Ged Ladd writes:
Daisy and I thought it would be a nice idea to treat our niece, Lavender (daughter of Daisy’s twin sister, Buttercup) to an evening at Lord’s, with Lavender’s new beau Escamillo, who hails from Lancashire. We have treated the Bristol-based nephews Belmonte and Manolete in the past, so it only felt right.
I got to Lord’s quite early, as I had been at a long lunch, chairing the judging of the Estate Agent of the Year awards. There had been a lengthy debate about who should receive the Best In Show award. It was between the agent who described a shoebox-sized apartment as “compact, discreet and tidy” and another agent who had cunningly sold a wardrobe as “a fourth bedroom”. It seemed futile to return to the office after that.
Moreover, Daisy had very kindly volunteered to make the picnic. Daisy’s picnics are always a very tempting prospect and are also usually heaving with far more food than the group in question could possibly eat. Especially when one of the diners is joining in on the back of a five course lunch.
We waited under shelter at the top of the Allen stand for the young couple due to squally rain. When my pager went, I thought the youngsters had arrived early, but in fact it was my old friend, Stentor Baritone, who is an MCC member and happened to be around the ground for an hour or so before his evening engagement. So Stentor joined me and Daisy, helping us to make quite a large hole in the first bottle of wine.
Soon after that, Lavender and Escapillo arrived. They helped us to make an even bigger hole in that first bottle of wine. Stentor was giving the young couple the benefit of all of his years of experience in life, the universe and everything, which I’m sure must have interested them a great deal as they said very little during that period.
Soon we decided that the young couple should have a tour of the pavilion. The pavilion was very crowded as so many members were using it as suitable shelter from the increasingly unpleasant elements.
Ged is quite a well-known character around Lord’s these days, he soon realised, as various players and officials greeted him warmly and asked for the benefit of Ged’s advice as he and his increasingly awe-struck guests wandered around the various delights of the pavilion. Indeed, Ged became so full of himself in these pompous circumstances, he felt obliged to refer to himself in the Vaughnesque third person for at least one paragraph.
By the time we returned to the Allen Upper, Stentor decided to go off for his important dinner engagement, we decided it was time to start our picnic proper and the umpires decided it was time to call the match off.