The good Doctor Michael flew in this morning from Australia, en route to Sweden. The object of his flying visit (literally, as he leaves early tomorrow) is to assess my physical condition in view of our plans to go to Lord’s, for the Third of the Test Matches against South Africa. More to the point, it is my 78th birthday and I have invited a number of friends and relatives to Lord’s, for that match as a fitting farewell, as I have a feeling in my bones that I will not make another trip to Lord’s. Obviously this is a great blow as my friends and I have occupied the same corner of the lower Warner stand, for the best part of 37 years.
Anyway having got the thumbs up from the good Doctor, I can now confirm the arrangements, after all, is now less than two weeks away.
I’m ashamed to say, with all the excitement of the Olympics, coupled with the flying visit of the good Doctor Michael, I completely forgot to watch or listen to the cricket. I know, as I recorded, the day before yesterday, Pieterson had had a field day and was 149 not out. It seems that England just passed the South African total of 419, by 6 runs. At close of play South Africa were 39 with all their wickets in hand. It is feared that the threat of rain means that a positive outcome to this Test Match. is unlikely.
Michael was in pretty good shape considering he had literally come straight from Melbourne. As he travels thousands of miles every year he had built up over 1 million Air Miles which he uses, from time to time, to upgrade. On this trip he was upgraded, to First-Class, by the airport staff without using any of his Air Miles. What goes round comes around, as the saying goes, and, during the flight, Michael was asked by the Qantas staff if he would look one of their passengers, who was feeling ill. He obviously formed a good relationship with these stewards and had told them of the purpose of this visit-basically to check me out for my trip to Lord’s on 18th. Just as he was about to disembark, having arrived in London, the head steward presented him with an excellent champagne, which the staff specifically wanted him to give to me.
It really was a special bottle of vintage champagne – Comtes de Champagne, Tattinger, Blanc de Blanc, 2000. He had obviously built me up as some sort of hero and this was their very kind response. I’m only sorry that it is virtually impossible for me to locate the right person to express my sincere thanks for this extremely generous gift.
I promised you that I would not give you a blow by blow description of today’s highlights in the Olympic Games but I would be remiss in not mentioning that it was another golden day for Team GB. who ended third in the medal table after China and America. Beyond the winning of gold medals there were many tales of sacrifice for those Olympians who won silver and bronze but keeping my promise to my readers. I shall just mention the gold medallists.
First of all I suppose I should mention Andy Murray, who overcame Federer in straight sets to become Olympic champion. The match, which was a repeat of the Wimbledon final, a couple of weeks ago, fortunately had an entirely different outcome. Murry won in three straight sets, -6-1, 6-2 and 6-4.
On the water, Ben Ainslie, in winning his gold medal, apparently became the greatest sailing Olympian ever.
There was gold for Victoria Pembleton at the cycling velodrome.
There were also gold medals For Kat Copeland and Sophie Hosking , who sobbed in disbelief in winning their medals for the lightweight double sculls
We won three medals in track and field events. Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon. A victory in the 10,000 m for Mo Farah and in the long jump for Greg Rutherfor.
What had appeared as an unreachable target by national Olympic officials -to better the 47 medals won in Beijing-now seems a distinct possibility. There is no doubt that ‘playing at home’ is raising the adrenaline in Team GB who are exceeding their personal bests and getting their share of new world records.
Wallowing in front of the television set, at the success of Team GB, we enjoyed a super curry, prepared by my dear daughter in law who, we all agreed, should be awarded a gold for it (although I’m not sure that my Aussie friend, the good Doctor Michael, was quite so euphoric about the successes of Team GB!