cricket


You know, sometimes we needs loads of evidence to point to someone being Souf Efrikans. But sometimes one photo tells the story. Unfortunately for others, 3 photos are not only enough proof to show they are Souf Efrikan, but also enough to make sure they won’t ever get a visa to go anywhere else in the world.

Take today’s victim friend… He gave me 3 photos. Was he crazy? He could have given me one corner of one half a photo and I could have pointed it out to him. Hell… This guy is so Souf Efrikan that even Mandela calls him boet. I bet you he has the typical 1, 2, 3 of Souf Efrikans – 1 liter brandy, 2 liter Coke and 3 liter Ford. That’s Souf Efrikans for you. As easy as 1, 2, 3…

I give to you Koos Baardman (Chuck Beardman)… Oh, he thought he was Keven Bennet from Seattle, but we know he is Koos Baardman from Sonderwater (Withoutwater). But let me give you a bit of background on Koos…

Every year millions of Souf Efrikans go down to the Cape for a holiday. Those Vaalies, or as we call them, Klipkakkers (Hum… Rockshitters…) come down in their numbers. Getting away from the craziness of living up at high altitude. Only problem is that they are the crazy people and they all gather down at our place. And guess what happens? It’s the same crazy people doing the same crazy things – but just with a better view. Ja, bleddie Klipkakkers…

We have a few of the farmers coming down as well. Bringing their caravans, sheep and mother-in-law with them. That is also the order of importance. Koos does that. He is a farmer. He rents a place right next to the sea every year. Okay, what he defines right next to the sea. It’s about 5 miles in and right next to the sewerage plant. But that’s no problem. Five miles is just enough for the mother-in-law to go missing for the whole day. Or whole holiday. And the smell of the sewerage plant remind him of the kraal (enclosure for sheep and cattle) back home. He is from the land where men are men and sheep are scared…

So here we have Koos at his little place by the sea. Let’s see what evidence we can find. A bit of a tester today. Try to match the red arrows to the statement of his Souf Efrikan roots…

The afdak… (The lean-to) 

Every good Souf Efrikan has got one. An afdak. But not just any afdak. There are certain things that tells us this is a Souf Efrikan afdak…

Now, let’s match the arrows… Join the dots… Check the lines… You get what I mean?

1. A roof made of old blue overalls and stitched together by his lovely wife Ant Bettie. (Blue overalls are the standard outfit for farmers in Souf Efrika.)

2. Leg of blue overall still hanging down the side of the afdak.

3. Old school lawnmower for when the last sheep is on the braai but the grass still needs to be cut.

4. House at the back where mother-in-law is locked up at night. (Just to keep her away from the booze and boys.)

5. Window Aunt Bettie uses to shout instruction like, “Pulls up yor pents Koos. Duh hole nayburhood dusn’t neet to see yor builders cleavage.” (Proper accent included.)

6. Forest for feature braai wood. It used to come right up to his back door. Yes, Koos likes to braai. Often. And big.

7. Pipe to let the steam out from the “braai”. It isn’t really a braai. It is a home made mampoer factory. (Mampoer is the strongest drink ever made. And it is home brewed. Not to be used close to an open flame. But can be used as a paint stripper. Made from fruits. Any fruits. We Souf Efrikans aren’t too picky…)

And… Did you see the generator driven computer in the background? That’s to keep up with what’s going down with AA! Fox News for Africa. Unfiltered and unbiased… Hah!

The workshop…

But you would think the guy will stop there right? That he won’t give me any more reason to “show him the way”? He did…

1. The stick part of a broom used to poke the coals, chase the bloody dog who just grabbed the meat off the braai and also to flip the dog turds off the grass like a professional golfer. (Was once used to keep Ant Bettie away when Koos by “accident” had an “accident” in the kitchen sink after too much mampoer.)

2. A telly to watch the rugby and cricket on. This is cricket you see because no true contact sport for men will really have so much padding or wear helmets. The motto of rugby players… “Real men don’t wear helmets” and “it doesn’t hurt if you can stitch it back on”.

3. A coffee mug. Koos’s favorite coffee mug. He drinks everything from this mug. It says, I Love Mum. Not allowed to be washed, only rinsed, as Koos believes the residue of coffee, mampoer and braai sauce leaves a nice aftertaste. Also known to repel flies from the braai area. And cats won’t even crap close to it. (Currently has mampoer in it.)

