Tuesday, 23 June 2009

This weekend, for the first time, I attended a World Cup Final! It was the final of the Cricket Twenty-Twenty World Cup at Lord's Cricket Ground. Now (stop sniggering at the back) this was a truly great occasion. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the lowdown.

  • Cricket is a game invented by the English. The players usually wear white and traditionally games take days and spectators sit around drinking Pimms and eating sandwiches.

  • It's played with a bat and a ball and it's all about scoring runs (and not getting out).

  • The English used to be the best in the world at cricket (when they were the only ones that played). As soon as they shared it with the world, lots of other teams became better than us. Teams who are better than us include Australia, Pakistan, the West Indies, India, and lots of others. Teams who are worse than us generally have no history of playing cricket, see the Netherlands, Outer Mongolia and so on.

  • Recently, cricket officials started to realise that not that many people have time to come and watch a game which takes an average of five days to complete. So they invented 20-20 cricket, which involved each side having only 20 "overs" to bowl (each over has six balls. Are you keeping up? Quiz later). This means that the whole game is only 3 hours long approx. and can be very exciting as there is real pressure to score high quickly.

  • Very recently for the first time, they decided to have a 20-20 World Cup every 2 years. This year it was hosted by the UK.

  • The two finalists were Pakistan and Sri Lanka. England went out miserably at the 'Super 8' stage, despite a 'brave' (rubbish) performance.

  • The key player for Pakistan is a man called Shahid Afridi, who in Pakistan is bigger than David Beckham. The man next to me almost fainted when he came out onto the field, and held up a banner which said "Be Afridi, Be Very Afridi", which was a clear work of genius.

To cut a long story short, it was wonderful. We sat in the Pakistan end and the atmosphere was electric. Even I was waving a Pakistan flag at the end (and yes, they did win, and Afridi scored the winning runs). All around us, whole families, grannies, toddlers, you name it had come out to support their team. It was like being at a game in downtown Karachi.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Apologies for the delay in blogging, it's just been really busy out there in the real world, DH has been away in the States so spare time didn't really exist... but here I am. And today my first time report is really close to my heart. For the first time, I am really conversing with my first born.

Before I actually had a child, the image I had in my mind was of a small child, walking along, holding my hand, pointings things out and having a conversation with me. I think I'd blanked out in my head all the really difficult bits before that: giving birth, having a small baby to look after when you have no idea what to do and so on. But yesterday I realised that the dream has finally come true, after George (who obviously is terribly advanced) started speaking in real sentences. Yesterday, I went to get him up out of his cot and he said: "Mummy, I come out and Mummy change nappy please, it's dirty" - I was really floored, certainly no room for misunderstandings there. And yesterday we spent a good hour in the garden while he pointed out to me a garden fork ("Garden, Mummy, not eating"), asked me all about the tap and hosepipe and pointed out a whole series of raindrops on the leaves. And then last night: "Mummy, play Yeah Yeah Yeahs" (I know, perfect musical taste as well).

I know that it's not de rigeur to post about your children, as I'm sure it's terribly boring for everyone else. But let me indulge in this. For the first time, the Mummy-dream has come true.

Monday, 8 June 2009

On Friday night, two first times - first time to the Electric Ballroom, to see The Horrors for the first time. Quite a novelty this one, as I have no idea how I could have missed going to the Electric Ballroom before - I go to so many gigs and it just so happens that I've never been there. And what a fabulous venue it is too - small but perfectly formed.

Oh... and that's not even taking into account the wonder of The Horrors. Now, for those of you who have no idea who these boys are, they are an indie goth band who have an enigmatic lead singer called Faris Rotter, who had suffered the ignomy of being Peaches Geldof's other half when she announced that she had gotten married (to someone else). Anyway their music is an acquired taste (I described it to someone as music where the tune and lead vocal appears to be being drowned out by someone doing some loud vacuuming in the background) but in my view, this makes them God-like - a limited fan base means no chance of appearing on an arena tour any time soon.

We rocked up and found ourselves in a crowd of small teenage goths, but we were much admired (me for my T-shirt - 80s B Line Matchbox Disaster) and DH for just being gorgeous, I presume - the girls were very private-school-from-Skins.

Anyway, they came on stage and cue lots of high-pitched girly screaming: "Faris! Faris!" while Faris (who appears to have gotten over Peaches) stood in his beanpole way and waved his arms around and lit his face from underneath to look super-scary. They were all dressed in black (save for someone who looked spookily like Jade Goody's husband on bass guitar and was wearing a Hawaian shirt) and they were sell-your-granny fabulous. 'Who Can Say' is a song which makes me and DH argue a lot (are the lyrics teenage or not? - They are, and I am clearly right) but makes me want to give up life, as if a 20 year old can write this stuff then what hope is there for the rest of us? And when it started up, the crowd almost fell silent in anticipation. Genius.

Overall, not the violent gig the press had predicted, but worth every not-being-like-a-lawyer-for-a-whole-night moment. I am a Horror.
Horrors new album (Primary Colours) out now.