So on Saturday last seven hardy souls from The Everest Test took part in one of the less fun parts of the trip to date…the Umpiring course.
I perhaps did not prepare for this in the way most would, ie by going out for several beers in central London the night before and fitting in five hours of booze-fuelled sleep, which we all know if not real sleep at all.
The alarm went off at 6:30am, and I was indeed alarmed. I shortly received a text of rage from sister Helen who had already hit her first stumbling block when she discovered there were no trains to Wimbledon and had to get a bus. The plan was to meet Charlie BN at Fulham Broadway and then drive to Caterham for a 9:15 start where we would also meet Mark Waters, Hillsy and Hillsy’s dad.
I first realised that everyone’s preparation was along similar lines to my own when Charlie said he would pick us up from the station once he had collected Kirt, who he as currently waiting for. Worrying this, since Kirt was not on the course and had swapped his place with Paola. Equally disconcerting was that at this stage Charlie must have been thinking that myself, Kirt, Helen and Paola would have all fitted into his car. Having spent much of the weekend inside this vehicle, I can assure all readers that we would not have done.
Anyway, the journey began and Charlie said we needed to pick up Paola from Battersea. As our journey began I began to become suspicious, and my fears were proved correct as the journey continued and we in fact drove literally passed my house at 8:30, and not far from Helen’s 10 minutes later. After much chastising, Charlie agreed he would collect us from more suitable locations the following day.
At this stage I must take my hat off to BN, he in fact got us to our destination despite three differing sets of directions, and got us there early. I am always hugely grateful when I get lifts as I am one of the few people in this country with no drivers license, something Charlie was decidedly upset about later in the weekend!
So, we arrived and our journey was topped by that of the Ginger Rocky who, predicting a journey from hell, had arrived at 8am and sat in the car park for more than an hour. This lightened my mood no end, as did finally seeing Hill Junior and Senior, the latter of which I hadn’t seen since Reading days and the former may as well have been as long since he is now the invisible man.
After much hugging high-fiving in a way that all real men do, we went into our separate classrooms and began what was to be the biggest snooze-fest since Kinsey last told a story. Fortunately, we were in the speedier of the groups, thanks to not having slightly less super geeks than the other one – although we did have someone asking what would happen if a bowler was to choose to bowl from directly behind the Umpire, thus throwing the ball over his head. What a tool.
Anyway, I think the less I talk about the days events the better, we went and saw England play Wales in a pub before dashing off to Putney for more alcohol. So much for giving up that stuff. The excuse this time was a combination of an Everest singles Valentines evening and Toovey’s birthday.
Dave Kirtley kindly pointed out that if ever there was a weekend to hold an umpiring course then the Valentines weekend would be it – I would have liked to stand up for my soon-to-be colleagues of the umpiring world, but the fact that our particular course had a record number of people on it did little to back up any argument I might have come up with.
A rather civilised evening was had where I think we only offended some of the couples dotted around the bar and off we headed at last orders.
Sunday was a far easier journey in and the course passed without too many hitches, we all passed the mock exam at the end with at least a 90% score and can now eagerly look forward to Tuesday 24th when we have the real thing. Of course, if I were to fail the actual exam my entire purpose of this trip becomes slightly irrelevant, which is actual a bit of a worry. Still, best not to think about that eh?
Tonight I have to go to Wandsworth to take part in something I never thought I would do. No, not a tap dance class or an hour long lecture on the skills of knitting, but close. I am speed dating. I can’t believe I am actually making this public to the world. In my defence, I am helping out a mate – Kiwi has (I hope) put much effort to this event and is in need of some blokes after several ladies signed up very quickly. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that, but let’s see how the evening pans out shall we?
For those of you hanging out for a Stick Cricket update I can inform you that I have moved away from the World Domination part of the game and am now just taking part in the 10-over slog-fest. This was prompted by a discovery that Hills had a high score of 195/3 from 10 over’s which I knew to be higher than my own (189/7). After about an hour I managed to finally surpass his total and post 203/5, and sent a suitably gloating text message which I am sure brought Hills to his knees in despair. Judging by the enormous gash in his hand, Stick Cricket has caused him rage in the past….