4. Wooden fence to keep the noisy neighbors out. Especially the mother-in-law.

5. Bag of charcoal. Only to be used when wood runs out or when you need something hard to chuck at the dogs crapping on the lawn but you don’t really want to get up from the chair.

6. The “Mampoer Bucket”. Used for any type of residue left after making mampoer. From the leftover fruits to the brown and green stuff that grows at the top of the liquid or the yellow watery stuff that comes from you after consuming too much liquid. Once the bucket is filled… Used to kill ants and bees in the garden. And stop the dogs from crapping on the lawn. And makes a mean mix with some ice and a lemon. Not sliced. Called Souf Efrikan Cocktail.

7. Chair taken from the rubbish dump and welded together again by Koos. He made his whole dining room set this way…

8. Big bag of crisps hiding behind the chair. Ant Bettie doesn’t want him to eat so much crisps. But he needs his fix. Also used to store biltong when Ant Bettie isn’t looking. And spare beer.

9. Huge bowl of dip for the chips. Currently covered in tinfoil. Key ingredients… Onion, salt and the stuff from the mampoer bucket.

10. Grass where the dogs crap. No matter what you do there will always be fresh crap in the morning.

11. Big cooler / small paraffin fridge to keep the beers cold. Always stocked full. Because you never know when the “Big Wind” of ’78 might hit you again. That was when Ant Bettie made bean stew and forced Koos to sleep outside for a few days until his “Big Wind” passed. And passed completely.

12. Spare canister attached to braai / mampoer factory to hold extra cold beers while waiting for the mampoer / braai to be done.

13. Tools hanging from braai. These tools are proper antiques and the London Museum has offered Koos loads of money for this already. They want to use it as part of their Neanderthal display. But Koos said his dad gave it to him and he has fond memories of those tools. And he can show the scars on his butt to prove it.

Koos himself…

You think that is enough? How Souf Efrikan can he be? Much more…

 

1. Neck. Made for playing rugby. Take no prisoners! Real men play rugby and real men have real necks. Not rednecks.

2. Hair shaved for the holidays. Generally covered in big floppy farmer hat. Good to get a haircut once a year. Gets rid of all the things that live there. At least 3 previously unknown species was found by the Nobel prize winning group of scientists who make this yearly pilgrimage to what is known in scientific circles as “The Haircut”. (It is not known whether any of the new species will be able to survive outside the Koos habitat.)

3. Fence also used as spare wood for really big braais. It used to be 60 feet long. But then, Koos had a couple of really big braais since then.

4. The bakkie… Like every good farmer Oom Koos drives a bakkie that is diesel and the smoke it creates when you start it can be seen from space. Rumored to have led to the invasion of Iraq as the bakkie was seen as a WMD. But he drove it back to SA quickly once he filled his oil drum (now used as a braai / mampoer factory.) The US never suspected a thing. Oom Koos is good in that way. Or maybe Rummy was just bad in that way. And yes, when Oom Koos drives the bakkie it can also be heard from space.

5. The kraal where the sheep stay during the holiday. Barren because the sheep have eaten almost all the grass. Not a problem because Oom Koos have eaten almost all the sheep already. Yes, Oom Koos and Ant Bettie have been there on holiday for almost a week already.

6.  The towel used to wipe bloody hands when Koos slaughters the sheep. Also used to dry himself after a swim at the beach.

7. The path to freedom. Or at least to the outside toilet known as his “office”. That’s the right turn where he makes his number 2’s. Number 1 is done on the grass like all good Souf Efrikan men do. Koos turns left for his 1 and 2. 1 Liter brandy and 2 liter Coke. The shop is just around the corner. Oom Koos is known to be more inclined to go left than right. It’s a natural thing for him to lean towards the left.

8. Braai made from an oil drum. You know, the one he got in Iraq. He cut it in half and just welded a few spots together. High tech for a Souf Efrikan but then, he is known for his edgy attitudes towards braaing. He was once seen braaing chicken! What the hell is a salad doing on the fire? A question asked by the many onlookers. If it’s not red it’s not meat. If it’s not meat you can’t eat.

9. Rooster to place the meat on. The rooster (grill) is a key component of any braai. It leaves nice lines across the steaks. Best place to get a rooster is to cut one out of the frame of a grocery trolley. And it’s shiny too!

