Women's Cricket in Australia -Ashes Tour 2001
Julia's Ashes Diary 2001 - Pt 2
Have you read part 1....?
Day 12 Tuesday 26th June Day 3 First Test
Todays win had been a long time waiting for the Australian team. Our last tour in 1998 we thought we were denied the chance of winning the Third Test due to being washed out for a day and a half. England were dismissed for 101 about an hour after lunch with Fitz again bowling well and picking up three wickets, with Tez and Olivia also chipping in with 3 and 2 wickets respectively.
On returning from Shenley, some of the afternoon was spent in the pool and spa cooling down, and then mid-afternoon was spent warming up again in the hotel bar with a couple of quiet celebratory drinks.
Our cocktail night was moved from the Wednesday night to tonight as we were all in such good spirits. We couldnt decide between which two cocktails to have so we ended up making two and naming them Two Ton Gozzy, and Nine Long Years (since our last Test win).
After the cocktail night we met up with some of the Poms in the downstairs bars and whipped their butts (quite a few lines I could say here) at Pool with Qld (Sally Cooper and myself) beating England 2-0 followed by NSW (Lisa K and Julie) beating England 2-1.
The big news for the night however was that Karen Rolten has been dumped from the Doghouse in Ireland. Being billeted in Ireland, we are divided into certain houses. Last tour, Lisa K, Rolts, Mel Jones and I were in the Doghouse, with Belinda, Fitz, Gozzy and Charlie in the Cathouse. Lisa K, Julie Hayes and I make up the new Doghouse despite long and painful objections from our vice-captain. I am not sure what she did to our hosts last time but they obviously dont want her back this visit.
Day 13 Wednesday 27th June
Our first sleep-in since arriving in the country most of the girls relished the fact that no earlier morning run, swim or stretch was being forced upon us with most of us getting up for breakfast about 5 minutes before breaky finished. Another quick trip up to the Laundromat pretty much filled up the mornings activities.
Due to Lou Broadfoot wearing what can be classed as a "bad shirt" to our celebrations last night, she has inspired the team to all go out and buy a "bad shirt" for any occasion that may seem appropriate to wear one. Belinda and Fitzy got the honour of going to the local op shop to select the items of clothing. 2 pounds was the limit that could be spent on a top and from the look of what came back we should have got change. Some of the items included : Belinda and Chuck in leopard print numbers (ala Shania Twain), Rolts in a lovely lilac velvet top with similar colour beading, Lisa S in a lovely lime green number, and myself in denim halter neck top. Lou just wore what she had worn downstairs for drinks last night. It seemed a waste to not use the clothes immediately and seeing we had a luncheon to go to with the Poms we thought what better time to wear them. This however back-fired slightly on us as the Poms didnt really even notice that we had gone to some effort to dress up.
The luncheon went well with us all dressed in our finery. We looked so good in fact that the head waitress at the luncheon decided it was a good time to teach her ever eager pupils the art of "Silver Service". Im not sure if the waiters and waitresses appreciated the skills they were about to be taught by the Dojo of "Silver Service" but we were in awe of the way she moved from person to person with fork and spoon in one hand serving from left, taking from the right. It was "Silver Service" at its finest. On closing my eyes for a couple of minutes it would have been easy to mistake my surroundings for the Ritz but upon opening my eyes I was surprised to find myself back at Shenley with the Master at work in her brown velvet bow tie dedicating her time to passing on her skills to those beneath her. As she pointed out to us on more than one occasion, these people didnt know anything until the other day when she took them under her wing. Im not sure when the next lot of OBEs come out but Ill be keeping an eye out for her name.
A two hour bus trip up to Derby somewhere and very relaxing afternoon continuing to do nothing for the rest of the day and evening.
Day 14 - Thursday 28th June
The morning started off with a fairly casual early morning swim followed by an even more casual training session. Not that it was meant to be casual but none of us seemed to have any energy and the whole session was pretty much a disaster with people bowling wides, getting bowled, misfielding and pretty much stuffing everything up. Basically we are just tired.
To fight this fatigue and mental exhaustion we have consulted a few of Olivias books that she has been reading lately according to the Wisden Cricket Monthly. Olivia at the moment is juggling a few books at a time but a couple of her favourites are two by the Dalai Lama "The Art of Happiness" and "Modern World, Ancient Wisdom". I personally prefer the writings of Confucius and Sai Baba for all my spiritual and moral guidance. Excuse me for one moment while I realign my aura, rid myself of evil thoughts and work out what numbers I should pick for Lotto.
A great dinner was had tonight at an Italian restaurant which meant we were able to escape our Hotel girt by M1 as opposed by our last Hotel which was also girt by M1. I never thought I would ever be able to use the word girt in a sentence little lone twice. Technically we are in the middle of one of the biggest round-a-bouts in the world which makes it that much more tricky trying to escape to the real world.
Lisa Ross our physiotherapist has avoided comment so far in the diary up until today when on hearing some music being played in the bus she stated "Isnt this Powderfinger? Yeah I know Im up with it. Ive got two of their albums". Need we say more?
Our team meeting had a little sparkle of difference tonight with Rolly being forced to run the meeting. This was met with whoops of laughter from the team including Rolly who when once gets started cannot stop laughing. Rolly trying to ask us seriously how we thought we should bowl at the Poms and maximize runs when batting, was too much for most people and the meeting was eventually taken over by Steve. God help us if Belinda is going to retire soon. After all she is in her twilight years according to every newspaper in England.
