During the 80s, despite my father’s tribal loyalties lying further north, the Counsells had family membership of Leicestershire County Cricket Club. We would take a picnic and sit next to the sight screens. My mum fell in love with David Gower because he batted like a young god and his hair, curly and flashed with grey, resembled mine as a little boy. Yes, before the photo shown on this page was taken I did have grey streaks in my hair—my mother insists they were blond. (I also suffered from the occasional acute attack of vitiligo. You’re a liar, Michael Jackson!)

Despite my liking for cricket, my affection for LCCC, and my interest in politics, Norm’s post linking Marx’s 11 theses on Feuerbach to an all-time cricketing XI, and Chris Dillow’s responding with the suggestion that the XI he referenced should have been Leicestershire players are easily the saddest two pieces of ‘Blogging I have ever read, even including Chris Lightfoot’s account of his dealings with Deutsche Bahn UK in booking a pair of train tickets to Stockholm. The last elicited a comment beginning:

“I’ve never bought rail tickets from DB (at least not since 1995), but I’m surprised they are so incompetent given that they have the best European timetable website (rivalled in my view only by the Austrian Federal Railway’s version).”

However, these are typical of the sort of stuff I find myself reading when I have an urgent deadline to meet. They also show why, as stand-up Jenny Eclair has long argued, all men should have a garden shed—where they can keep their model trains, their old Wisdens, their porn, and (these days) their Wi-Fi connected notebook PC.