West Indies Tour 2009

West Indies Tour 2009: Lifes just like a film I once saw - Day 10

Oooooh my head.

Last nights drinking session is not conducive to the required early start to travel to Port Of Spain and I seem to have discovered an unhealthy appetite for cans of Mackeson – must be a childhood reversion. When I was fourteen we used to send the biggest lad into the off licence to buy this then drink it using a straw – gets you p*ssed faster and more cheaply that way. Unfortunately it takes more than a couple of cans these days.

Vinny is still suffering in bed from his Alien experience so I make a tour of our splendid hotel room and check the amenities.

Hmmmmm. Clearly operated by the prestigious “ STREETFLY ” chain. Sister hotels – The Train Lodge in Capetown and the Whangarei Hotel in Fangarai , for those acquainted with the Kiwi language. Mainly in other words Simon.

What do we have – bare light bulbs. Cupboards and drawers that don’t fit. The drawers make a spooky squeaking noise on opening similar to Talos , the Man of Bronze in Jason and the Argonauts (1960’s version always on at Xmas) when Hercules and his brainy but puny mate Hilus wake him up fiddling with his pearl necklace.

The plug sockets are made of hardened plasticine which has been flicked onto the walls with a ruler.

The shower fittings are out of “Psycho “, with rusty curtain rails which look like the tide comes in too far every night and covers them and the rest of the bathroom with salt.

We do not have a fridge.

Otherwise the rooms are great so I venture outside.

The beach is full of dead things and vultures , yes real vultures , are circling like in The Good the Bad and The Ugly awaiting the next kill.

At least they aren’t circling the Queens Park Oval yet , I suppose.

The view is to die for , and this can easily be arranged. The sea is full of sharks from Jaws and other underwater nasties.

All in all , Steve Mc Queen , if you are reading this in heaven , you had it easy in Papillon, mate.

We christen our temporary home “Maplins” and a morning custom of Hi-Di–Hi greeting is established. Characterisations from the series follow and worryingly when I ask to be the alcoholic , child-hating old Punch & Judy man , nobody objects.

Martin our horizon – eyed Taxi Driver turns up with his son to pick us up and we begin the 40 minute journey to Port Of Spain in two cars. Martin wears a permanently pained expression brought about by a thirty minute full-on negotiating session with Herbie about the price of his cab to the cricket after his brief direct flight to Trinidad.

When we arrive at the QPO we do have good seats in an elevated stand on the front row and we seem to be shaded from the sun.

There is a one minute silence for the Sri Lankan and other victims of the Lahore outrage before play then the new Brian Lara Pavilion is officially opened before our incredulous eyes by the groundstaff whipping off a sheet of covering from the carefully concealed sign.

England bat. Slow going. Herbie has closed out his spread bet on Strauss series runs before the game and taken his profit. Strauss helpfully goes on to score a century.

Herbie , Wycombe and Streetfly position themselves on a grass bank behind the bowlers arm and when Cook edges one over slips and the ball goes for four it is expertly fielded by Herbie who becomes an instant hero on SKY SPORTS for having a worse throw back to the keeper than Monty Panesar.

As lunch beckons and more Mackeson is consumed by your writer the sun creeps into our stand starting on the front row and moving back and upwards into the seating area by degrees. It is reminiscent of the meteor scene in Deep Impact when Robert Duvall just manages to lift off the “Messiah” before the sun comes fully round and the nukes go off.

The crowd all move backwards until only the rear rows are occupied with people sat on each others knees!

England once again bat well if conservatively and after the game we retire to the nearby Bar Ibiza which looks like a bar outside and a knocking shop inside.

There is some debate regarding whether we go back to Maracas Bay , or stay out in Port of Spain. Eventually , the former destination is approved by democratic vote and a majority of nine to one.

Our decision backfires as we partake in a very average meal back at the hotel , which in Streetfly’s case takes three hours to serve up – well he will go ordering things like fish and chips!

A quiet night on the drinking front. Turn in at 2 am.

Quote of the day

Wycombe “ Who’s staying out all night with me in Port Of Spain for the casino , charlie and a whore?”

Saint “ Midnight, you seem obsessed with old films and TV programmes – get a life”


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