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Mark is a 35 year old, ginger-haired and now fortunately balding, village club cricket player. An opening inswing bowler that doesn't swing it any longer. He wrote a Blog two years ago when preparing for a game a cricket on the flanks of Mt Everest and was told to carry on writing it.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Richard the Third - Available for first 4th Eleven league fixture

A dodgy arm.  Severe curvature of the spine. Awkward dragging foot. Child murdering tendencies, you say? Came a cropper on a damp, boggy field, too.

I wonder if Richard the Third is available for the 4's?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Chilli Sauce, Cricket Clubs and Aleisha The Mouse...

I'm dreadful at this.  I'm going to get better.

It's been a while since my last Blog and there has been lots to update.  The cricket season finished as it started. Damp.

The rain dashed our plans to play up until the end of September and the Indian Summer we were promised by the drongo's on the TV, obviously stayed in India.  The final few weeks proved to be interesting to say the least.

The First Eleven stayed alive in the Saracens Herts League Div 2, with a sprinkling of good performances surrounded by many mediocre ones.  The Second Eleven were affectively accused of cheating by fielding myself who happened to bowl straight on occasions and some teams felt this was unfair.  Nursing an injury, we were always in the right and appealed to the League which, rightly, was upheld.  The performance enhancing drugs I had been taking for several months certainly did help me through this volatile stage of the season, thanks goodness.  The Thirds has their cummupence basically and were horribly screwed through their trousers most weeks even before getting out of bed but the real success this season was the promotion of the Fourth Eleven.  They did brilliantly from start to finish and utterly deserve their promotion to a new division.  The fact that many of their team were members of their own family or family friend's pets that owed a favour is testament to the hard work the Lads put in.

Sunday cricket had its ups and downs but is a real flag up the pole of a successful club.  We consistently fielded 2 sides that had mixed success in the Chess Valley Sunday League.  Considering most players were at that age that waking up on a Sunday morning is hard enough anyway let alone understanding what roof their trousers ended up on. We did well.

The end of the season came round fast enough though and despite the issues we had to endure from certain quarters, we did really well.  It is brilliant to see people helping and spreading the load.  With pressures from other responsibilities, it gets harder but those that do run the club need to push to get others even more involved.

However, beer was drunk, wickets were taken and even runs were scored on occasion.  The Annual Dinner and Dance proved mucho hilarity and a great celebration for the Club at the end of a hard year.  Usual antics got out of hand and the younger generations exchanged bodily fluids or passed out, quick time.

With the onset of the crisper months, the Preston Cricket Club Hiking Society has had its first outing. Meeting at 12 in Welwyn, we celebrated the art of Brewing all day and encountered many wonderfully bad beers as we trudged our way, cross country, from Old Welwyn and back to Preston in time for Irish Stew, more beer and a rowdy evening listening to the Ploughmen, live from the Red Lion saloon bar.  In fact, we all fell into the pub, half asleep, fought half a pint all the way down to the froth and went home; broken, already hung-over with breath that could melt bank vaults.  Are we getting older?  Yes. Obviously, we are looking to book our next outing and exploration of the back street boozers of Cambridge, that often throws up a few surprises with interesting nooks and crannies of Cambridge's underbelly being explored, pickled eggs eaten and falling headfirst into overused and under-maintained urinals.

There's something about walking through unknown fields, lost, having had a few, with a head-torch on that's rapidly losing the gnats fart of power it had in the first place.  We came across a stream in the pitch black, which my colleague suggested in a macho way that we should wade across to safety. Watching him go up to his nuts in freezing glacier melt it didn't look all that appealing and made most of us wince to be honest.  A gentle tap on the head-torch and a simple glance left revealed a perfectly adequate bridge, by which the rest of the group traversed this tricky geological anomaly by.  Once we found the sanctity of the Strathmore Arms, there was nothing else to do but warm against the Autumnal air than partake in the Chilli Sauce challenge.  The landlord collects chilli sauces of weapons grade strength that are quite obviously illegal.  A small dot placed on a small cracker will have most men coming out in hives, eyes closing as if stung by wasps suffering from hayfever, nose and ears streaming a mixture of saliva, snot and blood and praying for sweet merciful death.  Anyone looking to relieve themselves in the bathrooms and touching any piece of their manhood, will spring the deadly unseen danger of handling old bottles of chilli sauce. Years of use will see small but lethal deposits encrusted on the bottle exterior. When that residue is transferred to said young mans penis, one can only imagine the intensely searing pain, inflicted by the "pisser" himself. A genius, hideously effective final insult to those already dying from within due to eating chilli sauce that would make the sun itself feel like a choc-ice eaten in Reykjavik, naked.

Happy Days.

The past week has seen me and our new guest at home doing battle in the kitchen.  We have a mouse.
The girls have called it Aliesha.  Yup, I can't answer that one either.  Put it this way, Aleisha's winning as she (?) runs me ragged around the kitchen as she performs feats of mouselike acrobatic excellence to avoid the fakking chop.  Traps are down now so hopefully Aleisha's power of smell, sense of hunger and downright stupidity, may get her in trouble.  Traps are loaded with little crackers covered in peanut butter and we'll see what luck might be in the air.  No hope, I know. She's there right now, behind my skirting board with her mates, on her mousey sun-lounger, sipping little blue mousey cocktails with little umbrella's wondering when it's time to run the fact, bald bloke ragged round his own home again.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Barn Owls, Cottaging and New Wheels

Fucking Owls.

