Monday, June 25, 2012

B&PCC v Pegasus U15's away

My older son Ben (13) was offered a game in the U15's mid-week and I volunteered him against his will. Given the choice he'd have sat indoors all night on one of this summers rare sunny and warm evenings and played Minecraft rather than go and have a game of cricket. As a parent there's a balance to be had and with your kids you have to make decisions for them that are in their favour and this was one of them...

So having asked my Guvnor if I could slope off early I was home at 4.45 and raring to go and Ben somewhat predictably was huffing and puffing saying stuff like "Do I really have to go"?

Five thirty and we was there having got slightly lost. I'd never been there before, a mate of mine Keith West used to play for Pegasus and always had good things to say about the club and the venue and sure enough he was right it is a pretty spectacular looking place. Lovely grounds and pitches and big modern and new clubhouse, so going on the basis of how big the place was it looked like we might have a bit of a battle here, especially if our U15's are having to bring in lads like Ben to make up the numbers (Ben plays in the U13's). But here he was and he was glad to see a few faces of the lads that were in last years U13's squad that have now moved up.

G-Man was there going through a few drills and got Ben involved and Ben soon seemed to slot in okay and the rest of the lads made him welcome and then once they got down to a few bowling drills I reckon he sealed his place in the team on merit. Meanwhile the opposition were over in the outfield practicing that other game - the one that we're crap at... Football. Perhaps aware that we're a small club and therefore assuming with such a small pool of talent to choose from we'd be a push over? It panned out that they'd bat first - possibly aware that even if we did bowl them out cheaply on their home ground, our lads would have to bat in diminishing and very poor light... The scene was set.

Their openers looked a bit handy, adopting a sensible looking approach - very workman-like, only looking to put away loose balls and threading them through the field and making senisble runs backed up with good communication, but our bowling looked to be matching their batting

Videos of the bowling can be seen via these links....

Ben's first over -
This evening blogging and mucking about on the computer I've made a couple of discoveries which are pretty useful. I've got a video editing program which enables me to upload straight from the program to Youtube and it reduces the videos to a usable size and does it quite quickly and just this moment I've discover that the 'On-board' version of paint in windows 7 which I'm not a big fan of enables the easy reduction of large image files, albeit one by one as far as I can make out, but these are things I've been without now for months, so hopefully my blogging will increase now!

Gidea Park & Romford cc v Basildon & Pitsea cc 23rd June

Work in progress

At last a game in which I bowled okay! After recent performances I wasn’t expecting to be thrown the ball, but with G-Man at the helm there was always the chance that at some point I’d get a go and sure enough I did. Running up to it though I wasn’t fancying it particularly, but with the recent practices and all the exercise that I’ve been putting in there was some potential, but as the game went on and I wasn’t asked to bowl well beyond the 30th over I was thinking that maybe I’d be bypassed…

It almost started out as a disaster as I’d checked our website and got the postcode and it was for a venue just north of Romford on the A128/A12 intersection. Running late I was also tempted to skip going to the club first which is a waste of diesel most of the time as I end up driving to the venue on my own, but aware that there were a few young uns in the team, there may be a need to give someone a lift, so I drove down there just in time to give Mitchell McLeod a lift and to be told that the ground was no-where near the place indicated on the website, so ended up following G-Man.

The ground was another 7 miles or so further deeper in North East Essex near Roding Lane, Chigwell alongside the M11, if I’d followed my earlier plan I’ve probably not have got there! We arrived under grey skies with the imminent threat of rain, incidentally as I write this on the following Monday there’s a report in the paper saying that this is the wettest June in over a hundred years, so when the rain did come in fits and starts later during the game no-one was surprised and talking to the opposition they had the same stories of not being able to play because of the weather.

They won the toss and opted to bat which was how we’d have had it if we’d have won, so we were happy to field. Initially we were well short of blokes with only 9 of us taking the field – Rez, G-man, Ryan, Jimmy Breeze, Jack Farrington, Mitchell McLeod, Steve, Jamie Britton (Wicket Keeper) and me. Ateeb Hassan and Erskine were AWOL or running late.  Ateeb turned up later and Erskine wasn’t contactable.

