Monday, 31 October 2016

Here we go again!

Oh great another week starts!!!

yes I am grumpy and tired this morning, no change for a Monday then!

however I bet I am not as grumpy as the England team, who went from 100 without loss at lunch to being  beaten by 108 runs by Bangladesh.

It was a great match to watch although the amount of 'verbal' that was going on was a tad worrying. This need to be nipped in the bud. Although there has been a fine handed out.

Captain Cook blamed inexperience for Englands batting collapse!!!!!!!....................... I would have said that a good 70% of the team are old hands.

Bangladesh were ecstatic to say the least in their first win over England.

anyhooo onward and upward for the boys as they move on now to focus on India.

Yesterday was a good old day at The Chateau as  things moved on in the right direction towards clearing out.

I did decide to get out the winter coat(s) and there in lies the rub! I think that I may have a bit of a 'coat' problem. I tend to purchase one  and then never seem to get rid of one and now have 'quite' a few ranging from longer jacket types to knee length coats to full length coats. I think I hit on this last year at the same time, but still bought a new one!

Oh dear I think that I might be having to be brutal and make some tough decisions re which to keep and which to go!

Well I can save that for another day...............................take that as next year!

I am not sure what this week will hold in Super Swanky Lady Lainey office as due to illness in London we have been 'gifted' an extra job, which to be honest we have no room for. I think that I will be shouting, swilling coffee, looking pretty AND drawing in the coming weeks!

Ah well best to get a wriggle on and head off down the A1

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Dark days now

Well British summer time has officially ended  and the days will now become shorter and darker, although today is warm as I found when I went to hang out the washing. yes everything is back to normal here in the chateau.

yesterday, I had a very early start as I went off on a 'mystery' trip with my friend Black Knight of the Ferrari, who is back form his extensive travels and already planning his next jaunt.

So what did we get up to..............well,  had no idea what was instore for me when I got up VERY early yesterday and tuned into TMS. What I did not expect was a 'Gin tour'.

Yes indeed I was lucky enough to go and visit several gin distilleries and sample the delights that they made.

this may not be everyones 'cup of tea' but it made for a wonderful day.

I crawled into bed a very tired Lady and then was up again at 4.00am to listen to the cricket.

I have also been promised a visit to the Bombay Sapphire distillery in Hampshire in the near future.

Sadly BKOTF will not be around for my birthday as he is off to Iceland  and Scandinavia 'aurora hunting'; something that he has wanted to do since he was a boy and now had the time to go and do it.

I am expecting lots of wonderful pictures judging by the amount of photographic equipment he has bought.

And so back to today, washing is on the line, the list of junk treasure to put on ebay is made and I have enough food prepared to feed the Yorkshire team and all the support staff, so no cooking this weekend. Although come to think of it I have a butternut squash which is begging to be made into soup so I might just do that.

Over in Dhaka England are in batting and are currently 51-0, but not before some frayed tempers during  the Bangladesh innings.

On TMS decision is split as to who will win this game and it appears that Root has a 'tummy upset' Ballance is in terrible form, and Bangladesh seem to want to win this.

Dame Didi is very excited because she has found out that Le Tour will go through her new home town in France next year...........................she just needs to sell her house in the UK and get herself out there!

Well I need some paracetamol now, you didn't think that sampling all that gin and a champagne lunch would leave me headacheless did you???!!!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Saturday catch up

Daylight not even breaking through
The smell of French coffee as it starts to brew
Picking up the digital tone
Of TMS on  my mobile phone

No washing today to be done
Just a day of having fun
Out and about, with my much travelled friend
Seeing what Saturday  may send.

Champagne on order to enjoy with lunch
Not too much as it packs a punch
Catching up on all the news
Tales of travels and different views.

Early birthday treat for me
Starting early again I see,
My friend will not be here to cheer
The glorious 15th again this year

So making up for it this weekend
Chattering non stop, ears to bend
Will I cope without my usual chores
Of course! it's just a temporary pause.

So here's to  a fun packed day
To laughter and merriment along the way
keeping check on the  England score
wickets, runs and much more

Pack as much as we can into our time
Before goodbyes with the 21.00 chime
No time for tears or sorrow
It's back to The Chateau and normality tomorrow!

Friday, 28 October 2016

F(ryan)day again


I have been waiting all week for you.

I was up long before the birds and I am now listening to TMS

First day of the 2nd test and England are in the field, and although they took an early wicket, Tamim is motoring away.

Ansari and Finn are playing, whilst they have let 'Nora' put his wrinkly stockinged feet up for this one.

Reviews are ongoing and The umpire is again under scrutiny.................

Back to yesterday in Super Swanky Lady Lainey office.
As you all know I have certain per hates in the killing of the English language.
'Yous' being my number one. There is no plural of 'you'. 'You' is one person, a singular. 'Yous' is used often in the office ( or is it 'ewes'). Well now we have a new addition to SSLL office dictionary.
'Off of' is the latest offering.

As in 'the woman off of the TV'!!!

ARRGGHHHH, the woman is either 'off the TV or she is 'from ' the TV She is not 'off of'!

I tell you the days of teaching grammar in schools is sadly missed.

They also use 'for why' as in  'I will tell you for why'!

I think that my blood pressure goes through the roof .

However I only have 7 working hours until it is the weekend and all the joy that holds.

Yes cricket, cricket and more cricket.

and with that I am on my way.

have a great F(ryan)day

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Tired out Thursday

So my cold is not showing any signs of going and it is now wearing me down even more, despite putting my feet up and having naps at lunchtimes, I am still struggling to feel more 'Laineylike'.

However with freshly washed birdsnest and actually wearing a 'frock' for work ( first time in 2 weeks) I have decided that no matter how rubbish I feel, I will look fabulous! ( well just sort of average but I can dream).

Now what has been going on?

If I do not get any decent crickety news I will have to start making it up..

Young Matthew Fisher is over in Australia playing a bit of cricket. Matty had a very bad season this year due to injury and hopefully this stint down under will help him a lot.

The Italian National cricket team are over in America, California to be exact. Judging by the photos posted by Head Coach Joe Scuderi, there is not a lot of cricket being played at the moment!!!

