Wormsley Weekend 2012

Addis Army Weekend - Wormsley 27th- 29th July 2012

My journey started with the usual death-race down the M6, trying to avoid all the ignorant and arrogant Mercedes and BMW drivers – who hogged the outside lane and seemed to greatly resent being overtaken by my 20-year-old Nissan 200SX.

PC Tintin & Tractor had kindly offered me gippo-army style accommodation for the weekend in Dorking, Surrey, and as this was the furthest south I had ever ventured in the UK I was interested to see how the ‘other half ’ lived and whether the North-South divide was real, or illusory.

To my surprise my lodgings for the weekend consisted of a very comfortable bedroom in their delightful country cottage.

However I did get the impression that sacrifices were being made to achieve this.

Tractors lovely sister Alex, and PC Tintin’s homeless and destitute brother Will, were also secreted in the small property for more or less the full duration of my visit.

PCT and Tractor spent the entire weekend sleeping on the living room floor on an inflatable mattress.

I suppose some backpacker habits die hard - or maybe this just explains why ‘travellers’ do not normally like buying houses.

PCT and Tractor have a Vineyard called “Denbies” on their doorstep – I ask you, a Vineyard!

Up North, we have to manage with a “Bargain Booze”, although this is considerably kinder on the wallet.

But the biggest surprise of all was when PC Tintin took me on a walking tour of Dorking after a visit to the local pub and we reached the roundabout at the edge of town.

There it was. The Dorking ‘mascot’, perched atop the grassy knoll of the roundabout.

A cock. A great, big, white cock.

That for me summed up the North-South divide.

Can you imagine, for instance, entering Liverpool from Manchester on the M62 and seeing a great, big, white cock mascot by the side of the motorway?

The mind boggles.

Sunday, the official Addis Army Day Out, dawned grey and wet, and as soon as we reached Wormsley, we were greeted by this summer’s latest customary rain deluge.

PC Tintin was unable to attend the Wormsley fixture due to his involvement in the Olympic 400 yard truncheon relay event.

Tractor, Freddie, The Saint and Greavsie, Skip, & Street fly/ Gilo were present for the start, along with myself and of course Tremers the Wormsley groundsman.

Greavsie, in true gippo-army fashion, had declined the availability of a local two-star hotel for the night and instead had obtained a room above a local transport café.

We were joined somewhat later by chubby ‘ace scoop’ journalist Wycombe, still suffering from a double dip hangover after a hot night out in Colchester.

This did not prevent him still having the wit to use his press pass to gain free admission to the ground.

We were all joined later still by Five-O and Gigi and their friends who had also somehow gained free admission, “out blagging the Mancs”.

The start of the CB40 game between Unicorns and Northants was delayed by the rain.

Despite this, we were all greatly comforted by the PA system announcer, who declared he had “every confidence in Tremers and his team to dry out the pitch”.

We were also greatly comforted by the ample supply of free, out-of-date beer available from the groundsman’s large fridge.

For once, the date quoted on the Kronenbourg bottle, 1664, probably did not lie.

The Addis members made regular visits to the groundsman’s fridge, like an army of thirsty soldier ants.

Herculean efforts by Tremers and his staff had the ground cleared in no time and very soon, an unfamiliar, warm, yellow circular object appeared in the sky.

Much glee and celebration.

There was also some additional cause for celebration.

We had heard that Ravi Bopara had withdrawn from the England squad for the second test at Headingley against South Africa – “for personal reasons”.

Whatever these “personal reasons” are, in my opinion anyway, the right choice has now been made, with James Taylor as his batting replacement.

The Unicorns vs Northants game that we watched was a pretty tame affair.

Unicorns batted first and scored just 163 from their rain-restricted 34 overs, which Northants easily achieved with about ten overs to spare.

Those in the crowd who left straight after the CB40 game had finished, though, missed the day’s main event.

Astonishingly, the largely inebriated Addis Army members were allowed onto the hallowed Wormsley wicket to enjoy a sunset game of cricket with the ground staff.

Each member present was permitted to bat for one over and the usual predictable mixture of wild swings, slogs and misses resulted.

The highlight consisted of the dismissal of The Saint three times in his one over, and he has now retired from the Addis Army batting order due to “personal reasons”.

Probably for me the most memorable game of Addis Army cricket we have experienced.

Afterwards, tired and emotional, we retired to the wonderful “Mowchak” curry emporium in Stokenchurch for a delicious meal and a full discussion of the days events.

Skip ordered a ‘Derbyshire special’ – a curry sandwich in between two naan breads, without rice.

Saint and Street fly both enjoyed a ‘Manc special’ – curry, lots of beer, and cigarettes outside in the car park between each course.

Only Freddie went truly native. He enjoyed a local Bangladeshi speciality, scampi & chips. Freshly caught scampi, no doubt, straight from the Bay of Bengal.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, although after my drive home back up the M6 I must end my report with a question.

Why do most Mercedes and BMW owners drive like Dorking ‘mascots’?

Many thanks to Tractor and PC Tintin for their kind and generous offer of accommodation for the weekend.

Thanks also to Tremers and his fine team for their rain clearing efforts, and letting us play on the pitch. Oh, and for all that free beer……

Love to all, Midnight xxx

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