Bill Bryson on cricket

September 26, 2010

In the last 2/3 years I have become a bit of a Bill Bryson fan. He is best known as an American travel writer for those that don’t know. I have only completely read 2 of his books and am currently on my third with many more to go. He is one of a few authors who actually make me laugh out loud when reading his books. At the moment I’m halfway through ‘In a sunburned country’ – this particular book is about his travels in Australia.

The following is an excerpt from this book. It is Brysons description of the game of cricket. The best description I have ever heard…

“After years of patient study (and wth cricket there can be no ther kind) I have decided that there is nothing wrong with the game that the introduction of golf carts wouldn’t fix in a hurry. It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavors look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side effect. I don’t wish to denigrate a sport that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game. It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. It is the only sport that shares its name with an insect. It is the only sport in which spectators burn as many calories as players – more if they are moderately restless. It is the only competitive activity of any type, other than perhaps baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of they day as you were at the beginning.

Imagine a form of baseball in which the pitcher, after each delivery, collects the ball from the catcher and walks slowly with it out to center field; and that there, after a minute’s pause to collect himself, he turns and runs full tilt toward the pitcher’s mound before hurling the ball at the ankles of a man who stands before him wearing a riding hat, heavy gloves of the sort used to handle radioactive isotopes, and a mattress strapped to each leg. Imagine moreover that if this batsman fails to hit the ball in a way that heartens him sufficiently to waddle forty feet with mattresses strapped to his legs, he is under no formal compunction to run; he may stand there all day, and, as a rule, does. If by some miracle he is coaxed into making a misstroke that leads to his being put out, all the fielders throw up their arms in triummph and have a hug. Then tea is called and everyone retires happily to a distant pavilion to fortify for the next siege. Now imagine all this going on for so long that by the time the match concludes autumn has crept in and all your library books are overdue. There you have cricket.”

Well said Bill! Please don’t sue me.

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A happy day for the Ros and an Ethiopian

July 19, 2010

So Toronto then ay? or Canada?

I likes it here. its my type of place. Why? Well ya see, if you think you might know me, you probably don’t or never will…

My impression so far is that Canadians (maybe more specifically Torontonians) do not judge you or one whatsoever. They’re an easygoing and polite sort of people. Example – I’ve just got off a bus and the whole bus journey home I sang – not in your face singing but you know, I kept the masses entertained like (or so I thought :)).  Hell, before that after getting off the sub while waiting on our bus, I sat with Daryl and an Ethiopian guy on top of a thrash container asking him if he knew Haile Gebrselassie? He was a legend of an athlete like. I asked him if he was a runner too – lets face it the only Ethiopians I know (apart from those on a trocaire box) is the feckers that ya see every Olympics beating our one and only white pasty slim chance of a medal – guess what? I dont think he had a fucking clue what in gods name I was on about – would ya blame him?

Would ya blame him? Well ya see I got up at 9am this morning and made my way (or should I say our) to the Galway Arms pub in order to watch the Ulster and Connacht finals. Now, picture this – I got up at 8am, had a shower, made a cup of coffee, looked in the fridge and decided to grab a cupcake and that was my breakfast. Arrived (after a bit of a journey) at the Galway Arms, paid 20 fecking dollars in and duly sat down to enjoy the days festivities. Festivities being a big screen in a pub surrounded by fecking 80 year old ex pats and the bar not open till 11am! Well they did have free tea and coffee at least for the time being so we availed of that and once that bar was open, 2 guinness were called for.

Right, so thats were it all went downhill. Now, by the way I was wearing a Roscommon jersey too and if ya dont know by now Roscommon decided to beat Sligo – so, I had  literally everyone and anyone coming up and congratulating me – little did they fecking know I was actually a proud Dub. Hence the reason I generally said nothing and shook their hands and smiled (while Daryl was lost for words beside me) and just pointed at Daryl.
Now that worked well for a while but of course I had to open me mouth eventually like.  Jays and once I did the bloody confusion or maybe more correctly – disdain! But ya know I kinda like defending being a Dub and in some ways I love it when someone decides to go and have a crack at us – fooking go ahead mate, I’ll defend us to the hills! Please just try and lose that chip on your shoulder…. you’re the one sounding like a prick!

Right so yeah, Galway Arms. The 2 finals finished and we stayed there and being in a pub we kept drinking – alcoholic beverages of course! After a good few pints of vitamin g we moved on to the shorts (cos I dont know about you but I can only handle a certain amount of pints no matter what time of the day!) – met a family from Leitrim, as in a daughter our age, her mother and grandfather and some other relations and we had a right good auld bit of banter with them.  Jays hey between waltzin (mam youd be proud of me), jiving, singing, talking, drinking, smoking and joking! twas mighty!

I guess that takes me back  to singing on the bus on the way home (13/14 flipping hours later like) and the Ethiopian. Ok so he mightn’t necessarily be a Canadian or drinking in a bloody Irish pub full of bloody fecking Irish might also not be what one would describe as experiencing Canadian culture – but hey this place is so unbelievably multicultural and cosmpolitan its actually goddamn hard to meet someone who will actually tell you they’re Canadian! They might put ay on the end of very sentence and tell you thats awesome but you’re goddamn guaranteed they’ll tell you they’re Italian, Portugese, German, English, Brazilian, Spanish………….and Ethiopian 🙂 before they’ll tell you they’re Canadian!…… maybe thats a good thing?

Does that at all explain why I think they are polite, easy goin and non judgemental? Hmmm me being me I dont think it does! I had a point! Trust me I did!


Quote of the Day

January 30, 2008

“Workers can’t think, Thinkers don’t work” – Unknown


Emptiness

January 30, 2008

The laughter subsides
The feeling takes hold
Alone in a place
For me it is cold.

I’m reachin out to touch something
But I can’t seem to grasp it.
I dont know what it is.
Maybe this dream will come true.

I know i’m not dreamin,
but these feelings have passed.
Why do I feel happiness at last?


Unnamed

January 26, 2008

Questioning, always questioning.
Answers, I need fucking answers.
I wonder what would happen if?
Should I do that or should I do this?

A never changing elusitivity maybe.
Factors I’ve been told but to me so rare.
Manipulation isn’t my game,
here I am, for you, laid bare.


Thought for the day

January 10, 2008

We cannot become what we need to be, remaining what we are.


Music to my ears…….

January 6, 2008

Can you imagine a world without music and poetry? It’s not worth thinking about.
I first heard the song below on the Commitments soundtrack and was blown away, then I found the original version by Clarence Carter and in one simple palindrome……..wow.

What would I give
For just a few moments
What would I give
Just to have you near

Tell me you will try
To slip away somehow
Oh, I need you, darling
I want to see you right now

Can you slip away
Slip away
Slip away
Oh, I need you so

Love, oh, love
How sweet it is
When you steal it, darling
Let me tell you somethin’ now how sweet it is

Now I know it’s wrong
The things I ask you to do
But please believe me, darling
I don’t mean to hurt you

But could you just slip away
Without him knowing you’re gone
Then we could meet somewhere
Somewhere where we’re both are not known

And can you slip away
Slip away
Slip away
I need you so

Oh, can you slip away, baby
I’d like to see you right now, darling
Can you slip away now, baby
‘Cause I got to, I got to see you
I feel a deep burning inside
Oh, I wish you could slip away