It was in interesting game as the opposition again looked to have a similar but slightly older mix of players, with their younger players being in what looked like to 18-15 age bracket – the sort of age where you’d expect them to be reasonable players. There were a couple of older blokes, but much older than us - in their 60’s perhaps nearer 70 one of them! The opening batsman who was one of these older blokes looked a bit and sounded like captain Mainwaring out of Dads army and had that same middle class air of authority about him. He was soon dismissed by ***** leaving **** and **** to get their runs on the board. All of them initially played with a great deal of caution, not looking comfortable at all, leading me to assume that possibly they were a side with strong bowling.

The batting throughout the game looked decidely tentative, so much so that fielding at Mid-wicket, I soon saw that anything on the legs wasn't being put away and that chances were being lost close in between the short mid wicket position and short leg. G-Man did the same and there were obvious contenders for catching opportunites. G-Man and I moved in close for these blokes and sure enough the chances started to come.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Joe Update

Crap weather, Joe out of action and not much cricket for any of us (It's raining now) so there's not a lot of stuff to write about, I'm even contemplating a new blog that is less cricket focussed? Anyway - here's the main thing in my life once again - Joe's progress. We've had a development in his treatment today, the wounds as you can see below have now reached a stage where they'll only need to be treated twice a week and I reckon that'll be Tuesday and Friday. Michelle will do the Tuesday stint and I'll do Friday.
Above - The 'Impact' wound

Bone 'Exit' wound and entry scar for the operation

'The hole'
'The hole'
Wide shot to get some sense of perspective.

The next Fracture clinic visit is 21 days away on Friday 13th July not that distant from the start of the school holidays, so we're hoping that the air boot comes off then and that the broken bones look a lot knitted together and that Joe will only have the crutches? I should have kept a very detailed diary of all the things that he's missed out on, but obvious and easily quantified things include every single cricket match and training event at cricket, which in the longer term could potentially lead to him giving the sport up because when he resumes next season he may feel that he's disadvantaged in that he's been left behind ability-wise as all his team mates and progressed well. The same with Karate, he's missing all of his Karate sessions and missing out on gradings, this means he'll probably be 2 or 3 belts behind where he should have been and this might quash his enthusiasm for the sport again. I'm sure it wont, Joe loves sport and if it wasn't for the incident he'd have probably started to play football this year with a local team that many of his mates go to, again this aspiration will have to be put on hold as his bones fix. We're not expecting the consultant to say that he can kick a ball with venom till Feb or March maybe later in 2013.

He's missed out on several school activities and events - the annual 4th year trip away which he was really looking forward to, which was one of those activity events. He's not going to be able to engage fully with the school dance festival which is a leavers event and Joe loves dancing and singing and would have loved to have been an integral if not major part of that. We're not going to be able to have our annual surfing holiday in Cornwall, so that'll thwart Joe's surfing development too. So it's basically a lost summer for Joe where all the normal things that he'd do as part of his growing up process are all being held back a whole year, which isn't a good thing at his age and especially when he's a July born child meaning that he's potentially disadvantaged academically and developmentally simple because of the time of the year he was born and this incident may well impact on the potential for Joe to cope with that?

Monday, June 18, 2012

General update


None of us have been involved in any matches this last weekend. I was twelth on this list and the rest of the team turned up so I didn't get a game, but it was miles away, so there was the up-side in that I didn't have to drive all the way to Harlow, but I was ready to go right up till 12.00, but never got the call.

Ben on the other hand had to bail out on Friday because his In-Growing toe nail has taken a turn for the worse and we had to book him into a chiropodist. They took loads of bits of nail out of his skin where it's all swollen. Apparently in the same way as you finger nails grow 'Hangnails' see below, your toenails have the same issue caused by cutting your toenails too short, but hangnails on the feet easily grow inwards rather than out as they do with finger nails.
So the ciropodist took 2 or 3 strips of hangnail out of the swollen section of his toe and now he has to take it easy for a week with 'No' sport. But he managed to do his Karate grading on Sunday and has now moved up to Blue striped belt. Hopefully he'll be okay by Thursday and or Sunday?


