When I arrived at Oval tube station, I had a sudden and horrible realisation that I had forgotten to buy my lunch at the local shop. Eating a BLT and crisps is the main reason for going to the cricket really, cos my mum would probably make some acerbic comment if I ate that at home.
So I was already feeling a tad grumpy when the woman by the turnstile got all uppity because I was trying to swipe my membership card the wrong way round. However, my mood improved when the guy guarding the pavilion entrance smiled at me, even though I thought his uniform was hideous.
After I settled down in my seat, I heard my name being called and looked round to see the whole of my best friend’s family, sans my best friend (apparently she was out “having coffee” with someone, but I’m not convinced) at the end of the row. A painful hour or two of conversation with her mum followed, where we talked about the weather, her son’s exam results and how difficult it is to take the rubbish out when you have a bad back, amongst other things.
I was beginning to dose off through boredom and hunger when there was a sudden standing ovation. I hadn’t missed anything. It was just Mark Ramprakash walking out to bat. Thankfully, my friend’s family invited me to have tea with them in the restaurant, so I didn’t have an embarrassing sugar-low faint.
There were lovely finger sandwiches and cakes that resembled Mr Blobby and scones and jam. The jam called itself Strawberry Extra Jam and we pondered how jam could make itself extra for at least five minutes. The actual tea, however, was served out of ghastly tin thermoses with dirty stickers scrawled with the word ‘TEA’ in capitals. We thought that the tea was sufficiently expensive that Mr Oval-Restaurant could invest in a proper china teapot.
Most of the other people in the restaurant were only there so that they could watch the Man Utd v Newcastle game on TV, although two of the waitresses were watching the Olympic gymnastics on the other screen.
I went home, made some rice pudding and sat on the sofa in my pyjamas watching two episodes of Lewis back to back.