Match-day musings

2014-11-12 00:00

I’M cold, I thought crossly, as I shifted restlessly on the hard, cold, metal stands, trying to ignore the chilly breeze. I was cursing the fact that I hadn’t brought a jersey with me — a very unusual occurrence as I never go anywhere without one, even on the hottest day. So why did I not take a jersey on a day which I knew was going to be cool?

Realising my mistake earlier, I had popped into a clothing shop on my way to see if I could buy a jersey — of course you can’t buy a jersey in summer for love nor money.

Well, I mused, there was that coat, lurking on the back rail. I should have bought it, I sighed to myself.

Well I didn’t and now I’m going to have to sit here all day freezing. And I forgot my book.

Maybe I should go home and get a jersey and my book? No it’s too far, and then I’ll be hard-pressed to come back, and I’ll miss the action — again. I’m an idiot.

My rambling thoughts were interrupted by loud cries of “Catch!” followed by my son’s name. I glanced up to see him looking skywards, hands cupped, ready for a small red ball that was hurtling towards him. “Oh God, I can’t watch,” I mumbled, peering through my fingers and sighing with relief once I was sure that the ball was safely nestled in his hands.

You have to concentrate on the game, I scolded myself, as I forced my attention back to the white-clad figures dotted around the field.

Something soft landed on my head and my hand came away cradling a lilac-coloured blossom.

I looked down the avenue of trees lining the road. Gosh, they really are pretty, I thought, admiring the purple jacarandas and their carpet of petals.

These trees are really big; they must be quite old. I bet they were planted when the school was first built.

Don’t jacarandas’ branches break easily? Maybe I should park my car somewhere else; the last thing I need is a dent. It’s a pity not much grows underneath them, though, it gets a bit muddy in the rain.

I wonder if it’s going to rain again.

Look at those black clouds over there — are they coming from the right direction? I don’t know, who cares? I’m still cold. I wish it would rain, then we could all go home.

A thwack, the sound of wooden pegs flying and shouts of “Howzat!” brought my wandering attention back to the field to see my son surrounded by his team-mates high-fiving and whooping, as a single figure disconsolately left his position, dragging his bat behind him.

Damn, I missed it — again. Right, now I’m really going to concentrate. I have to report back to his father, which I can’t do if I’m daydreaming.

Resolutely shaking my head to clear the cobwebs, I made a concerted effort to watch the game.

Behind me, I could hear loud shouts, singing and ecstatic cheering coming from the indoor basketball courts. In front of me, a constant chatter interspersed with polite clapping rang around the field — words of encouragement peppered with nicknames: “Come on my boy, you can do it, another wicket” or “One more boysie, one more … ooooh good ball,” followed by arms flung in the air or hands covering mouths in disbelief. They sound like a bunch of Indian Mynahs, I chuckled to myself.

Oh my word, I can’t believe it. I think he just sledged the batsman. Is that the right word? Sledged? Look at him, he’s glaring at the poor boy. That’s not very nice. I’ll have to have a word. This really is an odd game, I thought. I wonder who invented it? And why’s it called “cricket”? Who came up with terms like “silly mid-on”? I wonder why someone thought that a game involving two people standing on either side of a strip of compressed earth waiting to hit a ball that’s going fast enough to necessitate helmets and all manner of padding, surrounded by people who spend hours on their feet, usually in the sun, would be fun?

I looked at my watch — one hour gone, a whole lot more to go. If you just watch the game, you’ll forget that you’re cold. Ooohh, is that a bird of prey? I wonder what it is? It’s flying quite low. Thwack. “Howzat!” Oh bloody hell.

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