Following yesterday’s dismal display by England, today was a lesson in how to survive and play test cricket. Okay there were two early wickets lost very cheaply but then, Joe Root and Joe Denly settled in, both batting for most of the day notching up a slow and steady partnership of 125 before Denly was out for 50 late on.
This test series has, so far, had everything any fan of test cricket could wish for. Amazing bowling, extraordinary batting collapses, tactical excellence, everything. And huge crowds.
Away from the cricket, we had visitors for lunch today: Sophie and Tom brought Boris around to visit the girls. Freya wasn’t too certain and spent a lot of time beneath the safetly of the terrace table so she wasn’t trodden on by Boris and his big, gallumphing paws.
The weather was fantastic so we sat outside, breathing in the air, attracting the insects and discussing a large variety of things, including the insects. Great joy was also extended to the new greenhouse by Sophie. Tom actually asked me, in all seriousness, if it had been there before. It reminded me of the time he didn’t realise the path had been made.
Speaking of insects, the kitchen has become a Beacon of Plenty for the flies of Surrey. I made stuffed bacon wrapped chicken for lunch and forgot to wipe down the chopping board afterwards. When I returned to the kitchen, a black cloud, big enough to blot out every light source in the immediate vicinity rose like a summer’s day barbi in Dubbo.
Sophie thought I’d suddenly been surrounded by wasps.
Lunch, regardless of the insects, went well and Sophie was complimentary about my stuffing ability as well as my Caprese salad.
Emma, for some inexplicable reason, thoroughly enjoyed eating Boris’ lunch. This is in complete contrast to her usual habit of sniffily walking away from her own lunch. I think it must be a greener grass thing because Sue reports the same sort of thing happening when she has them.
It was then time for a walk. A vote was taken and it was decided we’d go up the Avenue of Trees once Sophie was convinced that it is actually quite a bit cooler than the rest of the world on a hot day. Boris was not in the least undecided.
The walk was characterised by a lot of other people doing the same thing as well as a two rather peculiar groups playing dress up. One group seemed to be a Regency outing complete with frocked women in bonnets and jacketed chaps in hats while the other seemed to be elves and wizards. All a bit odd but a lot more delightful than the teenagers we came across in the same space with Sharon, Jud, Naomi and Luca a while back.
Before they left us at 4:30 (they were on a strict timetable) we were told about the way they choose which films to watch at home. They each get turns, though Tom seems to get more than his mother. The thing is, Tom has a veto over any film that Sophie wants to watch. She chooses a selection and he then chooses which one among them.
This selection process is not extended to Sophie however; she has to watch whatever he decides he wants to watch. Mirinda suggested that Sophie should choose a load of films that there is no way in a million years that Tom would want to watch (Room With a View, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, etc) along with the one she actually wants to watch. This should guarantee she gets to see the one she wants every time.
We also heard all about Tom’s first ‘dates’, as he called them. He’s had two though they aren’t really what I’d class as a date in the true sense of the word. Both occurred at camp and both consisted of wandering around, unsuccessfully trying to avoid huge groups of friends. They were also a year apart. If he read more I think he’d realise what a date actually is. Still, maybe at 13 his innocence is best preserved. Plus, he does give us a laugh.
All too soon, the clock ticked round and they left to drive back to Bath, Boris eventually forced into the back seat. We settled down for a quiet night in.