10 May 2009

Posted by DMC on 10 May 2009 in Diary |

I managed Lord’s quite well Alice took me to the station and the travel was okay. I now tend to keep my travel card in a plastic pocket hanging around my neck as I find it almost impossible to get my hand in my pocket to produce it. I did have a bit of a struggle carrying the bag with a bottle in it, and little else, from St. John’s Wood underground station through to the Warner stand in the Ground, a distance, I would guess, of around one mile. It was simply that the weight of the bag was almost too much for me, which is indicative of my weakening arms.

One thing I did learn today and that was the easiest way to eat a sandwich. My weakened arms means that I have to use both hands to get it to my month. I now have the sandwich chopped up into small bite-size squares, stab it a fork and, with the assistance of my wrist splint, can manage with my right hand alone.

The cricket was great, an excellent win for England against the West Indies and particularly encouraging to see new boys Swan and Onions doing really well, not to mention Bophara. I look forward to the Ashes in June. I think we will give the Aussies a good run for their money.

I spent Friday night at daughter Chloe’s in anticipation of taking son-in-law (and nephew Tom Grand) for the Saturday match, which sadly did not take place, the match being all over on the third day. So we went out to lunch in East Dulwich instead.

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10 June 2009

Posted by DMC on 10 June 2009 in Diary |

Went to Lord’s yesterday for match 6 of the 20/20 Cricket World Series. The Netherlands were soundly beaten by Pakistan and South Africa beat New Zealand in a thrilling finish by one run.



12 June 2009

Posted by DMC on 12 June 2009 in Diary |

More matches at Lord’s in the 2020 series but I must confess I did not see much of the action today due to a long liquid lunch, in the Harris Gardens, with my two nephews, William Garton-Jones and Jamie Grand. However, what I did see was the West Indies putting behind them their disappointing test results and comprehensively beating India. Sri Lanka had a good win beating Pakistan by 98 runs.

I shall have more interest on Sunday when England are playing India.

I have been happily surprised at how I have been able to cope with the rather long and pretty exhausting days involving quite a lot of walking and standing about. Having said that, I did have a little accident on the escalator coming home. I dropped my bag and in attempting to grab it managed to knock off my wristwatch onto the escalator floor. Fortunately I was near the top of the escalator, at the time, and managed to retrieve everything before sliding off the bottom. The problem is that every now and then things just seemed to collapse -hands and even legs.

Finished the One Fat Englishman and substituted the loo book with Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, however the chapters are too long to finish in one ’sitting’, so to speak – even speed-reading.

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13 June 2009

Posted by DMC on 13 June 2009 in Diary |

Whilst lunching in the garden today, listening to South Africa’s magnificent win over the West Indies, I managed to drop boiling hot soup onto my foot. Again, it was a problem of collapsing wrists. I wonder how long it’ll be before I cease to be able to confidently lift anything at all?

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14 June 2009

Posted by DMC on 14 June 2009 in Diary |

Another Lords day, this time with Mark Jenkins and Steve Harrisson. The last before the Final next Sunday. Ireland lost only marginally against Sri Lanka by 9 runs and England had a thrilling finish against India winning by 3 runs. They just need a good win against West Indies in order to get into the semi-finals I managed to survive the whole day arriving home around 11 p.m.

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16 June 2009

Posted by DMC on 16 June 2009 in Diary |

Sadly England were knocked out of the World Series, by the West Indies, last evening in a rain interrupted match.

I do believe my hands are getting weaker. I’m still managing to shave lying down but need both hands on the razor. Also can still manipulate my electric toothbrush, but only just. How long will it be before ’my lovely’ will have to do both for me?
The interesting thing is that it seems to me that my right hand is weaker than my left although it’s the other around with my arms. Whether this is because I constantly use the right-hand rather and the left I shall have to ask at my forthcoming quarterly assessment. I know the right-hand is getting much worse – it goes like jelly – and it can take several minutes controlling it on a stiff piece of card containing the daily crossword puzzle. Only then, once it is in position can I actually scrawl in the answers.

Alice already has to fill in my cheques for me and indeed sign them. I had better not fall out with her otherwise I might find my account cleaned out!

The occupational therapist has kindly fitted some rather hideous plastic caps onto our bathroom taps. The ones on the X shaped heads work well but the lever caps on the round headed taps are a little awkward.

All of this gradual weakening means that the possibility of me being able to go to China to deliver my annual course of lectures, in October, is probably receding fast. Obviously I will know better in early July after my assessment but to be honest, lovely people though they are, they don’t seem to have much idea about timescale. The standard explanation, usually given, is that everyone is different so it is virtually impossible to say how fast one will go downhill and in what direction. Of course, they can take an educated guess, and are usually prepared to do so if pressed. This guess may be reasonably near the mark, but I am still not convinced however that they could not be far more scientific about the whole process and do what I came up with in the early stages of my diagnosis: that is to carry out weekly, or monthly checks with scientific instruments, grip handles, strengthen levers etc. – which I know are available – and from that be able to plot some sort of ‘slope of deterioration’. These checks could be carried out by the patient, or their carer, at home, provided the equipment was made available. Even if the results were wildly different with every patient then they should question why, and perhaps ultimately be able to draw some conclusions from the differences.

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21 June 2009

Posted by DMC on 21 June 2009 in Diary |

The World 20/20 Finals at Lord’s today. The English ladies won comfortably. Sadly our men were not in the final, cheated by the weather and Duckworth Lewis. However Pakistan put up a great show and beat South Africa who were the favourites.



16 – 20 July 2009

Posted by DMC on 20 July 2009 in Diary |

The event we had all been looking forward to, the second Ashes test at Lord’s. This, particularly so, following England’s dramatic draw in the first of the five test series, at Cardiff last week. This match at Lords too proved to be as immensely exciting with England winning, in the end, by a handsome 150 runs but not without doubt creeping in from time to time that the Aussies might turn the tables on us and win. The highlight was captain Strauss’s knock of 165 and ‘Freddy’ Flintoff’s five wicket haul, which he achieved in the most nail biting fashion possible.

With four wickets to his name and with the last ball in his last over ever, at Lords – having announced his intention of retiring from test cricket after this series – he failed to get the fifth wicket only to be told by the umpire that it was a ‘no ball’, giving him one more ‘last bowl. With this ball he got his wicket and thus fulfilled a lifetime ambition to get his name on the hallowed board in the player’s dressing room. The stuff of ‘Boys Own’ annuals.

This win was all the more remarkable in it being the first test win, against the Australians, at Lords since a few weeks before I was born, in 1934. One up and three to go. Can we repeat our 2005 triumph and win the Ashes back?



1 August 2009

Posted by DMC on 1 August 2009 in Diary |

The third day of the current test in the Ashes series with England being in a strong position but sadly, as I write, the start of today’s today has been delayed by rain.

My literary executor and good friend, Dr. Julian Critchlow and his partner Lucy, will be here shortly for the weekend. Sadly the chilly un-seasonal inclement weather will probably prevent us from having our champagne in the garden.

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8 August 2009

Posted by DMC on 8 August 2009 in Diary |

The agony of the fourth Ashes test finished, earlier this afternoon, with an ignominious defeat for England – an innings and 80 runs. England having been all out for 102 in the first inning, Australia’s 445 was clearly an impossible mountain to climb. England’s collapse again in the second innings was ominous until a magnificent partnership of 108 between Broad and Swann saved a modicum of English pride. It now all depends on the final test at the Oval in 10 days time.


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