Wimbledon selections have been going well with all of Lisa K, Sally B, Chucks and my women being knocked out. Tez, Steve, Julie (who did the drawing from the hat coincidentally enough) and Sally C are all still well in it with at least three players still powering towards the fourth round. Sally B, Chuck, Belinda and myself somehow are still in with a few names in the fourth round. Belinda however does have some bigger names with Pete Sampras and Tim Henman. Should get interesting from now on as names begin to get more familiar and owners of the players begin to have more personal battles with other teammates.
Day 15 Friday 29th June 1st ODI Derby
A good day with Australia beating England by 99 runs. Karen Rolton was her usual self smashing 79 runs from 68 balls to take out the Australia Player-of-the-Match award, with Tez supporting her with 4-15 from her 10 overs. Lisa Sthalekar made her debut today by taking a two wickets.
One of the players in the English team debuting today was Jackie Hawker. As the Australian team we havent had very much to do with Jackie prior to this tour but she made quite an impact with the team when first spotted. Jackies hairstyle rivals our own Cathryn Fitzpatrick but it seems to have some method to its madness unlike Fitzs. To try and describe Jackies hair would be quite difficult generally but I have found a simple way of visualizing what it looks like. All you have to do is go down to your local video store, rent JFK with Kevin Costner and watch the assassination scene in Dallas. Back and to the right, back and to the right. Thus the nicknames JFK or Jackie O.
Incidentally, if you were thinking of coming to a game at Derby to watch the County side play it is only 7 pounds for adults, 3 pounds for children under 12 and 2 pounds for dogs.
Another great dinner ending in tears as all of us realized we had to head back to our roundabout. The trip back home passed rather quickly with a game of punch buggy, pinch mini and slap van between Avril, Lisa K, Gozzy and an unwilling players in Olivia. The game however ended in disaster when crowpeck caravan was introduced and a small party of gypsys passed quite innocently past our bus. Ugly scenes.
A couple of quiet drinks with a couple of breakaways from the pommy team. Due to their tender years however, they were only allowed a chocolate milkshake and a milky way, as it wouldnt fill them up before bedtime at 7.30pm.
Day 16 Saturday 30th June
We packed up reasonably early this morning to move down the M1 to our next round-a-bout and we werent disappointed. Im not sure how Im going to cope if we ever hit a nice quiet village. The sound of traffic roaring past at 120 mph has such a soothing effect on me and lulls me to sleep in a mere 2-3 hours.
Straight to the Cricket Club to watch the Wallabies get beaten by the Lions. We are taking the blame for their loss as we only got there in time for the second half in which the score was 10 all. Donned in my Wallabies jersey we were waiting out the front of the Cricket Club for The One Ronnie to pick us up, when a car pulled up and a man started sledging me. Poor sledges I must add, but nevertheless sledges. I responded to a few of the sledges, noted his licence plate and will make sure to repay the favour when the appropriate time comes around by tracking him down through the local police.
It has been reported that during our test match a couple of the girls snuck over to the sound system, which had been playing the English girls cd, and slipped our team cd in for our warm-up. After about three or four songs Lisa Ross pipes up with "Gee theyve got a lot of songs the same as us".
There has been some talk of Olivias trip to India after the tour and what hairstyle would be most appropriate for travelling. It has been decided by the team that a No.2 all over would be perfect. After some time thinking it over, Olivia is warming to the idea. One advantage would be that she could pose as a holywoman and collect food offerings all over India. However in order to collect these offerings you generally have to have some sort of useless skill ie putting your legs behind your head, not speaking for 6 years or in some mens cases lifting heavy objects with your downstairs parts. As Olivia is incapable of doing any of these she may have to perform surgery on someone.
The day was a free day and most of the girls either went shopping or hit the gym. Myself, Gozzy and Olivia all hit the gym but for very different reasons and none of them cricket related. Olivia to hike around India, Gozzy to lose weight after quitting smoking, and me to fit into our walking out skirt as I only have 4 days to go and things arent looking good.
Day 17 Sunday 1st July
This mornings breakfast was a disaster due to a wedding being held here last night. The hotel didnt cope too well with the extra numbers of people and about a half an hour wait was expected before you could eat. Now I was going to sledge a group of people who walked straight past the queue, straight past the sign that plainly said to wait to be seated and straight to the nearest table to be served before anyone else. Even after I held up the sign and queried whether their english was not up to scratch I got no response. The fact that they were German vetoed my previous argument. The fact that apparently a number of the Australian Womens Cricket team had also walked into breakfast ahead of the queue has also vetoed all argument to change it say good for those who are assertive.
A marathon training session which included fartlek fitness, elastic running, batting drills, a net session, fielding session and stretching session which all lasted in total 4 and a quarter hours has really sorted out the team for tomorrow. We have a new team flying in tomorrow and hopefully a few of us will have recovered enough to be able to play on Tuesday at Lords.
A quick trip into town to grab some food before heading home. At the moment a few of the girls seem to suffering from the condition known as SHP. Fortunately this is only happening around meal time and not on the cricket field as of yet. The condition was first noticed when Therese McGregor dropped her Diet Coke all over one of the seats in the bus. Belinda Clark enquired "PMT" Tez replied "Slippery Hands, Pet", thus SHP. Charlie Mason soon went down with the same condition spilling her Diet Coke all over me. Unbelievable how quickly the disease is spreading. At this stage we are not sure of how long it stays in the system but the two victims have been isolated from the rest of the team.
On our return to our Hotel a group of finely dressed lad and lasses were out the front sipping champagne and looking lovely. A few of the boys and possibly girls however seemed to have come to the Hotel on the Goodies style bicycle which would have been hilarious to see. Unfortunately for one of the girls in the group her dress must have got caught in the chain and torn one side of her dress off. She didnt seem at all bothered by it however. Another girl who must have come on the same bike seemed to have her hair blown off centre to have it all sitting around near her left ear. No doubt shell fix it up when she goes to the bathroom.
