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If you had to immigrate from your current home, where in the world would you choose to go?
Of all the places I'm tempted by, New Zealand appeals the most. I've never been there so perhaps it's not as great as I imagine but I've yet to meet a nasty Kiwi...

Current Mood: stressed stressed

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I know, I know, I don't call, I don't write...too much real life interfering right now. Too busy, stressed and generally fecked off with it all to post properly and there was a distinct danger this was just turning into a weekly cricket report...I'll try to do better in future. Right now I'm avoiding the PC whenever possible so bear with me unti I sort my shit out.

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Well Sunday's cricket was a bit of an anticlimax after last week's heroics. I didn't get to bowl, but my stupid quads are still giving me grief so I wasn't too upset. We fielded fairly well but they still put a few runs on the board. Our batting was mediocre until one lad decided to step up and be counted. Sadly he was injured (some sort of recurring knee problem) and had to retire hurt. By the time I got to the crease it was a close thing, we only needed about 25 from the last 8 overs so I was determined to see a few overs out and let the other guy get the runs. Unfortunately they brought on their opening bowler again and he terrorised me by pinging them down at a pace I've never faced before. I managed to survive a few, just putting my front leg forward and letting them hit my uber-defensive stance. A couple of balls jumped up and got me on the glove so that's my injury for this week lol. I never imagined it could hurt so much through the thick gloves but my fingers are still bruised and sore as I type this :o( I was really annoyed with myself for getting out, not even facing the fast dude but to an old, much easier, bowler from the other end. The ball went past me and I lifted my back foot ready to run in case it went through the keeper too and before I had a chance to put it down again I'd been stumped behind. While I was at the crease two more of our batsmen fell and I thought it was all over but our injured star batsman came back on with a runner. It got to the point where we only needed 15 to win, I only had one ball of the over left to face before letting the real batman do his stuff at the other end, and then I lifted my foot! If I'd survived that ball I firmly believe we would have won, the other batsman had previously taken 18 off an over from the same opening bowler he would have faced. So I'm still kicking myself.

A downer was first put on the game when one of their bowlers dislocated his shoulder, he was in obvious agony and it took what felt like forever for the paramedic to arrive. He'd asked me to retrieve his mobile from their changing room and when I went in a tea-lady promptly accused me of theiving. Then one of our lads was umpiring and gave the vice-captain out with a very dodgy lbw decision. By the time the lad handed over the umpiring to someone else the other lad had worked himself up into a right tantrum. They both threw toys out of their pram and had a spat in front of everyone. The effing and blinding (not something which usually bothers me) was really embarrassing in front of some elderly spectators. Our captain was almost egging them on instead of trying to diffuse the situation and it all ended up with one of the lads quitting the team. Depressingly it was the same lad who got a century last week and was the hero with his picture in the paper. Most of the team disappeared very soon after the game so it was only a few of us who joined the opposition in the local pub for a drink.

So really the team's a bit up shit creek, we lost our wicket-keeper a couple of weeks ago as he's moving away, now our opening bat has jumped ship, our captain seems to have lost his form with the bat, and everyone is pissed off. If anyone else jacks it in I'll be the one bloody captaining the team! Watch this space...lol.
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Just spent the last 3 hours ironing. I know I shouldn't let it build up so much but hell, life's too short for ironing. To keep me sane I dug out some music, so I've been bopping along to 'The Ultimate Cheese Party' 3 disc album which was painfully cheesy but very funny. From the Macarena to La Bamba via Agadoo...tragic I know but I needed something to keep me awake! It also had the added bonus of pissing off my neighbours for a few hours, they've been getting on my nerves lately. The miserable sod next door actually had the cheek to have a go at me for not watering the plants on my balcony! He's really like that Harry Enfield character - the old fart who was always interfering and saying 'you don't want to do it like that...' and in every conversation I've had with him he always mentions his allegedly millionaire friends. Seriously, if he really had friends who were millionaires he wouldn't bloody well be living next to me!!

So yes, just came on for a grump really, today I got rained on and then it was stifflingly hot. The dreaded (potential) mother-in-law is visiting tomorrow (hence the ironing) and I should have done more cleaning round the house. The whole week has been busy and flustered so I'm just about ready for a drink...*goes in search of Gordons and Schweppes*... oh and I nearly forgot, I now have a nice blister forming on my thumb from too much ironing *sucks thumb and prepares to throw a tantrum*
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Another Monday: more aches and pains from yesterday's cricket. SNAFU.

