In 2012, due to the fact that the fixture list was kind to me, I became a member at Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Therefore, I spent many days in the summer driving up the A50 to Derby to spend my day at the County Ground. In the first half of the season I spent vast amounts of my time deriving enormous satisfaction that the Derbyshire team, as a whole, possessed an odd number of toes.

You see, Martin Guptill – their then overseas player – stopped counting his toes when he reached seven, with just two on one foot due to an incident in his younger days. However, his lack of shoe filling didn’t stop him possessing the twinkliest of toes when dancing down the wicket to opposition bowlers. The first day of the season saw him imperiously smack (there is no other word for it) Sri Lanka pace bowler Chaminda Vaas somewhere beyond the County Ground marquee, whilst two days later he notched a century so glorious it was truly a pleasure to watch.

Therefore, you can imagine my delight when I awoke on Monday morning to see that Marty is back at the County Ground for the first part of this summer as Derbyshire’s overseas pro. Not only was he a quick scorer, setting the Falcons innings off with a good start, but he had this knack of galvanising everyone around him. He oozed confidence, he built confidence, and he started the ball rolling towards Derbyshire’s victorious title chase. He was a great signing and I have every confidence he will be another great signing.

Put it this way, turning up at the ground knowing you’ll see a Derbyshire shirt emblazoned with ‘Guptill 31’ on the back is a sure-fire way to arrive in good spirits, with every confidence your team will win.


Mallard 4468: When hobbies collide

Regular readers of the blog will know I have more than a passing interest in both brass bands and the railways. Well, I recently discovered that there has been a piece composed about the Mallard, written by Dan Price.

It’s entitled ‘Mallard 4468’ but has since been re-named ‘Blue Thunder’ and recorded by the world famous Black Dyke Band on a recent CD.

It’s world premiere performance was given by the National Children’s band of Great Britain – have a listen below and see what you think.….h?v=A7rU0HJGZUA

Great Railway Journeys

Some of you avid (hmm…) readers of this blog will recall that I outed myself as a rail enthusiast. Well, recently I’ve found myself enjoying Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys on BBC, to the extent I now own the first two series on DVD. Although rail is his means of transport, it’s perhaps fair to say that it is more of a tour of the UK, rather than a homage to the railway.

However, it is excellent television and is fast becoming my guilty pleasure; a couple of episodes each evening before going to sleep.

If you’ve not watched it, it really is well worth a listen.

Happy New Year

2014 is over. 2015 is almost 4 days old. How many of you have already broken new years resolutions, or fallen off the wagon in dry-January?

I don’t really ‘do’ resolutions but this year there is one that I’m going to look at. For a while, and for no real reason, I’ve been having a hankering to do a jigsaw. A big jigsaw, 1000 pieces or suchlike. Absolutely no reason – apart from middle age – but it’s something I want to get out of my system!

Happy New Year to you all (yes, all three of you who read this blog)!