Yesterday, being my special birthday trip to Lord’s, in effect, Jane farewell to 30 or 40 my very old friends it up since I first became a member almost 40 years ago four months. The actual cricket became secondary and for this reason I did not memorialise the details the promise to do so today.
This Test Match is the third in this year’s series against South Africa. To date we have won one all so the outcome of this present match will determine who has won the series. But even more seriously for England is bad loss against South Africa will mean being dislodged from the number one spot in the world.
My birthday yesterday marked a critical stage in this third and last test.
Winning the toss South Africa had decided to bat first and after a shaky start reached 309 all out. England’s reply was on similar lines do the South African innings when both teams, coincidently were 54 to the loss of four wickets. England battled away and managed to pass, the South Africans score by six runs. So at this stage it was all square. South Africa and then went in for its second innings and were all out for 351 about 15 min before normal close of play. However, due to time lost to rain the South Africans exercised their prerogative and decided to bat on an extra hour. This decision paid off handsomely as South Africa’s took two wickets quite cheaply-Strauss for one, and Cook for three. It then became a question whether England could survive the fifth day -there being very little chance of winning and the most likely outcome being a draw.
Historically, the outcome was against England. The highest any team had achieved a run chase of more than 315 note back to England the Australia in 1928. I shall obviously watched the conclusion of this nail in .biting finish where there is so much more at stake than just winning or losing. A loss by England would be sufficient for them to lose their number one world ranking.
I must not forget my birthday greetings, some of which came from Australia and America. As for presents. I can only say that old cliche’ what do you give a man whose got everything’?. ”My lovely’ solved the problem by buying me a large kiddies aquarium with two beautiful fish, Golden and Wonder. A fun present and one that I can see could be very therapeutic. As they glide, back and forth amongst the weeds, in itself has a very calming effect.
I’m not going to detail all of the other presents I received other than to say how touched I was to receive a present from Ollie and Debbie, of Ollies Friendly Wheelchair Service, it was by way of being a box of original Syrian sweetmeats not unlike the Italian version of flaky pastry soaked in honey.
To finish this entry I’m going to record what each of my three grandchildren wrote in their birthday card. As I am only too aware that children of this age tend to bluntly tell the truth, you cannot force them to love you. There must be a bond of true affection and love between you and them. For this reason the sentiments, expressed in their own fashion, in the cards, mean a great deal to me.
From Frederick, the oldest, at 13.
I wish you a very, very, very good birthday and that you get lots and lots of great presents!
We all love you so very much and can’t wait to see you soon!
You told me loads of interesting facts that I will keep stored away for when I need them.
I have never great day and that this is one of your best birthday yet.
Lots and lots of love.
From Sebastian age 11
I hope you have a wonderful birthday and are surrounded by friends and family. I’m so sorry that we won’t be here to celebrate but I look forward to seeing you soon.
Lots and lots of love.
From Lara, 7 years old.
I Hope You Have a Wonderful Birthday.
I love you so, so much! You are the best ever grandpa in the whole of the universe.
I hope we have lots of lovely Birthday Presents and lots of birthday cake. I wish this is the best birthday yet.
I love you so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, much.
Lots of love from Lara XXXOOO
What’s more could a 78-year-old wish for?