Yesterday's game went quite well, we actually won in the end when we had expected to be totally mullered. We only had 8 players to start with so we decided to bat first in order to get it all over with on a lovely batting strip. During the course of the innings we managed to purloin 3 more players from various spectators, so having a full side once again put us in a much better position. The game was really won by one of our opening batsmen, a young lad of 17, who played a solid, mature game and ended up with 123 not out! Brilliant batting gave us a respectable total and glimmers of hope began to appear. Thankfully I wasn't forced out to bat, although it was close for a while there, the last two balls of the innings I was due in next but thankfully they saw them off without losing any more since I wasn't going to pad up for just one or two balls! After a scrummy tea (an integral part of any game) our fielding was sharp and we managed to take two early wickets, thanks in part to one spectactular dive at mid-off from our vice-captain as he caught the ball deftly.

We took another two before I bowled but then a pair of batsmen found a partnership and hung around for the second half of the innings. I was brought on to bowl earlier than usual which was a relief as I was getting a bit sick of bowling at the death and getting tonked all over the shop. My first over was iffy at best, I'd asked to bowl into the strong wind because if I'd had the wind behind me I would have been blinded by my hair! Just one wide that over but all my balls were too short and a few got put away. My second over was better, as I battled the wind to try and find some semblance of line and length, every ball went for a single straight to the vice-captain on the cover boundary who skillfully stopped each one and had a shy at the stumps almost every ball. I haven't quite sussed out exactly where to put myself once I've finished my action, I know I should be behind the stumps but with the batsman trying to run through me, the umpire in the way and me watching to see where the ball's gone I'm just not getting there in time. My third over I tried to get behind the stumps as the batsmen (still a solid partnership which we didn't look like breaking) continued to tap away my loose balls for singles. When I finally made it behind the stumps, the lad at cover had a tremendous throw at the stumps once again but the only thing was he missed them and managed to clobber me right on the collar bone. I was in complete agony as I spent the next 5 minutes fighting the tears as the world and his wife asked if I was ok - "no I'm not feckin' alright!" I somehow managed to bowl my last ball of the over and for some reason I held my breath as I did so, no idea why, it just seemed like the thing to do. As I trudged back to my fielding position at square leg I was still trying not to blubb (and look like a girl!) but I think the shock and holding my breath did something which made me unable to breathe properly. I guess it felt kinda like an asthma attack, it was like trying to breathe through treacle so I freaked and tried to hyper-ventilate at the same time! Luckily by this point no one was paying me much attention apart from the square leg umpire who was looking increasingly worried, I managed to use my hands as a paper bag and sort out my breathing and calm down. My final over was pure adrenaline, I was furious (mainly with myself) but I think it improved my bowling, I only went for 3 off that over. I ended up with figures of 4-0-24-0 (4 overs, no maidens, 24 runs for no wickets) and given that they needed about 8 an over to win by that stage going for 6 an over on average wasn't too bad, they only got two 4s from me so the singles and dot balls were more valuable than they would normally be.

Our captain showed his great cricketing brain as he saved some of the best bowlers for last but it was a close thing for a while, the last ten overs they were chasing, still needing 8 or 9 an over. One very young lad (one of the players we had 'borrowed') took the crucial wicket to break the partnership and some quality bowling meant they still needed 19 from the last two overs. It was nerve racking right up until the very last ball as a few boundaries and they could have won. Thankfully they seemed more interested in nurdleing them away for singles and twos so in the end we won by 9 runs. I had joked earlier that morning about how awesome it would be if we actually won the game and D accused me of indulging in the realms of fanstasy as they were a good team and we only had 8 men. The win did wonders for team morale and one of the chaps we poached to play for us might even come and help us out again. In all it was a good game, a good day for cricket.

Since then my collar bone hasn't been too bad, I think it just hurt like buggery because I got clipped right on the bone, a bit like hitting your shin. Yet again I'm miffed because I don't bruise easily, I get hurt and feel like I should go black and blue but for some reason I just don't bruise at all so I don't have anything to show for my war wounds. On the subject of which, last week's blows to the stomach healed nicely, again without much bruising. Ironically I think the more I get pelted by the ball the less afraid of it I become.

