Australia Tour 2010/11
The Pit, The Pendulum and the Pride - Brisbane Test Match
First the bad news. My bank have been on the phone to tell me that my cards have been blocked and my overdraft has reached horrendous proportions. I have asked the web site owner , Mr Michael Scrooge , to publicise my plight as while I am happy to give my time and thoughts free of charge , the cost of using internet cafes has become a real burden. Average ten pounds per blog. So I will have to say this may be the last blog unless charity pledges of money / beer are received from ADDIS members to my usual e-mail address.
I am hoping perhaps a Live Aid type benefit concert could be arranged to raise funds, with the talents we have in our group:the concert party could be led by George , whose ADDIS name has now been amended to LOFTY given his consistent wearing of Don Estelle khaki shorts (as It Aint Half Hot over here): and we could have:
Saint & Greavsie - some live football punditry
Streetfly - A cookery act using entirely poached and illegal game ingredients
Son Of - A Full Monty for the girls , or alternatively he could just wear the gear he had in Trinidad
Herbie and Michael - Chas and Dave tribute - and possibly the top of the bill
Wicks in his female pirate outfit singing a couple of SuBo covers. She's very big in Australia. Well she's very big everywhere I suppose.
The event could be held in the grounds of Windsor Castle and policed in butch rugger style by PC Tintin.
Before moving to events in Brisbane I must inform you of our latest ADDIS recruits, this time in our ANZAC members section-this stands for Australia & New Zealand Addis Contingent.
Step up Jim & Janet Harvey of Launceston , Tasmania.
You may remember Jim was courted by the cow that sh*ts gold bars in a pub in Strahan , and when we arrived in Launceston Jim and his lovely wife Jan made us all welcome with a splendid meal and accomodation for the night all free of charge. They also consumed copious amounts of wine with us , which I think more than qualifies them as members of our little club. Certainly , Tremers agrees with me and you should have heard the contented mooos as he settled down to his nights sleep.
Jan Harvey made me some lovely chocolate cakes to take to Brisbane , which later got me in trouble - but more of that in a while.
When we arrived at our Brisbane Motel the Paramount - which is the best place to stay for the Gabba - we were greeted by our great Kiwi hosts Les and Moira. We have also ended up sharing our room with an original Barmy Army guy from Sydney called CARL , who had arranged a room share with us when we met him earlier in Perth. CARL is a Manc , and were it not for his looks I would suspect he might be Streetfly's older brother.
" Do you know where I can buy a Barmy Army shirt" Les said to me. " I want to go round the Motel all week winding up the Aussies".
With an attitude like that I could not help lending him one of my Barmy Army shirts and he duly made good on his promise , prompting howls of dismay from the residents in the other units. Les was so pleased with his shirt , he also changed my bed after just one nights sleep. The sheets and pillow were covered in brown stains when I got up. No , its not what you are all no doubt thinking. After one too many pints on our first night meeting old friends I stupidly ate one of Jans chocolate cakes in bed before going to sleep which crumbled all over the place requiring a change of Manchester.
Les has been adopted into our ANZAC corps for this splendid pro-pommie behaviour.
It wasnt quite the bedding change I was hoping for. I heard from home that Britt Ekland is in Queensland filming some " Im a Celebrity " garbage and I have been lying awake and restless every night ever since waiting for my motel room walls to be slapped repeatedly by Willow McGregor , but no luck so far.
This all happened after a night in the Pig & Whistle , the official BA pub by the Riverside, just before the Test. A few old mates and ADDIS members were there to greet us.
STEVE , who is now dressing as Robin from Batman full time and has a hot line to Gotham City Commissioner Gordon in his hotel room.
Soon to be married JAMES , who is staying at the Banana Benders Backpackers - sounds like you and Tractor 1 would like that one , PC Tintin.
CLARKIE , this time giving away his copies of Corridor of Uncertainty for free but selling a neat line in headgear.
SAM , a trainee dialect blogger from Keighley and a friend of the Golden Cow.
I also met up with an old friend of mine called SAJITH , who I used to slave away with in the workhouse counting-rooms in the bad old days in Aldershot.
Greetings have also been received from BURY PHIL , who isnt here but saw the TV interview by Tremers and myself on Indian TV in Goa , of all places.
And last but not least ASH , who I see on every tour nowadays and is the only surviving actual witness to my near-fatal spider bite in New Zealand. He will also be joining the ADDIS ARMY before the test is over.
We arrived at the cricket confident and full of hope. Tremers managed to seat himself next to a pretty girl with an England shirt on bearing her name on the back. Yes , you guessed it. SARAH.
A number of similarities to the recent SA tour were now beginning to emerge.
The Test was supposed to be a sell-out but we noticed a large stand which was almost completely empty. On asking why this could be of Tremers he volunteered " Maybe thats reserved for the Ian Bell Fan Club". Very harsh , given IB was our best performer on that fateful opening day. You will all have seen that fluky hat-trick by the convict Siddle , no doubt. When that happened, the locals freaked out with anti-pom hysteria and we decided we had better go on the offensive.
Midnight to hoon " You had better tell Mitchell Johnson to shave off that moustache. He looks like one of the Village People"
Tremers to same bemused hoon " And he bowls like one of the Village People as well".