10. Battery backup for the mampoer factory. The clamp is used to charge the battery that runs the mampoer factory. At the moment not on as the braai and mampoer can’t be done at the same time. Koos generally empties the mampoer into his mug for “safe keeping” while he braais. No one knows how safe this really is. Not this close to an open fire in any case. Koos uses it instead of fire lighters. No, he doesn’t pour it over the coals. He just breathes over the coals. So strong that no matches are required either. The term “spontaneous combustion” was named after Koos and his fire lighting abilities.

11. Tongs used to grip the rooster. Koos is also known as an expert in grabbing thongs with his tongs. The screams of surprise and the horror when they see him can also be heard from space. Koos doesn’t mean anything with this. He just needs something to cover his hands when he grips the tongs. They get hot. Unlike the girls he gets his thongs from.

12. Meat and fish pot. Koos is famous for his daring braai techniques. You can see the pot where he mixed fish and chicken together. Men call him names because of this. Names like “traitor”, “Mr WTF” and “stupid doos”, but Koos doesn’t mind as he is a Renaissance man. Just don’t call him a maverick… Let me just clarify Koos being famous for this dishes. Infamous might be a better word for it. Eating this dish is not allowed under the Geneva Convention. It makes grown men cry. And get very, very sick. There is no known cure for this. Have you seen the movie Awakening? Now you know why…

13. A red arrow. I just threw an extra red arrow in there to make it look even more impressive. Honestly? I actually forgot why I had that other arrow in there. Or that one…

14. The chain. Some people think that Koos have dog chains around his neck. No, it isn’t. It’s his keys, tools (drillbits and screwdriver), earbud (he has used the same one since 1984. They always come clean after a rinse under hot water. Or after repeated use), tobacco for his pipe, his pipe, glasses and Swiss Army Knife. Oh, and a can of Bullybeef (Spam/Corned Beef) and a half-jack of mampoer. A man can never be too prepared. He hides it really, really well.

15. Boep. The paunch that you see is the pride of all Souf Efrikan men. Or like they would say, “I work-ad werry hart forr dis boep. U no how mutch beer I hed two drinked two get dis boep? Et leest wurf 40 bucks. Part off my retiremint plen.” A Souf Efrikan man without a boep is like having Italy not change their government every year. Or the English not lose against Souf Efrika in rugby or cricket. Or President Bush without a f*ck-up once a day. You know it is possible, but it ain’t gonna happen.

16. Rugby jersey. Every man in Souf Efrika must have a rugby jersey. You never wear it on the farm. But you also never take it off when you go on holiday. Including at night when you go to sleep. Alone. Outside. Also never washed. NEVER washed. Wash it and you could be deported and lose your citizenship. Another reason to sleep outside… The smell. Just ask Ant Bettie. Koos played rugby. He was a winger who played on the left. A left winger.

There you go! And who said that KB isn’t Souf Efrikan? Hell, he is more Souf Efrikan than me! Seattle is only where he visits for the duration of his lifetime. But Souf Efrikan he is…

Sorry Kev, but you asked for it…

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Who’s next? Come on… Don’t be afraid. I’ll be nice…

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Am I getting dated? I am sure I am going to lose track of how many I have done but I don’t think I will run out of news soon. Let’s have a look what has been cooking this week.

1. The pot calling the kettle…

President Bush decided to show some global leadership balls. On China. Calling them out on their human rights record. He is apparently not impressed. Good on you President Bush. Stand up against the (next) bully. Don’t let them push us around. Just please don’t invade them. We know how you get all worked up. This one might be a little bit to much for you to handle. Two big guys in the schoolyard getting ready for some “how’s your mother”? Nah. He won’t do much other than bitch a bit and then sit back and run in his Chinese made running shoes, watch Bill O’Reilly on his Chinese made television, and wave his Chinese made American flag. But there is another snag. Calling China out on their human rights record… Two words President Bush… Guantanamo Bay… Sorry, you lost your right to bitch about humans and their rights. Can’t have it both ways. No matter how big and strong you are.

2. I don’t give a flying…

You want a bag with that sir? That will be $15 thank you. Oh, you have two! Hand over another $25. We made you miss your flight and you need to change it? $150 please. Thirsty? A dollar for a cuppa Joe. As if you want to stay awake on this flight. You’ll have to pay for the movies in any case. But better to pay $5 to watch a movie I guess. Better than paying $7 for a blanket and a pillow. Next up? How much for a safety vets? We packed 5 – open bids start just after take-off. No wonder American airlines are going bankrupt. They offer nothing and charge you the world. And still can’t get you off the ground in time. Try this in Africa. Feeding people nothing and charging them for air… Here’s one I don’t get. Why is it that they charge per bag? Weight… It’s the weight that gets to them. Apparently the fuel costs are out of control and one way to save on fuel is by cutting down on the weight. Apparently, people still weigh more than the 400 tonne bloody airplane. Riiight… No, it’s true. They have a real obesity problem over here in the US. But what happens if I go on a diet? Can I get a discount? American airlines… Like the economy. Going down fast. At least the dollar lost value. Or else the airline greed might actually hurt. But not yet. So far it is only really stupid and funny. Their motto? I don’t give a flying…

