Lord’s test against W. Indies. Umbers smiled kindly upon me and got me two tickets. He is an MCC member of course. Doesn’t worry me. We were on the boat at Alvechurch, south of Birmingham and Edgbaston and beyond Cadburies. We got the train from Redditch up to New Street. Big Dave then got windy, ‘Look at this notice,’ pointing to a warning that those without tickets were liable to a fine. The lady in the ticket office said £120. Together? No each. What? Virgin trains, that’s why. Go silver service. Cost you £20 all in. These amounts may not be quite accurate, but they are close and make the point. Bit slow though, and then we’d to get across London. We just made the opening overs.

Lords was full. Strange men selling beer from barrels slung on their backs. Strange men in funny coloured jackets and ties. A bearded coal black man sat on the bench in front of us in a pork pie hat, ‘Just short of a horn,’ I said. Robert Keyes was in the 90’s at lunch. The Queen came and delayed the restart. A big fat bloke in a different funny coloured tie, right in front of us went beserk. Stood up and turned to all the crowd, must have had a few, ‘I’m as much a fan of the royals as anyone,’ he said. ‘but Keyes is on for his maiden test hundred and play is postponed for the sake of a few handshakes.’ A few nods and no one took offence. I thought he was hilarious. Big Dave knows nothing about cricket and it showed. Everyone was happy to help him out. 301 for 1 and Keyes on a double hundred by close of play.

Ee it were a long way back. I don’t think we made the boat much before midnight. Joan had never been to London before and she didn’t like it. We had a great week across to the Grand Union up to Aston, the Farmer’s flight and moored at Gas Street Basin.

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