"The Joe Factor". This is where, because Joe isn't out and about playing outside because of his broken leg, I'm not outside either and no-where near as active as I would be at this time of year. Combine that with the rain and its a recipe for very low fitness levels seemingly leading to Piriformis for a start and the return of mild Plantar Fasciitis. All of which means that physically I'm a bit of a mess.

In between the rain, I've been trying to get out and have a bowl and I'm doing it in short stints where I only bowl 50 balls initially, over the weekend just gone I'm up to 75 balls in a session - twice on Sunday. In addition alongside stretches and workouts trying to resolve the Piriformis, I'm now working on core strength which is fine and upper body strength - particularly my arms and shoulders and I've got myself a terra band kit and I'm working on my press-ups again to get my shoulder strength back to where it should be and there are signs of improvement only after 4 days.

In addition a friend of ours who does all that Boot camp nonesense is claiming to have produced a plank for 6 minutes and 2 secs and has thrown down the guantlet to our social circle which includes a few 'Macho' competitive types - this woman's in her 40's and normally these days I don't bite when these things crop up, but I kind of fancy this one as it's something I already do. Word on the social networks was that the feat had been produced by another competitive mate Thomas Slater for 4 mins and 30 seconds, which was pretty incredible, but almost belieavble as he spends a lot of his time cycling, running and going to gyms. But this was de-bunked today by a Plank-Off see here. Where he was shown to be lacking in planking ability. I produced my PB today at 2 mins and 40 seconds, but have a long way to go before I reach 6 mins and 2 secs!


My bowling is shoddy, nothing is going right, but it's probably not good to bowl just at stumps, I need to bowl at Ben or some of his mates, but Ben's not going anywhere near a scenario where he might cop a ball on the toe for the minute, so that's a no go situation. To be honest with this Piriformis syndrome I'm suffering from at the moment and how badly I'm bowling I'm a little disillusioned with bowling and I'm thinking - is this it, is this where my body is going to let me down and put paid to my Wrist Spinning? It's got so bad I've been practicing with Ben in the paddock with the bat...

Batting - Side-arm

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Joes progress June 15th

Update on Joes leg; Today saw a bit of a milestone in that the 'Exit' wound was deemed to be so well healed that it hasn't had any dressing put on it today and is now only covered by bandage. I spoke to the nurse about the idea that we might start putting Aloe Vera on the scar with the hope that it may help reduce the visual impact of the scar and she was in agreement. So we'll leave it a while and I'll speak to her again on Monday.

Rather incredibly it looks as though the next to reach the 'No dressing' stage will be the 'Hole' wound that has gone through an incredible transformation. Click here to see what it was like when we first got to see it around April 22nd. The incident happened on April 6th. 
The leg with 'Exit' and 'Hole' Wound
The 'Hole'
'Exit' wound

The 'Impact' wound, (Above) which seemingly is the most superfiical is the one that is in the worst state simply because this was hidden beneath the plater cast for several weeks before it was revealed. This one once the scab is off will heal up very fast we're told, but it's proving to be a tough old scab and the last bit is still very well attached.

Other developments in the week have included Joe now getting up the stairs using his crutches standing up. He also moves around without the crutches holding on to furniture. Overall he's doing well and is in good spirits. He's missing out on things - I would say cricket, but as we're in what's beginning to look like the worst ever start to a summer in the last 50 years or so, there hasn't been much cricket -  practice or matches! But on Monday he was due to go to Chessington World of adventures with all his mates, but obviously can't go, so I'm going to have to stay at home and look after him on Monday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2nd game of the season

After some problems with the confirming whether I'd play or not, I eventually ended up in the team. Our 4th XI v Hainhalt 6th XI.
There was some confusion about what time we needed to be there and one or two of the younger lads nearly turned up at the pitch at 11.15 and thet match didn't get under way till just after one. The night before it had rained and all week on and off it had been raining as well. I got there around about 12.00 to find a couple of the U15's waiting and at the time I arrived the council roller turned up and rolled the wicket.

