Australia Tour 2010/11
England v South Australia 11th - 13th November. Match Drawn.
We are now in Adelaide after a lovely flight. We flew from Perth using Jetstar , the Ryanair of the South Pacific.
Tremers in particular was voluable about the excellent experience provided by this airline. He was " coming down with something" - mad golden cow disease probably -and just wanted to sleep on the way to Adelaide. In front of us was an obese hillbilly family from Perth who had never left the city before , indeed I doubt they had been on a plane previously. They had a collective IQ of 60. I shall refer to them as Mr , Mrs & Miss Clampett. Behind Tremers was sat a three year old girl who must have been the junior kick-boxing champion of Western Australia.
We had two hours of emetic conversation from the Clampetts , whose vocabulary seemed to consist of three main expressions; "Yeah" , " Okay " and "Yeah" with a slightly higher pitch.
Little Miss kung-fu kicked Tremers in the back at regular intervals. When the trolley dolly came round , Miss Clampett ordered a sandwich ( before malnutrition set in I think ) and promptly dropped this under her seat meaning a grumpy Tremers had to take out his earplugs and go on a butty hunt. As we circled over Adelaide the Clampetts billed and cooed as they could "see Adelaide on the ground" . Perhaps they were expecting Timbuctou.
As we landed I asked Tremers if he had enjoyed his flight and was met with a volley of abuse that would have made Jesse Ryder blush.
This made me break out in a loud and sustained burst of laughter.
Cue the Clampetts: " I dont know what he said , but it must have been good!".
This experience seemed to set the tone for Tremers in Adelaide , where everywhere we went he seemed to be some kind of Pommie Pied Piper for groups of screaming kids.
Tremers mate Tim was waiting for us at the airport. We are staying with him and fiancee Kate , who have kindly agreed to provide lodgings for the next week at their home in Mawson Lakes. The settlement was built on a swamp originally and is called "Mossie Lakes" by the locals. As we drove through the Adelaide suburbs I couldnt help but conclude that the city must have been settled by cockneys. Islington. Kilburn. Croydon. Even Enfield , although we were warned not to venture into the latter due to its status as a dangerous ghetto.
On our first day Tremers mad golden cow disease took hold so not a lot was done and I contented myself with watching the Premier League games from the weekend. The intro to the football show is an interesting glance into the Aussie psyche. Each team has its flag unfurled over a local icon or landmark in the UK. In case you are interested which totem the Aussies associate with your team, here are some I remember:
Arsenal - London Eye
Tottenham - Big Ben
West Ham - London Bridge
Newcastle & Sunderland - ( together! ) Angel of the North
Everton - Three Graces
Liverpoool - The Kop at Anfield
Manchester United - Beethams Tower
Manchester City - a pylon in a field near Stockport.
Any doubters who may think I have made this up , please contact Tremers for verification.
On Wednesday we went into town to arrange our vehicle for the drive across the desert next month and have obtained a 6-berth camper van from " Racewiththedevil.com " at a cost of only $3000. We looked over the vehicle, which appears in perfect nick apart from some odd nail marks in one of the doors and cat hairs strangely stuck in the paintwork. However it should do the trick for us. Mr Fonda , the owner of the showroom , explained that the van comes with a removable toilet which has to be emptied and cleaned out prior to returning the vehicle in Perth. We have nominated George as our sh*tpot monitor in his absence, as we know he thrives on the jobs Aborigines are reluctant to undertake.
After the vehicle was sorted we went to watch some Aussie soccer. Adelaide United v Perth Glory. Kick-off 6.30pm. This was interesting, but the standard of football was no higher than Unibond Premier League - hardly surprising I suppose given Robbie Fowler was playing for Perth. For the record Adelaide won 2-0 and we had a very nice "happy hour" in the local pub before the game where it was possible to purchase a pint of beer for only $4. Blessed relief. I ordered 17 pints 5 minutes before the happy hour expired and was met by some quizzical looks from the barmaid.
We have had to start thinking about Tasmania , our next port of call. Hobart seems very busy during the week we are there and I could not find any decent accomodation for a reasonable price. However - as usual - Tremers to the rescue. Using his favourite website , Dosser.com , he has found and booked some choice lodgings atop a big hill adjacent to Mount Wellington. Called the Hobart Tower Hamlets , this ramshackle backpackers looks just the job for keeping out the rain and cyclonic weather we are promised for Tassie.
At least , it looks so high up there wont be any mossies. They would need an oxygen mask to fly up there.
Thursday the cricket started and we travelled into the city by train. The Adelaide Oval is now replete with a new stand which is simply magnificent and it is hard to think of a better appointed ground anywhere in the world , save possibly Old Trafford with its trend-setting/ modernistic/futuristic/obscene ( delete according to taste ) Point development.
England won the toss and batted against South Australia , who also now have a Packeresque alternative name -the West End Rednecks , or something. Despite a poor start with Strauss getting out to a strangle and Trott hitting one straight up in the air , we reached a respectable 288 - 8 declared just before stumps with Cook having spent valuable time at the crease, Bell having spent valuable time making a stylish 61 , and Collingwood having spent valuable time making 94 before he was caught in the gully.
I cant tell you too much more about day 1 as we were ourselves spending our valuable time in the Cathedral Hotel drinking a mass of beer with the early arrivals from the Barmy Army. Today I was actually bought a couple of pints by a friendly pom called Luke living on Kangaroo Island who felt sorry for our exchange rate plight - this seems to be becoming a trend - I hope!
We were joined in the pub after day 1 by a single Aussie who, drunk , had spent all day shouting rubbish barracking England from behind where we were sat. Imagine his surprise when he staggered into the comfort zone of his local and found it full of a dozen England fans. He tried to engage us. " Manchester?? Is that in England". Probably that was not surprising,as he thought Graeme Swann was Welsh, judging by some of his comments during the game. But this is what you have to deal with over here day in, day out. Village idiots.
Day 2 was a much more sober affair. Rain delayed the start of play and we were looking at alternative forms of entertainment.
Englebert Humperdinck , who is here from the UK on his " Please release me from the Nursing Home " tour was even briefly considered.
When the cricket did get under way at about 11.30am the temperature had dropped considerably and the weather was more Derbyshire than Australia.
Chris Broad was spotted doing the rounds and stopped for a chat with Tremers to pick up some hotel booking tips.
We bowled well in the morning & after lunch , Finn in particular looked very hostile and wickets were shared around by all the England bowlers in a total of 221 all out for SA.
We batted again after tea and the England openers were a revelation. Strauss went to 50 with a huge six into our stand ( this was wind assisted - and we should know having been taking the brunt of it all day) and Cook looked as good as he has all tour.
The following day rain once again intervened. However , to prove the world is really a very small place , we were met by arrangement at the Oval by the Lockwood family - otherwise known as sister, brother-in-law and nephew of our good friend Five - O : and we had a very good afternoon with them in the members new stand.
Strauss duly went to a century again with a very big six into our stand and Cook followed suit as England scored 240 but despite two early wickets, one involving a superb catch by Trott , the game petered out into a draw due to the rain interruptions.
We fly to dear old Tassie tomorrow and I hope the Magic Curries restaurant in Hobart is primed and ready.
Many thanks to Tim and Kate and their lovely, friendly family for putting up with us for the duration of our stay - their hospitality has been second to none. We are now going to their engagement party this evening and Tremers is even wearing an ironed shirt!!
Ironed by Sue , Tim's mum I hasten to add......!