Friday morning was a slow start but it didn’t matter as I didn’t have to be in to work exactly at start time for a change. Summertime is slowly making a slow entrance. It’s been a long time since I did not wear the merino base layer so I felt a bit, well, naked. Nevertheless, being naturally cautious, I did wear the long sleeve fleece lined long sleeve top with gilet to counter a cool breeze. After 2 days off the bike due to after work junior cricket duty the legs were ready, willing and able to throw themselves into the commute. It wasn’t a long ride but after the rest, it was a quick B2W. At least by my standards.
In the middle of the day, I had to visit the local Leisure centre to review the AV facilities for an upcoming study day that I am helping out with. The planning hasn’t gone smoothly and now that my name is associated with it, don’t want things to go wrong. I always go with the coach’s 5 P’s mantra for these things.
It always works most of the time. The facilities are fine and the projector cables suit my laptop so now all that I have to do is repeat my nagging emails to session presenters until they play ball. I got a little lost on my “oooo look, there’s a cycle track that I didn’t know about. Let’s see if it takes me back to where I want to go…” plan. I eventually got back to work, did some stuff and finished early to take an extended route home in the sunny warmth.
The breeze was headwindy but so unusally warm that it was of no matter. The cold beer towards the end of this one was liquid gold at the end of a busy week.
The following day we went to the Oval to watch a Cricket World Cup warm up/”friendly” match, NZ v India. India are ranked 2nd in the world right now and they have an immense following where ever they travel. Master11, wearing his NZ top felt nervously outnumbered at Vauxhall tube as we followed the stream of Indian supporters towards the ground. I’m sure that he was expecting a tribal football (soccer) atmosphere. Sure enough, we were a tiny island of NZ in a sea of expectant parochial Indian support in the stand but the talk was friendly, good natured, informative.
In the end we handed them an old fashioned thrashing, unexpected for all of us-they had hammered us in a 5 match series back in February. But there was no tribalism; just good natured, friendly banter, comparing opinions, discussing tactics, player form, player ability and general discussions about the state of the game in general. Throughout the stand (where we were at least) people were passing food back and forth to others whom previously they had not met. It was more like a party than an international cricket match where reputations are normally in the balance and national pride is at stake. Master11 & Master14 + Mrs B2W loved it and they are completely hooked. Especially to the saag curry and allo stuffed chapati. Thanks India fans, you have already made my World Cup and it hasn’t even started yet!
Tomorrow is the start of school half term so no early week opportunity to eat into my 100km weekly cycling target. Instead me and the boys are off again down to London, this time to see red hot home favourites England play minnows Afghanistan in another warm up before the tournament starts on Thursday. I don’t expect to see another surprise result, but I am hoping so, as it will all add to the excitement of the build up to the tournament.
But I am interested to see if there is any difference in the crowd dynamic. I hope not….