I had a good laugh walking home a bit earlier. There were two school children, boy and girl, aged around 9 or 10 playing on scooters along a quiet village street:
Boy: "Did you tell your brother I could do that?"
Girl: "Yes, he said it was very good"
Boy: "You didn't tell him, did you?"
I was smiling anyway as I had been having one of those 'senior moments' when for no readily explicable reason you remember something from the past. This time it was a couple of games of cricket I had played in, and I have no idea why they bubbled up, apart from the fact that after I had the first recollection the others were logically linked!
In years past I used to play cricket for a local village team (half decent bowler, pretty good fielder, 'get someone else' batsman ). The first memory (not at all detailed, just the warm glow of the memory of what happened in a general way) was a last wicket stand I was involved with, along with a (cliche alert!) really nice guy named Steve Mankelow. He was a tail order batsman as well, probably 8, 9 or 10, whereas I was a definite last man in! The situation was simple: hold out for a draw, just 'drop the bat' on everything. As over followed over and Steve nudged and played the ball around and I noodled and did my best to get off strike we noticed that we were, actually, knocking off the runs at a not too bad a rate. At which stage a quick mid of strip chat was had and we decided, "why not?" and from that point, whilst not taking chance we did start pushing and playing for the runs and, yes, we actually ended winning the game! Needless to say it was Mr Mankelow who 'opened his shoulders' and got the majority of the runs, but it was a pleasure and joy to be along for the ride!
That, of course, led to the second memory, another last wicket stand. Again with a Steve. This time it was Steve Bluck, our captain and opening bat. Again it was a case of "drop the bat"! for me. I cannot recall what the final outcome was, I think it was a draw, but it was a last wicket stand of just over 50 runs. Of which I, personally, scored ... 1.
Almost any reminiscence of cricket will pull in a couple of games we had, with a gentleman named David playing in the opposing team. At the time we first played that side he was in his early 70s in age. He was keeping wicket and one of his sons was one of their (fairly sharpish) bowlers. In this game we batted first, so David was behind the stumps and we were (except the two batsmen) around the boundary, along with wives, etc., of their players. After a handful of overs one delivery was pushed through a bit quicker than usual and it seemed to catch David off guard as he did not take the ball in his gloves, instead it hit him in the chest, from which arose an almighty CLANG!!!! noise, a deep, gong-like knell! Needless to say the boundary was replete with our players saying things along the line of, "I say, gosh, whatever was that unexpected bell-like sound?" (This WAS cricket, don't forget, we were all terribly refined and polite ... ) One of the wives told us not to worry, it was the metal plate that David wore to protect his chest. A slight pause, a mental regroup and sage nodding from our players. After all David was in his 70s and the elderly tend to have more brittle bones and all. Then the other shoe dropped when the wives went on to explain that of course he only needed the plate as he'd got out of hospital after a triple bypass operation a few weeks back ...
Next year we played them again and once more David was playing. This time when batting he skied one over my head as I was fielding and I went off in chase, not quite getting to the ball before it landed. At the end of the over I mentioned to him that "10 years ago I'd have caught that!" to be replied to, with a twinkle in his eye, "10 years ago, you'd not have had the chance ..." Sadly, later, I got him out with a rank delivery wide outside off-stump, which he should never have gone near, but he went 'fishing' and got an edge with the ball going straight to slip at knee height. Iain, fielding at slip, whose look of startlement as he realised he'd caught the ball was an absolute delight! As Iain said, "I can't believe you bowled that, I can't believe he hit it, I can't believe I caught it".