It looks as if England are making changes to the team ahead of the start of the 2nd Test tomorrow.
Zafar Ansari is looking to be taking a place coming in as a possible replacement for Nora Batty ( the oldest spinner in town). Stuart Broad could be rested ( well he is bound to break down shortly) and Steve Finn (!!!) or Jake ball could fill that spot.

Who knows though it could all change overnight.Finny might trip over his pipe and slippers!

The office talk has centred on our Christmas bash in at The RAC club. 3 of the boys have never been before and are very excited, which does not bode well for them. They think it is like the local working mens club!
Well they are in for a shock.

They have also been warned that even though the booze is free, this is not like our  other annual jaunt to Bannatyne's Hotel for our office Xmas lunch.

I think that it should make for some entertaining viewing!

well I am about to put my best stiletto shod foot forward and head off to the office.

seriously, there has to be a better way to make a crust!

Happy Thursday I hope that you are not as tired as I am!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Thinking ahead

Well now as you know last year was the first year in nearly 5 years that the Christmas tree made it out of the garage AND was put up, in the previous years it had just sat in its box, been kicked a few times and then put back away.

The past few Christmas's had been grim to say the least, Mum becoming very ill, Mum even more ill, lose Mum, lose Grandma Jean, then lose Grandad Derek and then my sister Dame Didi being very ill. So the tree began to symbolise nothing more than tears and heartache.

Well long story short. Last year I decided that I would put up the tree BUT that I would decorate it not in the usual way, but my way, and so my 'Cricmas' tree came to be.

now I am so excited that Xmas is only 2 months away I want to put the 'cricmas' tree up !

Yes I do even before my birthday!

I am actually trying to hold back until after mon anniversaire,  but I am a little excited.

last night I bottled the first of the elderberry vodka so preparations are well under way for the big day.

with the cakes made (although more to make) it is all coming together and it isn't even  November yet.

I'll be getting like Kiki soon with my cards written in July and  presents wrapped in January!!!

It is cold and dark here this morning and this time next week it will be colder and darker!

yes this weekend the clocks go back and we all get an extra hour in bed, BUT we will be going to work in the dark and soon coming home in it too.

It will be time to get out at lunchtime and soak up as much vitamin D as possible.

However on a positive note, it is just over 150 days until April................and cricket

until tomorrow.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

More sad news

It was with great sadness last night that I read of the passing of Pete burns, the former front man of 'Dead or Alive', a band that in my much younger days I had see on numerous occasions. At this time he was a great showman with an amazing voice.
In more recent years he has gained 'fame' through his constant plastic surgery procedures, turning him into an unrecognisable version of his former self.
One thing that never changed was his voice and his laugh!!!
Although a 'rock chick' at heart, I loved to see Pete live as he knew how to put on a show.

RIP Pete.

Things in Super Swanky Lady Lainey office were quiet yesterday as Tommy Gun was on holiday due to moving house. he is back today so no doubt the misbehaving will begin in earnest.

Work is busy which is not a bad thing.

In cricket England move on to Mirpur for the second test which starts on Friday and will involve more early rising.

I am thinking that I need to get as much sleep this week as possible, that's if the 'eedjit' across the road doesn't ruin it with his continued 'early morning engine revving'.

Australia and South Africa are not in action until the start of next month, and will be playing the second test over my birthday!

News came through yesterday that South African  leg spinner, Imran Tahir will play for Derbyshire next season, he is ranked number on T20 international bowler and so it will be interesting to watch how he performs.

Still in Division 2, Kent have signed Notts  all rounder Will Gidman.

Right that is the round up, now off to sort out the birdsnest and  head off.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Monday again!

Well it's Monday and it's the 5th morning of waking up  30 minutes earlier than normal ( have managed 4.45am the last 5 days).

And in less than 30 minutes from start of play, England beat Bangladesh. I am guessing that after yesterdays amazing cricket which brought Bangladesh to the crease this morning with just over 30 runs to beat England for the first time, it is fair to say that I don't think that anyone saw it going to lunch ( their lunch not ours).

What I will say is that with 26 reviews, 11 of which were over turned, I personally think that the use of gadgetry  in the game is making the umpires look incompetent, which is not a good thing.

As many of us sit through County Championship matches thinking 'that's not out' when a decision is made on the field, I still think that the Umpires decision should be final. However with the use of every possible bit of electronic wizardry and a 3rd Umpire 'rock and rolling' pictures, I just seem to think that it's ..........well just not cricket.

I appreciate that 11 decisions showed that the Umpires decision was wrong, so what is the next step, take them out of the equation all together?

Back to the game though and a well fought match by the home side which will surely have had England fans on the edge of their seat/beds this morning.

So yesterday involved a lot of cake making and baking, and cooling and wrapping and storing, ready for the next step which will be the icing!

I know how to make work for myself!

7 cakes down, 7 more to make ( give or take).

I also was knitting and had a very quick  call from Dame Didi after her treatment by  Franny the Alternative therapist.

And then it was bedtime and Sunday was over for another week.

Now I have the joys of an office full of 'eedjits' and at least 2 O& M's to get out of the door before Friday.
Add into the mix a new build in 'Larndan', with the most pedantic coordinator ever ( I have had the misfortune to work on a project with him before) and that makes for a pretty full on week.

So time to twirl the curls, wrap up warm ( well it is Monday and there will have been no heating on since Friday) and head on down the A1.

Only bright side.........................well it is still October and 'Mr October' in the YCCC calendar is still smiling.

A bientot

Sunday, 23 October 2016

sleepy Sunday

Well good morning from The Chateau where the usual is going on, yes washing machine  is on, every radio is booming out in the house and the TV is playing to itself in the sitting room.

I was up at 4.45am to put t'wireless on and listen in to the test in Chittagong, although I have to admit  that I did doze off for a while, as I am super tired and will need a nap this afternoon without a doubt.

I also have all the Christmas cake ingredients ready to 'go' as I just didn't find the time to do t yesterday.

However no excuse today.

I am currently listening to Tom Harrison   from the ECB talking about how they are not just focusing on T20 but on the County Championship........................... hmmmmmmmm,.because taking 2 matches out of the season is the way forward???

This still irks me, 8 days of cricket lost next season!

And Durham, 'protecting the professional and recreational game in the North East'?  Interesting.

Still too much emphasis on T20 and razzmatazz.............  my opinion only.

Although he did hit on the 'day/night/ test.

