South Africa Tour 2009/10

Drunk & disorderly with damaged clothing

Hi everyone - Happy New Year.

Hope you all had a good one.

Tremers chose to spend his NYE in a spot of nude sunbathing on his own in Durban.He will be recommencing travels onward from Cape Town tomorrow.

New Years Eve for the rest of the Addis Army proved a rather messy affair.

We booked into the Bayside Cafe in Camps Bay, a table for ten. Howie and his group were on the next table to us.

The nice but hapless Saffer waiter, who looked like Michael Stipe, wasnt used to UK drinking patterns on NYE and when we started ordering wine three bottles at a time due to the slowness of the service, he kind of "lost count".

A full on Midnight and Saint special singalong started at about 12.15am 2010 and we were joined in this by Howie and his group. At 2 am our friend from REM came over to us stating that the bar was now closed, but we persuaded him with veiled threats to open it again and he promptly reappeared with two more bottles of wine and several beers.

So the total bill for a three course meal and countless bottles of wine and beer came to less than thirty quid each, which must be something of a record for a trendy place like Camps Bay.

Wycombe, who had forgone his usual 25 pints of beer, retired early for the night and succeeded in locking us all out of our rented villa for approximately 30 minutes causing Midnight and Saint to become rather tetchy with him when he finally appeared from upstairs in his boxers. We finally turned into bed at 3.30am but before this Wycombe upset Hyacinth by prancing around the living room in his underwear whilst she was trying to eat a sausage roll. I must admit he did look rather like Jaime Gumm in " Silence of the Lambs".

And, he gave me some sun lotion today-but said nothing about putting it in a basket.

New Years Day was spent at a local bar in Camps Bay called Dizzy's (along with half of Africa )and this time the alcohol victim was Tavare who, after a full day heavy drinking session with the Saint and Herbie, was "bolloxed".

We knew this, because she repeated the phrase about 129 times during the evening.

The day after, Midnight, the Blade family, Disney, a weary Tavare and the Saint went up Table Mountain (along with half the population of Africa plus 10,000 Brits "here for the cricket").

Herbie cannily gave this one a miss due to his fear of heights-or is that fear of queuing?

We had a lovely 2 hour walk at the top of the mountain hung over in 37 degree heat without any water to Maclears Beacon, the highest point on the mountain, featuring more heavy breathing than " Emmanuelle", then called it a day.

A special "well done" to Tavare for seeing this trip out. Mid-afternoon we gave up and returned home to our mucky leaf filled swimming pool to cool down. The owner of our property was a guy called Marko (who lived across the road) and frankly was notable only for his absence - probably a number of things he should have done to help us during our stay were not carried out. Notably cleaning out the swimming pool.

The following day was the first day of the Test and the ground was packed. We had crap cheap ( five quid ) tickets on the grass bank, which was fuller than Durban beach, and spent the afternoon in a rather lively drinking session with the Blades, SP and Hyacinth, Disney, PC Tintin and his mate Scott ( of whom more later ) Crispy Duck - who was delighted to see Tractor 2 in real life on the bank with us....!, Clem and Ben,Irish Pete et al.

I can recollect no cricket whatsoever from day one. Apparently, after leaving the ground I indulged in more drinks and then participated in an Italian meal with wine back in Camps Bay, putting more spaghetti on my shorts than in my mouth. So I am told. I remember nothing.

I am sure Herbie will remember for me.

Needless to say I felt rather rough the following day and thus far (today is 9th January 2010 ) this has been the last time Ive drunk any Castle lager. Looks like my drawbridge has been well and truly pulled up. I spent day two of the test in the pool, cleaning out leaves with Disney and Tavare , a job our absent friend Marko should have done before we arrived. We finally got the pool into a state where it could be navigated without contracting Legionnaire's disease.

Day three of the test I felt better and attended the game, unlike Herbie, who had "lost" the tickets I had bought for him. Presumably they are in Davy Jones locker somewhere along with his mobile phone.

Wicks and Herbie have hired a car together in Cape Town and my imagination was running wild with the thought of Wycs driving and Herbie navigating - last seen in a jeep heading towards Somalia flying over speed bumps and crashing into anything they meet on the road. Throw into this lethal mix the sat-nav these two purchased from the rental company - we have just now been out for lunch with Irish Pete & Rebecca. The sat-nav took us three km out of town out towards Newlands - -when the place we were supposed to be meeting them was literally round the corner from our hotel.

Fortunately, Herbie was driving and eventually had enough sense to disobey the sat-nav dalek and turn the car round.

Had Wycs been driving we would probably have been captured eventually by Somalian pirates. Bet your bottom dollar the UK Govt would have a collection for that ransom.

Day three was as boring as it gets with Graeme Smith batting all day - apart from the lift into the ground kindly provided by Wycombe in the hire car. As Saint and myself sat in the back seat hanging on for grim death with white knuckles, he sped over speed bump after speed bump at 40kmph.

