The gravy boat dog

There was some high drama at the Hollowdene pitch today. It was a 4th Division I’Anson Cup match between the Frensham 3rd XI and the Badshot Lea 2nd XI. Going into the game, Frensham was sitting in 3rd place while Badshot Lea was languishing in 10th. Or, as some would say, at the bottom of the table.

Kat (second from the right) and Amy (extreme left) opened the bowling for Badshot Lea. I was very impressed with Amy’s pace and accuracy. She bowled a few mean googlies that had the batsmen tied up. Kat, while expensive, also had them guessing. It was like The Archers but without Tracey Horribin.

At one point, Kat, fielding on the boundary square of the wicket, was clouted on the thumb by a ball that bounced awkwardly off the grass. She was in a lot of pain and was given a frozen Esky brick wrapped in a towel to ease the swelling. The poor thing had already sprained her other thumb a while back and was just getting over it.

I know a lot about the Badshot Lea players because the team were gathered around me on the hill and Amy’s entire family was there having a picnic and hurling encouragement. Amy’s dad, in particular was quite vocal about many things. He would have been playing except his shoulder is injured. Again.

The high drama came about when Kevin missed a catch.

Poor Kev was definitely in the wars. Early in the innings, a well struck ball hit him on the ankle, making him jump about and hobble for quite a few overs. He also fell over while chasing a ball which eventually went for four. Another ball, which he should have stopped, went through him as he fell, in slow motion, to the ground.

Finally, he was standing deep behind the batsman who swung and connected with a ball that was skied towards Kev. It was an easy catch. It fell through Kevin’s hands and lay safe on the grass. Poor Kevin completely lost his rag. He threw his cap on the ground and yelled “FUCK OFF!” scaring a flock of birds and some small children nearby.

This was not cricket. He was calmly told off for swearing by his captain. Then Amy’s dad had a stern word with him.

The cricket itself was all a bit Frensham’s way – many 4’s and a couple of well struck 6’s. They had scored over 200 for the loss of only four wickets by the time Mirinda returned from her very long walk with two exhausted puppies. We went home for her to have a guitar class via Skype. I don’t know what the final score was but Badshot Lea would have had to have had some amazing batting to win.

While there was drama on the cricket pitch, there was no such thing in the Holly Bush where we had our usual brunch.

There’s been a bit of a change to the menu and I had the poached egg on pitta bread with rose harissa yoghurt and crispy parma ham. It was spectacular.

It was so good that I told the waitress to tell the chef it was a complete winner. And I know she did because I heard her as I left the pub.

My hearing was a little more accurate than my wife’s. She thought one of the staff was talking about a gravy boat dog (slightly bigger than a teacup poodle) when she was offering our two gravy bones.

Today, this happened

In 1853, the New York Women’s Total Abstinence Society, in a meeting tonight declared that if men could get drunk then it was the duty of their wives to lead them to the road of temperance. In an impassioned speech, Mrs Mary C Vaughan, president of the society, announced that although a petition, signed by 28,000 New York women had been presented to the State Legislature, the proposed Maine Law would not be enacted. It seemed, so Mary said, that they were happy to save little birds and fishes but not men.

The Maine Law (it was first enacted in Maine) was enacted in a number of states between 1851 and 1855 and was an early form of total booze prohibition. It made the sale of alcohol illegal except for “…medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes…” wherever it was enacted.

The reach of the Maine Law was not confined to the US. In Manchester, England, a road that had once been called Dog Kennel Lane was renamed Maine Road, after the Maine Law. This was the idea of the United Kingdom Alliance, an organisation that deplored intoxication. In fact, the UK Alliance, in 1852, created the National League for the Total and Legal Suppression of Intemperance. Extremists, every one of them.

Fortunately it didn’t catch on, particularly given the state of the British water when beer was more likely to prolong your life.

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