And news filtered through that my beloved Yorkshire would be testing out a day/night game. Want to be there for that!

So the players are back out after lunch and  Bangladesh are currently 86-2.

This game is swinging from one side to the other, even the TMS team keep changing their minds as to who will win.

Right I have fruit to boil and tins to line, and washing to (hopefully) hang onto the line, as well as a fair bit of knitting to do.

Rightio off I go.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

the one where I write my birthday list

Now this picture sums up me getting all my birthdays in one, when I got a hug from His Royal Ryanness at Lords at the end of the season.

However I have been compiling my birthday list in readiness for the big day which is now only weeks away.

As most of you will know I just love 'mon anniversaire'  and tend to try  to make as big a deal of it as I can and also eek it out as long as possible.

So this year I am off to see the one man show 'When the eye is gone', followed next day by  a saunter around Harrogate.

Then its 'Le weekend' when all kinds of madness and mayhem will ensue before back to work and my  birthday on a Tuesday.

So here is what I would like.

A box of vegan coffee cream chocolates ( you can get them in Boyes! and lime creams and violet creams....)

A humongous bouquet of white roses delivered by the Yorkshire CCC team to The Chateau, ( I will buy in some biscuits for them).

Lots and lots of white flowers to have in The Chateau

Champagne ( Perrier Jouet non vintage is vegan friendly)

A window cleaner

A plumber

A landscape gardener.

Well that's it.

I think that 4 out of the 7 will be out of the question  but I can always hope.

Today is going to be a day of Christmas cake making. This is my own secret recipe and it's not vegan, but since the cakes are for gifts it is fine. I have a vegan Fruit and nut cake recipe to make for me.

I hope to have about 10 cakes made this weekend and then it will be down to decorating them.

I have got one load of washing done already and about to put in another. with TMS on in most rooms of the Chateau as well as Sky in the sitting room once day light appears I will have a quick nip round with the hoover and duster, sort out 'stuff' and settle down to watch afternoon session of cricket.

Now talking about this match is it me or does anyone else think that the reviews are now taking the place of an umpires decision?

score currently  Bangladesh 248 all out (6.11am)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Hooray for F(ryan)day

Whoop di flipping tiara twirling dooooooo, I have made it to F(ryan)day, I just have to get through 7 more work hours and I can go home and flop down on the chaise and do nothing..............until tomorrow when I have to do loads! that would be washing loads!

Well yesterday in Chittagong was a bit of a 'do', having lost wickets before most people were awake, there was  some rallying from Moeen Ali, who had more lives yesterday than the proverbial cat! His 68 and Jonny B's 52 ( is that not a plane?), saw the ship steady.

And talking Jonny ........................that beard has to go, I am sure that there will be things nesting in it soon!. Surely in the heat that they are experiencing it cannot be comfortable. However I know nothing of beards so will await being informed about such matters.

Anyhooo............. England were 258-7 at stumps, with Woakes and  Rashid  returning to the crease this morning.

In the lunch break today ( about 7am our time), Alan Butcher will be on TMS talking about his brilliant book 'The Good Murungu'. I have read this and it is a great insight into his time in Zimbabwe as national coach.
Worth tuning in if you are reading this before the allotted time.

The Middlesex squad all headed to' the Palace' yesterday, and pictures on Twitter showed the wonderful El Presidenti and ex President looking very smart.
Good to see the Middx boys taking care of the Championship trophy for us until next season!

well it didn't go as planned at the start of todays proceedings as Woakes fell first ball, not really what you want to hear just after 5am!

Bangladesh are now batting and the score is 12-0 ( 6.31am)

Right I am goign to listen to a little bit more  and then head off to the office.

have a great F(ryan)day.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A taste of vegan

I cook..................yes I cook and I cook a lot, I am not one of those people who relies on 'ready meals' or 'takeaways'. I cook from scratch and batch cook and, well just cook. It may seem old fashioned or outdated to some.

I get into the kitchen and create.

Now long before I became a vegan, I made my own coleslaw, with red cabbage, carrot and onion and a chilli thrown in for good measure.

The reason I made my own was due to commercially bought coleslaw was always 'swimming' with 'gunk' AKA mayonnaise

So once I went vegan this was a regular for me to make ( with vegan mayo).

And then I hit on a variation of this humble side dish, to upgrade it to a lunch dish.

and here is the recipe ( although no 'real' cooking involved)

 Satay Noddle Coleslaw

Red cabbage ( I use half )

Carrots ( as many as it takes to equal the  quantities with cabbage)

Spring onions ( I use 2-3 as I am not an 'onion'person you can also use a red onion instead).

Half a red chilli. ( or a whole one if you want your head blown off)

1/2 Pack of instant noodles ( NOT EGG!!! check the label) cooked in water.
Soba noodles ( which I prefer)


Soy sauce
Grated ginger
Dash lime juice
2 heaped  tsp peanut butter

How to...

In a food processer grate the cabbage, carrots and onion.

Finely chop the chilli and add to the cabbage mix.

Meanwhile cook noodles as directed. allow to cool

Mix grated ginger in to the soy sauce and lime juice. in a jar/container with lid. leave for about an hour.

Then add the  peanut butter and   shake, vigorously, until the peanut butter has broken up and mixed in with the soy sauce.

Mix noodles with the cabbage mix.

pour over the sauce and munch away.

I use chop sticks it takes longer to eat!

This may not be fine dining, but it is healthy and filling.

If you want to add to this you can use smoked tofu which will add protein to the mix.

I have also had  this with falafel and chick pea patties.

Its a great dish and quick and easy to make.

Now is there any cricket stuff?

Ah yes I am listening to TMS  as England are in action, the score is currently...........well waiting for the review........................

OK  it's  79-3

I think the recipe is the best thing about this morning!!!!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Midweek thank goodness!

Firstly, I hang my head in shame!

Yes I do!!!!

I sing the praises of TLJL,

I  claim to be his No1 'Gran fan'

I cheer him on (loudly) at every opportunity

I forgot his birthday!!!!!!

I blame this on feeling poorly.

I am very sorry ( and very grateful to TLML who reminded me)

I hope that TLJL had a wonderful day and had lots of cake.

I also sorted myself out a pre birthday treat, when I will be meeting up with the lovely Clare and Olivia for an evening of crickety stuff.