Day 18 Monday 2nd July 2nd ODI Northampton County Cricket Club
Today we won the One-Day Series but are looking for a clean sweep tomorrow at Lords. A couple of things of note today were Sally Cooper making her debut, Olivia Magno doing her cruciate ligament in her right knee while doing a Ginger Rogers impersonation down the pitch and Lucy Pearson doing her best Johann Koss impersonation when attempting a single. Even at a scorching 28 degrees, Lucy somehow managed to look like I do on ice skates. Lucy pushed a ball through to mid-on and took off for the quick single. However halfway down the pitch it all went horribly wrong for Lucy as her 6 foot 2 inch frame came to a dead stop about 2 metres short of the crease. Not that she was diving for the crease, she just fell. The players were silent, the crowd was silent, no doubt spectators watching sky in pubs all around England were silent for an instant and then we just laughed and laughed. And to Lucys credit so did she.
On a more serious note Olivias knee is quite serious and we are as I type at 11.35pm exploring various channels in either getting Olivia home for a reconstruction on her knee or seeing if we can get her around with us everywhere. All of us are hoping for the latter.
On an even more serious note, it has been brought to the writers attention that Olivia has been seen sneaking her dirty washing out to Dawn Holdens (member of the English team) mother to do it for her, so as to save herself a walk to the laundromat and 2 pounds.
I also managed to give myself third degree burns on my arm today when hanging up my towel in the bathroom. Id forgotten that we had the towel warmer on. It should however be renamed to be towel very very hot. This inspired quite a few other horror stories of encounters with the towel warmer, one being Sally Bailey who bent over while in the shower and scorched her backside. She had the big grill marks on her backside for a few days. Hey turn me over Im done.
Its been a few days since Charlie has appeared in the diary and she hasnt let us down with one of her latest call. We had dinner tonight at an Italian restaurant and everyone ordered things from lasagne, to Spag Bog to Chicken Cacciatore. Fitzy ordered the veal for something different. Charlie pipes up with "What is Veal anyway? Its just baby lamb isnt it?" No Chuck baby lamb would probably be lamb.
Late night and up early tomorrow for the game at Lords.
Day 19 Tuesday 3rd July 3rd ODI Lords
D-Day. The day the whole team had been waiting for was finally here. There was a lot of expectation in the air as everyone packed their kits on the team bus, all with the same question on their lips. Would Julia fit into her skirt? Only after arguing with Olivia that she wouldnt be comfortable in her skirt and wouldnt she really prefer to wear shorts, I was forced into a somewhat tight fitting skirt. Looser than when I first arrived on the tour but as Fitz put it in only the way Fitzy can, Im probably a size 11.
Another good win for the girls today which meant it was cleansweep in the One Day Series. The pitch however was not as good as we would have hoped as it was a fifth day pitch after a county four day game. The ball kept low which made it hard to score (as well as some tighter balling by the poms) and restricted us to just over 200. Unfortunately for the English girls they started off slowly again to have the run rate required climb to the 9s by the 24th over. The contest was made a little more interesting in the closing stages however with Claire Taylor approaching her fifty and quickly running out of partners. She did manage a drop and run on the second last ball of the game to reach her fifty in controversial circumstances, as we believed the non-striker had been run-out. Was not to be however and Claire goes into the record books as scoring a 50 against us? And boy was she happy about it. Pity the Poms were still 70 runs in arrears.
John Harmer has arrived in England to be spotted in the Home dressing room. Its going to take us a little while to get used to John being on the Pommy side rather than ours but we wish him all the best of luck despite John apparently "deserting" (quote The Guardian) us. Olivia Magno was also struggling around on crutches trying to make as much noise from the boundary in order to feel part of the game. At one stage she was spotted with Charlotte Edwards both with their knees bound (Lotti has just had reconstructive surgery on hers) in one of the stands.
Someone should remind Olivia that now that her trip to India is off just doesnt have to scrounge around and save money. She was spotted at lunch taking the basket of butters as she "has some rolls back in the hotel".
After the game had finished we all headed back up to the dressing room and started making preparations for the after game function by having to shower and get back into our walkout uniform. As I was negotiating my skirt I realised that it fit so much better. I had sweated a lot out on the field but this was great. It was then that I looked up to see everyone had been waiting for me to try on the skirt and see my reaction. Needless to say the laughter in the room was deafening.
Julie Hayes was sent off to Hospital this evening as during the game a ball was hit back at her which managed to squash her index finger against her boot. The nail and the tip of her finger had gone black so the nail was removed. Hopefully shell recover in time for the Test starting on Friday.
Karen Rolton won the Player of the Series Award, which was 500 pounds, which will be very handy in the team kitty, wont it Rolly.
A good night out with the English girls and a stack of English and Australian supporters. The night was topped off when someone managed to rummage up Flame Trees to get us all the in the singing mood. This paled in comparison however when Up There Cazaly came on. Not even the Poms could dampen our enthusiasm when they tried to drown us out with Swing Low Sweet Chariot. A little bit of Australia arrived in St Johns Wood and I think it scared the living daylights out of Poms, South Africans and Dutch who had all come to support either team. I think most of them will probably cancel their trips to Australia
Day 20 Wednesday 4th July
Another exciting morning spent in the Laundromat before embarking on our 4 hour journey up to Leeds. The trip was uneventful with even the Punch Buggyers giving it a rest for most of the trip.
Tez still seems to be suffering from SHP. Ive been warned to avoid her but have now been roomed with her for the Test. Positive thoughts.