3. I can’t recall, recall

We can’t afford to go to Disney yet (January maybe!), but we have found another way to entertain ourselves. We go to Whole Foods. It is just one amazing place for us Africans in America. The food so fresh they make Pamela Anderson blush and they use baby bottoms to wipe the apples because they are so delicate. Oh, Whole Foods. They have mist spraying over the fresh fruits and vegetables – it makes me feel as if I am on the farm or in the Amazon somewhere. And they have juices, cookies, hams and fruits to taste all over the place. We take the kids there on a Friday night. We call it “eating out”. I like to spoil my girls. Ah, Whole Foods – the amusement park for Africans. But they have a memory like a leaky watermelon those guys. They forgot to recall the bad meat. And then recalled that they had to recall. You see, they found E. Coli a few months ago from a company called Nebraska Beef. And it is not a Springsteen song. So all those “shops for the less privileged” like Costco and Stop & Shop (where we shop) had to make a huge recall of all the meat. But of course we knew Whole Foods wouldn’t be affected by it all. I mean really they feed their chickens organic Fairtrade corn with mint jelly and slaughter their cattle by massaging them slowly to death. And then it happened. Months later. Whole Foods had to recall the meat. Because they too bought from Nebraska Meat. But they recalled it months later. Only after they recalled that they bought meat from the same dude that Earl’s Meat Palace & Pet Shop bought his meat from. After it was already sold. Nice business plan Mr Mackey. It is at last off the shelf. But rest assured. It might have been E. Coli. But it was organic E. Coli.

How the E.Coli rumor started...

How the E.Coli rumor started...

4. Power less sharing

Crazy Uncle Bob and Tsvangirai are talking. Bah, humbug. Talking about ending the fight between the two of them that has been going on for months. Talking about sharing power. In some way. Sharing power. Was that a joke? Most of the country hasn’t had electricity for ages. Not since Mugabe needed it to keep his food warm and artificial heart pumping. And share what? There is nothing to share. Jack baby. Mugabe has already eaten the donkey and now wants to share the carcass? Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum doing the slow dance. Doing the slow dance to Power of Love or Careless Whisper? I think Bob was listening to I Got You Babe.

5. South Africa takes over England

I guess they had to do something. I mean really. They got their backsides kicked by the South Africans in cricket. Just a few months after getting their butts kicked in rugby. It’s a national pastime in South Africa. Beating the English in anything and everything. Ah, they thought they had the political one in the bag with Gordon Brown. Sorry dudes, our President Mbeki is pulling away in the lame-duck race. But back to the sports. So what do you think the Poms did after losing to us again? They appointed a South African as their captain. A guy who can’t make our team. He’s their best guy… And he is from Durban. It’s a bit like saying he’s from Texas. Minus the silly hats. But they are loud, have funny accents, like to talk about how great they are, but their leaders stink like Sue Ellen’s acting in Dallas. Hey, England! I have one for you. Why don’t you take Zuma? We won’t be able to beat that one.

6. China wins. Next year.

The US better take as many medals as they can at the Olympics in Beijing. Because China is about to take their lunch money. The US economy is going down the dumps. It’s slowing down faster than McCain without a cane first thing in the morning. Or me without coffee. Dropping faster than President Bush’s popularity. Yes. It is pretty bad. But here is the clincher. China will overtake America as the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods. Yes. China will push America off the top spot. A spot they have held for over 100 years. Will someone remember to switch off the lights when the last factory closes its door? The USA. Made in China.

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Hope to have better news next week. Yeah, right.

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Look, from an American sporting perspective I am pretty happy to be living in Boston. The Red Sox won the World Series. Again. The Patriots are still the team to beat after so many Super Bowl wins and finals in the last few years. The Celtics made history in basketball when they whipped the Lakers for the crown this year. The Revolutions are top of the league in soccer after making the finals for 3 years in a row. Hell, even the Bruins improved this year on the ice. Yep, it is pretty good to be in Boston if you like American sport. Or what they call sport.