We are going to see the performance of  'When the eye has gone', a play about the tragic decline of Colin Milburn.
The play is set in the bar of The North Briton pub in Aycliffe Village, a pub well know to myself and Mr Funky the Chauffeur!!!

The sad part of the whole thing is that not only was the pub the place that Colin died, but  that it  is now closed and due for redevelopment.

I personally think that it should be reopened and named the 'Milburn Arms', and be a cricket themed there's an idea!

Anybody got a couple of hundred grand to spare! It could be a money spinner.

I see a Flicx wicket in the car park and cricket bat benches outside.

Ah well we can dream.

Dreaming was not something I did last night although I did manage to get a few hours of sleep.

I am feeling slightly better today so  I  will head off to hoarsely shout at boys, drink copious amounts of green tea and look pretty in a red nosed way for 7 hours

Until tomorrow when it is only 14 working hours until the weekend...................and washing.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

When you take a long hard look at yourself.

Now, as I have not been sleeping, and am totally tired out, it is funny what the effects of sleep depravation do to you. And I don't just mean that you look permanently exhausted!

With a nose redder than Rudolfs, a throat full of razor blades and eyes that appear to be weeping acid  rain, as well as attempting to cough up a lung every few minutes, I look and feel like a wreck!

After lying in bed putting together my 'All time cricket XI',  at least three times and arguing with myself over the fact that I will not drop Angus Fraser, I turned my attention onto my life, family and friends.

I took an amble back down my life and tried to decide if I had my chance again would I change anything?

I guess that there are things and especially people who have entered our lives that we wish had never been  part of it,( see above picture for a clue to that one!) but it does go to shape your life to date.
However that does not include what is happening now, and I realised that it is never too late to make changes.

You cannot judge a book by its cover, but sometimes there are wolves in sheep's clothing and when you realise this, hard as it seems, keeping them at bay is the important thing.
This is not as cryptic as it sounds.

I have in the last year had highlighted to me, ( something that I knew already)

I am way too trusting,

I see the good in everyone ( because there is some  good in everyone)

I try to be helpful if I can

I usually end up getting 'kicked in the teeth'.

I could end up being tarred with someone else's brush ( not my phraseology)

So hopefully when I finally get a good nights sleep I  will be able to tackle my new outlook on life.

This may be the winter of me being  content!

Which should prove interesting.

The one thing that I do know is that change is on the horizon in more ways than one!

Meanwhile in the world of cricket

News in the Daily Mail ( so it must be true!) that the possible rebranding of T20 cricket could be put on hold until 2020, fills me with some sort of hope. if it is true that the ECB are going to have another look at their idea appears to be a result for those of us who were not too keen on change.

Lets see if it is true and if  we are going to have a good old 'blast' again next summer.

Somerset put out an interesting piece yesterday which gave details of where and what the team would be up to in the winter. It made interesting reading.

Wonder if we can get some info like this on other counties.

Jimmy Adams announced that after 5 seasons he would be leaving Kent. Where he is going is not known.
Kent are currently calling for  arbitration with the ECB over the decision for Hampshire to step back into Division One instead of them.
Hmm Yorkshire are in need of a coach!!

And so with that I am off to blow my nose, wipe my eyes, take some tablets and hope that I feel better by this time tomorrow.

Monday, 17 October 2016

I need a duvet day!

I don't normally whinge about a cold, but after having about 20 minutes sleep, I am feeling non too sparkly this morning. It was not helped by the 'eedjit' across the road coming in at 1.30am ( just as I was dozing off again) and doing his 'revving of, engine running' routine, before heading out again for 20 minutes and then doing the same thing again.

I doubt that  even coffee is going to help me this morning.

However I am up and dressed and will tip up at the office and share my germs with the office boys ( who shared them with me) and we will start the usual winter pass the cold game.

I settled down on the chaise longue to watch the cricket yesterday morning, but to be honest I have no idea what happened, when I rad the score this morning I don;t recall any of it. I think that I should have stayed in bed.

I did read an article in the 'Daily Mail' ( yes the Mail) about Eoin Morgan. It was quite scathing piece on the fact that he is walking back into the England camp after refusing to go to Bangladesh.
I am not a Morgan fan  but he made his own decision regarding that tour, I would like to think that he will show his worth when he returns to the side  in India in January.

England's woman  were beaten in by the West Indies in their game as the series is levelled 2-2.
the England ladies may be in for some extra fielding practise over the next few days, after dropped catches and missed stumpings cost them dear.

There will be no extra fielding or batting practise for me over the next few days as I will be looking to go to work, come home, snuggle up with lemsip and blanky and hope to fell better very soon.

Right I am off to the office and hope that we have central heating this week, although I very much doubt it.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

A day of R & R

I am looking and feeling rather rough this morning and not just due to wine consumption. I have woken up with a sore throat and runny nose ( the office boys all had it last week but of course it was flu!). And so today I am goign to have a bit of R & R.

However the beds have already been stripped and the washing is on, only one more load and we are all done.

Now yesterday I was very busy, whipping up some vegan culinary delights. I knew that this could go very right or very wrong so was preparing for the latter.

First up ' dessert hummus'.

yes, after spending months whipping up batches of 'hummus' I suddenly decided to make a sweet version ( chickpeas are very bland).
So into the food processor went the ingredients and out came a very acceptable first effort.
And really you would have no idea that the base of it was chick peas.

Next I whipped ( literally) up a batch of vegan meringues........................

yes 'no egg' meringues.

Using the water drained from the chickpeas. I kid you not!

So all was going well and in the oven they went. Well it looked as if disaster had happened as the were slightly too brown and still way to soggy.
I left them and then 30 minutes later I was about to throw them out for Pete the fat Pigeon when I realised that they had hardened and were fine.

I used the dessert hummus as a filler and Francesca wolfed hers down in record time.
Big thumbs up there.

So another creative  culinary session worked.

Now I think that I may retire to the chaise longue and wrap my self up in blanky, and see if there is any cricket on.

A tout a l'heure

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Saturday and the usual start

Yes I am up and the washing is in the machine ( 2nd load) and I am about to start on the business of cooking.

Yes I am in full vegan experimental mode today and hoping that everything turns out well.

I am out on the razz tonight so I might try to defrost the freezer this afternoon, as I don't think that I will be fit for it in the morning.

Right then what else has been happening?

