Saturday, 27 April 2013


Something must have got into the water.

Not only has Fantasy Bob done some fielding practice in advance of the new season, he has also reviewed his kit.

Good to bat in?
Mrs FB expressed concern that the funds set aside for jewellery purchase might take a hit following this extensive exercise.  But FB was able to inform her that a new pair of batting gloves were the only major investment required for the season ahead.  He assured her that they could be purchased for less than a 4 figure sum.  She noted the point but observed that FB had also purchased a new pair of skiing gloves this season.  She wondered whether this glove thing might be getting out of hand (as it were).  Returning to the subject a little later she inquired of FB whether he was sure that the could not wear the new skiing gloves for batting and thus protect the jewellery fund from further draw down.  FB thought this an interesting proposition - particularly given the sub-zero temperatures which have prevailed in recent weeks and seem destined to last for the first part of the season.  The additional protection against frostbite that they offer might be advantageous.  However in the end, his resolve held and a new pair of batting gloves were acquired.

Despite temptations all around,  FB resisted the lure of a new bat.  His present blade is after all only one season old.  It has plenty of runs still in it.  It must have, because it did not give up very many last season. Nevertheless, FB cleaned it assiduously.  Of course he took particular care not to remove the big red marks on the middle - all two of them.

But it was then that whatever has been put in the water had its effect and things went a bit wrong.  FB reviewed his cricket shoes.  Remarkably they looked good for another season of pounding up the hill against the wind.  But the spikes were another story.  Ground down to the base by the Doughty Groundsman's pristine hard surfaces, they needed replacement.  FB duly purchased a set of gleaming new spikes and set aside half an hour to screw them in.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Three hours later, he had managed to remove just over half of the old ones.  His hand was bleeding.  His shoulder ached more than it ever did when he bowled 25 overs on the bounce.  Sweat beaded his brow.  He was covered in WD40, bits of grass and sand.  Another 2 hours and 3 spikes still resisted his efforts.  Surely the spike key was an instrument of torture devised by the Spanish Inquisition?

He was on the point of phoning the Samaritans.

Mrs FB looked at his exhausted frame.  She sighed at this further evidence of the futility of male endeavour.  She tried to be helpful.  As she moved towards the door and a night out with her girlfriends, she quietly said

'I always thought you should have bought a new pair................................'

Nobody expects the cricket spike key..........


  1. FB, i strongly recommend vaseline...

    oh, that's for the cricket spikes...a little dab
    when screwing them in will save you from injury when removing them...

  2. Good tip many thanks - problem usually with spikes that came with the shoes - manufacturers are lubricant averse. If they were not, then FB would have been deprived of a subject for a blog post. He would have to go on about empire biscuits AGAIN!