Normal service not really resumed

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There’s been a daughter!

Her name’s Niamh. She’s basically the best thing of all.

Obviously she’s not our sole creation, so please resist the temptation to assign her some sort of royal cricket title.

Niamh and her mother are the main reasons why we’ve been a trifle pressed for time this week. Shame on you for assuming it was a conviction for knife crime.

If you’ve been frustrated with the lack of updates this week, don’t fear, because we’ve been steadily accumulating a number of ploys which will free us up a bit in coming weeks.

To give just one example, we’ve taken to drinking black coffee because it’s one quicker than white coffee and two quicker than white coffee with sugar.

Just think of the time savings! Mostly this week we’ve been using all that extra time to roll down our eyelids for a few seconds. Without any completely overwhelming visual stimulation getting into our brain during that time, we’ve been able to file away some of what had got in before.

This, combined with eating most of our meals straight out of an open fridge and maybe a couple of other things should hopefully provide us with the time needed to carry out detailed tactical, statistical and psychological analysis of cricket matches.

Failing that, we may still be able to find time to knock out the usual toss only slightly less often.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Why thank you! Excellently worded congratulatory message there too, we must say.

  1. Congratulations – daughters are the best! You are entering the magic world where there is inadequate sleep and an abundance of poo – a time to rejoice!

    1. Indeed. Food, sleep and poo. Always good to spend a bit of time concerning oneself with the basics.

  2. Congratulations yer maj! Whence the name, may I ask? Any good Niamhs in cricket?

  3. Wonderful news, KC. Or as Daisy just put it, “how sweet”.

    When I told Daisy that your daughter is named “Niamh”, she started extolling the medicinal properties of that amazing plant…

    …until I asked her how to spell the plant in question and informed her that your Niamh is spelt the same way as the fine actress Niamh Cussack – which in Daisy’s terms is also a good thing.

    Once again, many congratulations and warm wishes from both of us.

  4. May I just add that I smiled out loud when I noticed that the “similar deliveries” for this piece.

    Indeed, merely the term “similar deliveries” in this context. But also the specific pieces that the WordPress algorithm chose:

    Do some spot fixing – it’s perfectly normal
    He bowls a heavy ball


    1. [Leaps and punches air while completing second run, takes off helmet, raises bat, looks to sky, wonders what the hell he’s doing, crumples to the floor, tries to sneak in a nap.]

    1. So it’s YOU who writes all those press releases for irrelevant companies who are trying to exploit the Ashes then.

      But yes, we are indeed bowled over, hit for six etc.

  5. Congratulations to all involved.

    Just think of all the cricket from the other side of the world you will be able to watch* now you have a brilliantly plausible excuse for being up in the middle of the night.

    *By which I mean watch 30 seconds of before falling asleep and/or having to attend to some sort of ‘parenting’ activity.

  6. Glad tidings! A maiden, no less!
    I knew that knife crime thing couldn’t be right, but was beginning to worry about the Russians. Congrats to all concerned – I trust the Queen and babe are well.
    (Goes back to lurking on the boundary.)

    1. Especially love hearing from the lurkers. More of this sort of thing.


  7. Congratulations! Another time-saving tip is to eat over the sink or bin, so you don’t have to wash up or clean up afterwards.

      1. Cheers! And we’ll bat those congratulations right back at you. Congratulations!

  8. Congratulations, and may you experience good parenting, where parenting is defined as “figuring out the best way to get a baby to sleep”!!!

    1. Dunno. Suppose we’ll have to put drawing up a constitution on the to-do list. It ain’t high up though.


  9. Excellent news, many congratulations.

    I only have one tip (oo-er missus), and it is to be Jesuitical in your approach to allowable hobbies. From about the age of seven onwards, they will only do the things they enjoy dong. The trick is to make this coincide with what you enjoy, and the opportunity is the next few years. For this short time they will assume that things are cool because you say they are cool, and by the time they realise that these things (and you) were never cool, they will already being enjoying them too much to stop.

    Failure in this regard will see you at 8am at a dancing competition in Southport that doesn’t finish till 5 o’clock, as happened to my sister last year.

  10. Congratulations. Excellent news.
    You never usually “sound” excited on here, barring one topic which always gets you revved up (former Kent and England player), but on this thread, you sound far, far happier than you do even when prattling on about Rob Key-related guff. Based on your well known views of RK, I guess I can pay young Niamh no higher compliment than that? She’s obviously made a good impression!

    Oh yeah, good delivery, middle stump, balls etc too.

  11. Congratulations!

    Here’s my unsolicited-but-mandatory advice: Whenever the camera picks out babies and young children in the crowd at the cricket, they always seem to be either sleeping or laughing. This is not my experience. And I suspect not the experience of most people who have attempted this. I’ll update when my boys get to an age when they will sit through a day’s cricket.

    Also, I kept a blog while looking after a baby full time ( since you’re asking). Admittedly this blog was mostly about how I didn’t have time for anything, but don’t you go getting any ideas about keeping the posts coming!

