Time is an illusion…

Well I find it weekend again, and it doesn't seem five minutes since I was playing cricket last Sunday. Is it an age thing? I recall when I was a youngster that time appeared to pass very slowly, now, blink an eye and it's Grand National weekend again. Maybe we pack more into life these days, I certainly don't seem to get much time for simply doing nothing and relaxing these days!

Anyway, it is weekend again, and following on from my return to the cricket field, I'm playing again tomorrow for the third team. Quite looking forward to it to be honest, I've got all the gear again now courtesy of some very cheap prices at Sports Direct, so even if I can't perform like I used to, at least I'll look as if I belong 🙂

A hectic week at work last week (when isn't it these days?), but it does look a little more manageble next week. I'm hoping to close out some tasks that have been on the "to do" list for rather too long.

And finally it's official, Summer's here, it's near enough June as I find myself typing this from the boundary at Leigh CC where the temperature's a very creditable 23 degees C. Very nice too.

Until next time.



Edgbaston Engand v. West Indies ODI

An excellent day at Edgbaston yesterday where England clinched the ODI series against (what has to be said) was a poor W. Indies side.

I’m not convinced at all about all this international cricket in May, it was damned cold there. I’d far rather it be in the “proper” summer months when you don’t have to take thermal underwear and gloves!

Still, a good day out nonetheless. Although we’ve won this series (and the Tests), I’m not sure a T20 competition is the best preparation for the Ashes, but we’ll have to wait and see. At least I have a little more confidence now than I did a couple of months ago 🙂


Cricketing comeback….

After twenty odd years in retirement, a late cry off, and a moment of weakness on my part, led to me taking the field once again in an away cup game at Northop Hall in Wales. With somewhat less athletic prowess than may have existed all those years ago, it proved to me that cricket is still a game that can be enjoyed by those of all ages.

Ok, we lost, but I must confess to a great deal of pride (and enjoyment), in batting with my lad down at the bottom of the order. Never thought I’d see the day, but very glad I have 🙂 We both ended up not out at the end of the alloted overs, me with solid nought and my lad with a handful of runs.

Next obvious question is did I enjoy it enough to want to have another go? Well you never know 🙂



Cars and spare tyres.

Some time ago I bought my first car that came without a spare tyre, not even the token "pram wheel" that comes with some.

To be fair, it was one of the reasons I subsequently changed it since I felt uncomfortable given the amount of time I spent on the road. Sure, it came with one of those mini compressors and a bottle of "goo", but what the hell use would that be?

Wind the clock forward a couple of years, and while in Italy last week, the car we hired got a flat. What should come with it but the compressor / goo solution I knew was useless.

Well I have to take my words back, screw the goo bottle into the gadget, plug into the cigarette lighter, attach to tyre. Switch on, leave for seven minutes, and voilà' all done. You can't do more than 60mph, but it's good for 200km. Not sure it'd cope with a shredded tyre, but thankfully they're not too frequent.

Shan't let it concern me any more!



Did manage to get a free evening while away with work in Rome, took in the usual tourist spots. I really like Rome, it’s a vibrant city oozing with architecture, history, atmosphere and an all round love for life. If you don’t feel a buzz in Rome, you’re missing something. Sure it’s frantic and chaotic too, but drive a few miles out of the city, and you’ll arrive in the surrounding hills with as much peace, and scenic beauty as you can shake a stick at. 

Could I live there? Probably not, I like England too much for that, but it sure makes a great place to visit. One to add the “Bucket list” for everyone.

Climate change.

Just off (with work) for a couple of days to Rome. Looking at the current weather, it's 32 degrees C over there. Forgetting to pack sunglasses could prove a costly mistake both in terms of glare and fashion (since the wearing of them appears mandatory in Italy).

If I get any spare time, will try and take in a few key places and post photos.

Could always follow the 'Da Vinci Code' clues in the Vatican. If I don't return, you know why….


Gaining an understanding now….

Ok, it’s all starting to fall into place now. Sure, I can blog from the PC keyboard, but what’s the fun in that 🙂

Using all the features available within blogspot, I can update the blog from anywhere provided I’ve got my phone with me. And that includes pictures. My carrier in the UK doesn’t support MMS, but even if they did, why pay money? It appears I can email my blog, including pictures, direct from the phone. 
I’ve added my twitter feed, and the “Where’s Mark” feature provided by Google Latitude, all integrated in the blog. I’m sure it’s all very routine and normal for you experienced folks out there, but it’s all new to me.
All very cool indeed.
Now, it’s just a case of what to write…..

MP’s expenses.

Not going to dwell too long here, it's been done to death all over the media. But here's my take.

I work for a large company where the rules regarding expense claims appear somewhat tighter than those that our MP's have to adhere to.

The story I hear the most is that many of these claims are "within the rules". If that's correct (and I'm not going to argue here whether those rules are correct), then I'd have to say if my expense claims rules allowed me to claim for just about anything, trust me, I would.

The problem is not the MP's themselves, anyone will take what they can when it's permitted, it's the system itself that's fundamentally wrong.

What staggers me is it's taken so long for the public to find out how far disconnected from the real world the MP's expense system really is.


Eat your heart out Mr. Oliver!

Well as part of our new healthy eating campaign, we’ve decided that once a week (normally a weekend), we’re going to have a go at cooking something new without assistance from supermarket pre-packed and ready made sauces etc.

Today was chicken tikka masala, a very typical English dish 🙂

I have to report a resounding success! Very tasty and hopefully a healthy option too. Unlike the wine that was consumed to enhance the experience…