Wimbledon is progressing well with semi-finals for the women on tomorrow. Henin (Chris) v Capriati (Jules) and Davenport (Rolts paid nearly 4 pounds to get her) v Venus Williams (Lisa S). The mens games arent until Sunday but at this stage it will be Henman (Bill) v Ivanisevic (Fitz) and Rafter (Chuck) v Agassi (Bails).
We arrived at our Hotel very excited to see it wasnt on the M1 and it was close to human activity. Within minutes of arriving however, fire alarms were going off and we were all evacuated from the building. The sight of the chef running from the kitchen made our arrangements for dinner very easy to decide. I think well be eating out tonight.
Day 21 Thursday 5th July
It was my room mates birthday today and naturally as we walk down to breakfast everyone else says happy birthday to Tez and being first to see her, Im also the last to say happy birthday.
Finally we were allowed to have a morning training session. It was an easy session followed by a relaxing afternoon wandering around Leeds shopping or catching up on the internet. As we were going out for a Team Dinner/Tezs birthday celebrations our foul shirts had to be matched with foul pants/slacks/skirts. Dinner was a big success especially with our foul shirts/frocks. Avril found a lovely red skirt to go with her brown, orange and beige diagonally stripped shirt complete with a matching brown carafe (that would be cravat), Charlie in her leather-look black mini matching her tiger patterned singlet top, Belinda in her leopard skin shirt nicely accessorized with beige hat and the birthday girl in her grandmothers white blouse and red floral culottes. A good night had by all. The night was topped off however with Olivias skirt flying up as we left the restaurant to the delight of the owner of the restaurant and several passer-bys.
Early night to bed as we start the Test Match tomorrow.
Day 22 Friday 6th July 1st Day 2nd Test Match Headingley
The day got off to a good start with us winning the toss on a pitch that looked like it would seam around a bit early. Fitzy capitalised with a couple of early wickets which eventually ended up being five after we dismissed England for 144. At the end of the days play we were 1/68. On returning to the field after tea with England at 8 for we were inspired by Pat Rafter who was fighting back in the fifth set against Agassi at Wimbledon. It only took about 4 overs, a new ball and Fitz to clean up the tail but still we managed to miss Rafters miraculous win. Charlie was extremely happy as this means she is guaranteed some money in the final.
It has also been decided that John Harmer looks much better in Australian colours than the English ones. He received a chorus of jovial boos from us as he arrived at the ground in his new English kit.
Unfortunately we found out today that Olivia wont be coming to Ireland with us but luckily is able to stay until after the Test Match and final dinner on the 10th July before having to head back to Sydney to see her specialist regarding her knee.
Steve, Sally C, Lisa S and I all headed off to the Rugby League tonight to watch the Leeds Rhinos play Salford City Reds. To our horror a few of the English girls and their recently appointed coach also had received a couple of complimentary tickets seated right next to us. John, being Victorian, had absolutely no idea what was going, Sally (no excuse) had no idea what was going on and the rest of us ended up not caring what was going on. Sally came up with some fantastic calls during the including "What does the in-goal referee do?" and "oh look theres one at the other end as well". After watching Leeds run back after a try Sally says "why is he going so far back to kick it" No Sal he would still be up there to kick the goal. The list goes on. 13th man is a mentally strenuous job even though Im sure I saw Sally sleeping at one stage on the boundary after delivering a drink.
Poor kicking, terrible calls and some very dodgy moves pretty much summed up the night at the football .and that was just the cheergirls. During a fairly one-sided match the cheergirls gave us some non-stop entertainment and weve put a few of their moves into the memory bank for our second innings of bowling.
Everyone looking forward to watching Lisa and Rolly having a bat tomorrow so we can all watch the Wallabies play the Lions.
Day 23 Saturday 7th July 2nd Day 2nd Test Match Headingley
The day got off to a good start with Rolts and Lisa continuing on their way until Rolly got smacked in the knee. As Rolly started to limp towards deep square leg, Lisa rested on her bat at the other end, Lisa S our 12th man didnt move and Sally C casually walked into the physio room and said to Lisa Ross "Rollys just been hit and shes not moving!" This naturally sparked some action but it was all in vain as Lisa K had decided to go and retrieve Rolly from the boundary and direct her back to her crease. From here Rolly insisted on complaining every over how much her knee hurt, so much so that Lisa K didnt want to have anymore mid-wicket conversations with her. It was then Rolly decided to hit a ball to mid-wicket and run a quick single. Lisa naturally was not ready for the single as Rolly had been complaining about being crippled, and got run out. Fortunately for Rolly she went on to get the World Record of 209 not out and we declared 4 for 383 and forgave her. Michelle Goszkos world record equalling 204 had lasted a full 12 days and is probably one of the shortest records in cricket history. On thinking about it however I remember at the 1997 World Cup Charlotte Edwards of England scoring 172 in the morning with Belinda Clark scoring 229 not out that evening. I suppose 5 hours is better than never though.
A great morning with the Wallabies getting up over the Lions. None of the English seemed interested in the Rugby due to the fact that "we are playing a test". Possibly it was because they were also losing. Whatever the case we all enjoyed it thoroughly with Lisa Ross missing every try due to her nervousness which forced her to run out of the room anytime the game got close. Come to think of it she missed every dismissal in the game yesterday as well. Betty was also going to watch the replay of the Wallabies game tonight but missed that as well due to our Team Dinner. Not a good day for Betty. And I just like to know where is that Pom that sledged me last week outside the club.
Very lazy day with me sitting in pads for about 5 hours and then having to change into keeping pads for the last half hour as we tried to have a bit of a dig at them. 0 for 10 from 10. Big day tomorrow.
