Monday, April 27, 2009

Swinging Googlies vs The Golden Age @ Alexandra Rec

The Golden Age 170 for 8 beat Swinging Googlies C.C. 108 for 8, by 62 runs.

So this was my first match as a Swinging Googly. For all intents and purposes the match was a personal success, although as a collective we probably weren't as successful. 

We went out to field first and our bowlers put up a good showing with, to the best of my memory, Ant, James, Ben and Dave all getting wickets. There was some clean catching from James in the field too and some interesting juggling-cum-catching from Andy. 

Our big problem came as the Golden Age's middle order came into bat. One of their guys was stubborn as hell and just couldn't be removed from the crease; the other decided to smack the ball all around the Alexandra Rec - scoring two sixes in the process.

In bat we were slow. We found it hard to crank the pace of the scoring up to the level of our opponents, especially after the dent their middle had left in the scorecard. 

Matters weren't helped when James hooked a beautiful shot to the boundary for four, but twisted his knee in the process, and Ben took a ball straight to the eye - both had to retire hurt and were taken to hospital.

So to me, at number 11 in the order, I didn't really expect to get a bat, but, sure enough, after the two retirements I found myself in to bat out our remaining overs. I survived well, actually selecting my shots before playing them and scored 3. On the very last ball of the innings, Chris attempted a big shot to be bowled out, thus I was the last man standing.

First innings; 3 not out.

Hanka and Tash Do Modern Art

In fairness, it was tame as far a 'practical jokes' go, and perhaps for this reason I found it very funny. I came into work this morning after a busy weekend of not a great deal except cricket, to find that my desk had been turned into some kind of bizarre modern art installation.

Gone was lovely my clear desk and in its stead was every text from my bookshelf, a Boggle set, a Santa hat, a load of Scrabble sets and whatever else the clandestine artistes could lay their hands on.

After a very brief investigation, my 'mole', intimated that Tash and Hanka were the last to leave the office on Friday night and so they could be credited for this masterpiece.

Perhaps the best part of the whole thing was the Supported Study Request note addressed to 'The Kelly', sent by 'The Lord'. I didn't realise Jesus worked in the same building as me, but it is clear that he does after that note. Anyway, in the style of many students, I skipped Supported Study in favour of an early night.

Click on the picture to see the full-size wonder of Tash and Hanka's installation.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dub Colossus: In A Town Called Addis

As many of my nearest and dearest know, I recently had the pleasure of flying out to Uganda and engaging myself actively in the community of Kabale. You may wonder what this has to do with an album whose title makes reference to the capital of Ethiopia - Addis Ababa.

Well, on my return flight from Entebbe to Heathrow, I fancied listening to some 'world' music - the blanket term applied to anything that doesn't have English vocals it would appear. Feeling very much in an 'African' mood I saw the name of this album and thought it appropriate to accompany me in my reading of the Alexander McCall-Smith's Morality for Beautiful Girls.

The music went beyond the wallpaperiness one usually expects of hitherto unheard world music (think some Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 output of the late 1960s). The music was driven by dark, brooding basslines and rattling, echoing drums. Rimshots flying in surround like a marching band. All accompanied by the ubiquitous dub brass section piercing through the sensual massage of the looping bass and upstroking guitar playing.

Together, these components form a beautiful cradle for the various vocalists on this record. Melodically, to the untrained 'Western' ear, the lyrics have a quintessentially 'Eastern' and 'Arabic' feel - although I know not their meaning.

Fusion seems like a pejorative term to use in this instance, so, in a suitably pompous and baroque sense of mind, I will settle on the expression 'Perfect Symphony' to explain this record.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Heathrow: Terminal 5 at Sunset

This picture was taken inside Heathrow Terminal 5 on the 3rd April 2009. The sun had decided on this day to actually be warm; shame I was leaving for Uganda where the weather was three times as hot! Oh well.
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