Australia Tour 2013/14
The Lorry Vanishes
The fallout from the Brisbane Test continues unabated.
First, the infamous sledging comments by Michael Clarke to Jimmy Anderson during the final overs of our second car-crash innings.
At the height of the hostile body line series can you imagine Sir Don Bradman in the field walking up to Harold Larwood, batting at number eleven, and saying :
" Face up. Get ready for a f*cking broken arm. Face up."
No - I thought not.
What a diplomatic, classy captain Australia have - maybe the Australian Government should hire him as a mediator in their current war of words with Indonesia.
Then - the very next evening in the Pineapple pub - Lofty and I are told by some friendly Melbourne Aussies that Jonathan Trott is returning home due to a stress related condition. Whilst I have every sympathy for Trott, this is not what we supporters wanted to hear. The Aussies are smugly reporting that David Warner's comments about Trott's innings being poor and weak and him having 'scared eyes' are responsible for this retreat.
I'm sure that if nurse Tractor was here in Australia to administer relaxation therapy and a good rub down, Trotty would be ready to come out fighting as soon as the first bell rung.
I also do not wish to see Andy Flower on TV complaining that Warner's comments were 'disrespectful to a fellow professional'.
We already know that Warner is an idiot - we don't need reminding - and we now require some English Agincourt fighting spirit, not soft-arsed whingeing!!
There is lot of conjecture about who will replace Trott in the batting lineup : Steve Harmison is backing his ex-Durham team-mate Ben Stokes, for some unfathomable reason : and James Vince is in Australia already I believe, I'm told he was watching at The Gabba and is itching for a crack at the Aussies ; but I would wager my pension book that the England management team opt for ' same old, same old ' and just reshuffle the existing well - thumbed and entirely predictable pack.
My money is on Joe Root to be moved up to three and a new guy at six. Probably a Zimbabwean currently playing for Yorkshire, in order to restore the Southern African equilibrium to the England side.
Another ludicrous aspect to this tour is the current England jolly-boys outing to Alice Springs.
Whose great idea was that?
Two days of dehydration, sunstroke, heat exhaustion, breathing in flies through every orifice and potential food poisoning await - what ideal preparation for the Adelaide Test.
I often wonder who dreams up these tour itineries, I really do. The stuff of nightmares.
I have no wish to sweat my nuts off running around Ayers Rock being eaten alive by spiders & mosquitoes, so I am returning to Adelaide today.
To be exact, lying on the floor at Brisbane airport next to the hoover plug, draining the last dregs of free electricity from the redneck power grid to charge up my tablet. I'll be connecting it to lamp posts next!
The pub quiz at the Ramsgate Hotel beckons tonight, and I hope someone has bought Mr Blade a Ladybird Book of Overseas Flags for his 42nd birthday in case one of 'those' questions crops up later.
Mr Blade's birthday coincided with his last day in Brisbane, and was not a happy one.
His morning was spent fielding phone calls from work about a missing stock delivery - apparently the delivery vehicle has been 'lost' somewhere en route from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Lost for five days. Has the Great Ocean Road claimed another victim?
Police are searching for a juggernaut lorry rigged with camouflage netting and possibly now in the hands of a man called Kelly, who may be dressed in a metal suit of armour and carrying a shotgun.
Mr Blade's company are about to suffer an even greater loss. Mrs Blade has left, and starts her new job today at a Very Large Vehicle Location Agency.
During our last afternoon in Brisbane, while we were all enjoying a quiet couple of beers at the Plough Hotel, we were buzzed once more by the pesky banner plane:
" Who needs five days? Go Aussie, go! "
You can never find a handy ground to air missile when you need one.
Lofty will not be joining us in Adelaide for several days. He has hired a car and intends to journey into the Queensland outback hinterland for a spot of bush trekking and aboriginal camping.
If anyone in the UK sees a TV headline about a 'missing Guernsey backpacker near Toowoomba' please let me know - Lofty hasn't seen 'Wolf Creek'- he hasn't even seen Rolf Harris paint and sing 'Thunder-rise' - so I doubt whether his survival skills will be of Discovery channel standards.
And now he has quit smoking, he won't even have his cigarette lighter with him any more to make fire and boil his billycan.
We have asked him to text us each day to ensure that he is safe, I hope he remembered to pack the instruction book for his mobile phone so that he will be able to switch it on.
As I finish this blog we are just coming down to land in Adelaide. I have my first sight of the new stand - it is shaped like a cricketers box from above, and so big that it is probably visible from space.
Another report soon, regards, Midnight xx.