Day 24 Sunday 8th July 3rd Day 2nd Test Match HeadingleyWe started off todays game with purpose as we hadnt picked up the wicket or two we had wanted to the evening before. This however was delayed further due to Sally Cooper trying to get some great photos of us from behind the bowlers arm thus holding up play while the batsman told her to get out of the way. The first session was quite good with us picking up 4 wickets before lunch. This was mainly due to Lisa Keightley cursing Sarah Collyer with a lolly frog. One dismissal turned into two and before long the lolly frog was strategically placed on Rollys helmet at short leg for maximum exposure. After lunch we decided that more than one lolly was required to get the rest of the wickets. Rolly was starting to look like a Poker Machine with the frog at the front two love hearts on each side of the helmet and a kangaroo at the back. Our plan however backfired with the frog and kangaroo not getting on at all and leaving us with only the wicket of the Captain Clare Connor (Sarah for previous readers) at tea. We picked up two quick wickets after tea and looked back in the game hoping not to have to bat again. The ground announcer was obviously confident of a result that afternoon as as Clare Taylor came out to bat at No.9 he started to state "at the conclusion of the game today, a presentation will be held on the ground." Thanks for the confidence. If that wasnt enough, after England passed our score and had set us 7 runs to win, most of the English girls had to be retrieved from the showers to field for the 3 overs it took to get the runs. Our 7 runs was not without incident though with Lisa Keightley trying to finish the game in two hits only to find herself being bowled.
A funny incident during the game occurred when we were trying to let one of their players get singles and then attack the lower order batsman. This was achieved by placing the majority of the fielders on or near the boundaries to avoid any twos being hit. One ball was hit out to Julie Hayes at deep extra cover for the single, but the plan was nearly thwarted by Louise Broadfoot who was fielding at deepish point as she flew around to try and cut off the single (and failed fortunately). She then swung around at Julie and says "why are you so deep? They got the single now!". Oh dear.
At the after game presentation we had to sit around while the English girls collected up to 1500 pounds in prize money for Best English Batsman, Best English Bowler and Best English fielder. Rolly won the Archdale/Peden Medal for best player of the series and the rest of us got to go home safe in the knowledge that we had won the Ashes but would still have to have a Cup-a-Soup for dinner as we were broke.
Lisa S won the Wimbledon sweep today on Venus Williams while Chris had to be content with runners-up. There has been a small dispute in the amount of winnings being collected. The mens winnings is slightly more than the womens due to 4 players remaining unsold in the Womens so it is only fair that the womens prize money is reflective on the support they get. This argument didnt go down to well with the team.
The Aussie Men also won their first test today and no doubt celebrated with the pop quiz in their hotel like we did. Dont let anyone tell you we dont know how to celebrate a series win. We have also been told that the men have all received tickets to Wimbledon to watch Pat Rafter play tomorrow. We are all heading down to the local pub after we have done our washing.
It has been a while since Lisa "Betty/Bonnie" Ross has shown us her other personality but tonight it came out in full force. For ease of determining which personality we are talking about, we will have Betty and we will have Jan (as in Brady "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia). I was sitting having a quiet beer with Betty when she tells me that she is only having one wine tonight. Within seconds however Jan is up off to the bar to buy me and her another beer and wine respectively. It was then when Betty returned to be offered some chips. B:"No I dont eat chips. I only eat nuts". As the packet gets passed past Jan however she goes for the big handful and leaves about 3 chips for everyone else. Lucky we didnt buy nuts.
Big sleep-in tomorrow.
Footnote: For a good laugh on Avril Fahey visit the Avril Fan Club Site at www.geocities.com/avrilfahey. I thoroughly recommend it.
Day 25 Monday 9th JulyBetty Ross has had another blinder last night by turning into "Bossy Rossy". On closure of the public bar at our hotel (at 11pm mind you), Betty volunteers to sort us out some "residents drinks". The following conversation was witnessed.
Betty: "Id like to find out about the Residents bar"
Receptionist: "Yes we have one"
Betty: "Who should I talk to about getting some drinks?"
Receptionist: "Youd have to speak to me but Im too tired at the moment to do anything."
Betty: "Well thats not my problem."
Lisa Ross returns with our drinks with 10 minutes. Go Betty Go.
Chris Matthews has been doing the fitness thing and going to the gym each morning and decided to do the team thing and show a few of the others around. At the gym they have turnstiles that you must pass through to get into the gym. Chris for the past three mornings had been swiping her key tag through the turnstiles. When showing a few of the others how to swipe their keys and get into the gym she wasnt being allowed access. It was then that Chris enquired as to why her key wasnt working this particular time as it had every other morning. Attendant: "Thats because Ive been pushing a button to let you in every morning".A good afternoon spent at the pub shouting and yelling at the big screen watching the Australian Mens Team watch Pat Rafter lose live to Goran Ivanisevic. Despite numerous calls of fault, choke, Missy Missy Marple, Lolly Legs and Chewy on our boot (later changed to Chewski on da Bootavic in case Gorans english wasnt good), Pat went down in 5 sets to the disappointment of Chuck who now could only receive her runners up cheque. Think of it this way Chuck, it was more than you won playing for Australia against England. As Chuck was quoted as saying "It was a tragedy of Justice".
On walking home from the tennis thinking what could have been, Lisa Ross was subjected to an attack involving a double decker bus, 9 English schoolchildren and one chocolate milkshake. Needless to say Betty came off second best leaving them with the lasting image of Janet/Bossy/Betty shaking her fist and not sure which personality should take over.
