Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Most English of Afternoons

The OH has become a member of Surrey County Cricket Club which means he gets free entry to selected games and entry into the members pavilion. So yesterday afternoon we went down to the Oval to watch a bit of country cricket and (more importantly) have afternoon tea. Can you think of a more English way to spend an afternoon?

I was actually quite excited about our trip as I'd never seen a proper game of cricket before (OH & his friends playing does not count) but the OH warned me not to get too excited as the game was already pretty certain to end in a draw. Cricket is a bizarre passtime in that respect, in that often the result is secondary to the spirit of the game.

We arrived during the lunch break so had time for a quick look around the facilities before settling down with our drinks to watch the game (Surrey v Warwickshire, if you're interested). The match umpires walked past us on their way to the pitch and one of them (a little bald Welshman) gestured to the OH and said 'I've always wanted to do what you are doing, watch the cricket with a beautiful young lady and a beer, but I never get the chance'. I was rather embarrassed by this and could only draw the conclusion that cricket umpires like football referees must suffer from poor vision as I'm not sure I count as young anymore (although by county cricket watching standards, I suppose I was) and nobody has ever accused me of being beautiful before!

Anyway, we watched a few overs and saw Mark Ramprakash make a century, but then, as must be almost a daily hazard, rain stopped play and we were forced to return inside. Although it wasn't quite 3 o'clock yet, we decided to bring forward our afternoon tea, selecting a table by the window with a view of the field should play resume.

Seated at the table behind us were three men, one of whom had a very distinctive voice and was talking quite excitedly about problems he'd had with his Visa card in the USA. 'Is that Alan Wicker?' I asked the OH, not particularly seriously, but it turned out it was! A man who was famous for travelling around the globe and then went on to advertise a credit card was sat behind us, talking insistently about troubles with creditcards whilst on holiday! He eventually left behind the topic of credit cards and proceeded to go on a 'namedrop-athon' which took in Gaby Logan, Elton John and Michael Grade. Whilst we were happy to tuck into our tea, sandwiches, scones and cakes, we struggled to have our own conversation as Alan's monologue seemed much more interesting.

When we could eat and drink no more (the OH having exceeded his usual weekly tea dose in one sitting), we had one last look around the ground, but the rain was still coming down, so we decided to leave. As it happens, play did resume later but as expected it was still a draw so we didn't really miss much.


prettyinpink said...

I live quite near the Oval and go past 'The Cricketers' everyday *shudder* I've never been inside so I'm pleased to hear that cream tea refinery and Alan Wicker reside inside!

SandDancer said...

No, that wasn't inside the Cricketeers - that is now closed. I just took a picture of it because I'm a bit obsessed with signs!

We were in the members area of the Oval - much swankier - but I think I've had my fill of scones for quite some time.