James Went to Sonning. And Got In.

The highlight of my weekend just gone is difficult to choose
– DJing to 3 people, a gift of a tea, publishing my autumn weather forecast, a visit from my Parisian delight, an evening at the
Oakford and some amazing semi-drunken southern fried chicken – Chicken Cottage
is the chicken you need by the way.  Not
to mention it was a 3-day weekend, I had a pie and booked Eurostar tickets to
Brussels to I can go admire the European Union buildings.
But for novelty and the fact that it suits my new boring
lifestyle, Sunday in Sonning was just the highlight.
Before I got to Sonning I had to get there – I was thinking
of getting the bus from town but one of my most treasured personal advisors
suggested walking along the Thames.
And with the beautiful weather which I had predicted a monthin advance, I set off, down through the Oracle, past Mandela, through TVP and
along a nice woodland path into the picturesque village of Sonning.
I arrived upon the cricket club – on a quaint traditional
village green with a clubhouse – the club was impressively inaugurated in 1750,
though sadly had an electronic scoreboard – I was hoping there would be a
man/woman changing the scoreboard manually by inserting different plastic
numbered boards.
A little sweaty upon arrival, a bottle of Magners cooled me
down – yes there were plenty of alcoholic refreshments, including locally
brewed beer and a Pimms tent.  Prices
were unexpected – £3.50 for a bottle of Magners, £3 for a glass of wine – £6
for a jug of Pimms.  Cheaper than Hull.  Cheaper than the posh bit of Hull, anyway.
The cricket itself was supposed to be a 20/20 game but was
changed after around 13 overs to a 25/25 game – doesn’t quite have the same
ring does it?  I think it was Sonning 1st
team vs a President’s XI select – though I could be wrong.  I was more interested in talking to friends
and consuming alcohol.  I know Phil
Tuffnell was playing.
Tuffers didn’t last too long – I saw him face a couple of
balls, went for a drink and by time I got served he was out.  He wasn’t much better with the ball at first
either but really improved in later bowling spells.
The match was won in glorious style – a magnificent 6 off
the 3rd-last ball (approx) – quite a way to win a game.  It was looking like Tuffer’s bowling had
swung the game back towards the President’s XI but what a way to win the game.
Honourable mention most definitely goes to the hog roast which
was amazing.  And Oracle Christmas hog roast if you are reading – actually filled up the bun with meat!  Overfilled it, in fact.  Not just 1 and a half slices.
Dishonourable mention goes to the excitement of subsequently seeing these
amazing cakes – lemon cake, Victoria sponge cake (my favourite), chocolate gateau
– then finding out they were only for the players and VIPs.  Such a tease.
Though at least they let oneself into Sonning – a disgracefully
common Ford car was found nearby and the occupant hounded out by the tannoy –
or something like that.
Then several ciders later (and Pimms, yeah I might as well
admit that I quite like it – it isn’t as dishonourable to my northern roots as
liking Thatcher is, and fuck me, I love Thatcher), I walked back along the River Thames, and admired the
beauty of England.
If anyone does not appreciate the beauty of this world, and
this country in particular, then get out of your Wetherspoons and go for a
walk.  It is truly gorgeous.  Mostly.
And if you don’t like rain, which creates the green and
pleasant land we have, then go live in a desert.
Rant over.  Quite
short for my standards.
If anyone is as equally as boring as me and would like to go
for a walk one Sunday, especially if it ends in a roast dinner, please do let me
Next up in this series is James Goes To Slough.  Probably.
 Everyone loves a gas tower don’t they?  Hmm maybe I have a new website idea…
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