Well, as you know back in January I undertook the 'Dry January' challenge for Yorkshire Cancer Research and  Cricket without Boundaries, both very worthwhile charities.

Cricket without Boundaries I had come across a couple of years ago when I was at a cricket expo.

I am totally in awe of the great work that they are doing out in Africa, using cricket as part of a teaching tool, to educate children about HIV/AIDS and also FGM.

The fantastic news is that my cricket friend Clare is now fund raising to get herself out to Uganda with CWB next year.

This is a going to be an amazing adventure for Clare, as well as a great chance to share her love of cricket with others.

I am backing her all the way on this venture.

If anyone is interested in helping Clare on her journey then please check out her page.

I will keep you posted on how she is doing.

The final day of the Phillp Hughes inquest ended and not on a positive note a the Hughes family walked out in light of statements made.
This has been a terrible few days for the family, reliving the awful events.
The Coroner will deliver his findings on November 4th.

And so now I am off to do 'stuff' and hope that it stays dry so that I can hang the washing out.

Ah yes, just a normal Saturday morning.

have a great weekend.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Finally F(ryan)day

Ah yes that wonderful feeling when you open your eyes and realise that it is only 7 working hours until the weekend starts good and proper!

I think that it is going to be a long 7 hours though as we start working on the next phase of super swanky build in central London.

The domestic season seems like a distant memory now that the nights are drawing in and the mornings are dark. it is only a couple of weeks until the clocks go back here in the UK and although we get an extra hour in bed that morning ( not that it will make any difference to me) , it marks the time of hibernation for me.

There is still lots of cricket abroad to look forward to, and I am planning my viewing for the next month already.

However when I eventually head off to Dubai,I may have to take a trip to the international stadium. This was the scene of the  Day/night test, between Pakistan and The West Indies yesterday.
At the start of play there were only 68 spectators, which must has made all the commotion about empty seats at  the test at Durham this year, look like a bit of a joke.
the crowd eventually peaked at 600 as Pakistan closed the first day on 279-1.

This reminded me of my days at Northlands Road, Southampton watching Hampshire 2nd XI, were apart from the teams and staff, there would be Terry the dressing room attendant and L and three men and a dog! I have to say the dog was usually very well behaved.

HWMNBNITB, also made similar comments regarding his non playing at County matches saying there would only be 3 supporters.
In my experience at a 1st class county match, this is never the case , no matter what day of the week it is.
Maybe his family had just shown up to give him some support!?

County cricket is alive and well, regardless of what the ECB try to do to it. Support is ever present and grounds may not be full to bursting, but the faithful still turn out to cheer their team.
And once work is finished you usually get an extra influx of people.

And now with the soundtrack of tyres through puzzles playing outside the Chateau, I guess I had better get myself ready to venture out into it.

Roll on April!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Very little time

Well its a busy day today already and I will try to keep this as brief as possible.

More from the inquest into Phillip Hughes death came out after Sean Abbott was called to give his account of events.
His harrowing description of the moments after the ball hit Hughes was difficult to read , as was his comments on his own feeling. I can not even begin to imagine how this is for the family, friends and team mates who are sitting through it..

Australia continued there run of bad luck in South Africa despite a century from David Warner.. The Proteas have looked a strong side  despite missing Abraham Benjamin, and Australia had their first 5-0 loss in ODI cricket.
The scorecard is not good reading apart from Warner's 173 which really brought the numbers up..

However altercations on the field have resulted in fines for the whole of the South Africa team.

Not good.

England won their match against Bangladesh, winning the series. Next stop a couple f warm up matches and then onto the  first test staring on 20th October.

Lots to do in the office as more projects land on my desk.

Good news regarding the very valuable teddy who, came home with me after the match at Lords, he is allowed to stay at the chateau permanently and is now settled in nicely, although his abundance of cricket sweaters ( one for every first class county ) has not gone unnoticed.

Business on the online shop is taking off and with Christmas just over two months away it is looking as if it may be a busy time.

So off to the office, knitting at lunchtime and then Christmas cake making when I get home.

I am sure I will be in need of the trip to Dubai sooner rather than later!

until tomorrow

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

All Wickets Great and Small

Well the English cricket season is over, the flasks and Tupperware's, washed and packed away. Umbrella's and anoraks stored safely and blanky had the last wash and put back in the airing cupboard, what on earth would I find to do with myself????............

........and then a parcel dropped onto my doorstep and I was asked to read a book..................a cricket book to be precise. 'All wickets, Great and Small' to be even more precise.

This book has been written by John Fuller, who many of you will know is the head honcho of the 'Cricket Yorkshire' website.

Now, I am an avid reader and have at least 4 books on the go at any one time ( a throwback to A'level English studies). However from the moment that I read the introduction, I knew that I would not be reading any other book until this one was finished.

How could I possibly put down a book that in the first few paragraph, extolled the virtue of the cricket tea ladies ( a job that I held with two clubs for over 4 seasons). As well as singing the praises of scorers, whose job is of  vital importance but rarely given the recognition it deserves.

Yes this book had my attention.

It  is about the passion that Yorkshire has for  all things cricket, from back yard, through the club system to 'HQ' at Headingley.It is about the people who play and work behind the scenes.  The highs and lows of clubs, regeneration and cessation.

Yes for any cricket lover ( and not necessarily from Yorkshire) this is an interesting read.

Outside of Yorkshire ( actually outside of Bradford) who would have known that there was Sunday School Cricket League?
Yes the Bradford Mutual Sunday School cricket league has been around since 1896 and is still going strong.
But do they sing 'This little light of mine' in the club houses after the game?
Sadly the answer is no as the 'Sunday School' side of it died out many years ago, but they have been warned not to get changed in public!
makes you wonder what goes on!!!

And whilst on the subject of Religion this book shows how cricket transcends any denomination and culture, which in this day and age is a joy to hear.

It also highlights how social media has been the friend of the clubs and helped them to get their message across, some of them proving that they are lyrical geniuses!

As you take a tour  around the clubs and  grounds, which make up the many tiered league system, that is Yorkshire cricket, from the faded glory of Park Avenue, Bradford, scene of past international and county matches, (which is hoping to be reborn in several  phases), to the plight  and  the struggle that some clubs have just to survive another season ( with some failing), it makes you realise that cricket in Yorkshire is not just a passion it is ingrained.