Mint. Mitchell Johnson was Englands second best player that day , bowling like a drain.
The scoreboard in the Gabba featured an advertisement for McDonalds Chicken Nuggets which lit up every time a boundary was scored with a picture of Warnie eating his bag of cr*p. You'll get spots if you eat that much junk food , Warnie. Unfortunately on Day 1 we didnt make him eat enough.
Now at this point a message to one of my e-mail correspondents, Doubter of Dobcross. In answer to your query , Doubter , the reason I dont think Test Cricket is boring when it ends in a draw after a week is because you go through the whole gamut of emotions during a game. Here for instance.
Day 1. Expectation , and excitement. Tired , and emotional.
Day 2. Frustration. Tired and emotional
Day 3. Desolate and despairing.Very tired and emotional.
Day 4. Elated and proud. Very tired and emotional.
Day 5. Relieved and even more proud. Amused and happy. Tired and emotional will be later.
The BA pubs in Brisbane have been about par for the course - expensive , packed, with weak beer and with those sticky, magnetic floors that grip your shoes. I wouldnt go in these places at home so Im blowed if Im paying treble to go in them here, so we have sought alternatives and largely given them a miss.
I had an excellent night out with JAMES - dont worry LAURA I'm making sure your fella is in good nick for the wedding - a beer frenzy with sixteen jugs of Coopers Pale Ale enjoyed between us first in his backpackers , the Banana Benders , where he was enjoying a Gippo Meal Deal package of burger , beer and class A drugs for only $15 per night , then at a seventies bar in Fortitude Valley where the large TV disco screen kept showing videos of Mitchell Johnson and his four mates dressed as builders, cowboys and indians.
I think they were all singing something about Johnson's career " Going West ".
We also met a Welsh lad from Cardiff who "now lived in Fulham and hated the Welsh". A pity Tremers wasnt with us. He was staying at his mates Hicksy's place on the Gold Coast - the cow that sh*ts gold bars has found another fresh field of grass. Later we met Hicksy and he proudly showed us pictures of the new beach hut he has had built. Tremers raved about the place , but once youve seen one beach hut , you've seen them all and this didnt even have a waterfront location - unlike my own humble abode in Aldershot.
I must tell you about the German Private Club next to the Gabba. A huge , Teutonic beer hall selling real, strong German beer at only $7 a pint together with the usual array of schnapps , apfelwein etc.
Very busy at lunch time given the number of people needing to sign in but we solved that problem by sending Tremers down daily at 10am to put down our towels on the chairs.
It was to here that we all made our " Great Escape" on the dreadful Day 3 of the game after the mockery that is the " Referral System" and some stupid used of appeals by the England Team as a whole robbed Jimmy Anderson of Husseys wicket , which he should have got in the scorebook long before the clown went on to save his rapidly fading career.
The ironic thing was all the TV pundits here were screaming for Hussey to be dropped for weeks before the game. Now , he is better than Bradman. I knew the sod would return to haunt us as he always does.
Very ironic that on the day the great Bernard Matthews died , England were in turn stuffed and roasted by the turkey that is Mister Cricket.
As the fours and sixes crashed around the Gabba like Russian shells falling on Berlin we headed for the protection of our own German bunker and drowned our sorrows in weisbier and schnapps. Its wonderful how getting piss*d improves your morale. If Eva Braun had walked in that club I would have married her myself on the spot. Things started looking up. Mitchell Johnson was out for a duck. After three hours in the bunker, Lofty and myself headed for the Pineapple , a local hostelry near to our motel. Carl had told us the road outside the Pineapple was patrolled by prostitutes, and by golly he was correct. He had noticed this after calling into the next door 24 hour shop for his 6 inch Subway.
More similarities to Durban here which I have no need to labour. However the location of this pub - Kangaroo Point - does sound like the ideal place for a jump.
Little did we know this Pineapple place was HQ for the Australian Fanatics Group , and as we entered a cavernous hall at the rear of the pub I felt like Sigourney Weaver in Alien 2 treading through the Aliens nest of eggs with her flame thrower looking anxiously from side to side. However , Premier League football is a wonderful ice breaker and we met two lovely lads from Brisbane called Lee and Gene who were Manchester United fans and l spent the next two hours drinking lots more beer with them and teaching them the proper use of football songs. Lofty tried to teach them some Leeds songs as well , but they hadnt heard of Leeds or where it was so they didnt seem very interested in that. But they did enjoy learning our beloved Jesse Ryder song originally written and performed by Dougie. By the end of the night my football songs were seen to have worked and Im sure Mr Berbatov must have been listening in on his IPOD.
Day 4 of the match needs little comment from me. A couple of centuries by the England openers and the highlight - a dropped catch and more pants bowling by Mitchell Johnson.
Day 5 the records tumbled as Trott and Cook balsted the fading Aussie attack all round the park to the accompanying cheers of the English fans - I kid you not there were hardly any Aussies there at all. Our boys hit so many boundaries that if Warnie had to eat just one chicken nugget for each one he would now look like Mr Creosote.
So in the end - a very enjoyable draw on a ground where we usually get battered so we have to be happy with that.
Im now going out to get tired and emotional again.
Dont forget those donations - you know it makes sense!