Summer sojourn, three

Tuesday 30th August 2011

SURE as eggs is eggs, my sister packs a bloody good packed lunch. Hope she’ll observe the tradition of tucking in early. Scarborough remains one of the few grounds where you can chuck a ball about during the interval. There’ll surely be some kids out there keen to face a wily, old off-spinner.

I’ve not been to North Marine Road since those daft holidays with my then teenage son, Gaius. We’d leave stuff in Hull, travel light for a change: single rucksack, sheet sleeping-bags, the odd anorak or jumper, but mostly essentials: bat, ball, binoculars, Playfair annual.

The day rain ended play early, we purchased supplies en route to the camp-site, pitched the tent in a thunderstorm, and crawled in… only to find our spare clothes soaked by a self-emptying milk bottle. Hung everything on a pavilion rail next morning. Players familiar with our antics duly took the piss, as expected.

But this is hard. I’ve only been to one day’s cricket since Gaius died, seven years ago. It was a great partnership of youth and experience. He bowled leg-breaks. Took the field together from Taunton to Todmorden, cycled and hitched our way through fourteen counties.

“Three concessions and one adult, please.”

My brother-in-law is paying. Mention of my recent status upgrade confuses the man on the turnstile, who admits us all at the lower price. My niece is bemused:

“Must have thought me a child,” murmurs the thirty-year-old doctor.

Yorkshire are batting. A chance to watch young Jonny Bairstow and Adam Lyth, live. Ah, that skin of grass, made greener by grey terracing and tall-walled houses. Applause echoes. We never saw them lose here. The sun comes out, the fifty up.

“Sandwich, bruv?”

A loosener. I get off the mark with a ham and tomato. Lyth pulls through mid-wicket for four.

Later, walking round, I say hello to Kevin Sharp, the batting coach. Gaius and I played cards with him one wet Barnsley afternoon. He nods an…

“Awl rite mate.”

…in passing.

Won’t recognise me now, of course. Without my lad.

This entry was posted in journal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Summer sojourn, three

  1. remzone says:

    Marcus, this is absolutely amazing. I’ve dipped in and out of your blog for some time, after stumbling across it somehow through publicfesto and always enjoyed it when I have. You have an incredible way with words, a very unique and entertaining writing style which never fails to draw me in. This particular piece is incredibly powerful, very touching. Thank you, not only for sharing, but for the inspiring manner in which you come across.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s