2011: Of county cricket and friends new and old.

Tweet: 8th April 2011

Good day at Neville Rd. One for the purists. Who ever thought I might complain about too much sun. Good to catch up with good friends.

Cricket at Nevil Road

Gloucestershire V Derbyshire

Gloucestershire 343 and 146 -3

Derbyshire157 ( L Norwell 6- 46) and 331 (D Payne 5 -76)

Gloucestershire won by 7 wkts


I always get a scorecard.

I had membership at Gloucestershire County Cricket and promised myself to use it to the full. This meant taking the rough with the smooth or, as in the Gloucestershire version, the cold with the generally mediocre. The good thing about membership here is the fact that one can be  sociable, or in my case, not. A typical day for me took the following routine. I would start my day on the Hammond Roof. In the morning it would be a pretty solitary time. Lord Powell would make a visit but often go on a wander to meet his public. I would do later do the same; wander that is, rather than meet my non-existent public. Pre-redevelopment this would involve some time in the Jessop Stand. Nowadays the  the seats under the new flats (The “South of France” as they are not so appropriately named)  make for a toastier but often wind-blown alternative. People would come and go. On a good day Chris Studley will take a day off work to watch the cricket. Bob and Ron might drift in after their shift at Rolls Royce. If the fixture was more attractive we might get a full Gashead contingent that included most of the regulars, for example, with Geoff Pike, Peter the Doughnut Boy, and Peter de Meteor. The afternoon would involve doing the crossword, essential for a proper day out. There were also a few friends who we only met at cricket. This is because they are  fans of the football team south of the river and are not to be acknowledged during the winter months.. Chris Studley’s son Dan introduced us to his fellow Shithead who was nicknamed Chris the Coat. Chris became important to me as the designer of the App that hosted my guides for the next few years. Through a conversation one afternoon I contacted his company, Bearded Hen, in Bath and three months later I launched the Football and Real Ale App on Android phones.


A poor screen shot of the front page of my app

When Gloucestershire were not playing I spent a fair amount of time working on stuff for Marlwood School. I had volunteered to be a School Governor. It involved a meeting roughly once a week and some thinking around the way the school might operate. I enjoyed this but never really got the full fun of being involved in the school. I was nominally a Liberal Democrat representative and, although not particularly intrusive, it weighed heavily on my mind when thinking of how I was found a place on the board. The school eventually looked at the possibility of going down the Academy route of management and this was my excuse to get out. It was an excuse. In reality I wasn’t enjoying the experience and was becoming frustrated at the lack of dynamism in a good school that didn’t realise just how good it was.

In March I had a heart attack. It has been recorded in these blogs here.

The follow up is hinted at in this message to Tom a few days later.

19 March 2011 at 08:53 UTC

There really is nothing to worry about. They looked at routine, yes routine, angioplasty and found it not to be useful in my case again. In and out within two days and fully medicated. What is an infarction between friends?

In August Rose’s mother Mary came from Cape Town to visit her. We had a pretty good day doing those touristy things in Bristol that are accessible to a 90 year old, willing but not always able, tourist. We had a boat ride on the harbour, tea and ice cream at Portishead and a drive around the sites of the suburbs.

rose and her mum

Rose and her Mum

In September Rose wanted me to help her move south from Sanday to her new home in Chippenham. We hired a van and spent four days making the final clearing of her possessions from Hammerbrake Farm. Of course we stopped off on the way up for a football game. We also dropped in on yet another old Southampton Geographer.

2 September 2011 at 02:00 UTC+01

Laureen, A bit out of the blue but on Sunday the 25th of September, Rose Seagrief and I are heading to the Orkneys. We wondered if you might be about for a Sunday lunch somewhere en route. I know Aberdeen is a bit off Rose’s route. We have an evening ferry to catch from Thurso so it may not be feasible. You might know best but it would be great to meet up and see how things are with you. Richard

Laureen is Laureen Canessa. She also did her education qualification on the same Birmingham course as me. Mick was already her partner and it was good to see they were as happy as I remembered them from our 1981 friendship. We stopped off at the Douglas Arms in Banchory. This trip to the Orkneys had some definite highlights. We did some tourist stuff on the islands but we also went for lunch with her friend Max. We ate pasta cooked by a famous musical genius. In the kitchen of her farm we chatted with her postman friend David. It just happens this David was goalkeeper for Leeds United in their glory days.


The Ring of Brodgar

From my diary entries a few more dates stand out

21/10/2011           STEDDERS GUIDE APP GOES LIVE

01/12/2011           ROYAL MAIL start

I fancied filling my time with some mind numbing work. I wanted to work on a temporary basis on something that didn’t involve too much thought. The hardest part of this job was getting it in the first place. My application coincided with the Royal Mail wanting to contract out its temporary staff. They offered the job in November but couldn’t find a time to start until I emailed their chief executive to question whether I was employed or not. Moya Green apologised and it was sorted. The job was from 10 at night to 6 in the morning. It involved walking around on a warehouse floor, transferring mail bags and parcels from one crate to another. At one time they tried to make it more interesting for me by offering some time on the automatic sorting machine. The job became physically demanding at times, mostly to my back. I lost some weight and the income was welcome but I was eventually quite happy that the Christmas rush was over and I could look to get back to night time sleeping.


1984       2nds Harrow A W 20-19

1985       Cambridge 2-0

1989       2nds Biggleswade A L 9-6

1995       Chester A 0-0

1997       Millwall H 1-0

2000       Cambridge A 1-1

2006       Rushden and Diamonds H 0-1

2008       Nottingham Forest A 1-1

2011       Derbyshire

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