Riding on the crest of the Ashes wave and generally high both in spirit and days of annual leave to take before September, my good friend Thomas and I decided to go and enjoy the last days of English summertime in a most traditional way; watching men in traditionally brightly coloured pyjamas alternately throw and hit a traditional white ball under the traditional floodlights at Lord’s. Traditionally, Tom would have brought a few tinnies with him, but he had a job interview the next day with a well known manufacturer of Post-it notes and so he brought his revision notes instead. What a guy.
Arriving at Lord’s we took a moment to enjoy the rain that was lashing down and took turns to remark on how nice the weather had been just a few hours previously and how glad we were that we had an umbrella between the two of us (mine).
VVS Laxman came out to warm up, but dropped two skied catches and went back in again with his hands in his pockets. Tom and I started on our sandwiches. Him, a curious mix of red Leicester and dressed salad on thick white, and I, a continental splash of chorizo and rocket in a bagel.
As the rain continued to sheet across the home of cricket, I took leave of the Grandstand in order to find warmth in the club shop. I was loaned a jacket belonging to Chris Silverwood which was much too big for my slight frame, but certainly helped to keep out the wind.
On returning to the Grandstand, I found Tom deep in thought, transfixed by the piece of rope tied between a tractor and a quadbike being dragged across the outfield to eliminate rainwater collection. We spent the next half an hour designing an excellent system of hovercover drainage and rainwater recycling, utilising the natural slope of Lord’s and the average rainfall rate in the South-East of England, finally concluding that with the requisite financial backing, our system could be in place by 2011 and save the MCC millions of pounds each year. However, we later used the sheet of paper to mop up spilt tea and couldn’t remember how it had all worked by the time we got home. A real shame for all concerned.
Having eaten all our picnic treats, including the soggy custard slices, we returned Chris Silverwood’s jacket to the shop and walked to Warwick Avenue to catch the Tube home. On our journey, we awarded on honorary win to Lancashire, as they have a cooler nickname and nice red trousers.