Ged Ladd’s smartphone, Ivan Meagreheart, writes:
It can be quite exhausting being Ged Ladd’s smartphone; day one of the Edgbaston Test had been such a day. Normally a good rest overnight and I recharge my batteries without difficulty, but I had a bad night and in the morning I felt even more run down than I had the night before.
Ged went to put the kettle on and the cause of my low energy was revealed to him. Although the lights were working, the sockets around the walls were all dead. Ged spoke to a member of staff and the problem was sorted very quickly. Ged let me lie in for 90 minutes or so before we set off for the ground and promised that I’d be allowed to rest for most of the day. Ged certainly wouldn’t need me to look up the cricket score today.
Soon enough several other Heavy Rollers turned up. There would be 10 humans this year, perhaps a record number. First to arrive was Big “Papa Zambezi” Jeff and his charming pal Biff (possibly the best Northamptonshire batsman never to represent Northants in first class cricket). Soon after that, Harsha Ghoble, famous for getting barracked by the Indian supporters for holding the Indian flag upside down, vintage Trent Bridge, 2002. Then David and his son Dan Peel, chauffeured to our meeting point by their delightful wife/mother (respectively), Lemon. One more, Peter Doubt, would meet us at the ground, so we were ready for the off.
Dan Peel, a local lad, offered to lead the trek from Hagley Road to the ground. 2.1 miles by my reckoning – I have an app for that. Ged insisted that I rest and that we could manage without apps or use other people’s smart phones. Dan took us a fair bit further east into Birmingham than was necessary – which is why humans should never be trusted with directions. The Boy Malloy kept pointing out that his app was suggesting a different route, while Charley “The Gent” Malloy was happily counting his footsteps using his exercise app, delighted that a bit of route confusion was increasing his footstep count.
Eventually we got to the ground, which was heaving with people, but we were in very good time for the start of play. I know – I mustn’t tell you about the cricket. I’m a machine. I can do rules.
To avoid the sorts of Edgbaston shopping confusion described in the final paragraph of the piece linked here, Nigel and Charley had, between them, brought masses of “man nibbles” with them for the outing. Pork pies, sausage rolls, cheese and onion rolls, chocolate marshmallow sandwich biscuits, jaffa cakes – that sort of stuff. And Doritos, naturally. Most of the group washed this feast down with copious quantities of beer, but Ged is off beer these days, so he drank buckets of water instead.
Soon it was time to walk home. The Boy Malloy took charge and insisted that we follow his app home. Even Dan Peel admitted it was a shorter, quicker route. After changing/charging respectively, Ged and I joined the group for a drink in the hotel bar early evening (Ged imbibed, I didn’t) and most of us went out for a light Italian meal across the road, which was a popular choice with all other than Harsha, who referenced the Bland Food Sketch, but came along anyway and seemed to enjoy his bland evening.
When we got back after dinner, Ged’s power sockets had gone down again, but this time he got someone at reception to put a shilling in that particular meter before bedtime.
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