So, I made the third day of the test match without too much difficulty and lasted the course for the three day’s of cricket. I am extremely lucky in have discovered Ollie and his Friendly Wheelchair Service. Ollie himself is a wonderful chap, extremely helpful, nothing is too much trouble. He drives had a very steady pace so as not to rattle of listening me around too much in the wheelchair. He is very fortunate to have an equally charming and helpful wise, Debbie, who came all the way from Saffron Walden in order to help Ollie get me out of the wheelchair safely. I would thoroughly recommend this service to any wheelchair bound patient.
The weather at Lord’s was as perfect as it could have been for the first two days but sadly the third day was a little disappointing and rain stopped play at three o’clock. England, after very unpromising start had knocked up 486 runs and Sri Lanka reply, by the time I left was 372 for three wickets. I suspect with the time lost through bad weather and Sri Lanka looking well set, this match will end in a draw.
However, from my point of view it was an enormous success. I was able to entertain five good friends. On the first day Julian (Dr Julian Critchlow friend, lawyer and one of my to literary executors). On the second day Mark (Jenkins) friend, more of my son Miles than mine as I saw him first at Haileybury College, some 30 odd years ago sitting on his bed in the dormitory on his first day at school clutching his teddy bear. He and Miles of been friends ever since but how can it be that this little lad is one of my stockbrokers!?). My second guest was my nephew William (Garton Jones) who I met a month or two before I met myÂ ‘my lovely’ as she came out to Aden in South Arabia for his christening.
Today my two guests were Brian Osborne (a friend of some 30 odd years standing with whom I played golf in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Golfing Society at Wentworth and Sunningdale) and Tony Oakeshett a renowned artist who painted the Queen in 2004 for the Worshipful Company Apothecaries. He did two ten foot painting called ‘The Driving In’ which depicts Prince Andrew teeing off in front of five hundred spectators at St Andrews (each one a likeness). and a second painting, for the Royal and Ancient, entitled The ‘Dinner which is six foot wide, and shows Prince Andrew being made captain for the year. Both paintings commemorate the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the R&A.
Pursuing the golf theme , Tony had., some years earlier painted a ten foot picture set at Wentworth Golf Club depicts about 180 people witnessing the first shot of the match which was between a British team and an American team played at that club in 1926.
This match was the origin of the Ryder Cup Matches and the painting has now become the image which is used to represent the early history of of the competition and has been used extensively on TV films about the Ryder Cup.
Tony’s greatest achievement was possibly The Armada project. five paintings measuring 15 feet by 12 feet depicting the Armada campaign now inserted into wall panels in the Prince’s Chamber of the House of Lords (together with another painting done in the 1860’s). This was such a huge project that, in the manner of the great Masters, Tony had to engage and supervise a team of young artists to assist him.
Below is anÂ image of The ‘Dinner .
In addition to my personal guests there were the usual gang of friends many of whom have sat with me in the same part of the Warner stand for over 30 years. Jamie (Dr James Snowdon Barnett, lawyer and poet extraordinaire, my second literary executor and his brother, another Dr Barnett but this one achieved his doctorate through architecture. Then there was Jeremy (Brinton), now back from Dubai where he was managing director of Magrudy’s -a combination of Waterstones bookshop and Ryman’s the stationers. Finally, but certainly not least there was Roger (Goodwin something to do with shipping) and my very kind and helpful friend Paul Newman (anyone who looked less like Paul Newman you cannot imagine!) but Paul is the one who really looked after me, taking me to the disabled loo etc.
Out on the Lawn was my old friend Bob Lederman and his brother Geof. liberally dispensing food and drink to all and sundry. These then were my friends and then add another half a dozen friends of those friends and you can see that we were a very jolly band in the bottom left of the Warner stand
Whilst I was at Lord’s’ my lovely’ had been entertaining my brother-in-law John Garton Jones and wife Anne to tea and JohnÂ who very generously left me a decent bottle of Rioja. I’m sorry I missed them.