Cambridge is heaving at the best of times, but taking the quiet back streets from the station to Fenner’s was very pleasant. A few ‘good mornings’ and I was there by 10.30am.
I was there to meet my wife’s uncle Spike who said he would do his best to get there before eleven, having had to help his wife set up her vegan demo on the market place.
I had prepared German salami sandwiches with Stoke’s Dijon mustard. The pavilion was pretty much empty save for a few sterling souls roaring the tea urn to life and preparing lunch no doubt.
I bought a water from the bar and was asked whether, ‘I was in or out?’ With all the Brexit shenanigans in mind I was reluctant to say ‘out’ but I had my sandwiches after all.
Spike strolled in with his usual, ‘hello chief’ and we settled down for the day’s play. The pavilion got a bit livelier, so much so that we comprised a heavy throng of perhaps 15 people.
Spike proposed a beer and we sank a couple of Old Speckled Hens. As the sun rounded on the pavilion everything went a bit hazy and my scorecard went a bit nuts. I gave up on it.
Spike decided that Akil Greenidge was a cricketer to look out for in the near future. At lunch the players came in and began to wind in a lunch that was spicy, I think. Spike had designs on lunch in his car, so we ambled across the outfield and worked our way through the salami sandwiches, Spike’s neat smoke salmon numbers and a half-bottle of Italian white wine.
We talked about cricket in Italy, Zambia and Warsaw. Back in the pavilion before 2pm I needed to loose off the beer and wine and found myself next to Steven Finn at the urinals.
Play started again, and as keen as I am, the world went hazy again in a very nice way. Three of my companions were already asleep and I was drifting off too before one old chap said to no-one in particular, ‘Poulson, now that’s a very interesting name.’
Everyone was awake now and waiting for the punchline. Five minutes or more passed before he said, ‘I went to school with someone called Poulson.’
I had dinner priorities, so had to leave at 5pm, I have to say, reluctantly.
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