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Lancashire Cricket Board - On the outside looking in
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On the outside looking in

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Life is certainly different now.

Although it would appear some things do not appear to change at all. Like - Woe is me !!! It’s back but has now migrated. Did you know you can get gout in any joint ???


I am not doing this Blog to seek sympathy as I know it is highly unlikely I will get any. I was at the Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday when my poorly digit was swollen and bright red, and there was a modicum of support for my condition although Mr Nathan Wood stated what most people were probably thinking – “Too much rich living”, he said. Well let me tell you that over the past four weeks my Good Lady and myself have been living rather sparsely as we are endeavouring to lose weight prior to our holiday in B??ba??s in a few weeks’ time . Many elements of so called “Rich Living” have been put to one side. Maybe it has been the shock to our systems that has produced the reappearance of my gout. The affected digit is actually the middle finger of my right hand which is creating some local difficulties in typing up this blog.


Looking back at Sunday I have to say well done Nathan as the Under 14 Coaching Session was excellent. I was there in my normal capacity from now on as a Grandad. Thomas had already received his plan for the session by email from Nathan and took me through this as we drove towards EOT (Emirates Old Trafford) through the heavy rain on Sunday morning. It was great to see everyone involved from the off and to see how much they appeared to be getting from a very well controlled two hour session.


Prior to setting off on Sunday I noticed that the Age Group Fixtures were up on the website. A touch of nostalgia set in at first as the compilation of these fixtures had been my major role over the past god knows how many years but then I realised the reason I had decided to retire. I know just how many hours has gone into producing that Fixture List – so well done Shaun, with a little help from the Sage of Merseyside. Apart from the County fixtures we will have a new initiative around Area and Regional Competitions for Under 13, 15 and 17 age groups with a little twist in terms of the Under 16 Festival. This will be quite a challenge for those involved in 2014 but I feel sure the initiative will work well and add another dimension to the Player pathway. I must say that having looked through the County and Development Team programme for the summer ahead I am delighted that the successful developments of 2013 have been kept and in certain age groups built upon.


I had spent a little time over the months since I stood down from the LSCA life I had led, and even more so when I attended my final meeting as a member of the LCB Executive, considering whether I should carry on doing this Blog or was it really time for me slip quietly away. I mentioned this to the Acting Director who seemed puzzled as to why I should even be thinking along those lines, and then on Sunday not one but many of the parents, managers and coaches wanted to know when the next blog would appear. So what else could I do but return to my computer and blog away again.


Even Dipesh emails me every time he is putting together an LCB Newsletter to ask me not to try and upload anything for a couple of days. One parent on Sunday told me the only reason he looks at the LCB Website is to check if I have done a blog. So from now on or until the hierarchy determines otherwise I intend to adopt the guise of being “On the outside looking in”. So far with the Under 14 Squad Session on Sunday and the publication of the County Fixtures for the Boys Age Groups on the website it is looking really good. I know a lot of work has been going on with the Girls teams and I notice on the website that the Under11, 13 and 15 Squads have been sorted. My granddaughter, Sophie, was delighted to get an email telling her she had been selected for an Under 19 squad to take part in a Festival at Malvern College in early July. We have already been booked to provide transport facilities by Sophie as Thomas will still be at school then and Mum and Dad will be at work. How time flies. Sophie will just have completed her GCSE Examinations prior to that Festival and will have left Woodhey High School. It seems like only yesterday she finished at her primary school!!


The nights are beginning to get lighter and once we get out of February I have always felt that the pace gets quicker and the cricket season gets nearer. Mind you will it stop raining by then? I really cannot remember so much wind and rain – and so little frost and snow. The daffs in our garden are getting pretty close to bursting into flower and my lawn at the back really needs cutting. Just seen that the Shakers match at Mansfield for this evening has been called off. That must be four or five of their recent games called off because of waterlogged pitches. In past seasons you could expect the odd game to be lost to frost, ice and/or snow but not really to floods. The pictures on the news at the moment of the conditions in the South are quite frightening – and all the forecasts indicate even more rain and wind to come.


What about KP and the England team?? I have to say I did not share the mass optimism that gripped the media when England set off to Oz for a re-run of the Ashes almost before the dust had settled on the UK version. The fault lines had begun to show last summer and our success was not as overwhelming as expected. We were in their back yard and they were hurt. Even so how can you explain our complete disintegration – with just one lonely 50 overs victory in an almost total whitewash? There were some unpleasantries labelled acceptable sledging by the press corps but that cannot hide the fact that very few of our players performed to their abilities. In all of this the people I felt sorry for, and they really must have suffered, were the close families many of whom will have travelled to Oz at great expense to support their loved ones – and then had to go through a far from exciting experience. In the background of all of this what was going on in and around the dressing room. Will England be better off without their most talented batsman?? I have read some absolute tripe in the press over the last few weeks but many of the members of the cricketing press have gone almost bonkers with their reactions. We have come to expect complete lack of reasoning in the daily barrage of soccer stories across our sports pages and on the internet. I do hope we are not going to follow that same route with cricket.


Time to get off the soapbox and conclude this blog. My little poorly finger is having a throb at the moment. I started the weekend having agreed with my Gout Nurse to try a different medication called Colichine which is made from a wild autumn crocus and was used way back in Henry the Eighths time. She said the only really potential side effect could be that I could get some runs. She was actually spot on and yesterday having scored more runs than I have for some time chucked the remaining pills into the bin. Today I have been supplied with some Naproxen which should direct me back to normality soon.


The Good Lady last time I blogged had become becalmed on a particular level of this blessed Candy Crush thingy. She did eventually move on but I suspect has become entangled again. All I seem to hear at the moment as she plods away on her Eyepad is the phrase “Three Jellies” – well to be truthful that is the core phrase as it does get embellished at times with additional bits and pieces. I have got lots of ridiculous games on my Mini-Eyepad but they are in a separate folder controlled by Thomas and Sophie. Last Sunday when I returned from the EOT with Tom after his nets the rest of the family gathered together for Sunday dinner. This is a family ritual timed to fit in with when Mr and Mrs Heaton Junior finish seeing to the aficionados drinking habits at Totty Con for the afternoon and drive down to Chez Turks Road. After the meal we all sit down and watch whatever Tom decides we are watching on the television. It is usually an episode of Top Gear on a Channel called “Dave” which he and most of us have seen at least 20 times. This last Sunday I commented to all and sundry after I had finished a book on my Kingle that all five other members of the Heaton family had spent the time after dinner either on an Eyephone or an Eyepad, and where had the art of conversation gone. Having said that I really must get Sophie to give me lessons on Facebook and Twitter. We are after all in the Smartie-Phone era and must keep up with the Joneses. You may have noticed the picture of me at the start of this blog is actually a “selfie”. Well if President O and PM Dave can do it why not JH.


Just at the side of my head is a little message which has been stuck on our kitchen wall ever since I retired from Hayward School – “RETIRED” – “TWICE AS MUCH HUSBAND and HALF AS MUCH MONEY”.




Be in touch soon




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