Sally Coopers mother arrived today to surprise her and surprise her it did. I was nearly moved to tears seeing the two of them united as Mrs Cooper lives in Saudi Arabia and doesnt get much of chance to see her beloved daughter. According to Sally, Mrs Cooper should meet up with us in Ireland but it depends on how long the drive is from Manchester. Chuck is retiring, Sally is debuting and will obviously slot into Charlie off-field role perfectly.
A very laid back cocktail night with us just trying to use up what ever alcohol we had left so we didnt have to take it to Ireland tomorrow. Three different cocktails, three different names. The first was 5-0 which is obviously for a white wash of the 3 one-day Internationals and 2 Test Matches. The second was Chestnut Clydesdale named after our very own Karen Rolton who seems to be unable to have an article published about her without the mention of her curly locks or more correctly her Chestnut Pony. For accuracys sake we changed this to Chestnut Clydesdale. The third cocktail (Blueys hangover) revolves around our very own President Quentin Bryce (Rover Bland for those wishing to know her potential Porn Star name) who awoke the next morning with a hangover, a 100 pound bar bill and sign around her neck saying she wanted to be called Bluey. To ensure my selection on any future tours and to stave off any ensuing law-suits I will state that I may have slightly exaggerated that last cocktail description.Charlie surprised me tonight by wearing a Hot Pink long sleeve T-shirt to dinner. She naturally insisted it was Dusty Red. We then arrived at the restaurant to have several other people comment that Charlie was wearing a pink t-shirt. "Its Dusty Red". After several more enquiries Chuck gets up and goes over to Lisa S who is also wearing a pink shirt so she can prove her point that her shirt is Dusty Red and Lisas is Pink. NO Chuck Lisas is Baby Pink yours is Hot Pink. It was then that the chant of Hot Pink, Hot Pink whilst doing the double point at Chuck started with most of the patrons of the restaurant joining in on the public hanging of Chuck. It doesnt finish there however as we were later on in the night talking about transplanting limbs (as you do over dinner) and whether or not you would have it done. Olivia wouldnt because of all of the drugs you have to take for the rest of your life to stop the body rejecting the organ/limb etc. Charlie, who is wanting to go to University to study something, (were not sure what yet but possibly Medicine should be put in the top ten possibilities after this brainstorming idea) suggested that maybe they should just find someone with the same DNA and therefore that will stop the rejection. Dr Charmaine Mason, it has a kind of ring to it, dont you think?
Day 26 Tuesday 10th July
An early start to try and beat the traffic to the airport in Manchester. Our departure was a tearful one as Olivia was being left behind to fly home that afternoon, and Jax (our Liaison Officer) said she was going to sorely miss us. Personally I think they were tears of joy for Jax is also an English Selector. Our Bus Driver Ron however was not quite as emotional as we had hoped and could only come out with "I didnt cry when my wife left me so Im certainly not going to cry this time". It was a very moving moment for all of us.
No troubles getting through to the departure gates except for one small incident where a small bomb was detected inside Lisa Ross head. It was noted that it had only recently been detonated due to a small altercation involving our luggage and Betty was therefore deemed to be harmless for the time being. Funny enough we had problems getting Betty through security last time due to her haircare kit being mistaken for a bomb. Starbucks coffee has been found to gain valuable seconds on the bomb inside Lisas head before exploding.
After boarding the plane, it was discovered that a little old lady was sitting in Lisa Ss seat. After telling the lady that she was in the wrong seat and Lisa not being strong enough to physically move Grandma, Lisa had no choice but to sit in another seat. Meanwhile in another part of the Trafalgar Tour Sally Bailey was doing her best to use the Nanna next to her as a pillow as she snored and dribbled her way to Dublin. Speaking of the elderly, a Trenwyn Fahey (Avs father) joke for you. What do you call an elderly person who gets a hat trick. A: A geriatric. Sorry that was really bad and Ive just realised maybe that nanna nap this afternoon wouldnt have been such a bad idea.
Weve all been assigned our houses with a few small changes. Lisa K, Julie and I are all at the Doghouse minus Rolly, Gozzy, Fitz, Bill and Chuck are all at the Cathouse and people scattered at various other abodes in Ireland. The Doghouse now however has a dog that bites, and the Cathouses cat has died. Slight change to the feel in both houses. The afternoon was spent with Lisa making sure she patted the dog with her bottom hand, Jules with her non bowling hand and me with my feet. We have survived so far unscathed.
It has been brought to my attention that suddenly Charlie is no longer a resident of Australia because she has been staying in Ireland for three months now. I was going to let it lie after several outburst from but after we landed and she has exclaimed "Home Sweet Home" I cant do it any longer. Earlier in the tour Chuck was also quoted as telling a complete stranger whilst sitting amongst the rest of us that she was from Ireland. Next well be hearing a slight accent happening. The bonus is that Chuck will be playing here in front of the home crowd and hopefully generate some local support.
Day 27 Wednesday 11th July
The Doghouses breakfast was disturbed this morning by the CIA bursting through the door and doing security checks on everything from the fridge to the dog. The owners of the house we are in are thinking about renting out their house and the American Consulate are interested in taking up the lease. Hope thats not top secret. Whoops!!! We also feel that we have won over the dog and have even attempted feeding the dog by hand. The cleaning lady, who turned up this afternoon, has not won over the dog and we have been instructed to make sure the dog is secure in the backyard on her arrival. Apparently there is a tiler which "Holly" didnt get on with either, who is now walking around Dublin somewhere with quite a bad limp.