The Preston Faithful for the last two weekends have been rolling up their sleeves and pulling down their trousers to make the pavilion ship-shape, clean and tidy for the impending season that will kick off in the next two weeks.

Their is a subtle scent of Bluebells on the wind, the cuckoos are rutting somewhere in Doggers Wood behind the ground and the gang-mowers don't work. Must be April.

Every year we paint, burn, scrub, push, pull, bugger and bend in order that our immaculate ground looks like a new pin; and we have but we have an owl issue. It seems that some sort of Owl is using our guttering as a roof level, mid air, feathery bog. By the looks of things whatever he's eating isn't agreeing with him and it looks like a agricultural shit truck has exploded up the side of the pavilion.

We actually had a our first two games of the season this weekend, a couple of friendlies.

First cricket net of the year. You betcha. Done.

Running in to bowl was like running through chocolate and now every time in sneeze it's like a hand grenade going off in my rib-cage. It was good to get it out of the way though. It can feel a bit sad knowing that when you do something, you will never be as good as you once were at it. It's a bit annoying but there you go. We all get bald, fat, slow and shit.

The 2012 season nears. Like most cricket clubs countrywide, Preston is starting to yawn, stretch and fart itself awake from its winter hibernation. Snow still covers the ground but the faint taint of ionised air on the wind, the sound of the wood-pigeon's in the woods and the fact that I have already bowled a cricket ball into the roof of a sports hall means that the season and indeed spring will soon be here. April is the magical month, when we don the whites again, try and hit a slow moving ball with a piece of wood and relish in the spring and summer ales at the Red Lion.

Having recently been on the receiving end of a particularly aggressive, snatch and grab Kronenbourg session in Bedfordshire, it would be better to ease off and settle for some milder beers. After all, I am in training. Driving in the front seat of someone's (don't know who's) car, it was like being at the steering wheel of the Enterprise and Starship Command had advertised that there was free sex at HQ for one night only. To be frank, Mr Zulu could well have been driving for all I knew. The streaks of light whizzing past and the lurching cornering made me hang on to lunch for dear life.

A new dawn possibly at Preston. We have had to manage a lot through the winter months and some changing of the guard at the Club. But we will still be there. We must look to encourage the younger members to get more involved and I am pleased that some are beginning too. This is essential or we will indeed whither on the vine.

The younger lads want to make it more professional which makes sense to be fair. Get to the ground early, look the nuts and doing warm-ups. Before, the idea of a warm-up was forgetting your lighter and having to walk back to the cricket bag to get it. You would have to hurdle over the other bags of course and long jump over the puddles of pee that collect in every cricket changing room corner. Warm up done, right?

Soon the outdoor nets will start. Every 5th ball you get will smash all three out of the ground while the rest of the 3 and a half minutes you get in bat will be picking the dog-digested cricket balls out from the stingers or off the top of the nets themselves. Soon, the fielding practices, the high-catches, the re-opening of hairline fractures, the falling over, etc.

So, ever efficient to haven't updated my Blog here for over a year.
Has anything happened over the course of the year.  Yes, loads.
Can I remember any of it?  Nah.
The cricket season 2011 saw an amazing 3 out our 4 sides at Preston gain promotion which is a huge success and testament to the hard work the Captains and the Vice's contribute. We now have sides fielded in Div 2, 5, 10 and 13.
The club went through some ups and downs last year and indeed in the subsequent winter months leading up to Christmas 2011 and the New Year.

We started afresh in 2012, with renewed spirits and new optimism.  Then it rained.
It rained so much that the people of North Hertfordshire started growing gills.  Gills, on top of the gill's that they already have along with their one eyebrow and webbed feet.  I didn't mean that.  I'm very proud of where I live and indeed grew up in.

The season has jumped around, jittered, pulled some punches, and kicked us squarely in the knackers as well.  The Firsts continue to do OK, the Seconds have found the going firm, the Thirds, even firmer and the Fourths have really been the shining light for the Club and have won 99% of their played games so far, which is of course brilliant.

Cricket tour to Bristol, always the highlight of the year, was executed with grace and some good cricket played as well as STD's caught.  Wonderful grounds such as Hinton Charterhouse, Painswick and Malmesbury entertained us around the Bristol area.  Beers were drunk, trousers were set on fire, and the usual shenanigans were encouraged. No one lost their pubic mound, snorted vodka and violated any animals which was slightly disappointing - although one of the younger lads needed a grazing licence to take one such trophy home after she was almost unconscious through drinking about 20 blue WKD's.  Great catch.

The rest of the season looks like it will bring some challenges - availability being the main opponent to beat.  Summer Holidays and younger guys wanting to ride around on shitty scooters to watch girls in local parks being the main two obstacles to overcome, I think.  We have always set a standard though and we try very hard to adhere to that.

