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.
Given that my name appears almost exclusvely in the top 10 of “most recent comments”, I hesitate to add this, but pish-tush!, we would need two sheds â€“â€“ like the celebrated Mr Arthur Jackson.
I love being out alone in the countryside.
“You’re a liar, Michael Jackson!”
(David Gower? Really? I’ll never understand mothers. Mine had a thing for Peter Schmeichel. Eh?)
We continentals don’t have sheds, Damian. We have wicked communal cellars and public squares where we shoot people. Arthur Jackson isn’t male. He is a British male. There is a difference.
The countryside? Is that the thing I see from train windows?
What mother wouldn’t fall for the dashing and well-mannered Gower – surely the ultimate fantasy for Conservative England, as he cut a swathe through the dark days of the late 70s, and dominated the 1980s, only for dark forces to betray him in the early 90s. He even had the same hairstyle as Thatcher.
Let’s face it, not many parents have Alan Lamb in mind when they dream of their child’s future…
Of course, I had Thatcher’s hair too.
I don’t need a shed – I live alone (what? you’re surprised?).
And true Leicestershire fans were always a little suspicious of Gower – too flash (and public school.) We much preferred Brian Davison or Chris Balderstone.
Shed? Feh. Real men have recording studios. And use italics unnecessarily.
DB might have a good website but the electronic departure boards at Berlin Zoogarten are bloody feeble and infinitely inferior to those at Kings X. The trains are better, though.
Yeah recording studios are where it’s at. I’ve got acoustic treatment and guitars hanging on the walls and everything. I also need a dog house, though, because I spend too much time in my recording studio.
DB trains? Not as good as they were….
I can confirm that my mother fancied David Gower too.
[…] Further to this post, it’s time for a shed update from the Telegraph: […]
[…] In October 2005 PooterGeek features two posts and twenty-two comments celebrating sheds. In December 2005, the creator of Shedboatshed wins the Turner Prize for Art. Even Dave F’s joke is recycled by a Professor Sam Shuster on the Guardian letters page. […]