Ye Olde Bucket List…Part Two

With the previous night’s Shakespearean sortie under my belt, on Sunday I added another satisfied tick to Ye Olde Bucket List by visiting Lord’s.

Lord’s is the home of cricket. It’s located in North London and as my local bus goes right by on its way down to Victoria Station, you can get a glimpse of the Nursery Ground over the wall. So it was with much anticipation I arrived at the gates with friend The Umpire to see Australia versus England in the second Ashes test.

With England leading by about 500 runs from the first three days of play (for those of you who don’t know your cricket, test matches can go for five days), I had little hope of an Aussie victory but the Ashes series is an age-old contest between our two nations and when in Rome London, Lord’s is what one must do.

Australia got an absolute shellacking. No surprise there given recent performances. But it was a great day. Lots of sporting banter, a cricket umpire as a companion (to answer all my inane cricketing questions), some really fabulous weather and a goodly selection of vittels to keep us sustained: what more could a person want?

Oh yeah. A few more runs on the board.

Here are a few pics of my Big Cricket Day Out.

The first one’s of yours truly, mainly to prove not only that I was there but also to demonstrate that England is actually having a Summer (note the blue sky behind the hat and sunglasses).

Fans had travelled from across the world to stand sit shoulder to shoulder and support their team.

The emergence of the players at 11am…England was STILL batting.

This is the Grace Gate, the official players entrance. It’s Grade II heritage listed – that happens a lot in London.

And this is the Big Vacuum Cleaner, ready to suck up all the rubbish it could find. Just kidding. It’s actually the media centre.

And in true form, the banter was everywhere. Even on the back of the dunny toilet door.


And that, my dear Gidday-ers, was Lord’s and another tick made on Ye Olde Bucket List.

Speaking of ticking things off, never fear peeps. I’m still ticking off the days until the very fabulous  birthday celebration of yours truly. Just 7 sleeps to go…

A+ For Creativity…

In previous posts I have been known to bemoan the less than extraordinary output managed by today’s educational systems. Whether they be the formal or informal, academic or the University of Life, it has seemed that perhaps something has gone awry and that we are not preparing the current – or for that matter future – generations as we should…and I use the term ‘we’ loosely to mean society in general.

As far as I can see, there’s something of a dichotomy going on at the moment.

There’s the over-arching drive to get that all-important (and increasingly expensive) university place, although it doesn’t always seem to be pursued as a heart-felt vocational calling but rather as an experience or a rite of passage before entering the ‘big bad world’.

And then there’s a worship of role models who come sans academia – the self-made men made Lords, the single-minded stars of the sporting arena, and those in the pages of the weeklies who seem to be celebrated for…well…being.

So where does education fit in? How do we line up the roles that society has created with an education system at odds with fulfilling them? And what happens to those that fall somewhere in between talent and narcissism?

Just when you thought that this post was turning into another rant on the state of the world, I want to take a pause to share a demonstration of the very mismatch I speak of.

The following is a selection of exam questions and answers provided by one particular student:

Q In which Battle did Napoleon die?
A His last one

Q What is the main reason for divorce?
A Marriage

Q If you threw a red stone into the Blue Sea, what would it become?
A Simply a wet stone

Q If it took eight men 10 hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men?
A No time at all. The wall was already built.

Q How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
A Any way you want because a concrete floor is very hard to crack.

The teacher obviously saw the funny side and noted A+ for creativity…and the student failed the test.

So whether you’ve chuckled at their chutzpah or despaired at their defiance, the question remains: how do we engage this clearly clever mind in contributing something valuable, meaningful, worthwhile to the world at large?

Now just before you race off to ply sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandkids and/or the neighbours’ offspring with a raft of serious and thought-provoking questions on the matter, in the spirit of true narcissism and self-absorption, I must remind you that there are only 7 sleeps to go until Society’s Celebration of little ol’ moi is upon us. Not many shopping days left peeps…are you ready?

28 Sleeps To Go…Allegiances

I just watched Rafael Nadal pretty much demolish Tomas Berdych to win the Wimbledon Mens Final and Spain is through to the next round of the World Cup…tha last time I thought Spain was this prolific in the sporting world was when Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez were on the tennis circuit…

Coming from a nation who has some history of sporting success I am now wondering what happened with Leyton Hewitt (I am sure he was still doing ok?), Australian cricket (the world’s most boring game though it may be) and Harry Kewell (red-carded in the Ghana game…what the #@!!?!).  Are we regrouping in preparation for London 2012 or just a little tired of the sporting limelight? 

It’s a convoluted web determining loyalties when your automatic allegiances are not an option…so I am now torn between Germany (money on them in the sweep at work) and Holland (heritage thing you know) to reign supreme at the World Cup. 

Other than that, it another sunny Sunday afternoon here on Kingston Hill.  A bit breezier than others of late but still managing to dapple my front path with light and dark and light again.  What’s not to love about that?

There are only 28 sleeps to go…so get yourself a pen and mark that first day of August on your calendars, in your diaries and tap-tap-tap it into your phones and computers.  I wouldn’t want you to miss it…