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Showing posts from June, 2019

Birmingham - Black Caps v Pakistan

I think we should just move on from that match. Edgbaston was terribly horribly cold at the level of The Oval and Bangladesh.  The positive was the alcohol lines were only full of the 12 New Zealanders in attendance.  We all needed it watching this match as it was a complete shocker where we never looked like winning.  Edgbaston for the Pakistani is a home game. Even with all my coldgear I froze myself completely as my ankle somehow from the lack of elevation still managed to swell over the antithesis of the fridge like temperatures. I returned to the Hyatt in Birmingham and within minutes the Blackcaps were slowly marching up to the team meeting.  One hoped they received a Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer for their pathetic performance.  Neesham, de Grandhomme and Kane again all played well.  The rest were completely average.  That we only got four wickets was a disgrace.  Latham again ZERO form. I met a couple at the hotel doing the complete trip as I am.  The wife had gi

Manchester - Black Caps v West Indies

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We hobbled on to Manchester conscious again that the Black Caps needed and should have won this game against the often woeful sometimes brilliant West Indies. Basically the rule of thumb is The Universe Boss Chris Gayle goes out you’re 90% there. It turned out to be a hard 10%. I hobbled up the handrail into The Lowry and facepalm again as I hand over my NZ passport am asked if I am here for the cricket. Well yes. Apart from the blessed Man U there would never be a reason to be in Manchester than for the love of sports, surely? The team again were staying here. One has a quiet sigh as when sports teams take over the hotel every paying guest seems to suffer a tad. I need not have worried about that, the hotel service is superb even if the rooms are a bit dated. It is little wonder Jose just moved in. If I had a standard sized room, his suite must have been the size of a house. The disability room (or as I called it the Alexis Sanchez Suite) is huge, comes with several

Birmingham - Black Caps v South Africa

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The first person other than the porter that I see when I arrived at my Birmingham hotel was the South African (Saffer) Captain Faf du Plessis. He was deep in discussion with another member of the SA management. He looked worried. He should have been. It was dark days to come. Arriving in the plane into Birmingham this was a crucial match for the Black Caps. To date we hadn’t played a team worthy of being called very good. India was a washout as much as I was facing an ankle wipeout. South Africa always play well against us. The hotel could not check me in at 12 with a suitable disability room (read no SHUB but a shower) but hallelujah their sports bar had Sky Sport and a half way decent food menu (read options other than fish and chips). I was still in semi-crippled mode so didn't venture outside the hotel into Birmingham.  I am told by those who have been to Birmingham this was a good thing. I see Ross Taylor skulking around in jandals and shorts.  Everyone seemed

Fake News Clickbait That May Not Be Fake After All

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This from just a month ago though.

Monaco - A Loss To 6 Foot 2 inches of Gravity

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It’s every travellers worst nightmare to be injured on tour. At least when you do it, make sure it’s somewhere English speaking, your travelling companion(s) are competent tour organisers, the venue has accessible healthcare and it is capable of easily flying or worse case training out of.   Monaco tops the list therefore as one of the least most favourable places to be when you fall over and injure your ankle rendering you incapacitated. I could lie through my teeth and say it happened during the day time, while myself and everyone around me was completely sober, before we had gone out to dinner and a 6 foot 2 gorilla of a man hadn’t fallen on to me while I hadn’t been wearing the world’s least supportive shoes in the Allbirds to send me sideways right as we all didn’t laughed about this piss pot of an environmentally friendly car charging itself. But alas that would completely unbelievable wouldn’t it? The largest issue with parts of Monaco la

Reims - USA v Thailand v Emma Keeling

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This column from Emma Keeling gives me the perfect interlude to discuss my trip to the Homelands Reims. While David Cohen gets to wax lyrically about his numerous trips to his Homelands, I don’t visit Reims often but it is important to get in touch with it occasionally.  The importance is to remind one's self, a bit like David and his religion, why Champagne indeed is so expensive and the struggle for it is real. When you are reacquainted with the process, time and labour involved in massaging the grapes into the bottle you appreciate again why it’s so damn pricey. You look bewildered at the many bottles lying in wait and transfix your eyes on one wondering if that will indeed end in a glass in front if you.  I had a bit of a research and planning fail as I arrived on a public holiday. This meant my desired virgin trip to Jacquesson was impossible as the boss is on extended holiday as was Jacquart that the generous Champagne Lady from Desperate Housewives promotes in

