Monday, July 13, 2009

Panto is on the schedule!

I have another date to write in the calendar.
Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009.
My sister and I have tickets to the HACKNEY EMPIRE ("Home of London's No. 1 Pantomime!") production of "ALADDIN."
The show is at 7 p.m., and we will be sitting in Row E, Seats 15 and 16.
PANTOMIME is a musical-comedy theatrical production usually performed during the Christmas-New Year season.
The shows typically include songs and dancing, slapstick comedy and audience participation.
The show will be a great introduction to a traditional English winter!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Will it rain today? Will it ever!

I have added a link to the right-hand side of the blog.
WILL IT RAIN TODAY? offers real-time, rain radar information from the METEOGROUP, Europe's largest private weather company.
A joke could probably be made that the answer to the Web site's question-based title is probably always "yes."
It is currently raining in CARDIFF, thankfully saving the shell-shocked ENGLAND cricket team from additional embarrassment against AUSTRALIA.
I'll be checking this site in earnest once the departure date of my trip arrives!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

TMS is my connection... for cricket on the radio!

Nothing fills this Anglophile's heart with as much glee as listening to CRICKET on the radio.
There is something oddly mesmerizing about this slow-paced game that lasts all day and breaks for lunch and tea.
I first heard cricket on the radio while vacationing in Holland as a lad (as they say).
We were passing one of those canals that sit above the road -- so that all you could see were the sails of the sailboats -- and, after tuning the radio to a language we could understand, we found a cricket broadcast.
Only, it wasn't really a language we could understand.
Bowlers were claiming "lbw" and batsmen were going for four at "deep square leg."
I was immediately and permanently fascinated.
Des Moines-born humorist Bill Bryson provided the following observations on cricket:
"After years of patient study (and with cricket there can be no other 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 the 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 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 to handle radio-active 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 try to waddle 40 feet with mattress's 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 triumph and have a hug. Then tea is called and every one 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."
This morning, I have been listening to BBC RADIO'S TEST MATCH SPECIAL online to the first day of the Ashes Test, the biennial series between England and Australia.
ricket will be a distant memory by the time I arrive in England in December, so I must get my fix while I can.
Now, then, if I could only get my hands on some Pimm's -- tut-tut and all that.