Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Sleep the clock around

Listening to The Duckworth Lewis method - The Duckworth Lewis Method

Dialect phrase of the day: Face like a skelped arse - ruddy or rosy cheeks

Two consecutive days off! What a marvel! I have just spent about 15 hours asleep and I'm busily checking myself for evidence of bedsores. How do I feel after this epic bout of deep dreamless sleep? Curiously, absolutely bloody awful. Today I've gone into the National Library of Scotland to try and find some solace amongst the books.

There's not even a Test Match to listen to, nothing can put me into an almost comatose state of absolute bliss like a day spent listening to Test Match Special, it's like aural heroin. The mellifluous tones of TMS and cricket in general are inextricably linked to my childhood and my late Grandfather. It was with my Grandfather that I played my first games of cricket and who drilled me in the art of batting. Although a very lovely man and a wonderful Grandfather, he was extremely competitive when it came to cricket, having played the game to a high level in his 20s . He had been a wicket keeper and and remained pretty nimble behind the stumps well into old age. Aged eight I would stand to face tame underarm deliveries from whichever indulgent relative had agreed to play along, with my granddad taking the whole affair very seriously, crouched behind the stumps in our back garden he would ooh, ahh and tut at any delivery that was roughly on a line and a length. He was also not averse to whipping the bails off with a triumphant owazt if he deemed I had stepped too far out of the imaginary crease. There can be very few people who can claim to have been sledged by their own grandfather, especially when they were still a small boy, but then there can be very few people who have been drop kicked by their own grandmother (that however is a story for another day)

For the uninitiated sledging is the art of breaking a batsman's concentration by intimidating them verbally, in effect talking them out. Here is an excellent example by Sri Lankan wicket keeper Kumar Sangkkara.

I have now ceased my employment with the street punks. I found myself curiously emotional as I said my final farewells and it feels rather strange to think I won't be going back on Monday. A side effect of this is that I'll be getting rid of the Eliminator. That's my car rather than a nickname for any appendage. I thought I'd better clarify that as I once caused a former work colleague considerable disgust and alarm by failing to make this clear. This is probably a good thing, Edinburgh is eminently walkable, I have my bike and the bus service is much better than most British cities. Then of course there's the Tram system, something which most Edinburghers have militant views. Contrary sod that I am, I couldn't give a fig either way, although I am curious why the tram will run from Leith to the airport; none of us in Leith can afford a holiday.

There also appears to be a seemingly limitless supply of Taxis buzzing around the city, driven by the most erudite taxi drivers you could ever hope to meet. This a pleasing contrast to their London counterparts, who by and large, are ranting Essex Freemasons. Taxis have always held a particular fascination to me. When I was kid I saw travelling in a taxi as an unimaginable luxury and decadence and I used to imagine the joy of travelling in such a conveyance. Where I lived, the only time you ever saw anyone get out of one was when a woman come back from having a Hysterectomy. Imagine my disappointment when I first stepped into one as an adult, rather than looking like the interior of a better class of gentleman's club, it was Spartan, draughty and smelt of sick poorly masked by magic tree air freshener.

I began using taxis in Leeds, principally because using the the number 4 or 16 bus late at night without a stab vest could be classified as an extreme sport. These two buses ran between two of the roughest council estates in the city and were heavily patronised by drunks, heroin users, nutcases and some of the most foul mouthed pensioners one could ever meet, even in daylight hours it could be a bowel loosening experience.

One Saturday afternoon I met an acquittance who had travelled out of the city centre on a slightly earlier bus. What had occurred was surprising even for the number 4. Two drunks had got into an argument over the ownership of some booze and one had knocked the other one out. This in itself was not an unusual event, however the victorious drunk made the foolhardy error of yelling to the packed bus "now who else wants some?" Unfortunately for him the answer was, "nearly every single passenger on the bus." Within seconds, the whole bus had erupted into an orgy of indiscriminate violence, with women in their late 50s wading in. The driver, seeing the blood and snot flying, leapt from the bus locked the doors and let the waring parties get on with it. From the outside it must have looked like something out of a wild west saloon.

In future I shall stick to my trusty bicycle, although I imagine such occurrences on the number 5 bus to Stockbridge are unheard of. That way on they're probably knocking the shit out of each other over ownership of some sunblush tomatoes and organic humus.

1 comment:

Madame DeFarge said...

I never dared ride on a bike around Edinburgh, so suitable respect is given to you. And fur can fly in Stockbridge, especially round the Oxfam shop. It's a mean street.