio

I was intending to write something quite different tonight, but somehow it didn’t happen – mainly because I was looking for a quotation in a book that I couldn’t find (the quotation, not the book) and I got distracted.  Perhaps another time.  But here is a useful piece of advice (to myself more than anyone else), from the seventeenth century Italian painter Salvator Rosa.  Rosa was featured in an exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery last year that I meant to see, but never quite got round to (so another thing that hasn’t happened), but this self-portrait can be seen as  part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery.  The motto he is holding up reads “Aut tace aut loquere meliora silentio” (Either be silent or say something better than silence).  If this principle were to be generally adopted, what a profound and blissful silence would descend on the blogosphere (and beyond). 

This look (the broad-brimmed hat, the hair, the white shirt, the long black coat or cloak) is a remarkably persistent one (the iconography, at the time, was that of the lover).  You wouldn’t be too surprised to see him walking around Covent Garden today.  Think, a little earlier, of the Dean of St. Paul’s, in his youth –

… Lord Byron, Keith Richards, Johnny Depp … erm … Russell Brand? (But I’m sure you can find pictures of those for yourself, if you want to).

Well, there.  I have said something, after a fashion.