One part of the book filled me with an uncontrolled rage, as I read about the wilful destruction, vandalism and  theft from cricket clubs, ( and this is country wide problem).

How  hearts are ripped out of clubs along with copper piping,  I still do not understand how burning kit,bats and mowers in the centre of the field could make anyone feel that they had, had a good night out!

When I finally got to the chapter on North Marine Road,Scarborough, I was in my own personal nirvana.
Scene  of many epic cricket battles when Yorkshire CCC head to the  town for the festival.
But for  myself, finding out more about this  fabulous ground with the 'proper' pavilion was a revelation.

The description of some of the ground has spurred me to plan my own 'odyssey' next season to have a peep at some of these little gems.
This shouldn't be too difficult as I now know the public transport system around Yorkshire very well, thanks to the information  provided in the book.

I am not going to give too much away about this  wonderful, well researched and written book by someone  with a  love of all things cricket.

All that I will say is I hope that the passion and fervour of cricket in Yorkshire continues to be nurtured.

If you haven't read this book yet, get it on your Christmas list or better still just buy it now.

All Wickets Great and Small  by John Fuller is published by Pitch Publishing and available now!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

A difficult week for some

It is going to be a very difficult week in Australia as the inquest into Phillip Hughes death began yesterday.

Few of us will forget the events of 25th November 2014, when the life of a young and talented cricketer took a fatal turn.

He was hit on the neck by a ball and collapsed on the field.

He suffered a haemorrhage in the brain and died two days later.

The out pouring of grief in Australia was immense as it was all over the world, showing  the 'cricket family' uniting to pay their respects for the loss of one of their own.

The inquest is to see if his death was avoidable.

In her opening statement Kristina Stern SC had said that Hughes death 'appears to have been inevitable from the point of impact'. Laying out numerous avenues of inquiry as well as the timeline of events from the moment he was struck to the time he made it to surgery.

Sledging and short bowling tactics were all look closely examined Brad Haddin and Doug Bollinger from NSW were both examined over the events of the day.

Hughes' parents sat through the day and obviously were seen to be visibly shaken.They left the room when video footage of the event was shown.This will be a difficult week for them as they relive it all again

I have found the reading of the first days events difficult, and so I can barely imagine how the family of Phillip feel.

A son and brother lost his life playing a game that in reality no one ever sees as 'deadly'

NSW coroner Michael Barnes QC,summed this up with saying 'Cricket is not generally seen as dangerous or violent, but that does not mean that cricket can not be made safer'

I would agree with that wholeheartedly.

The inquest continues today.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Cold, dark and Monday!

Yes I fear that it time to get the wooly pullies out and  start wrapping up warm. It is cold and dark this morning and the temperature is 'freezy monkey' .

I can see that the electric meters at  Super Swanky Lady Lainey office are going to be whizzing round very quickly today, as heaters are kept on to fight off the chill from a weekend of no heating. ( I am sure that the landlord comes in on Fridays and switches it off).

However cold is not something that the England boys are suffering from, in fact they are boiling in their little skins over in Bangladesh, and tempers boiled over too as Jos butler moaned about the way that celebrations went when he was out.

Seriously, man up and just take it. Its all part of the psychology of the game and they now know his weakness.

of course it wasn't going to end there as Stokes decided to have a go at the end of the match.

not showing England in a very good light, but showing them as a bunch of whinging boys who are up for a fight.
is this how we want to see our players behave???

You can see that this is not going to end well.
England lost, and the score speaks for itself.

Australia also lost to South Africa and they also could not gain any momentum. in their match.

Well they all move onto the next game when hopefully for England they will be able to hold their tempers and play well.

I'm off to see how well the boys can play this morning and if past form is anything to go by it will not be a good day.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunday and its raining

Well it is raining outside, but it is also sunny!!  What the 'Donald Duck' is that all about???
What it does mean is that once I have stripped the beds there may not be any washing on the line today!

It does mean that I get to sit and watch South Africa V Australia in the 4 th ODI, I had best get some coffee on to brew.

Yesterday was full on washing and cooking, with not only soup being mase, but 3 different curries, which we tried for dinner last night and the remainder went into the freezer.

I am thinking that next weekend might be 'freezer defrosting' so that I can take stock. It is a super quick job with my flipping powerful steamer.

I am also starting to think about the Christmas cakes. Yes even though I cannot partake in my secret recipe cake now that I am vegan that does not mean that I will stop making it for gifts.

I just have to find a decent vegan fruit cake recipe.

I read the article by Durham Head coach Jon Lewis, about life after the relegation.

He said that he is 'sure' that the players will stay despite the events of last week.

He did add that he could not guarantee that the agents are thinking the same way but was 'pretty confident' that the players are going to be at Durham next season.

Well time can only tell, I doubt that the coach  has a clue what the players are thinking. And before the keyboard warriors get on their high horses and start making comments about my statement above.

1. I quoted what the coach said.

2. I added my thoughts on it

3 This is my blog and as such I put in it what I think

4. Put your toys back in the pram and chill out!

Right off to watch the South Africans run rings around Australia again!

Happy Sunday

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Late,late, late!

OMG!!! I am super late with the blog this morning due to not going to bed until 2.30am!! yes that is 2.30am.

We had the pamper party last night where we all had hand treatment, massages and Francesca  had a make over.

lots of wine, home made sangria and nibbles were available and laughter was in plentiful supply.

Susan had travelled up from York for the weekend, so we sat up nattering until the wee small hours.

However I would like to say that I already have washing on the line, so I might be late blogging but I am in no way slacking in the 'normal' household stuff.

I have whipped up a pan of soup for lunch and I also am about to put bread in the oven, as well as sorting out cauliflower curry for dinner to go with lentil dhal and chickpea dhal, and rice.

Yes I am not slacking at all.

England were in action again Banglasdesh in the first ODI, and won by 21 runs,
Ben Stokes hit 101, Asil Rashid had bowling figures of 4-49 ( could have done with those at Lords!), And Jake Ball had 5-51.

The last 6 Bangladesh wickets went in a spectacular 'England ' fashion as they went from 271-5 to 288 all out.

Ah well the boys now move on to Mirpur tomorrow when the 2nd ODI starts.

