Once upon a time, in a previous life zone I was rather bonkers about playing cricket.
This was in the land of my fathers...where men are men..and sheep are terrified.
I think I was about 18/19 years old and I had the wonderful opportunity to represent Glamorgan County Cricket Club in a charity match to celebrate the centenary of Crickhowel CC ( I'm sure it was Crickhowell....this was a fair ol time ago...my memory fails me at times).
Just picture it, a fantastic village club snuggled into the sublime Welsh countryside, political dignitaries and established professional sports folk abound, an excellent turnout for the Sunday fixture, the sun was bright, hot and on me!
I was due to keep wicket but had fractured a finger the day before....not wanting let anybody down I turned up as agreed but suggested an afternoon in the outfield would be sensible. As is custom in these events the visitors bat first (so the 'Glamour boys' need to rattle up a decent score to drag out the event and have fun afternnon etc...)
So, I watched in awe as my fellow colleagues did the necessary and performed with fun and gusto. 'You ought to know that I'm amongst players here that as a kid I was totally in awe of and completely inspired by, so a great treat for me too.'
After the tea break, it was time time for a graze in the outfield....'great!' and a real change for me. I didn't get the chance to bat ( I couldn't hold one) so the afternoon passed quietly by in a fun and fairly non eventful afternoons game. I'd had a quiet day until I was hailed...
'Prouwwwwty' come and have a bowl!
Ok, here goes.
I usually wore gloves, I didn't bowl...but I was to make a contribution and I did as I was told.
I made an impressive start, limbering up and stretching... 'It was good that bit, I enjoy a good stretch' ... but bowling Hmm.. well an altogether different offering. I wiggled me arms..they seemed ok and I guess I looked as if I knew what I was doing.
I sensed I was being used as a 'run carrot...and quite right too.' I placed my field, which was a laugh ...I wasn't even sure what I would bowl, like lightening quick, spin or swing (as if, eh!)...so I set the field for all eventualities and just hoped the ball wouldn't sail over my team mates heads.
The first two deliveries were straight forward enough... but I sensed the excitement at the batsman's crease.. I think they thought I was a rooky and 'I' was to pay....and they were spot on!
The third delivery went most appropriately to the boundary..... I thought, 'I wish I was batting against my bowling.' As luck would have it, delivery No4 was a blinder ( quite by chance of course) a yorker, off stump..the batsman's eyes bigger than his bat and Bingo!
'Hooooray!' the grateful and unknowing crowd cheered.
Next delivery....'chink' off stump...Hooray..up went the crowd again!!'
I'd destroyed their core batting unit!! ( Now I'm thinking of course, 'this is a charity match and they need two hundred improbable runs and 2 hours to kill...' )
So, Three in three??....
'Don't do it Chris,' I was advised, 'be sporting,' it was a fun day out...
There was unexpected anticipation in the air,everything stopped, the chinking of glasses, the chatter at the bars and even the midges, which were biting hard, lay motionless...'I considered my next move'.
'The next move' was to bowl the ball as wide as I could and avoid the 3 ball trick... I was in commmmmmmplete control. I also had that ridiculous and uncontrollable inner excitement and laughter inside and I was concentrating really really hard so not to spam this event up. Off I went on my way and delivered what was the perfect wide, slow, outswinging, harmless junk delivery and ......chinck!
Now, how the hell this bloke managed to drag a delivery 2feet wide from his off stump on to his wickets I'll never know'. My heart sank, up went the cheer and I thought 'oh no, that's not good.' Another cheer and round of applause...
I only bowled the six balls and was rested! Deemed 'far too talented' I guess...
The game was a tad one sided and petered out into a chilly summers evening. I was awarded a lovely bottle of champers by the Sports Minister for Welshland...and my colleagues noted what an unsporting wicketkeeper I am. ( they were joking of course.) And a good night was had by all.
'That' was my first 'hat trick'...'my second' was yesterday when I got these three paintings selected for the Sir Alfred East Open Art Extravaganza!
The paintings are of a favourite place of mine ...I thought I'd capture some moments.
They're also nice and big too, and give a real sense of space and 'being there'. They were exciting and very enjoyable to paint.
I look forward to viewing them alongside other talented artyfolk!
Many thanks to Sir Alf's and associated crew for the selection and good luck to all the other successful artists.
On a personal note, there are other events in the offing...one or two rather exciting..... but more on that soon!
Artwork 1m sq inclusive of frame.
Acrylic on canvas, with associated mediums of Laura Ashley satin wood paint
soil, sand, plumrose hot dog sausage, couscous, knife, pencil and brush.
ps...apologies for my ramblings...had an hour spare ....and I'd eaten all the biscuits and....the dog had been walked and....errr