An amazing night of cricket… again!

Andrew Strauss passing 6,000 test runs during the 4th test against Australia
England captain Andrew Strauss passing 6,000 test runs at the MCG (photo taken from ECB TV video highlights)

When I went to sleep last night England had just opened the bowling against Australia in the fourth test at the infamous MCG, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  I was nervous but hopeful that England’s performance in Perth was just a temporary blip in what has been a dominating visit to Australia to battle to retain The Ashes.

During the night I drifted in and out of sleep.  Always waking a little too late (or early) the hear the next wicket fall.  Oh, and how they fell: FOW 15, 37, 37, 58, 66, 77, 77, 77, 92, 98.

Ninety-eight?!

I woke shortly after 5am and lay in bed listening to my DAB radio. It didn’t make sense. It sounded as though Australia were bowling.

I checked Twitter.

And then the commentator on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra confirmed it: Australia had been bowled out for 98.

Excuse me?! Did you just say ninety-eight?

Selkirk Cricket Club scored 98 against Galashiels Cricket Club on 10 May 2009. At home. Fenton scored 23. That’s three runs more than Aussie #4 batsman Michael Clarke scored. Admittedly, Selkirk vs Gala wasn’t an international test… but come on Australia, that’s the score of amateurs!

Discipline

I was interested to read on the Melbourne and Victoria newspaper Herald Sun website an article entitled Strauss a Christmas grinch:

England captain Andrew Strauss yesterday morphed into a Christmas Scrooge unashamedly ordering his men to jettison all frivolity.

Strauss’ firm stance came as he ordered his troops to focus on breaking resurgent Australia in Melbourne’s Boxing Day blockbuster […]

It’s one of the highlights of your career, being able to play at the MCG in a Boxing Day Test. We intend to take the most of that.

I think Strauss was quite right. In many ways Christmas Day just “just another day”, and they had a job to do. I really do admire their discipline.

There are four days to go, I’m not celebrating quite yet but that was a very, very impressive performance from England.  I eagerly await this evening’s broadcast.

You can watch highlights on the English Cricket Board website.

Tweets

A few of my favourite Tweets:

  • Aus 98 [all out] thank you Santa. #Ashes – @gedrobinson
  • Lovely ground the MCG… Even when it’s half full… Must have all gone home to watch Neighbours… – VaughanCricket
  • The great Boxing Day Sale of Aussie wickets! Take 1, get 9 free! That’s an unmissable offer even for a cricket hater! #theashes, #ashes – @Bonhomie13
  • #ashes Quote of the Day: Geoff Boycott after 15 minutes: “I can’t see how England are going to win this … That’s why I’m an expert.” – @PatrickNeylan

May you have a blessed Christmas

Nativity by Father Luke Dingman
From the hand of Father Luke Dingman © 1992 Conciliar Press

This is one of my favourite Christmas cards.  I was sent it by my good friend, and former National Youth Choir of Great Britain member, Mark T Powell.

It has this prayer on the reverse:

Adorn yourself, O Bethlehem.
Open your gates, O Eden.
Enter, O Magi, and see salvation swaddled in a crib.
Behold the star shining above the cave;
It announces the life-giving Lord
who saves the human race.

Vespers of the Feast of Saint Andrew

Lots of love this Christmas-time from

Gareth, Jane, Reuben, Joshua and Baby 3.0 (due on Thursday 20 January 2011)
xxx

Panic buying

During periods of particularly inclement weather you often hear reports of people ‘panic buying’.

But they always end up buying sensible things. Like too much bread and milk. Or 200 toilet rolls.

That doesn’t sound like panic to me.

“Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight or flight reaction.”

Wikipedia entry on “Panic”

If if was proper panic buying then people would be leaving the supermarkets with completely random stuff that they’d shovelled off the shelves into a trolley:

  • 27 Kg of white potatoes
  • 1 baking potato
  • 96 tins of prunes
  • 3 x Hello magazine (same issue)
  • A shoe

Two days at home

Reuben, Gareth and Joshua in the snow
Reuben, Gareth and Joshua in the snow

Thanks to #uksnow I’ve spent the last couple of days largely indoors.

Yesterday

Yesterday morning, I was due to preside at the 08:00 Eucharist at All Saints’, St Andrews. I got a phone call around 06:50 from Fr Jonathan while I was out clearing the snow off the car… using a mop.  Needs must.  He told me not to come in to St Andrews, as the roads were too dangerous.

A JCB did a circuit of our street yesterday lunchtime. For about an hour afterwards you could see that the road wasn’t white.

Then a car crashed into our neighbour’s parked car.

Then we built a snowman in the back garden.

Gareth's desk
Gareth’s desk at home

Today

This morning the roads weren’t any better. In fact, if anything they were worse.  While I was fairly confident that I could probably make it safely to St Andrews I really didn’t want to add one more car to what were obviously dangerous roads.

In this kind of weather the less traffic there is on the roads the better.  It reduces the chances of accidents, doesn’t block the roads for vehicles that really do need to get through, and doesn’t potentially endanger the lives of others who might otherwise need to come out to rescue you if you do get involved in an accident.

No thanks!  I’ll stay and work from home.

Besides, thanks to the wonders of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection and a job that requires me to be connected to the World Wide Web, I can do pretty much anything that I needed to from the comfort of my own PC at home.

Before I got stuck into work though I installed Input Director on my laptop and PC. Input Director enables me to control both computers using only my PC’s keyboard and mouse. It also shares the clipboard, so I can copy something on my laptop, for example, and paste it into a document on my PC.  Fabulous!

What a productivity boost that was, I effectively had 3 monitors.

Of course, as soon as I connect to the VPN… I lose connection because I’ve switched to a different network.  Something to remember next time.

I wonder if I’ll get into work tomorrow…