Despite the rolling the opposition pointed out that the wicket was a just a little soggy and didn't seem that happy and all the time more rain was threatening as well all got ready and made our way out on to the pitch. Both teams were made up of the same kind of players - U15's and older blokes and one or two blokes in their late teens.
The bowling figures for me look reasonable... 6-0-15-1, but it was very blustery and I was bowling into the wind and I'm hardly what I would describe as match fit because of the Joe factor and all that combined with a wicket that offered no bounce at all and absorbed what little energy I was able to put on the ball meant that by virtue of my poor bowling and the conditions the batsmen could hardly do anything with the ball, it was very poor.
The other wrist spinner Frank Farrington did far better than me and we bowled in tandem, he came away with 4-0-9-2, one of his wickets came off of a ball pitched very wide of the leg stump which came across round the back of the bats legs taking middle and off stumps. Batting Frank scored 6 runs before being bowled by Z Shar (Above).
The weather did cheer up early in the afternoon and the day ended up quite nice and we won.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Joe update

I've not posted any images of Joe's injuries of late and not seen them myself since I did the wounds myself last Monday. But the progress looks very good as you can see in the images below. The second one down which also appears in the 3rd image down is 'The hole' and has improved amazingly in the last week or two. It does though, look as though once it's healed will leave a dent in his leg, which we were told about, but at the minute with the healing still happening the leg is often quite swollen and the dent affect may look a lot less dramatic once Joes leg returns to normal muscle mass and fitness.

Other news that I don't think I've mentioned before is that the titanium pins will be coming out. At the minute with the improved mobility one of them which is only just below the surface of the skin is rubbing against the flesh/skin inside Joes leg, which causes some discomfort.

With regards putting weight on the leg, Joe's doing this only lightly, I've been trying to encourage him to use one crutch as that would mean that he has to put a little more weight on his bad leg, but as yet he's not bought into that idea at all. But overall he's doing well, he's even been playing cricket outside the house with me standing up with a chair behind him in case he over-balances.

Steatoda Grossa (False Widow)

Another example of the False Widow type spiders which we're beginning to realise are far from rare here in Basildon, Essex. In the last 3 days we've found 5 sepcimens including 1 in the house. Two of them have been large specimens, so I'm assuming that they're females. One of them which I think is bigger that the one in this video as seen below I've kept and is in a demijon in the garden. The ones we get most frequently are the Steatoda Grossa variety which have a nasty bite, but as you can see in the video they're not looking to go around attacking people and the likelyhood is that as long as you don't pick them up by the legs or do anything to hurt them they're fine. I think they're interesting especially as they're supposed to be rare, the truth is more like - people just think of them as being generic spiders and so never report them.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Awful bowling

Rain again today and the U13's match not surprisingly has been cancelled, actually it wasn't because of the rain in this instance it was because the opposition couldn't get a team together, so it's to be re-scheduled. It's the same everywhere, my old Tilbury mate Boffa has just posted on his Facebook page "When's this cricket season going to start"? The season for U13's isn't that long anyway as it finishes when the schools break up, so that leaves another 7 or 8 weekends?

Yesterday I played my first game against Old Brentwood CC 3rd XI playing in the 4ths under Lee Dutton as the captain. This was an away game at their ground and very nice it was too. Located quite some way outside of Brentwood, which in itself is a bit up-market, the ground appeared to be one of those multi-use set ups, that attract funding from the Lottery Commission, whereby if the facilities cover use by several sports and in Brentwwods case this looked like - Cricket, Squash, Football, Rugby and Tennis, they're able to attract funding to upgrade their facilities. Other than that their membership fees must be astronomic or they've got some wealthy backers.
 There are two pitches, this one above - directly outside the clubhouse and a second pitch thay we played on which is in the far distance of this shot over to the right. The pitch we played on had an all weather wicket which seemed a bit odd, which meant I had to muck about changing spikes before I left and this caught a few people out that hadn't seen the message on the club website.
 Nice nets, no sign of any vandalising.
Here's a shot of the clubhouse with nets.
Another shot showing the scoreboards this time.

