As the end of the season approached, it dawned on me that the pile of reading I had hoped to take with me to Lord’s and read on sunny days was mostly still waiting to be read. Not that there had been a shortage of sunshine in the summer of 2014 – indeed it was one of the best that I can remember, but there had been a shortage of midweek first-class cricket at Lord’s during that quieter (work-wise) part of the summer. Indeed Middlesex played no first class cricket at all, anywhere, between 22 July and 31 August.
I had arranged to take Charley The Gent Malloy to see the Durham game the following week, so needed to shop for some picnic food and did have space at least to take an afternoon at Lord’s at the end of the Warwickshire game. I grabbed a book, which I felt I really needed to read for work, then wandered over to HQ, arriving around half-two. I held little hope of making too much headway into the book before stumps in those circumstances, but I needn’t have worried.
I once wrote a book review for Strategy magazine, in which I elucidated a scale I named the FDA (faintly decent article) scale. My theory is that most business and management books inhabit a sort of limbo or purgatory, in which material worthy of perhaps two or three faintly decent articles has been relentlessly padded out into a whole book. Sadly (or perhaps happily in these circumstances), the book I had taken with me to Lord’s was worth a mere two-and-a-half on the FDA scale. Thus, I was able to finish reading it (or rather discern all that was useful to me from it) and close the book just before the stumps were pulled out of the ground.
Sated (book-wise if not cricket-wise) I wandered home via the Porchester Waitrose, in order to buy the picnic food for next week. I very rarely visit any supermarket, let alone one that close to Lord’s. I vaguely hoped that I might see Tim Murtagh weighing up the relative merits of Golden Grahams and Special K in there. Or possibly even Sam Robson asking an assistant to direct him to the shelf where he might find quinoa with bulgar wheat. But no cricketers were to be seen in that supermarket. Shameful. So I quickly bought the small number of items I needed for next week’s picnic and went home.
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