Taunton - Black Caps v Afghanistan

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Every cricket tragic should visit Taunton. This was worth getting up at 6am for and on the Black Caps tour list sits there with Durham as small towns that will host like Kings.  My accomodations at Blorenge House were spectacular. Picture staying in the country with a rich grandma in possession of staff and 20 bedrooms. Similarly you did not wish to hang around there in the high ceiling old house to talk to her that much but to dump your bag and immediately explore the area.  My room had a shower in it, literally in the room itself carpeted right to the door.  I was sadly woken the next morning to the subtle aroma of bacon sizzling downstairs for breakfast.  I say sadly as I then had to go down and try it.  As always with bacon it smelled a hell of a lot more fabulous than it tasted, the chewy over boiled under fried technique that perhaps Grandma would have employed. The town itself on a Saturday morning was stunning. Like my home town of Cambridge before it was infested wi

On The Positive Front

It is very important when travelling to have some positive thoughts about every place you visit.  This is particularly important in England where every condition weather or otherwise can be glorious one second and horrific the next. Here are the great things about especially London I am remembering when travelling. 10. You are old enough to stay in an area frequented by other adults. Where everyone either behaves nicely or more than likely just ignores each other because they cannot be fucked communicating.  This is a good thing.  If you have to force people to talk, things will not end well.  Leave them alone. 9. Every day this month there is more sport on than you can manage.  All in English. You just need to find a hotel or bar with Sky Sports.  This has become increasingly difficult but not impossible. 8. Abundant supply of alcohol, albeit often difficult to find anything good by the glass. This gives the perfect excuse to buy a whole bottle.  Also when you find fast wif

The Oval - Black Caps v Bangladesh

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I spent four nights in London. Day one was beautiful sunshine and a classic arrival celebratory Sunday brunch bar crawl commencing at my favourite dining establishment Balthazar. I now have a blanket ban and defriend from any New Zealander wishing to take me to a Greene King pub. You all earn good money. Live better. The only excuse to be in one is that it seems Murdoch has priced other pubs out of showing sports.  On my first trip I was excited to see very mispriced Bollinger but it is now getting boring when they tell you that they've "sold out" of that and can only offer the horse piss that is Lallier they describe as "ripe, toasty fruit with tasty elegant finish" the rose as "fresh, spicy citrus notes and wild strawberry". Yeah. nope. Blur on a few days and a body that has been completely pounded with a mixture of Lagree pilates, walking everywhere and bar crawls and one finds themselves walking to The Oval. A roll call of what I can recall

Cardiff - Black Caps v Sri Lanka

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On a tour itinerary given to you by Flight Centre we would call yesterday a “travel day”. Which is code for “too buggered to move”. I arrived in Cardiff after 24 hours of travel lying two rows away from the world’s sexiest man (and new wife and son sadly returning from honeymoon) rather exhausted. Sadly the first time I fly in a private suite is the one time with my good luck I’m near the world’s sexiest man. Seriously I know I’ve told men before they’re this person to satisfy their fragile egos, but certifiably this one actually is. Daddy while reading Asian Invasion In his own private suite. I don’t know how Air NZ wins world airline of the year as after my Q suite experience I never want to fly them again. The only upside of the Air NZ seats is that if Idris Alba (aka Luther) was seated two rows from you HE would have no privacy at all. As it was the hostesses were giggling all over him to the point I just asked them to leave me the bottle of Taittinger Rose so the

Day Zero - Cricket World Cup Tour

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Today I fly out to the most epic sports tour I have ever embarked upon. We have now had recently on the sporting CV San Francisco (where one made a rather glorious tit of themselves on Campbell Live in a tight fitting flag suit after an entire 27 hours of alcohol abuse) and Bermuda Americas Cups, Rugby World Cup UK and cricket World Cup NZ and Australia.  The level of precision planning for this one and everyone else joining me along the way would send the most senior Flight Centre Agent into some form of anxiety recovery session paid for by Grant and Jacinda in the latest Wellbeing budget from unqualified counselling.  Cricket tours are bloody hard work. A friend of mine Doug sent me this marketing thing he was working on where he asked people to disclose  their bucket list. He was disbelieving when I said I don’t have one. Why? Because we don’t wait til we are old to do these things we just go and do it and attending a World Cup of Cricket in England would be top of the list