What with our 4ths playing their 3rds it seemed like a foregone conclusion that this might be a little one sided. Their players looked on average younger without having any 13 year olds as we did (Ryan and Mitchell), they seemed to have blokes in the 16-25 year old range and some later twenties, early 30's and then a couple of older blokes. It was such a foregone conclusin that on winning the toss their captain suggested a limited overs match, suggesting that if it was a timed match we might be looking at fielding for a very long time. I think Lee said something along the lines of  'Yeah we'll be looking to bowl you out, it'll be okay' and the bloke shrugged as if to say, go on then, have it your way, we did warn you.

A short while later with no help from me they were all out for 108 or so! Of that 108 I reckon almost 30 of them must have been down to me off of three overs, it was so bad at the end of the third over I was going to say,'Enough is enough - let someone else bowl', but Lee said 'Have a rest'...

Friday, June 01, 2012

Fracture Clinic

Eight weeks on from the incident and we attended the Fracture Clinic again with expectation that like last time there would be some great leap forwards and to some extent there was. But, to be honest we were both thinking that the boot might come off now and that Joe would be on crutches and gradually putting weight on it. In essence that's pretty much what's going to be happening except that the boot stays on when he's up and about and moving around. The issue with the boot is that it's very sweaty and what with the open wounds still healing, Joe can't wash his leg and feet and they get really sweaty with the ensuing odour that you'd imagine. If it wasn't in the boot it probably wouldn't be so bad!

The consultants were pleased with the progress the wounds were making and the 'Exit' wound where the bone came through almost looks 'Sealed' with scar tissue and I'd imagine that by this time next week it will be fully sealed. The 'Hole' is slowly healing and everytime I see it has improved and this looks as though in another couple of weeks it's going to be pretty much sealed like the 'Exit' wound? The impact wound still has the scab over it, but the scab does seem to reduce in size each time.

The consultant did a test where he tapped with his fingers along the length of the Tibia, asking Joe if it hurt and Joe said 'Nah'. He then put his fist against his heel and banged that fist with the palm of his hand sending force up through the length of the bone. They checked the mobility of the ankle and seemed very happy with that too. The consultant Mr Wakeman said that he was a little disappointed with the progress of the bones as indicated by the Xray (See below).
But then tempered that with the warning he'd made in week 1... The nature of the impact had meant that the energy that had transfered from the car through the fracture has basically mean that the tissue that surrounds the bone had become very seperated - he pointed out on the Xray that at least half of the bone in the section in this image above the crack in the Tibia was exposed and sticking out of Joes leg. What this means is that the tissue that then would have supplied the calcium and the blood cells that affect the repairs to the bone have to repair and grow back to thier place surrounding the bone before it can start to knit together. He said "All along we've been aware of the fact that this was going to be far worse than a normal (Sports/accident) style break and would be eight weeks as an absolute minimum to knit together well, so I'm not surprised that it still looks like this and it's going to take some time as we expected".

Despite this though he then went on to say that he now wanted Joe to get some scales and weigh himself. Then say if he was 8 stone, he then wanted him to press down on the bad leg onto the scales so that it would register 50% of his weight (4 Stone), make a mental note of what that feels like and then start to using the leg with that amount of pressure. So, that's a good development. The open wounds seen below are all coming along well and I've been given the dressings to do on Monday due to the Bank Holiday, so I may give you all a treat and video it and what happens in the clinic when they clean and dress it!

Next visit... Six weeks! Six weeks still with the stinky boot and that takes him right up to when he breaks up from school. By then though I'd have expected that the wounds would have all sealed and Joe would have been able to get in a bath without any protection on his leg? Fingers crossed eh?
'The Hole' Looking pretty good - two weeks maybe and it'llbe looking like the wound below?

 The 'Exit' wound - where the bone came through the leg and where the surgeons accessed the leg to action the repairs. Very little open tissue now and maybe by the end of the next week this one will be sealed and washable with care?
The 'Impact' wound, this is the one where they're trying to slowly remove the scab to encourage a better re-growth of the tissue which creates lesser scars.

Overall everything is coming along really well.
Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.