One year on from my wedding, I was again confronted with the prospect of missing more cricket. This year, however, we had decided to have our anniversary in London rather than Ireland, therefore enabling us to go to the Oval for day two of the third Test.
Technically, it was the imbibing of several glasses of wine and Bulmers on the evening of the 18th that allowed me to persuade Pauline that a day at the cricket was not to be missed – but nevertheless, on the morning of the 19th, we set off confidently and willingly to the Oval.
Arriving slightly hungover, we purchased our tickets and then, in swift succession, two litres of water and two large bacon sandwiches. Settling down in our seats we were overjoyed to discover that we were seated in between two very large men who would keep us warm and provide all the necessary padding that the tiny and hard Oval seats are normally lacking.
Pakistan were batting, but due to the realisation that these two large men were very sweaty and the sun was hot, coupled with the arrival of a stag party of about 20 lads who took up residence in front of us, we didn’t watch much of the match.
Indeed as the lunch interval came around, Pauline turned to me and said “when is something going to happen?” Having explained that this was actually the format for the rest of the day, she subsided into silence only to be reawakened by the delivery of a pint of Pimm’s moments later.
As the day progressed, the stag party got louder discoursing on various topics including:
- The various ladies that the groom had slept with (few and far between apparently).
- The unfortunate nature of the best man’s moustache (a very ‘Hitler’ style affair)
- The merits of Disney versus MGM cartoons (Tom and Jerry was adjudged the best)
- Whether the groom had spent sufficient money on the wedding ring. (At this point I was roped in to deliver a verdict, although hastily claimed ignorance of the customs of the UK as I had done all my marrying and buying of rings out of the country (Ireland and Dubai).
Over the course of the afternoon, we gradually lost our cushions on either side of us and then eventually our sobriety as the Pimm’s and lager took hold.
By the end of the day, Pauline proclaimed that it had been ‘good fun’ although there were not enough sixes hit to make the cricket itself interesting. Our next game is likely to be a Twenty20 between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai. Whilst we will be gaining the sixes, we will also be losing the alcohol.