But Americans really don’t play any sport. Oh they call it sport, but it really isn’t. American football (known incorrectly as Gridiron by some) are really only played by bunch of wimps. So much steroids, protective gear and stop-and-start kinda play that they look more like Transformers running low on batteries. Basketball is really just netball played by guys in over-sized pajama pants. Ice hockey is for guys who are too sober to get involved in a proper bar fight. Their soccer is watched by an average crowd of 7, including family, friends and coaching staff. And baseball is for guys who can’t play cricket.

Ah, cricket. Good old cricket. Nothing like watching the swing of the willow sitting on the Oaks at Newlands. Have a braai and a beer (and Klippies offered by your neighbour). I miss good old cricket. It isn’t shown on television over here. Americans just don’t get it. Their eyes glass over when I try to explain that it is a game played for five days from 10 am to 6 pm with a lunch break and two tea breaks each day – and you are still not guaranteed a result. Except if it is England playing and you pretty much know they will lose. But Americans can’t handle anything that will potentially interfere with the trip to the mall or watching daytime soaps. Or work for that matter. Short attention span. They have ADD when it comes to cricket.

And they don’t get the names either. Here it is all blood and gore – Steelers, Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants, Bears and more in the NFL (football). The Devils, Thrashers, Hurricanes, Avalanche, Predators, Flames and more in the NHL (ice hockey). Fire, Revolution, Earthquakes and more in MLS (soccer). We have the Warriors, Hawks, Rockets, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Raptors and more in the NBA (basketball). And MLB (baseball). Well, let’s just say that the Brewers, Royals, Twins, Blue Jays and Sox don’t quite have the same bite to it. And what the hell is an Oriole? Is it a breakfast or a bird? Can you imagine them being known by the proper Latin name – The Baltimore Icterus Galbula? Anyway… The Proteas just doesn’t have the same ring or sting to it when it comes to the more blood and gore type names Americans love so much. (Note to self – look if there is a link between President Bush’s approach to foreign policy and the violent names of American sport teams.)

But I follow the cricket. Especially now when South Africa is doing their yearly humiliation of England. (Did I hear anyone say 1 up?) Like I said, I can’t watch it. But I read it. On my mobile phone. Via the live texting of the BBC. It is brilliant. Not the actual cricket, but the commentating. I know South Africa will win, but I keep on following the live texts because of the sense of humor and descriptions given by the BBC team. They are really special. Got to love the English for that. They might be getting their backsides kicked by Kallis, Ntini, Prince and the gang, but they sure know how to commentate. And keep you laughing all the way. It might be all they have left in sport – a good sense of humor. The play cricket, rugby and soccer like a bunch of clowns in any case.

I now check the updates every hour or so. It’s less about the cricket score than the wisdom and wise cracks from the BBC team. I want to share a few with you. It’ll hopefully give you an insight into British humor. Unfortunately it won’t help you understand cricket any more than eating a burger will help you drive better. There is no link. But I hope you enjoy these. I’ll might try to update these over the next few days. Now, sit back and enjoy the company of the BBC cricket commentators – in their words. It all started with their first text update this morning… (It’s in UK time and remember to read it in a ‘proper’ English accent.

And Nel takes another England wicket...

And Nel takes another England wicket...

10:33 – New Kid’s out on his ear because he upset ‘team unity’ (is the England dressing room actually some delicate eco-system?) and Colly’s back on the back of a few runs in a Twenty20 knockabout. If I was Owais Shah or Ravi Bopara, not only would I be a different colour, I’d be a little bit irritated as well.

It’s all so chummy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the England team all bundled round Vaughany’s mum and dad’s house for a pyjama party after today’s play. Maybe Colly’s back in the side because he can get his hands on Porky’s?

11:28 – The man to the left of me has just pulled out a plum of a lookalike – Morkel and 1980’s ‘Brat Pack’ stalwart Anthony Michael Hall. If you were to stretch Morkel on a rack like a Catholic martyr, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

Vaughny was pricklier than the famed Jungle Book paw-paw in his Aggers interview. He said it with a laugh but it was saucer of milk for table two stuff.

11:54 – Plenty of empty seats at Edgbaston, not sure why that is. It’s got all the atmosphere of a nursing home Christmas party at the moment.

12:06 – Nel – or is it Gunther? – strolls down the wicket and spits a few verbals Cook’s way. I’ve got to be honest, Nel seems more simple than intimidating. It must be like batting against Lennie from Of Mice and Men. He drags another one in short – not sure why he keeps doing that, this pitch has the consistency of a lemon drizzle cake.

