One of the few things I knew was vital was preparation. One doesn’t just take any old food to The Home of Cricket. So I pondered my options. Waitrose? M&S? Selfridges, for the extra touch of privately educated class?
Alas, I also had to pick up some washing tablets, so Sainsbury’s it was. But I did at least go for the Taste The Difference range. I was particularly proud of my tomato and red pepper ciabatta, containing, as it did, a cricket pun in its very name.
So did I “rock up” – as the young folks say when they’re not busy trading STIs like they’re Pokémon cards (so I hear) – to Lord’s in good time to get lost and wander aimlessly around, trying to find (a) where one buys tickets and (b) where one sits.
I chose the bottom of the Mound Stand, the coldest bit of the entire stadium. Eventually my cricketing friends, Troubadour and Minstrel, arrived to chip me out and move me into the sun. Which happened to be another part of the bottom of the Mound Stand, twenty feet to my right.
As I was slowly partaking of my rosé and Troubadour of her white, we discussed the nonsense that were ICC alcohol regulations.
“The MCC outright ignores them,” Troubadour informed me. “As for the Oval, nobody checked when I decanted an entire bottle of red into an orange squash carton.”
I made a note on my iPhone, in between checking whether I’d won a “star comment” award on the Cricinfo liveblog. (I had.)
The rest of the day mostly revolved around staring at the back of Oliver Hannon-Dalby’s head (OHD being, incidentally, a ganglotron of the highest order), so I shall cut straight to the three most distressing parts of it.
(3) Two crows gathering on one of the scoreboards, three woodpigeons on the awning, and one seagull on the pitch, making me worry for a cricket-themed remake of Hitchcock’s “The Birds”;
(2) Troubadour, being of the female persuasion, being mistaken for a lazy member of the cleaning staff, and being chased into the one open ladies’ lavatory by a man under that belief. Oddly enough, sometimes women come to watch the cricket as well;
(1) My ciabatta turning out to be focaccia, removing any punning potential; and having gruyere on top. Thus making it completely inedible, because gruyere is disgusting.
“Don’t throw it away!” said Troubadour. “We’ll eat it.”
One focaccia out of four later, they were duly thrown away.
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