" Didnt expect that one" he said.

Herbie : " Wycombe when was the last time you saw a road with just one speed bump on it!".

Due to the heat and the slow play we retired to the Springbok pub for the afternoon and this time it was the turn of Mr Blade to get spangled and we were treated to some rather splendid but politically incorrect football songs on the way back to Cape Town in our taxi. When Mrs Blade suggested that Glen "may have had enough", he promptly ordered another pint of Castle and was quickly spirited back to the villa to spend the evening looking at the "naughty" wall.

Wycombe, true to form , rescued Mr Blade from his fate by fusing the electrics in the villa plunging the house into darkness - by ironing a shirt. This enabled Glen to scurry up to bed.

That night the remaining 16 or so of us ate in the splendid Addis In Cape Ethiopian restaurant - indeed how could we not - and although the food was not quite up to the Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa standards an unusual evening was had and enjoyed by most. The waiter loved our flag and spent most of the evening fruitlessly trying to pin this to the wall next to our large table, or collection of little tables. If anyone wants to know which Ethiopian food we sampled, please contact Tavare for the recipes, as she obtained these from our waiter and spent the next day studying them on the toilet.

Day four of the test was going splendidly until just after tea when we lost three quick wickets, removing our chance of winning the game. After a wonderful 100 stand between Strauss and Cook the latter played a stupid and needless shot to get out which prompted the mini collapse.We left the ground disappointed although some of us, myself included, were hopeful that we might by some miracle survive the next day.

In the evening we retired to our villa inviting PC Tintin and his friend Scott back for a swim in our newly cleaned pool.

The boys hadnt brought swimwear with them so the Saint kindly lent Tom a pair of expensive pink swimshorts to use.After being joined in the pool by Herbie and indulging in a spot of homo-erotic wrestling in the water DH Lawrence style, PC Tintin emerged from the pool with two large tears down the back of his borrowed shorts resulting in great embarrassment to the constabulary. The neighbours had to cover their children's eyes.

The expression on the Saints face was a picture. Of Dorian Gray.

Well, if we draw or win tomorrow, I too will show my arse in Camps Bay. ....?

Scott was understandably reluctant to swim after this but in conversation he admitted that he was the owner of an aristocratic title in Ireland - hence his Addis nickname from henceforth - "The Baron".

After the swimming we retired to Bayside cafe in Camps bay for a meal and were surprised to be joined at the next table by Morne Morkel and his rather attractive girlfriend.

" Is it all right if we sit near you - I hope this wont mean war", she said to us.

Things went smoothly until the Morkel party got up to leave.

Herbie : "Hey Morne, we are off for a drink. Fancy coming out with us? We'll get you back at about 2 or 3 am".

Morne Morkel : " No thanks. But I might see you boys for a drink at about 3pm tomorrow".

Cocky so and so !

He had clearly underestimated the Addis Army .

A little mention here for the B****Army. Disappointingly low profile at this match and we have also heard alarming stories of overcharging on match tickets obtained through BA by many people. One guy said he paid 150 quid for tickets with face value of about 35. So beware.

Oh and their SA tour shirt " Diamond Geezers" is about the poorest design Ive seen so I havent bought any -- and I hope nobody at home is expecting one as a present!

BA, please regard these comments as constructive criticism rather than carping.

Day five can only be described as surreal. After early wickets Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood doggedly defended their wickets eschewing any thought of runs until at the last Collingwood got out which prompted the usual panic and tumble of wickets.

Thankfully we had Graham Onions once again to save us at the death , which brought on wild scenes of celebration from the many England fans. Better than a win.

A song has been composed for Morne Morkel to the tune of Lord of the Dance:

"Morne , wherever you may be
Graham O kept you out you see
A series win is history
You should have had a drink with the Addis Army"

The taxi driver liked it anyway.

Yesterday we all went mob handed for a wine-tasting trip to Stellenbosch. As we got into the bus on the way back to the station after about 15 glasses of wine each our driver Kelvin put on his CD player and luckily he had in his collection " Now thats what I call pissed after wine tasting 5" and we sang Billy Joel's Uptown Girl all the way back home.

On arriving back home Herbie put on one of his many musical gadgets and we were treated to " Now thats what I call shite 29", including a hit by Stephen "Tin-tin" Duffy.

I ask you. Who in the world knows anyone called "Tin-tin"?

During this game and afterwards sadly many partings of the ways. We have lost Tom, the Cumbrian boys, The Blades,who left a veritable wardrobe of clothes behind - most of which was sold this morning by Herbie on the local flea market - and Disney & Tavare in the last few days. SP & Hyacinth have flown up to Joburg, but not for cricket. Herbie has just left for the airport. Saint is going home tomorrow.

Lucky Ive still got Wycombe here to keep me company..............and my St Christopher medallion!

Love to all

Midnight xxx

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