Australia Tour 2010/11
The First Bite is the Deepest
First - an update from backpacker central. Fred & Rose are having some remedial work on the patio done by a gang of lads in fluorescent jackets , and as my room was near the front of the house Ive been moved! I'm now upstairs in the Raymond Winstone wing in solitary with a smoke alarm that chirps due to low battery power every 3 minutes. A greats night sleep lies ahead tonight methinks. At least Im away from that infernal kitchen.
Some of our regular Addis readers might be thinking " This is the third report and no mossie bites mentioned so far". Just bide your time.
Yesterday acting upon a tip from an anonymous source - well actually it was the groundsman at the WACA, Cameron - we attended a top secret England practice session at Richardson Park in South Perth at 9am. There I met the local groundman , a stalwart ex-Worcester man , who was bemoaning the fact that his assistant , recently recruited from the UK , had returned homesick after only 3 days. I said I fully sympathised , but it was his own fault - he should have known better than to give Steve Harmison a part-time job.
The England boys looked in mean mood - Trott edged one from Chris Tremlett and got out. The torrent of abuse that followed was worthy of a Wayne Rooney public address to the England away support. Broad was bowling with fire and brimstone. And Monty was diving about all over the place taking one stunning catch after another. Well , I am allowed a little poetic licence here.
Tim Abrams was there of course along with the other journos - Pringle , Agnew etc in fact they were all there except Rodney White - and sure enough Tim came along after a few minutes seeking his obligatory interview with Tremers and myself. To be honest these things are a bit of a waste of time really because if you said what you really think such as " Ricky Ponting is a c**t " or " Channel 4 are far better than SKY for cricket coverage " you just know it would never go out. As it was, I gather from the number of text messages received that our pearls of wisdom did go out on Wednesday evening / night. Mike , Crispy , Wycombe and Nick ( so far ) thank you for your eloquent and effusive compliments on our TV appearance. So, you can hopefully judge for yourselves, but at least I hope we got the message across about how expensive it is here this trip.
In the afternoon we visited some more of Tremers Aussie friends. In the afternoon , we saw Ross , who has a great lemon tree in his back garden and let me use his swimming pool , which was very nice as it was 36% when we arrived at his house.
In the evening we visited the Bush. No, not Kate , but the hills above Perth in a place called Kanunda ( I think ) where Nick and Debs live.
Nick used to play cricket for Tremers team at Wormsley for many years and was best man at his wedding so obviously they go back a long way.
When we arrived at 6pm on our "arranged" visit at the biggest house Ive ever seen , Nick wasnt home. Debs seemed very surprised to see Tremers:
" Simon Tremlin!! Err... what are YOU doing here??"
Their lovely big house was full of kids and I got a distinct feeling that the cow that sh*ts gold bars had got indigestion this time.
However Tremers & myself made a trip to the supermarket and bought some beers & meat ( Tremers wanted to buy the cheapo Aldi-type fat sausages but I made him buy some proper food ) and when we returned for our second entrance , a semblance of order & calm had been restored and the barbecue was going. Very soon Nick appeared from work. So we set about the beers.
Now when I see that my hosts have a can of insect repellant ready on the verandah window ledge for visitors I know Im in trouble -- and sure enough even though I applied enough solution to incinerate myself in 30 seconds if someone struck a match , I received several bites from unknown species and am unsure at this stage whether to break into my precious supply of UK antibiotics. Not reached the "Valley of the Lepers" stage yet , thank goodness.
Toxic punctures apart we had a lovely evening and later when Nick showed us his upstairs room full of cricket memorabilia and with its own "boys bar" , I couldnt help noticing how Tremers looked around enviously,mentally comparing the ambience of the place with his own den in Stokenchurch , consisting of a fridge in the kitchen with a signed picture of Ravi Bopara above it.
Finally , but most importantly , putting my sufferings in the backpacker strictly into perspective word has just reached me this morning that a very good mate of mine back home has been been diagnosed as quite ill and taken to hospital. He's now thankfully on the mend by the sounds of it.
So I would like to send my very best wishes across the miles to Mr Jake Walker , aged 7 , of Barrowford Primary and Stratford Upon Avon acting school - - get well soon buddy and I hope your mum & dad will let you read this on the internet when you get back home.
I know its not as good as Thomas the Tank Engine but I do try my best.
Regards to all