So, I will try and update more regularly and keep on documenting Preston CC for reasons of prosperity, sodomy, evidence and the lash.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Will's Nuptials and Big Bird's Bhuna

Easter's come and gone and we now hurtle towards Prince Williams impending nuptials - which is what I suppose Kate will be doing after the free bar closes on the wedding night.


The Royal Wedding is on Friday and we have a loaded calendar of cricket for the weekend. There's nothing better than drinking all day to then play the first league game of the season with a headache that feels like you've just nailed a picture to your eye and a throat as dry as a nun's nasty.

The club's looking OK with some good performances in the pre-season friendlies. With last years heart attacks, cricket tour, hernia operations, swollen testicles, loss of lighters, pubic shaves that went wrong and everything else hugely drastic, I hope the new season brings success. We must look to bring in the younger blood of the club, all of whom have real spark and it would be good to turn that effervescence on, on the pitch. Early signs are full of promise.

Preston CC veteran, the Big Bird turns 50 this weekend. The man that has spent most of his adult life exploring the effects of shit beer and prawn Bhuna has on the human digestive tract, has made the big 5/0. I'm told a barrel has been purchased which means that most of us will be going home in a box that evening, which will be good. Big B, a legend in his own lunchtime. The man who wore only a plastic lobster for a night out in Deal, the man who classifies Luther Vandross as a "Like" on Facebook, the man who hospitalised Clarkie by simply running into him, the man that bats with a 4 pound cricket bat and the man who has got Preston CC 3rd Eleven promoted for the third season turns 50. Well Done Bird.

The season will soon be in full-swing. We will soon be in the bosoms of our Preston CC cricketing brethren on the veranda of the Red Lion, supping on some glorious summerish ales as the heat of the day gently lows in the late evening. The sweat of day's hard cricketing yakka disappearing as quickly as the beer. What news of the second's, the third's, and the fourth eleven? With the bats swooping with insect chasing abandon and the midges start to infuriate, we will talk crap about season's gone by; of glorious innings knocked, of wonderful strokes made, of unplayable balls delivered, of amazing catches snaffled, of willies painted blue, of minibuses reversed into other minibuses and other heady tales of great season's gone by - wonderful stuff - and whilst all this goes on and the merry chit-chat of a fantastic cricket club at rest in the company of great people, the pub's pea-hen will be shitting on Bomber's bonnet.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The thwack of leather on testicles..

I don't know what tempted Casey to take all his clothes off and simulate having intercourse with the very field that we we're all standing in but, as you know, people do the strangest things having drunk a few pints of Abbott very quickly.

The sight from the passengers windows of the landing Easyjet's must have been a very strange sight. The sight of six men walking across a field of young rape, one of which was stark naked, waving his johnson up and down like a dead man's handle and running around as if his hair was on fire. Meanwhile his clothes were being stolen by the other guys and being sprayed over every hedge within a mile radius. It must have been a particularly disturbing scene indeed, even to the Doggers and rarer dog-walkers that frequent the local countryside.

Anyway, we'd had a few. Preston Cricket Club amuses itself in a variety of ways when there's no cricket.

Our nets have started, or rather nearly finished, in time for the onset of the 2011 season which starts in a few weeks time.

Bowlers have bowled, batsman and batted and all seem to remember what to do-ish. I attended myself a few weeks ago to test out my recent hernia operation and to make sure that my entrails didn't explode onto the popping crease if I had been too premature.

When I was asked to don the pads, I was bowled first ball - so all good there.

The only worse batting performance was Tommo who was hit in the testicles on a fairly regularly basis it seemed - like a young Mark Ealham, and was out more often than not - either bowled or caught behind trying to dab yorkers between point and gully. Typically, and rather amusingly a quiet comment from him that he wasn't wearing a protective box to a close mate, then saw the same close mate running up to the bowlers end and broadcasting this to everyone and consequently every bowler tried there level best to bowl their deliveries as fast and as straight into his nuts as they could. Small 14 years old off spinners all of a sudden come hurtling in like Malinga the Slinger, aiming their new, schoolboy red cherries right at his exposed and very probably bleeding gonads. It was like watching a seal clubbing session.

That's a cricket club, right there.

In the next few weeks we will start to bring the ground to life.

We'll need to throw fag ends all over the patio, placing half used and urine filled bottles of shower gel in the showers, and putting those weird, dangley legged spiders you only seem to get in cricket pavilions in the corners of the changing rooms. We'll need to break everything of any use in the kitchenette and leave only some spectacles in the medical box. We'll need to cut the grass and roll the wicket on our diesel powered roller that will invariably be filled with petrol and will likely explode at the point of throttle. We will also have to erect the outdoor nets just so the local kids can have a goal to play football in. We'll also have to throw a jockstrap on the roof, lose all the spare balls, write TWAT on the team photos and complete other pre-season tasks that we have had to do since the dawn of cricket seasons so that we are ready to play.

We will also have to find a tea-lady or two; another season of banana and Marmite sandwiches, pasta with margerine sauce and satsumas, I don't think will be stomached as a substantial tea any longer. Never ask players to cook.

But, do it we must for the season starts on April 17th 2011.