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Almost there with just a few slots to fill

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My fixture travails are no ’but far off done

The Sunday just gone marked four weeks since we returned from our journey with Queen Victoria. Give or take the odd one and allowing for some Festival details to become clearer then I had 82 fixtures to fix in the diary. Delighted to say that 66 have now been agreed, 9 are awaiting final confirmation from other counties and just 7 are up in the air. I’m pretty chuffed to say the least. Other elements of the schedule are still being debated including a potential additional age group festival. I would hope that by mid-January I should be in a position to publish the first Fixture List for all to see on the LCB Website. I have not done though by any measure. These “Fixtures” apply to the boys age groups from Under10 to Under 15. I need to start looking at the Under 16 and 17 Boys teams now. These are somewhat less stressed as the dates given by the ECB are standard and create few problems. Mind you getting the dates in the LCB Diary is but step number one. The task of identifying grounds for the “Home” fixtures becomes the next challenge. From the point of view of the Under 10 to Under 15 boys’ games this is where the Sage of Merseyside, Eric Linford, comes into his own. Early in the New Year we shall meet up probably with the Mighty Titch and I suspect in 2013 the indefatigable Shaun Anders to discuss where we should play our matches. When it comes to the Under 16 and 17 games I will enter into debate with Stanny, Titch and probably Rudra. Then it will be down to me to sort those venues out.


I know someone else who has started to sort fixtures for 2013 out – our Jenny. The girls list came out a little later than mine but I do believe the ECB versions have again not really matched reality. I am pretty sure that Jenny will have done the business with her fixtures by early 2013.


I have again offered to co-ordinate all age group fixtures for 2013 and publish them in an official printed version sanctioned by my friend Dipesh. This was published in mid-May last year but we must try and get it out earlier in 2013.


Last week there were two special occasions for me. The first involved the good lady as well. I told you in my last blog that the family had treated us to tickets for The Lion King at the Palace in honour or me getting to 70. Well we were booked in to the Stalls on Wednesday. In a fit of generosity I decided we would make a proper occasion out of it and booked us into the Palace Hotel for that evening. We “Metrolinked” it across early afternoon and booked in at the Hotel. This was quite an event. The Hotel was constructed out of the old Refuge Assurance building on the corner from the theatre. Our room was enormous with a very high ceiling and large windows. It was also fleeing outside. We headed off to Albert Square and the Christmas Market and enjoyed some mulled wine. On our return to the hotel temperatures had dropped to zero. It was clear we needed to conjure up some heat. An investigation in the large wardrobe produced a fan heater. This was undoubtedly our saviour. We had booked a pre-show dinner in the cavernous restaurant which did not have any fan heaters. Not recommended.


What we would recommend is that you my readers try to get tickets for The Lion King. We had great seats in the Stalls. The show was just simply superb throughout from what must be the best opening sequence in a musical ever right up to the finale. If you do get tickets or indeed already have booked make sure you get there in plenty of time. If you are not seated for the start of the action you will not be allowed into the theatre – and you will miss the Circle of Life completely. Believe it or not we had to let a couple into our row who did just that and got to their seats fifteen minutes after the start. There were a couple of young girls sat across the aisle from me probably about ten or eleven. They screamed when the little baby rhinoceros poked its horn at them and then shrieked as the other giant puppets and human creations made their entry. By just after 10.15 we were exiting the theatre absolutely thrilled again by what we had seen. Well done to each and everyone involved. There really is nothing better than live theatre at its best.


One great advantage of booking the Palace Hotel for our overnighter was that we had but 30 yards of fresh, extremely cold air to endure before entering the Hotel. This was slightly warmer than when we had left three hours before. Our room (118) was lovely and warm and the fan heater had not overheated and blown a fuse so we could have our post-show Tesco in a Plastic Bottle Moments. In actual fact we underestimated our needs as our room was on Oxford Road and students as the term enters its final weeks are not known to be quiet – and they were not.


We returned home by lunch time on Thursday as I needed to get sorted for my next Big Event – the Lancashire Schools Cricket Associations Annual General Meeting of 2012 – the 90th!!!!  Just after lunch the snow started to fall as predicted. I made my way to Old Trafford in the afternoon to meet up with Dipesh to talk over a few matters I.T. wise. It is now over ten years since I started off the idea of the Levels of Excellence. This is still in existence but in need of some tender loving care with the way in which we share information. The ECB’s Play Cricket Website is a complex monster which we really do need to try and integrate into our system of doing things. Keeping information about players up to date and centralised is also on our Agenda. I agreed a date in January to meet again with Dipesh and our computer guru Martyn to look again at what we do in the coming season.


I left Dipesh to drive around Old Trafford to the Indoor Centre side for my meeting due to start at 7.00pm. It was absolutely smashing it down thankfully with rain. The family were due – Sophie, Thomas and father – for their Indoor Centre Course. They appeared having driven through some pretty not nice weather.


Ten minutes before the start time of the 90th LSCA AGM I was sat sitting in our little room with Chairman, Mr Dennis Houghton, who had driven down from Kendal in the Lake District with little commotion, and no one else. We searched our records to see what the quorum would be for a legal AGM. We had to be certain as we are a Registered Charity and the penalty for non-conformance could mean a spell for me in the “Tower of London”. Miraculously in the final moments before the hour of seven enough people appeared to make everything above board and legal. In fact a goodly number eventually appeared including John and Myra Isterling. John had been proper poorly last season and we were most concerned. It was good to see him and Myra again. Mind you they had a “divil” of a journey from Northop Hall via a manic M56 and walked in to the meeting just as Chairman Dennis was closing it.


I set off home from our AGM having been elected again for the umpteenth time as Hon. Sec. through torrential rain. Having gone through a BIG water splash on the M60 I phoned home to advise Number 1 Son to avoid M60.  On the following night (Friday) when I was taking Number One Grandson Tom to the Riverside School for District training I asked him which way they had driven home – not a clue as he was on his Blueberrry.  On Saturday as we picked up Number One Granddaughter Sophie I posed the same question. She did not know as she was busy on her Eyephone.


To the past weekend.




The Shakers ??


Defeat by the Orient and mysterious noises about having to send out our young loan players back to where they came from. Plus my chances of Bradford beating Brentford in th’FA Cup have gone after Bradford have fallen foul of the rules. Then again it appears so have the Shakers.


Sophie got one game in this weekend on a sunny Sunday in Bispham when Westbury Diamonds beat their opponents by three goals to two. It might have been sunny but there was a gale blowing and it was fleeing. We got home just in time to see the Reds of Manchester victorious and mean our family gathering for Sunday repast would be a good one.


Greenmount CC had a Christmas Outing on Saturday – well the Mark Stewart Gang of Troubadours did. Where ???  Altrincham FC v Gainsborough. Now I have heard all sorts of details of the comings and goings of the day and night out BUT – what was the score !!


Enough.  Success today in terms of what do you get someone for Christmas who has got everything. Yes the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the World.


I have to report that I am unable to get Tiny Friends Zoo on my Kingle. But I can get Tiny Village !!


Time for another “Moment”

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