News from around the counties is that Gareth batty has signed a two year extension to his contract at Surrey. This will make him 65 when it is up for renewal again.


Right I am off to bake bread.

See you all tomorrow

Friday, 7 October 2016


Hello F(ryan)day, last day of the working week, the day when I get  to post a picture of His Royal Ryanness, and know that in 7 working hours it is the weekend.

And extra celebrations on F(ryan)day as it has been announced that HRR will be having a two month 'benefit' next season.

I'll be putting some pennies in that bucket, well they don't actually bring a bucket round at games anymore............but they should!!!

Its also a busy evening as I host my charity evening for Breast Cancer. Yes we will all be having mini makeovers ( I think I need a maxi one) and hand massages as well as some nibbles, drinks and playing fun party games.

It should be a great evening.

I have a list as long as my arm for the weekend jobs, but as I know that I have all winter to do them then I tend to feel less pressurised.

Last week I opened a little shop on 'Etsy' and I am already getting orders in for my little 'cricknits'. WOW, who would have thought it!

In cricket news, Edgbaston have announced that they are to host the first Day/night test when the West Indies head there next season. now that should be interesting.

I am going to see the West Indies twice next season, once at Headingley and then again a couple of weeks later at Chester le Street, add to that my trip to see South Africa and it is already warming up to be a great season.

Now here's a little thought for the clubs out there.

It is renewal time for memberships and it is also time to start thinking about the Christmas shopping, SO why don't thy sell their memberships on a 4 month direct debit basis.
if they did this now they may have a lot more takers on the membership front as it is a lot less money to pull out in one go. I appreciate that there would be more administration involved BUT if they added £10 for that iIdoubt that anyone would mind.

just a little thought.

Right off to do stuff!

Until tomorrow

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Thursday chill out

I hope!. After having been  'publicly flogged' on Twitter for my comments on Paul Collingwood and for  the 'sheer nerve' of being a Yorkshire fan and writing about Durham's problems, I thought that would be it for yesterday, but no, the cosmos decided that it had other ideas and pulled the rug out from under my feet and knocked the wind out of my sails.

I limped through the remainder of the day  just wanting to go home, lock the door and put it all behind me.

The worst thing is that I should have seen it coming......................again.....................and I didn't ( or didn't want to?). What am I waffling on about???

Well to be honest it's not worth rehashing.

So lets move swiftly on.

I had been keeping up with the South Africa v Australia ODI and could not believe how Australia had racked up 371 in their allotted 50 overs.
This was going to was going to be either some game or a walkover..................

and it was some game.

With the Proteas  chasing a huge total.
David Miller managed a seven wicket stand and  to be 118 not out even though he was in discomfort form some knocks form the ball.

it was great to watch and great cricket as South Africa went over the line in the last over.

well that at least proved to be a highlight to an otherwise grim day.

I'm keeping this short today as I have actually run out of steam and need to recharge my battery before heading to Super swanky Lady Lainey office, where I hope that I can get on with my work without interruptions and calm down!

have a great day

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

And so it continues..........

as the news came through yesterday morning that  Beefy has taken a role with Durham to try to help them out.......................................

hmmmmmm ( see yesterday for my thoughts on him)

Paul Collingwood spoke to the papers and stated that he had no idea how things had become so bad at the club.


He said the players are not to blame, which I do agree with, but they must have been aware that things were not all well.

Are you telling me that in all the years that he has 'played' there he had no idea what was going on!!!
I suppose if you turn up for your pay cheque with the blinkers on it may have been easy to miss.

Well seriously if he was any further in 'denial' he'd be playing for 'De Cairo Cricket Club'!!!

This is the last that I am saying on this as I now think that the 'get out clauses' in contracts may be used...............................

However what I will say is that Kent have now started bleating that they should have been promoted....................................well no you shouldn't, this was a Division 1 problem and as such it was not affecting you.
I haven't heard Nottinghamshire saying that they should have gone back into the Div 1.

It is all getting out of hand and needs to be nipped in the bud now, before it tears the heart out of county cricket.................or is that the ECB's secret plan!

Makes the push for T20 franchises easier.

Am I the only person cynical enough to see this?????

And to top yesterday off,  I had another recruitment agent offering me a job................ and why didn't I meet her in Newcastle at 1pm today.

Well firstly I am at work in Darlington today

 secondly I am not taking  any more time off to have my time wasted.

 surely getting another job can't be that hard????

i had a great result last night as I fixed the dishwasher which wasn't emptying properly. I was totally proud of myself and in 5 minutes had saved £40 calling out a plumber.

Anyhoo, best to get on, I have to hoover the landing before I leave for Super Swanky Lady Lainey office.

I need staff, I really do.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Time wasters beware

I, Lady Lainey  have been looking for another job, one where I do not have to put up with  uncouth office boys and where I can  work with 'grown ups'. However the one thing that I am sick, sick,sick of is the amount of recruitment agencies who are now wasting my time!

No matter how many times I tell them that I am only looking for a FULL TIME, PERMANENT  position, I am bombarded by some 'recruitment consultant' asking me if I would like to go and work on a 6 week project/ 2 month project/6 month project.
They tend to be very put out when I point out that I am not giving up a long standing position  for 6 weeks/2 months/6 months work!

How hard is it!!!!!????

To be honest I am beginning to think that I am destined to see my working life out in Super Swanky Lady Lainey office and that is not a thought that I like!

However onto other things

Durham were relegated to Division 2 yesterday and straight away the 'born again' cricket mob were up in arms.

And then the 'I've known for months' brigade kicked in!

Followed by the 'I'm never going to....(add place/event).......again' section

For crying out loud!!!!!

All the long standing supporters/members of Durham, have known there has never been clarity about spending, especially on players wages, who will forget the contract given to Steve Harmison who then was injured for 3 years and then had a benefit, were he was fit to play golf but not cricket.
Paid a great wage and a no show most of the time.

Yes we don't forget the 'Beefy' days when in all seriousness they could not and should not have afforded him, or Wayne Larkins or Dean Jones but who they paid to give the County  that worked!

There has never been clarity about money in general and  they have paid some of the back room hangers on for over 20 years, well hopefully this harsh treatment will result in a total over haul ( if not a mass exodus).

The fact that Durham haven't really signed players since 2009, but brought players up from the Academy, points to the fact that they knew too well how bad their financial situation was.

