7 December 2010

Posted by DMC on 7 December 2010 in Diary |

From the long description I gave yesterday of a typical day in the life of … The reader will appreciate that there is not a great deal of excitement or interesting events  on which I can report. In fact, the highlight of my day today was to have been the second visit from Charlie, from Ability Net for some further training on voice activation but his wife telephoned me, an hour or so before he was due here, with the sad news that he was in bed with a fever. I certainly didn’t want him to risk life and limb on something that can certainly wait, and told her so. I hope he recovers soon so that we can rearrange our training.

 However, in the normal way, the day goes by quite happily following my routine particularly if I have a good book on the go. Presently I am reading Prof Steven Hawkins’,  Grand Design.

I promise this will be my final report of the second Ashes Test (only three more to go!!). Australia put up a pretty good show on the fourth day ending 238 for four when rain stopped play. Needing only 119 to wipe out England’s lead there was a strong probability that England would have to bat again to ensure a win. However England bowled them all out before lunch winning by 71 runs and an innings. A handsome win which put England well on the way to retaining the Ashes.

In all fairness it might make the whole business of cricket more palatable, to those who have no interest in the game, if I were to extract from Wikipedia the brief description of how the Ashes came into existence.

The Ashes is a Test cricket series play between England and Australia.  It is international cricket’s most celebrated rivalry and dates back to 1882. It is currently played  biennially, alternatively in the United Kingdom and Australia……

The Ashes comprise five Test matches, two innings per match…… if the series is drawn in the country already holding the Ashes retains them. (England holds them at present) show

The series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, in 1882 after a match at The Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia. The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882 — 83) as a quest to regain the Ashes.

During that tour a small terracotta urn was presented to the captain of the English team… by  a group of Melbourne women. The contents of the urn were reputed to be the Ashes of an item of cricket equipment, possibly a bail, ball or stump (one of the three forming the wicket)

Since the 1998-99 series, a Waterford Crystal representation of the Ashes has been presented to the winners of the Ashes series as the official trophy of that series.

Our snow has virtually disappeared although there is a very heavy frost and nasty looking foggy mist. It is barely above freezing. Scotland has seen the worst of the weather, in places up to 2 feet of snow.


  • Carol Diane says:

    Dear Mark

    I have several questions for you. The answers will be of interest to me, to see how you are doing, and also helpful to Mary, an ancient neighbor of mine. I hope that does not sound dreary. Are your doorway thresholds and hallways wide enough to accommodate an electric wheelchair? I not, will you retrofit them? Or, how do you manage to navigate through the house? My impression is that you are eating and swallowing well (excellent news, if so!), but your breathing is compromised. Does your bipap continue to bring comfort? Are you able to sleep flat, or is it still best to have your head elevated? Are you able to dress yourself at all, with your numerous clothing alterations? Can you think of further alterations, for a person with poor eyesight?

    Regarding cricket. That is the worst of writing a popular blog—the pressure. Thank you for explaining “Ashes.” I should have looked that up myself. It is good to know the background of this event that is so important to you. I should have preferred to win the real urn, but then I am uncouth.

    Thought for your day:

    “Would Byron have been Byron but for his club foot, or Dostoyevsky Dostoyevsky without his epilepsy?” (W. Somerset Maugham. The Raiser’s Edge, 1943)

    Please carry on.
    And be yourself.

  • DMC says:

    Dear Carol

    in the spirit of helping your neighbour I will do my best to answer your questions.

    Yes my doors and hallways are wide enough to take a wheelchair.
    I navigate through my house using a gutter frame still having some strength left in my legs that need to be assisted to rise up from chairls and from the loo. We use a special lifting belt for this purpose.
    No problem with eating or swallowing.
    I only use my Nippy 3 at night and had no breathing problems at any other time.
    I can and do sleep flat thanks to my respirator.
    I cannot dress myself at all having virtually no strength in my hands.
    If you are talking about possible alterations to clothing for a woman I would have no idea. Most of the problems resulting from poor eyesight, in any case, would be overcome by feel.

    As to your Thought for the Day why not? Beethoven’s ninth Symphony, written when he was stone deaf is every bit as good, if not better, than his earlier works.



  • Joan Kirkby says:

    Dear Mark,
    Just a couple of comments. The interest cannot have dropped off – your blogs are addictive and I always look forward to what you have been doing – even if you say it isn’t much ! I think you are correct when you suggest it is the busyness of the season.
    I enjoyed reading the explanation of the Ashes tournaments – it was all new to me and it makes a fascinating story.
    Only in England would there be a TV programme called ‘Flog It’ !
    Doug flew home from San Francisco to Paris via London and barely made it home due to the terrible weather you have been having in the UK.
    Very best wishes,

  • DMC says:

    Dear Joan

    Always good to hear from you and thank you for your encouraging remarks. As you say most people now are heavily involved in preparing for Christmas.

    Alice joins me in wishing you and yours a great Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

    Love Mark

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