I have been given permission by Charlie Mason to allow the following story to be put in the diary. You may remember at the beginning of the diary I was giving Charlie a bit of a hard time about her spelling in retaliation to her giving me a hard time about my thighs. Well she did at the time tell me quite an amusing story which she made me promise not to put in the diary. She has weakened now that we are "back home" only on the condition that she gets to read it before it gets sent back to our home. Unfortunately the cathouse is too far from the Doghouse for her to read the proof and shell just have to be happy with my interpretation of events. When Charlie was in Primary School she was given money to order her lunch once a week. Back then in the good old days you had to write what you wanted on a paper bag with the money inside and it would be delivered at lunch. Charlie always wanted a sausage roll but due to Charlies poor spelling, she wasnt sure how to spell it so would order an egg roll everytime instead as she knew how to spell that. A beautiful, true and very funny story. Youve made the readers happy, Charlie.
Our training today was shortened due to some scuds (for our country readers) of rain around and we ended up doing a light fitness session followed by some fielding. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a clinic that had been organised by the Irish Womens Cricket Association with about 60 odd girls. Not odd girls but 60 odd. The IWomen's Cricket unfortunately also forgot to tell us that we had to organise the entire afternoon. After much arguing about exactly what we were going to do with these girls it was decided that Chuck should do absolutely nothing while everyone else ran different stations. Oh sorry no that was just Charlies idea. And funny enough she put it into practice.
Back to our respective houses with the Doghouse giving the Cathouse a gobful as we passed them in our car, as they were walking to the train station. Doghouse 1 Cathouse 0
A quiet night and a late start to the game tomorrow which means another sleep-in. We are getting spoilt.
Day 28 Thursday 12th July
Today started off with us trying to fend off the cold as long as we could by staying in bed. Due to the game not starting until 1pm we were able to do this until quite late but unfortunately not for long enough. We managed to restrict the Irish to 133 and score the required runs, after it was reduced to 117 following a rain delay, in 30 odd overs. Not before we lost 5 wickets, two of them to some very good fielding by Irish in direct hit run-outs.
Ive managed to avoid mentioning the recent regime that Charlie Mason goes through following every training session, game, shower, bus trip, flight, meal etc etc. She has this infatuation for cleaning her face with face wipes. We have mentioned it a few times as her wiping becomes more and more frequent. It seems to be verging on obsessive compulsive but we are yet to commit her. This all came to a stand still today when after finishing the game, Charlie has pulled out the trusty face wipes. Naturally someone has started to chuckle and Charlie starts going on about how shes getting the sunscreen out of her pores. I might mention here that it was raining and about 10 degrees. To Charlies credit our jibes dont stop her in her regime and she proceeds to curse herself as she has forgotten her facial scrub.
I might add here as I have slagged Charlie off quite a lot in the diary for her spelling, my grammar has not been the best during the diary. I know that it might come as a surprise to some people that Im not perfect, I know, but yes its the truth and youll just have to accept it. The reference to "little lone" was one of my better mistakes and can only be explained by a small brain explosion.
Off to the Australian High Commission for a great feed with the Irish girls. A late evening with many laughs, many drinks and many speeches. It was only at the end of the night that someone enlightened the High Commissioner that we in fact had lost the World Cup, were no longer World Champions and will have to climb over the kiwis rather than the other way around to win the next World Cup.
During the evening, a cat managed to sneak its way into the living and entertaining areas with the Chef in hot pursuit. Avril and I managed to save the cat from the Chef by propping it up on the the couch and patting it trying to calm it down. After he left we let it down where it ran into the next room. It was then spotted by Chris who said "You can tell its a rich peoples cat. It doesnt have a collar". It was then spotted by Maggie, the High Commissioners wife who exclaimed "Whos let the stray in the house? Get it out" So much for Chris insight into the wealthy. It was then when Jude grabbed the cat and claimed it for her own as the Cathouse no longer had a cat.
After signing numerous autographs for one of the Embassies employees daughter, she exclaimed that she didnt find any older people funny and went off to find the company of Chris Matthews. Need we say more.
Steve has avoided too much sledging so far so I must mention that when Steve was talking about tossing the coin he wasnt sure what to call as there was an animal on one side and a bridge on the other. That bridge would be a harp Steve.
Day 29 Friday 13th July
Friday the 13th is considered bad luck for some that someone today was Charlie Mason. It was only by sheer chance that Lisa K, Julie, Avril and I happened to be returning from the toilets in Brown Thomas (exclusive department store with very nice toilets) that Julie overheard someone saying "I dont wear make-up very often". That sounds like a familiar voice. To our pleasure and to Charlies horror we spotted her at the beauty counter getting a make-over. She only had to wait another four days and we all would have been out of the country. It is a lasting memory in all of our minds and kept our spirits up as we walked the few miles home after a long day shopping and sight-seeing.
Most of the team went their separate ways today with Steve, Bill and Fitz hiring a car and heading to Glendalough and surrounding countryside, Lisa Ross catching up with friends just in from Scotland (well witness the damage tomorrow), Lou Broadfoot doing the Hop-on, Hop-off bus trip around Dublin and remainders doing some sightseeing in Dublin and some shopping all with the exception of Chuck who was having her makeover.
On our return from shopping we got talking to our hosts. They were enquiring about last night and how it all went. When asked if there were any outsiders there, Lisa K replied "No, it was all inside. It was a bit too cold to be outside".
The Doghouse all went out to dinner tonight with Avril joining us. A good night at the local Indian Restaurant where we discussed all sorts of things including the whereabouts of the ex-Doghouser Karen Rolton. Much to the delight of our hosts, we informed them that Rolly was currently staying in Rush (way out of town) with about 16 other people and that she really believes that the Doghouse dont want her back because of something she did last time. We all walked home fuller than a fat ladies sock and crashed for the remainder of the night to prepare ourselves for the big game tomorrow and the game against Ireland. Carne the Wallabies.
