Not a lot going on, yet I've still managed a load of old waffle. This is being written up at 11 past midnight on the 12th by which time contrary to what's been written below I've contacted the bloke at our nets and let him know that none of us will be there because of the fall out from Valentines Day. I've also said that we'd be interested in next weekend instead, so over the next few days I'll have to start drumming up some punters. For a minute I did think that Zorch would be up for it, but he sees it as I'm just there to make up the numbers - you ****taker! So he won't be there. I get the feeling that Simon, Alex and me will be there but as for any of the others we'll have to see?
Tonight with the boys we did a recap on the fielding positions and both of them managed 12 out 12. I went for the teaching strategy of they do the teaching - Whereby I got them to place the positions on the pitch and test me and I had to answer, so right from the outset it assumes that they already know the answers and sure enough they did. Joe (The younger one aged 7) is so full of himself over the fact that he's done this so easily (and I've got to say in the 3 years I've been playing cricket I've only picked up 2 or 3 of the positions and I know people that have played many years concede that haven't got a clue where the positions are) that he's insisted that we add another 6, so now we're learning -Deep Mid Wicket, Deep mid on and Deep Mid off, Short mid wicket, short square leg and backward short square leg.
I reckon that the next time we have a clear cloudless evening I'll be walking home in daylight, so it wont be long now till I start walking home via the cricket field which'll give me a daily opportunity to monitor the grass growth and the state of the wicket and work out a strategy for preparing it for the summer. More of this here......
Supposedly today we're going to have a dry day with sunshine. Cold this morning with all the puddles iced up and the cricket field looked frosty with the grass needless to say looking short and sparse. With the wind the potential for the top layer of soil and the grass itself to dry out is fairly high, all we would need is a week or so of dry weather combined with some sunshine and wind. I'm wondering whether if that was to happen whether it would be a good idea to start to cut the grass with the blades set to cut as high as possible before the growing phase really gets going. I remember last year going onto the field early in the year and it being ridiculously lush and thick and when it came to cutting the wicket I had to do the first cut using a pair of hand shears which took several days do small sections at a time. I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to get control of the height at an early stage in order to eliminate the need for the hand shears approach. In order to look after the grass it's far better to do little and often and to never cut more than 1/3 off the top of the grass. Whereas if it is left it's going to require that I cut 4/5ths of it in one go with a pair of shears and this means it's cut viciously right down to the brown stems and all the green is removed. This isn't good for the grass at all and really should be avoided. Admittedly the grass recovers but reading about it, this approach leaves the grass vulnerable to scorching and drying out.
With the recent snow and rain the marshes and fieds in the area I live are covered in flood water, so there's 100's of massive shallow puddles in the fields and this morning they're all iced up. We're predicted to have several days of sunshine combined with clear skies and temperatures plummeting to -13 centigrade at nights so there's some prospects of some serious ice skating fun or mucking about on the ice with the kids. I have seen that kind of thing since about 1978 - 79.
5pm. I noticed last night and Saturday that the sun had only just gone down at 5pm and at 5.30 there was still a glimmer of light in the sky. Michelle (My wife) was saying that our boys have got into a routine where they get in from school have a snack and then their mate OZ comes round and then they all sit and play with a the playstation until it's dinner time. Michelle was saying that she wants the weather to turn so that they all can got outside and play rather than sitting there potentially straining their eyes and getting fat because they're not doing any exercise. Hopefully this new kid OZ will want to join in and maybe become a cricketer too? Ben also came home with some good news that his schools has just had some new playground equipment fitted and along side that they've also cricket stumps painted against walls in strategic places, so I've said to him to ask if it's alright to take a bat and ball into school and play cricket at play-time. I bet in Australia they don't have to ask to play cricket at school, I'd imagine that almost every school in Australia they've got artificial wickets and stumps to go with it that are easily accessible? Actually having said that I know that when I've done ariel searches of Basildon where I live using google maps or similar I've been very surprised at how many schools in the area do actually have artificial wickets. The only thing is because cricket is so inaccessable now due to SKY TV no kid is ever going to come across it by accident unless of course their Dads are interested in the sport. Back in my day (Not that it made any difference to me taking up the sport) on Sunday if you turned on the tele you had four choices of what to watch and one of them in the summer used to be cricket. Now you turn on the tele (In well off kids houses or Dole spongers houses) and you have a choice of about 150 crap TV programs apart from News 24 and if your Dads got SKY TV sports - loads of cricket. So, for many kids cricket is perceived as a really obscure sport that Australians play I'm sure? Maybe the Ashes will mean higlights will be broadcast on terrestrial TV and kids will be introduced to it this year - maybe that's why the stumps have appeared to help in that process?
One thing I've not done as yet is let the caretaker know that we'll not be using the hall this weekend for cricket, so I'll have to ring him tonight and let him know and try and arrange that we can have it the following week. Hopefully I'll be able to get at least 5 of us there for that session. One of the blokes who's kids go swimming with us has said he might be interested, but I think he wants his kids to go along too, which may be problematic with regards H&S and our continued use of the space.