Monday, April 11, 2011

Paddock + cricket + weather + knee

Not been blogging much, so this one is a bit of an update. Firstly the weather. Here in the UK we've just had an really warm start to April with the temperature getting up to 22 degrees today which is about 10 degrees too warm, so we're sun burnt and getting our tans off to an early start. March was ridiculously dry as well, so the paddock for an example is already cracking up because of the dryness. This has meant that I've not been able to roll it as much as I'd have wished, but what with it being April now and our phenomenon of April Showers, hopefully we'll see some good down-pours over the next few weeks and some opportunities to roll the wicket and for the grass to get growing again with some vigour. Because it's been so dry it has meant that we've been tempted to get out there and use it, so at weekend we put the nets up for the first time and cut the wicket and had a bit of a knock about and video'd it. The video will possibly end up on my channel on Youtube in a few days once I've edited it.

So here's the paddock with the nets up viewed from the entrance, you can see where we've been using it the grass has already started to wear a bit

So the images here above were from the weekend and then today we went over and pruned the bushes behind the stumps for the camera to be set up behind the stumps and behind the fence with the the camera either looking through the links or just peeping over the top. While we were there one of my neighbours was out the front of his house remvong top-soil from a patch of garden and trying to dump it discreetly in the shrubs and council maintained patches of bushes and trees and I reallised it was good top soil that we could use on the wicket and to help maintain and level it. So I went over and offered my help in getting rid of the dirt by dumping it in the corner of the paddock and he was more than willing to take that as an option. We ended up loading full buckets and bins in the back of the car and driving up on to the verge and carrying the earth the last few yards to dump in the corner of the paddock. The other thing we did while we were over there was paint the crease lines as you can see below. Then later in the day as the sky clouded over, I realised that if I didn't siv the earth and it rained I'd have a problem with the earth being in a condition not ready to go on the wicket, so I sivved the earth and got myself a waste bin full of high quality top-soil ready for repairs and levelling. We then took the full bin back to the garage for strorage and the excess that was left on the paddock in the corner I started in-filling the dips at the bowlers end and a few other places knowing that we'd have rained later tonight and that would be a good start to get the fresh topsoil integrated with the existing earth and grass, see below.


The knee's been okay for the last couple of days and seems to be improving with the increase in activity. I'm a long way off of being able to run, but I've been bowling a lot today and carrying around big heavy buckets of earth and there's no apparent soreness, so that's quite promising.