I don't think I have any non-cricket news, same old work deadlines and ironing that needs doing...don't ya just love Mondays?

Current Mood: achey

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This is dedicated to anyone who like me has been stung by bank charges lately:

(To the tune of Mud, mud, glorious mud)

Theives! Theives! They're all lying theives!
No one quite like them for giving me grief,
So follow me to the bank's door,
With a loaded 12-bore,
And there we shall blow them to smi-ithereens!

Current Mood: Trigger-happy

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beep, beep, beep, beep, beep... beeeeeeep - The news at mine:

BONG: I'm just getting over a rotten cold so am currently doing my best to spread my germs and infect anyone who annoys me - if I'm honest most people annoy me, cats are nicer. Also my nose is now peeling after days of constant honking so I'm even grumpier.

BONG:  Cricket yesterday was a bit lame, team morale is at an all time low and we lost again. Stupid quad muscles which refuse to heal stopped me bowling so highlight of the game for me was holding onto a tricky catch at slip only to be told it had come off the ground first so didn't count. I batted better than usual, managing to hang around for a few overs. Didn't actually score any runs as I was just trying to hold my end up and run some for the other dude. Fecking bowler kept pelting me with bouncers, I took two in the stomach and now have some lovely bruises to show for my exploits. Can anyone say 'bodyline'?! At this rate I'm going to be charging my pain-killer expenses to the cricket club!

BONG: Got so fed up with my current bank for charging me £25 to renew my overdraft (without actually changing anything) that I've just switched banks (again). Last few months I keep getting charged a fortune for going overdrawn and they're so snotty about it, only wanting to sell me sodding loans etc or charge me yet again if I wanted to increase my overdraft so the latest admin fee for doing diddley squat was the last straw. Highlight of last week was telling the muppets where they could stick their bank account. Simple pleasures. Downside is I now have to memorise new pins and logins etc. I'm running out of banks to use, last time I switched it was because Barclays had pissed me off so I was particularly gleeful when I heard on the news this morning that they're now having problems. Perhaps I'll start queueing outside their branches, even though I'm no longer with them, just to create the right impression...

BONG: Have finally been finding time to get some reading done: I recently finished Dostoevsky's Memoirs from the House of the Dead which was pretty good, particularly interesting as I've spent so much of the last few years reading Solzenitsyn's accounts of the GULAG so it was fascinating to compare the prison systems in two very different Russian eras. If anyone can recommend books on the history of penal systems (in general rather than just Russian ones) I'd be very happy to receive recommendations.

I also managed to read Francoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse which I bought mainly because I liked the title, I'd read about her on Wiki and was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was really refreshing to read, perhaps because she was so young when she wrote it? It's weird but I feel that if a 40 year old had written exactly the same story it would have been rubbish, it's very much from a teenage girl's perspective and certainly worth a read IMHO.

The latest book I finished was Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder. I've been avoiding this book for some time as it just seemed too popular last year, the sort of thing 3 different people in the same tube carriage will all be reading. I don't like being told I 'must see' Titanic, read Harry Potter and so on. In the end I found a cheap copy in a charity shop and really enjoyed it. Put very simply the plot is about Freud visiting New York in 1909 and solving a murder mystery while he's there using his theories of psychoanalysis. I'm becomming increasingly interested in the history of medicine and psychiatry/psychology. I loved Faulk's Human Traces (best book I read last year) which covers the beginnings of psychology and I liked Katharine McMahon's Rose of Sebastopol which was set in The Crimean War and mentioned the struggle to implement modern medicine as opposed to outdated methods such as bleeding, cupping etc which was still used in the 1850s. So again if anyone can recommend similar books which cover these topics I'd be most obliged! I seem to prefer picking up my history through historical fiction rather than ploughing my way through the non-fiction. The Interpretation of Murder gets bonus points for having an afterword which tells you which of the characters are real and which are fictional otherwise my ideas of the history could be dangerously off the mark!

BONG: I have no other news. Well, I just put a load of washing on and I'm waiting until I have a few more whites so I can do a load of those too but I don't think you really wanted to know that.