An impressive HQ was built and test status was given,  plans for a hotel were scrapped, floodlights were installed.
When they 'crowdfunded' for a nursery ground, warning bells should have sounded. Where is that money now???

AND before some of you get onto me 'Durham' bashing, I am not, I am pointing out the fact that mismanagement and hubris have brought Durham to their knees, these are just a couple of the things  that I have observed over the last 25 seasons.   How many of you can truly say that you have been watching that closely and not just cheering when they win???!!!.........................

Some of the comments on Twitter made me laugh so much, some people full of their own importance and wrapping it up in Durham tweets.

 The club could well have  been dead and buried before we saw 2020.

The ECB are to blame for the demise in recent years,  but Durham  have to take some responsibility, racking up debts to be able to play with 'the big boys', they were the new boys on the block but wanted to be recognised as a mighty force on the Test front. Sadly this was not  helped by weather and and a half full stadium on most occasion

Durham need support and backing at this time. and as such have accepted a £3.8m  financial aid package from the ECB!!!

Players wages will be capped until 2020 which as I have highlighted above seems to be THE YEAR!

They have taken away Test status.

 I wouldn't be  surprised  if they don't  install water meters  in the players showers and make them bring their own butties for lunch and tea on match days!!!!

I may have had shocking treatment from some of their staff this season, forcing me to no longer want to  attend any matches there, but I would not have wished this on the County  at all.

If you want to read a sensible take on the whole debacle check out this piece, well written and not a knee jerk piece of writing.

So Hampshire are back in Division 1 and I may be having a little jolly down there next season when 'my boys' are playing!

Well there has to be a silver lining!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Another working week begins

yes, it's here again, however I have been out for a 20 minute walk this morning ( in the cold and dark!) and hope that this peps me up for the day to come.

I am hoping this time next week to have started back into the exercise routine after a long break due to the injury to my coccyx., this is still giving me jip, but I need to get more I have signed up for the old  favourite, a step class!

I used to love these classes,and when I saw that there was one taking place I jumped at it. We will see how the back holds out, however onwards and upwards.

So yesterday I trundled off to my final training session and exam. I passed but sadly the lady who was using me as her 'model' did not and I came home looking like a panda after the wildest night in 'pandaville' ever.
And again onwards and upwards.

I settled down to watch South Africa v Australia, and trying to remain neutral ( family in  both these countries). It was a little hard when 'the stare' of Dale Steyn was bowling and  when 'little twinkle' George Bailey was batting although it didn;t do him much good as he only got 9!

Faf su Plessis scored a brilliant 111 and South Africa won by 142 runs.

2 more days until the next ODI and I will be racing home to watch the end of that.

England have their warm up match tomorrow before the first ODI on Friday.

Well this week is shaping up nicely.

I just hope that the work side of it is the same.

Oh well best toddle off as there is an O & M manual to complete and goodness knows what else to do.

I do know that their will be plenty of coffee being consumed!

Until tomorrow

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Busy, busy

No rest here in The Chateau, after torrential rain ast night, it looks as if it is going to be a glorious day, so beds are stripped and bedding in washing machine as we speak. I am in the middle  of the 'prototype' vegan cottage pie ( the proof will be in the eating later)

I also am about to don my Hunters and go and gather the last of the sloes and some elderberries ( I make a mean elderberry and chestnut stuffing at Christmas)

And then I am off to complete my training, which will give me the knowledge to analysis skin types and assist in making all the ladies in the vicinity super pretty ( not that they aren't already).

Yes it is sure going to be a busy Sunday. Just like yesterday, I will be glad to get back to Super Swanky Lady Lainey office tomorrow for a rest!

As there is not much cricket news around I decided to put together my 2016 best team ever.

And before you think that it is just the Yorkshire squad take a look and see what you think.

Lainey's 'leven

1 Richard Levi ( Northants, mahoosive lad, but worth it as an opener)

2 Michael Carberry (  Cpt, Hants, who could resist that smile)

3 Abraham Benjamin  ( South Africa, well  I had to put him in there somewhere)

4  Dawid Malan ( Middx, interesting player)

5 TLJL ( Yorkshire, did you really think  he would be omitted!)

6 Jonny Bairstow (wkt  Yorkshire,well who else would I choose but my 'son')

7 Tim Bresnan ( Yorkshire, can hit a ball and bowl too)

8 Ollie Rayner ( Middx, very tall spinner)

9 Jack Shantry ( Worcs, interesting bowling action ,)

10 Big Luke Fletcher ( Notts, underrated and under used)

11 His Royal Ryanness ( Yorkshire, not much else to add to that!)

water boys  Peter Trego/Gareth Batty ( Somerset & Surrey, make them sit together and play nice!)

Coach  Gillespie the Gallant, who else would I get to over see my team

Right, I am off on a foraging spree,

Have a great Sunday where ever you are.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

October is here..........................

and that means one thing..................we are getting  nearer to the cricket season!!!
And that is about the only good thing about it being October, unless you have the Yorkshire CCC calendar, and  its a cracking month on there!

If you don't have one.....................well I will leave you to guess who is 'Mr October..

It is not just October but it is also Saturday and so true to form the washing machine is going and the dishwasher will be on  very soon.

I have huge plans for today including laying some of the new paving slabs, burning the mass of cuttings from the bushes and tidying up the extensive grounds of the Chateau, all to be done before the Horsechestnut starts to shed it leaves which will be happening sooner rather than later.

Yesterday I received a message from Black Knight of the Ferrari, who is still having jollies down under, he had got the news of me  crying on TV last week.( not certain how) and arranged for me to have dinner at his former bar.
they had set table for me, greeted me with a glass of champagne, fed me and  gave me wine, needless to say when I arrived home I was a little wobbly.

I awoke this morning to various messages from him, but had been fast asleep before 10 pm!

there is no cricket news about so I will skip over that.

As the weather is fine ( at the moment) I might go and given the lawns a mow ( I only said might) and get on with boring houseworky things as above.

Well this is a super short one however I will say that there was some brilliant news the other day when super cricket friend Clare found out that she has been accepted to go to Africa to work with 'cricket without boundaries' and she is heading off to Uganda in the spring.

Good luck Clare, you will be fab and doing excellent work to promote both cricket and education about HIV/AIDS and FGM.

Have a great Saturday