Friday, 29 December 2006
Thursday, 28 December 2006
But another hugely disappointing England performance. Why not bring the team home early and save us the misery of a whitewash? Gah.
England, 1st innings: 159 all out (74.2 overs)
Australia, 1st innings: 419 all out (108.3 overs)
England, 2nd innings: 161 all out (65.5 overs)
Australia beat England by an innings and 99 runs
Here is the latest one - apologies in advance for the out-of-tune singing:
And here are the rest, unless I have done something particularly dumb:
Wednesday, 27 December 2006
As you may imagine, there will be much cake and champagne later today and almost certainly photos as well.
So far, "F1":
(That's a little in-joke for Mr Andronov who is holding the fort at work and may need some cheering up. Or may already be in the pub. Cheers, Alex!)
Tuesday, 26 December 2006
Firstly, I have no idea what this means (I may go back and check though):
Next, one for the apostrophe police. Although thinking about it perhaps it was indicating the price of a singular item. But it seemed rather a dramatic banner for that. You'd need hundreds of them; the ceiling would look like a re-enactment of the American Civil War. And it didn't actually have the price on it so it would be just showing you where to find the price of an item (perhaps on the item itself). Maybe there ought to be a 'd' on the end and a little man sitting with some weighing scales and a pricing machine. Then it would definitely be one for the apostrophe police. Anyway, it's a moot point as it was pointing at a pile of metal sieves:
However, if you want to buy spices, you've come to the right place, this section was fantastic:
Can you imagine that in the Tesco Metro in Bromley at closing time? It'd be aromatic bedlam...
Monday, 25 December 2006
Thursday, 21 December 2006
3 deg C, postponed due to fog
SwimmingPool v Adrian (Larking About Cup, December 19)
26 deg C, mine's a G'n'T
Sorry. In a desperate last-ditch attempt to try to reduce the smug factor, I should point out that it has been the wettest December here for at least ten years. Flash floods and everything. Still, the weather has since reverted to type and it looks like we shall be having our traditional (er, BBQ-smoked...) turkey Christmas dinner under a sun dappled gazebo in the back garden.
So, if I don't get to post again, may I take this opportunity to wish all/both my readers a very Merry Christmas for 2006. Have a really good one. And let's make 2007 the Year Of The Comment*
* I'm sure there's some gag in there about Halley and waiting 76 years for things but I'm off duty now :)
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Freyja in Dubai II: This Time It's The Beach
(I have also sorted out the wrapping on the bullet points in the previous posts which will no doubt please those of you of a CSS bent :)
Tuesday, 19 December 2006
I'm fairly sure that this is much to do with the fact that many (OK, most) of the people here are from other countries and are doing much better than they would at home (there is no personal taxation, for example). There is also a clear (if unspoken) tier system in which the Emiratis are 'top dog' and everyone else accepts their place in the pecking order lower down. So I imagine most people look at what they have, think back to what it was like at home, realise they are really rather lucky indeed and try their hardest to be as good as they can be in their chosen occupation (from Head of the Dubai Ports Authority down to the boy who makes the chapatis in the backstreet takeaway). If you get the sack, you have no job and if you have no job, you have no sponsorship and if you have no sponsor, you have to go home.
Anyway, we had a lovely day out and what made it even better was that the UAE dirham is linked to the (weak) US dollar - I guess it's to do with the oil but I shall endeavour to find out before I return - so we are getting 7 to the pound instead of 6. Which makes everything ~15% cheaper than it was last time.
We're going to need a bigger suitcase :)
* except in Prada**, they were still terribly haughty in there, although I think they were probably Russians who were flown in specially
** it wasn't me who wanted to go in there, by the way...
Monday, 18 December 2006
Despite the brave and patient rearguard action from Pietersen (60*) and - at last - Flintoff (51) after an excellent 116 from young Alastair Cook earlier in the innings, it was too little too late after the Aussies amassed a huge total and left England two days to bat out and save the game.
The questions will start to be asked:
- Why did we leave out Monty Panesar, clearly our most potent spinner in the last ten years (and one the Aussies had never faced)?
- Why were Giles and Jones selected when the former hadn't played for a year and the latter has been erratic with the bat, his supposed advantage over Chris Read (who must be spitting feathers)?
- Where was the Flintoff of old with the bat (although to be fair, he bowled his heart out with a dodgy ankle)?
- How can someone as dour as Collingwood score 200 in one match and then look like a rabbit in the headlights the next?
- Why did it take Harmison ten days of cricket to wake up?
- Is Anderson really better than Jon Lewis? Stuart Broad? Me, for that matter?
So what can we take from this?
- Cook looks like a fine prospect, needs temperament, will come with experience (he is only 21)
- Strauss should be captain, full stop, must make hundreds not thirties
- Bell is a good player, have to leave him in, even if Vaughan returns, but...
- Collingwood has a great average on this tour but is fighting for the place with Bell (and I guess, Key) - admittedly his astonishing fielding may get him the nod at times
- KP has been patchy this time but is sheer class, prefers a target to chase rather than having to bat out a day (though that is part of Test Match cricket, Kev mate...)
- Flintoff does not need the captaincy on top of being the main strike bowler and an attacking batsman - politely relieve him and let him be magnificent again
- Jones has blown it, Read is surely in - he owns a bat too, you know :)
- Panesar must start every test - when did the Aussies ever drop Warne after looking at the pitch and deciding it wouldn't take spin?
- Giles is now the second spinner to the mighty Panesar, as and when required
- Anderson? Mahmood? Forget it, surely Stuart Broad is the way forward, young & fiery (as he proved in the Twenty20 final)
- Hoggard continues to surprise, getting wickets through sheer grit, must stay but really should be second change to...
- Harmison can turn it on, but once in six innings is poor for a bowler of his apparent quality, needs work and fast
[cue much weeping into skinny camel latte]
* Just as well, as Virgin in their wisdom eventually fed us at 11.30pm, three hours into a 7 hour night flight. Eh? Not sure you've thought that one through, Mr Branson...
Saturday, 16 December 2006
And while all this was happening, I went for a fantastic Indian buffet at the Dubai Marina *burp*. Sorry.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
But defeat in Perth would mean the Ashes were relinquished (3-0 with 2 to play) a mere 26 days after setting out to retain them. And that would be worse than awful. Anyway, I shall be donning one of these for tonight's proceedings (play starts at 0230 GMT). I suggest you do likewise:
And if that wasn't enough, a little YouTubing unearthed "Is It Bill Bailey?" from BBC2, way back in 1998:
"Beef and mushroom? Don't be daft woman, you're allergic."
Monday, 11 December 2006
"You can't fire a cannon from a canoe"
It has something to do with Martin Bayfield and Clare Balding. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
Friday, 8 December 2006
Some of the pitches are surrounded by breathtaking scenery, others just a dirt pitch in the middle of a slum, but the people's game still remains the same. No overpaid whining crybabies here, thank you very much...
Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Tuesday, 5 December 2006
* And that is my favourite post title of 2006, even more than 'Big Brother Is Watching You Watching Big Brother' way back in February...
Monday, 4 December 2006
Currently ploughing my way through Season 1 (of 5) but here is a sample from Episode 2 - I rather enjoyed the bit near the end where they're trying to name the Jeep:
* yeah, yeah, I know it's a (32-)bit** geeky...
** and so was that, Lightly...
Sunday, 3 December 2006
Saturday, 2 December 2006
A married couple are on the sofa watching 'Coast' on BBC2.
Her: "Where's that narrator's accent from?"
Him: "He sounds Scottish. Is it Ewan MacGregor?"
Her: "No, he's got long hair."