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Bleh, so bored I just caught myself editing my favourites list on the PC...it really is dullsville here. Last Sunday's cricket was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch but the weather turned out to be beautiful so we ended up going to some 'Open Gardens' in a nearby village, lots of quiche, scones, cakes and other WI products were consumed :o) Damn, I sound old.

The weather isn't looking too optimistic for this Sunday so far either. Toying with the idea of heading up to London sometime early next week, got some worky stuff to do but hopefully I can also squeeze in some drinking time if anyone's aboot.

Perhaps now I'll rearrange my bookshelves for a while...

Current Mood: bored bored
Current Music: Whoops Mrs Miggins you're sitting on my artichoke

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Just wanted to mention what a gorgeous day it is here. I even caught myself just now humming that cheesy 'perfect day' song! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, it's June in all its glory. I wish I was out on the field playing cricket instead of stuck inside on the PC, at least I get to enjoy it out there on my all to frequent fag breaks. Mmmm...suuun...

Current Mood: lazy lazy

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Well Sunday's game was a little on the soggy side with an incredibly slow outfield. It hadn't properly dried out from previous rain and it continued to drizzle through the first innings, the humidity and warmth however gave the place such gloopy thick air it rather felt like a turkish bath! We won the toss and decided (as ever) to field first. The strip was so dead the ball refused to bounce at all so there were some comical attempts at bowling wher the ball simply went 'wheeeee....splat' then duly rolled onwards towards the stumps. This time I was given 4 overs to bowl and although I took a wicket I mainly bowled a pile of tripe. I ended up with figures of 4-0-29-1 which, translated back into English for those of you not fluent in Cricket, means I bowled 4 overs, got no maidens, went for 29 runs and took one wicket...ok well I guess it loses something in the translation. At first I was impeded by a wretched left-hand/right-hand combination so was attempting to bowl around (rather than over) the wicket which totally screwed up my line and length. My third over was atrocious with wides going every which way, I think it was 9 balls long in the end. Half of the runs (well 14 of them) were off the final over (both of my spell and the match) where I got tonked for two 4s and a 6 :o(  So I wasn't best pleased and given the number of kids about I couldn't even have a good swear about it! I wonder if I could persuade the village council of the need for a sound-proof box in the pavillion for people to vent in? The one wicket I did take was off a mediocre ball which the batsman (the smegging lefty) top-edged to midwicket. Thankfully someone held onto it but it looked dodgy for a second there. As I saw the ball flying through the air and two fielders on a collision course underneath it my 'CATCHIIIIT!' was certainly heartfelt, I'd have killed the pair of 'em if they'd fluffed it! I did myself slightly better justice in the field by taking a few dives to stop balls making it to the boundary and chasing down quite a few headed that way. After much fidgeting with assorted kit and having borrowed a helmet I finally set out to bat, by this stage we were about 65/8 and still 130 or so runs behind so victory was never on the cards. My first ball I got the bat to and even though it didn't go hard enough to take a single from I felt good, the satisfying 'thwump' of leather on willow etc. I got to help the other batsman run a couple more before my next ball which came at me high and loopy. I was so worried about trying to hit the thing I completely forgot to defend so it plopped down and rolled happily through my stumps. Pah! This game there were a few more patronising comments about a girl playing but what the hey, damned if I care what the opposition think so long as my own team are sound. Overall it was better than the last game even though we lost. Cheap beers were enjoyed by all afterwards and it seems most of my neighbours were spectating from their balconies so if nothing else we gave them a good laugh. It was D's first game ever so he did quite well considering when I first met him he threw and caught like a girl! Much more practise is needed just as soon as our muscles recover especially since next Sunday we get to face one of the best local teams and so we're likely to get even more mullered. It's a little depressing when the day after a match simple tasks such as putting on a pair of socks become an exercise in using a few muscles as possible to avoid pitiful whining as the body protests against such contorsion!

Aside from Cricket life plods on: too much work, too much laundry and a very overdue appointment with the hoover. We were hoping to make it into London for the Redbull Flugtag jobby but now it looks like too much effort which is a shame, maybe next year.

Current Music: Rossini's Largo al factotum performed stunningly by Simon Keenlyside

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