Nice day today after a rainy start and just before lunch we had a bit of a bowling session out in the street and I wicket kept for both Ben and Joe. Ben was bowling better today and Joe got the ache and decided that he'd bat. We decided that it was too close to lunch to pad up now and that we'd have lunch and go over the field after lunch. With a few minutes before lunch we decided that we'd quickly go and mow the wicket ready for the afternoon.
I'd lowered the blades a couple of days ago and as you can see we've got a nice striping affect and at the minute we're still only cutting a 3rd off the top in accordance with growing good grass. There's no sign either at the moment of the Plantain which is the most prevelant weed on the field and last year they were all over the wicket in abundance. Once they do get going I will probably treat the grass with round - up which'll kill em off. But cutting the grass helps as allows the water to get to the soil more readily and the sunlight to the grass in order to promote good growth. (I think that's the theory)? The surface is quite rough because of a recent football game after a bit of rain we had - but it's not too bad and I may roll it this week if I can get a bit of chain from somewhere and keep the roller just outside the field chained to a tree.
Ben and Joe both bowled a bit - Ben's bowling is coming along okay with his new action. Joe's bowling wasn't so clever. Both of them had a bat but they both seem very non-commital with the bat, it'll be interesting to see how their coaching goes once they get on a field, hopefully they'll play alongside the slightly older kids and they'll get a game going? In the meantime I threw some balls down to Ben and he batted a lot better doing this and if it wasn't for such a rough outfield the balls may have travelled far enough to give him some encouragement?
Old Skool - My old mower - the one we cut the wicket with, which is a design classic - Ransomes Ajax MK3 as seen below here has eventually had a section of it's roller fall off due to rot. Now I've been trying to figure out how to fix it and looked around the house and garage for something to scavenge in order to make a new section for the roller. Thinking back to when I was a kid I seem to recall it wouldn't have been a problem at all, there'd have been either a boat hook/pole kicking around in the garden or shed or I could have cut off a bit of my Mum's washing line support. This was a round pole with a V cut in the top that you used to jam mid way down the washing line to stop the sag in the middle of the line allowing the sheets and big washing items to drag on the floor. In this day and age - nothing.
Similarly with making Go-karts for kids, we used to make loads of them, any old bit of waste ground or the municipal dump would have a pram or two and we'd hack-saw the axles and wheels off, nick a short bit of scaffold plank from a building site and nail a plastic bread crate at one end with an opening cut in it for your legs and bingo you had a cart- classic fun! But do you think you can find an Old Skool pram these days - no chance.
Chains - I had loads of bits of chain - masive great chunky bits, 4' long, medium size chain 8' long all sorts of bits and pieces of chain - it's like gold dust these days. My silver chain I had that was 4' long would cost you about 40 quid in B&Q's these days, yet back then I/we had loads of it. No wonder kids these days are so lifeless and dreary for the most part. I had machete's, bolt croppers all sorts of fun things that these days you'd get put in prison for possessing.
Up & Down - I've done a lot of bowling today and I'm now feeling a bit sore so I'm probably going to either not bowl tomorrow or bowl very little. Again today I bowled Top Spinners and Flippers of both types and they seemed to go okay. The swing that I got on Thursday seemed to be a lot less obvious but was still there nonetheless. I had an hour or so waiting for Joe and Ben on concrete with a Hockey Ball and then in the evening I threw another 100+ balls and the second session was a lot less accurate, so I don't know whether that's just because I'm out of shape. We'll see how things go over the next couple of weeks.