    1. From what minimal experience we’ve so far gathered, visits to the cricket seem an insane proposition.


  12. Congratulations, KC!

    I assumed you’d gone on your holidays – how wrong I was, as you’re finding out

    1. We usually line stuff up for holidays but we couldn’t really get it together to do the same for this.


  13. Some Lines on the Arrival of a Daughter

    So now it is made clear
    To all of your friends here
    The reason you’d gone without laimh
    This time off has brought ya
    A beautiful daughter
    The finest of gifts to recaimh

    You’ll buy one more ticket
    And take her to cricket
    And claim that for mum it’s repraimh
    But though you imply it
    Those mums never buy it
    They know that you’re out to decaimh

    You’ll go to T20
    With sixes a-plenty
    She’ll savour the great leg-side haimh
    And no doubt you’ll show her
    A game played much slower
    And the skill of a well-crafted laimh

    And memories a million
    Down at the pavilion
    The club crest worn proud on her slaimh
    With bat and a ball
    She’ll learn to stand tall
    To dream and be strong and belaimh

    Her daddy beside her
    A firm hand to guide her
    To show her what she can achaimh
    You’ll stand and take your guard
    Then read on the scorecard
    A Bowden, bowled over by Naimh

    1. Damn it man, we’re fragile!

      That is easily our favourite poem of all time.


    2. Thank you. It’s also safer for mum than your previous comment as she’s not advised to laugh for a few more weeks.

      1. You’re welcome. And you’re lucky – I was considering a celebratory crossword instead, beginning with:

        The issue is that I’m in solo retirement (5)

        Congratulations to both of you.

      2. Even if we happen to have guessed the answer, someone will have to show us the workings out.

    3. Wonderful poem.

      Surely Bert must now be appointed poet laureate of this web site.

      I’m even willing to contribute towards a suitable poet laureate type stipend.

      The UK poet laureate’s stipend is equivalent to a butt of canary wine. Scaling the stipend down in proportion to the size of the kingdom/royal household, I’d certainly be prepared to stump up the occasional pint of mild for Bert, especially if he continues to thrill your subjects with such epic poetry.

      Top stuff, Bert.

      1. It really is a wonderful work of genius. If I felt human emotions other than ennui and intense irritation, I’d surely have been moved by it. Moved enough certainly to attempt (but ultimately fail) to cobble together a testimonial Naimh XI (an Elaimhen, if you will):

        Staimh Smith
        Dermot Raimh
        Aimherton Weekes
        Richard Laimhi
        John Laimher
        Staimh o’Kaimh
        VaimhVS Laxman
        Parthaimh Patel

      2. It’s the thought that counts. At some point we’ll do some vowel swappery on Bert’s. Unfortunately yours has to stay as is, Mike, because we wouldn’t want to undo the well crafted follow-up joke.

      3. Oh no, I’m so embarrassed. Mixing up the letters in a new baby’s name is a terrible faux pas, one that brings back horrible memories of the birth of my former friend’s daughter Lana.

    4. Is there some kind of ‘best thing on the internet’ award or hall of fame we can submit this to?

  14. Sounds like you’ve been bowled over by a maiden. Great stuff, mine turns 2 this week and I can confirm that little girls are fantastic. Congratulations!

  15. I’d just like to add that I have thoroughly enjoyed this posting and the resultant outpouring of comments/replies.

    It really has warmed my heart for more than 24 hours and is still doing the warming.

    I don’t recognise myself.

    I know you don’t do requests, but can we have something sarcastic, sardonic or cynical next, please, KC, to get our spirits back to normal? Laurence Elderbrook, for example.

    1. Suppose you’ll be wanting something in honour of Younus Khan after that.

      Tempted to deliver those things in the opposite order just to make a point about requests.

      1. Something in homour of Younus Khan could easily be suitably sarcastic, sardonic or cynical, yer maj.

        No doubt you’re still half-expecting him to come out of retirement again, probably at the very moment you have completed the 230th of the 250 words you intend to write about him.

  16. Congratulations, KC, just catching up on some good news for a change. An Irish name, too! Which has inspired me (not quite to Bert’s heights, however):

    Welcome, Princess Niamh
    The Brightness whom KC did wholly conceive
    And name in order to make clerihews about her much more complex
    Than if he had simply called her something like Grace or Ellie or Alex.

  17. In the quietly whispered words of my two year old daughter as she snuggled down for bedtime stories with me, my wife and our four month old girl last night:

    ‘I’m really happy’

    I don’t think she was talking about your news, but I am.

  18. Rad news yer maj! I think snowboarding language is more apposite than cricket talk (with the magnificent exception of Bert’s fine piece).

    Having a baby is sick.

    (Is there any sport in the great pantheon of human activity which uses “poo” in a positive and uplifting sense? Cos there’s a bit of that too.)

    1. I reckon the answer to my question comes down to another question.

      Is Craps A Sport?

    1. That’s not far away at all. Any signs of bat holding and we’ll be right down.


  19. Well, this is wonderful news. Welcome, Niamh, and congratulations to the whole royal family.


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