12:16 – A few more strokes like that and the ball will be speaking the Queen’s English.

Send back the defibrillators, I think this pitch might already be dead…

12:36 – Umpire Dar had no doubts, although Vaughan looks at him as though he’s just found him heavy petting with his mother on the sofa as he leaves the field.

12:46 – Cook gropes at an away-cutter from Nel and the South African paceman grins maniacally, like a staggering drunk who’s just seen up a lady’s skirt.

13:39 – I have o report that the England skipper is getting absolutely slaughtered in your email, anyone would think he’d nutted the pope.

13:59 – Another wicked delivery from Morkel Cook nibbling before pulling his bat out of the way as if he’s just been caught with his hands in his mother’s handbag.

14:12 – He actually has pretty good figures in test and first-class cricket but he’s had about as much cutting edge as a jam roly-poly in this series so far.

14:16 – If Graeme Smith is the nasty prison governor from Shawshank Redemption, Nel is the bully-club wielding prison guard.

14:25 – I’d hate to be there when something genuinely bad actually happens to Nel – he reacted to Bell hitting that four as if he’s just seen his car. Nel lets out a primeval roar – Gunther is clearly a very angry man.

14:42 – This England team reminds me of when I used to want to hang about with my older brother and his mates when I was a kid. My brother used to tolerate me, but you could tell he never really wanted me there. I got a bit choked up writing that.. such sad memories…

14:52 – Nel roars in Smith’s direction – Smith better watch his back, drop another catch and Nel will make his ears into a necklace.

15:00 – There’s former England skipper Graham Taylor in the stand – black shades, black shirt, white tie, he looks like he’s going to pull out a Tommy gun and start strafing the South African fielders.

15:05 – And he’s tighter than the elephant man’s hatband today.

15:11 – Thank God for that, watching the Durham man trying to get off the mark was like watching open heart surgery.

15:18 – The Durham man staggers out of his crease like a man emerging from solitary confinement.

15:26 – Does anyone else feel like trying to understand the England selectors is like banging your head against a brick wall whilst wearing a straight jacket and being held upside down in a vat of marmalade?

15:37 – As an England fan, I would rather smash my arm repeatedly in a car door than watch much more of this…

15:43 – Ambrose – another in the England batting line-up who makes Bill Wyman look like Gary Sobers at the moment. Old Nel is madder than a box of frogs.

… that’s tea. I’m sure it will be a cosy one in the England dressing room, all chums together sharing out the Werther’s Originals and telling tales of the 2005 Ashes series. I can just imagine Vaughany leaning forward in his armchair like Uncle Albert and proclaiming every now and again: “During the 2005 Ashes…” I wonder if they’ve got an open fire up there?

16:04 – Regarding the reference to the Elephant Man, whatever happened to him, he made on good film and no-one’s seen him since?

16:13 – Surely a couple of Ambrose failures here will lead him to being dropped – the Warwickshire gloveman looks like he’s been batting with an upright hoover for most of this summer.

16:19 – Nel chuntering down to the deep mid-wicket rope like a startled rhinoceros.

16:35 – Watching Flintoff having to bat like this makes for rather painful viewing, it’s like Maradona playing at full-back.

16:49 – Nel licks his fingers and grins, like a naughty boy who’s just polished off a sticky bun.

17:11 – Watching these two batsmen scratch away, I just had the sudden urge to start singing Onward Christian Soldiers. I’ve also got this image in my head of Freddie and Ambrose under siege in a dilapidated building, poking their heads round the corner every few minutes to fire a couple of shots.

17:30 – Good job Ntini ducked or his team-mates would have had to rechristen him Anne Boleyn.

17:37 – If you’d have believed my nan, her glory years were spent wearing a tin helmet in a coal shed fending off rats the size of rottweilers while the German bombs fell all around her. A deeply miserable woman, she didn’t tend to go out much after the War ended.

17:47 – Most of the England players are looking a little bit sheepish in the field, like schoolboys shuffling nervously outside the headmaster’s office awaiting to hear their fate.

18:02 – The South Africa openers could only look more relaxed if they were basted in butter.

18:05 – A day spent browsing for ceiling tiles in B&Q would have raised the spirits higher than this.

End of day 1… With the South Africans way on top. England all out for 230 and South Africa sitting pretty at 38 for one. Now, where is that beer and braai

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