Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

About Me

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Most expensive tickets in town

Not even the cushioned seats (that gave off what sounded like a deep sigh of anguish every time contact with my backside forced them to expand the built up air) was enough to justify the most ludicrously priced tickets in the history of cricket.

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Due to the Post Office failing to deliver when it mattered most the family Norman were forced to pay just shy of £600 for 6 tickets to the cricket on Sunday. Rewind six months and our realisation Surrey hadn't received our application for the more affordable £50 seats was compunded after we were informed they'd already gone and sold out. Meaning we had to shell out or risk missing what we thought might be the definitive days play of the summer.

You can imagine our delight when England managed to lose the series inside three games meaning we had in fact doled out all that dosh on a meaningless 'friendly'. All this after the £100 my dad and I had spent watching an hours play on Saturday before bad weather sent us packing to Craven Cottage to watch another friendly. Although in a sport that isn't brought to an end when dark clouds start hovering.

But it meant that we approached Sunday's play determined, and I mean DETERMINED, to soak as much enjoyment out of it as possible. And for the most part we managed that. Right up to the moment rain brought an end to proceedings. Argh!

That's not to say that the day was a complete washout. Although the weather threatened to turn nasty at sseveral points during the day we did have moments when I regretted not bringing shorts with me.

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And the action on the pitch was also of a decent standard as England pushed for their first victory under KP.

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The last time I'd seen KP in action was his match winning century in Napier in our series against New Zealand. A series that would cost the paying punter exactly $180 (NZ) to watch every day of all three Test matches. At the current exchange rate that means it costs more to watch one day (with one session rained off) at The Oval than a complete series abroad. Astonishing.

But the cricket on show was fairly entertaining. AB De Villiers played at the top of his game before a lack of batting partners threatened his chances of reaching a century nearly as much as this ambitious shot.



And it was great to see Harmison and Flintoff steaming in again. As Andrew Strauss said 'many backed the decision to drop him, but you can't argue about his inclusion in this Test'. Andrew Strauss's future isn't so bright. He'll probably make the tour of India but whether he'll still be around when I head off the Windies is nearly as unlikely as any of the grounds there charging anywhere near £95 to get in.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Kewing in the rain

On Sunday, for a few short hours, I was transported back to the other side of the world. Fe's mum and sister are currently in the UK. And alongside them and Fe's aunt and uncle I spent a rainy Sunday afternoon walking around Kew Gardens.

The last time I'd been was five or six years ago when Sinan and I scaled the main gate and chilled out drinking beer and smoking ciggies. So it was nice to be able to walk around this time during daylight and without constantly having to look over my shoulder for the parks police.

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Even though the weather was at times wretched it didn't prevent me spending a lovely few hours with my body in West London but mind in Western Australia. For if there's one thing that reminds me of my time in NZ and Oz it's walking around botanical type gardens. The fact that I was surrounded by Kiwis just added to the whole daydreaming experience.

Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera. So I had to make do with the one on my phone. But it still enabled me to take a few nice snaps.

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There were a couple of differences from the days spent whiling away my time in Oz. Firstly, I wasn't hungover. Secondly, it was raining. Thirdly, the treetop walkway didn't wobble as much and was nowhere near as high.

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And lastly, I can't remember ever getting the opportunity to tune into a tree when I was in Oz.

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Somehow a microphone is placed in the middle of the tree trunk and if you wear the headphones you can hear the static thumping sound of water travelling up and down the trunk and the inner workings of the tree in action. Supposedly. It just sounded like an Aphex Twin rip off to me.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Doing their bit to beat the credit crunch

Step forward Sainsbury's in Clapham Junction who are shaving off a monster 1 pence off a bottle of Rose.

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Now that's going to make all the difference when I'm wearing 15 jumpers during the winter in a bid to stave off the effects of the 35% gas price hike.