Day 30 14th July 2nd ODI vs Ireland at Trinity College
The day started off well with quite a few of the girls gathering at the local cricket club to watch the Wallabies play the British & Irish Lions in the deciding Test. The club we watched it at has quite a number of Australians playing there which made the contest all that bit more competitive and fun. Due to our game, we had to leave about 10 minutes into the second half. This also happened to coincide with Brian ODriscoll scoring. Our departure was met with abuse and good-natured heckling which we were fortunate enough to be able to repay later this evening as the same club were hosting our BBQ. After arriving at Trinity we could watch up until the last 7 minutes before we were called out onto the ground to warm-up. Needless to say we had numerous support staff left up in the Pavillion to keep us updated as to the progressive score.
Our fielding today was atrocious with us dropping 4 or so catches in the early overs. We did manage however to peg Ireland back and eventually restrict them to 119 for 7. We passed this score with the loss of Michelle Goszko, whilst Lisa Keightley and Karen Rolton proceeded to both score their 50s. Belinda and Tezza both sat out todays game so it was Rollys debut as captain. Rolly doesnt say enough as captain for me to be able to write down anything amusing that happened on the field unfortunately.
While watching the Rolly and Lisa chase down the total, I was having a chat with Steve regarding how the tour went etc etc. As we were talking he asked me who one of the Irish girls bowling was. I explained that she was the twin of the left arm opening bowler, Isobel Joyce. Steve "Twins, they cant be twins. Theyve got different hair". I even gave Steve a moment to explain himself to see if he was joking, but oh no, he was serious.
After the play we all headed down to Merrion Cricket Club for a barbie and quiet beer. A great night with the Wallabies replay on long enough to bother the Irish. Fortunately they have a great sense of humour. Big Judes (Cathouse) birthday so celebrated with the worlds smallest cake.
Day 31 15th July 3rd ODI vs Ireland at Trinity College
A much better day for cricket weatherwise at Trinity College and it reflected in our performance. We won the toss, scored 247 and dismissed Ireland for 46. Belinda scored a quick 80 ably supported by Sally who eventually went on to score 80 odd herself. The rest of the team scrambled (and I mean scrambled with Sallys interesting calling) for the rest of the runs. Tez then picked up 4 for 8 to cap off a great tour for her, Fitz with 3 for 20 and chuck 1 for 4. The highlight of the day for myself was when I have gone out to bat a small piece of carrot had been placed on the batting crease. Needless to say I didnt disappoint Ireland by getting myself out caught a deep midwicket (I know that would be a shock to anyone who has seen me bat) and strengthening the theory that I am the bunny of the team.
Whilst fielding we love to have a bit of a chat with Irish girls. We all get on very well on and off the pitch so there is always some friendly banter. I played over here last year for 5 months and lived with one of the Irish girls, Saibh Young (also the one who happened to place the carrot). We were due to have a bbq at Saibhs private gardens (yes it is as posh as it sounds) and Saibh was in the middle plugging away at 3 for 8. Ive said "Lets get her out so she can go and make the salads". Quick as a flash she comes back with "Caterers darling, caterers". Unfortunately three balls later Saibh was out and the banter was postponed for at least 3 minutes before the next batsman came in.
I wasnt going to mention anything about Belindas (Cranky Clark as she is better known) moodiness in the last day or two, but as we are at the end of the tour and Belinda will be about 10,000 miles away from me this evening I thought Id bring it up for all the readers at home. Belindas mood seemed to coincide with a haircut. How she was convinced to have a haircut away from home I dont know but she did. Not that the haircut was that much of a shocker but Belinda had sworn that she would never have her hair cut as short as it was 10 years ago. This haircut was a thorn for Belinda over the years as it was in her passport and no one escapes from having their passport given the goings over including myself with my glasses bigger than my face photo. (Only 2 more years to go). I, of course, didnt make the situation any better and not realising how volatile the situation was, have made the comment "Not due for a passport photo are we Bill?" on Belindas arrival at the BBQ on Saturday night. Somehow I managed to get selected to play the next day but avoided eye contact with Bill for about 24 hours. The haircuts not that bad anyway Belinda and besides I think you look good in a cap.
BBQ in the gardens went superbly with both teams catching up properly for the first time since World Cup. We all then headed to Saibhs apartment where Belinda took charge of the music as she was the only one other than Saibh who could understand how to work the stereo. I took the second shift but was severely hampered by the lack of music to work with as Belinda had played most of the stuff that I knew. We all seemed to have a song dedicated to ourselves. Chuck decided on Dancing Queen for her retirement song and somehow I got "Flashdance". There was a challenge set down to this song for a dance off which of course I wiped the floor with them. I was then challenged by their captain, Nikki Squire, but refused due to a WBDF (World Bad Dancing Federation) ruling that stated no more than one challenge per tour. Better luck next time Nikki. A late night with a short cab ride home with Lisa K, Jules, Avril, Lou and myself. Id just like to thank Lou for her generous contribution to the fare of 24p.
Well this comes to the end of our tour. I think this is actually the first time Ive actually finished a diary as well. I cant really recall writing a conclusion in any other diary but Ill give it a bash. A great tour by the girls. We seemed to have learnt a lot each other on and off the field and I believe this makes us a stronger team. Chuck retired, Sally Cooper and Lisa Sthalaker debuted, Gozzy came back into the team after a 3 year absence. Still plenty of room for improvement but also a lot of positives to look back. Looking forward to a successful National League in November and another cricket packed summer.
(I felt like Jerry Springer for a moment there)