Friday, January 7, 2011

Fanciful Friday: It's Just Not Cricket

ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8.75" [18 x 22.5cm]
Hello!  It's lovely to be back.  So wonderful to see you again.  Please, pull up a Louis chair ... {I've been re-decorating...}

I used to think cricket was an odd curiosity involving the curation of grass as a spectator sport. And occasionally, typically when one left the room to put on the kettle, a player would cheekily hit a ball or catch a ball as a mild distraction from the grass-watching task at hand.  But in recent years, I've grown to love this gentlemanly pursuit and its familiar noise on the telly as I potter around at home.  It sounds of summer to me. And with the rotten weather we've had for the past couple of months, anything reminiscent of summer is a good thing.   

But woe is me, our fine Aussie cricket team has dropped off the perch lately.  And the Pommie cricket team resoundly completed its Ashes series win today, creating an irksome tea stain on Australia's proud sporting history.  I have to admit, the English side did a beyond-sterling job, and if not for some half-baked semblance of a detox over the holidays, I would drink a Long Island Iced Tea in its honour. {Granted, this rocket fuel rarely contains tea and bears no relationship to Australia or England, but it's a compelling amnesiac for embarrassing international incidents.}

Knowing the cricket selectors will make some changes, I've come up with my own Dream Team {shown here at the Sydney Cricket Ground, formerly-known-as-Illustrious}.  And the simple solution I propose is that we double the number of players, then play ourselves.  A guaranteed win every time.  {My talents really are wasted...tell me about it.}  My nominated team could make it a little harder to maintain the condition of the grass, but what is life without challenges.  And on that note...

Happy Fanciful Friday to you!


PS: Thank you for your many concerned emails and comments.  I'm relieved to say that {touch wood!} my immediate family and I are somewhat soggy, but gratefully unaffected by the massive flooding in our state, greater than the areas of France & Germany combined.  If you would like to make a donation to help those poor folks in these disaster areas, you can do so here.  Merci, grazie, thank you.

39 comments:

  1. I chortled my way all through this fine piece - the notion of the curation of grass is a wonderful one that I can see myself passing off as my own in the future (even though that's not cricket). I may also have to pilch 'formerly known as illustrious'.

    But that's not why I'm here. I'm here to brag that I own a pair of those very same trousers, in pink.

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  2. I know next to nothing about cricket, but I have heard crickets and had a passing acquaintance with Long Island Iced Tea. (What? Fancy that, say you?)But I know a winning illo when I see one! If only all cricket teams were this fashionable and furry, in a cuddly way, of course.
    Love the new banner!

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  3. Welcome back from your holiday, Shell! Your illo is a welcome sight for me this cold, gray morning. I don't know anything about cricket, either, except for a little guy named Jiminy but I'm game. Besides, it looks like Nicole Kidman is on the team!

    Glad you and your family are safe.

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  4. Happy new year and welcome home. I love what you've done to the place. I daresay your dream team would be excellent fetchers - I mean catchers. And I've never seen a more glamorous cricket player.

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  5. Yay! Whoopee! Woo-hoo! Hurray! All that to say I'm SO glad you're back. I'm thinking this is you playing cricket in frilly pink gloves—and I do love your teammates! But I'll attend any match where I can watch from the comfort of a Louis chair while sipping a Long Island iced tea (especially since I actually grew up on Long Island!). One thing: You didn't say, but I'm hoping Hugh is on the team as well—and that the sun comes (and stays) out over your cricket field.

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  6. Welcome back and hope you had a restful break! I don't know much about Cricket, but it looks like you've portrayed a winning team :)

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  7. "Fanciful Friday" is just my cup of (Long Island Iced) tea. I'll take a pair of those pink gloves as well. They'll make a nice, soft sound as I applaud your return.

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  8. Oh good lord, I almost missed this Friday. And then what next -- I celebrate Christmas in Spring? The only thing I know about cricket is the wonderful sound -- THWACK! -- from old British movies

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  9. Mise ~ your pink trousers will be perfectly at home if you ever have the chance to play One Day cricket.

    Thanks, Cali! I figured it was time for a non-invasive blog-lift. {PS: I've requested an extra splash of your fave cola in your LIIT.}

    PCN ~ say, I didn't intend to do that, but now that you say it ~ by jove, it does look a bit like her!

    Debs ~ "excellent fetchers." Hahaha!!

    Alexa ~ unfortunately, our Hugh was being attended to by the nurse at the time. This is why he needed the attention. Ouch!!! But isn't he adorable!

    Ms M ~ it was a very relaxing holiday, thank you, amongst ticking some big things off my To Do list.

    Aww, thanks, Petrea! They are very soft gloves. Ideal for your purposes...

    Hiker ~ Thwack. Yes, remarkably soothing!

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  10. So glad you're back, hope you enjoyed your vacation.
    Meilleurs voeux pour 2011 !!
    It would be a great year if we managed to have a good coffee with some macarons, or a glass of red wine with saucisson or Camembert with all the francophile blogger friends here in Paris !!!!

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  11. This is as much as I've ever read about cricket! I love your illustration of it.

    And you're right, Long Island Iced Tea is rocket fuel.

    Happy Belated Friday!

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  12. Sound the trumpets -- Shell's back!! What a delightful cricket team you've put together; I'd definitely pay to see this group play. I've heard the term "sticky wicket" my whole life (my maternal grandfather's father was British) but have no idea how it actually relates to cricket. Now at least I know from Hugh that men shouldn't wear boxer shorts while playing cricket. Here's to a fabulous new year filled with whimsical armchair travels with you as our tour guide!

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  13. Marylène ~ Meilleurs voeux! Such delicious and lovely suggestions ~ they all sound wonderful.

    Amy ~ I feel I've been a good Australian by circulating some enlightenment about one of our most loved sports. We can drink to that, too.

    Thanks, Katie!! If I imagine someone saying, "yes, yes, a bit of a sticky wicket, what", I always hear it in an uppercrust English accent. As for Hugh ~ well, it's good to have that question answered, isn't it. :)

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  14. The most fetching cricket outfit ever and the cutest fielders ever Shell! No wonder the stadium is packed! ♥ the new header too!

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  15. Let the cheerful bells ring their cheery tidings ... she's back!!

    Allora, I don't think they play cricket in Venice. perchance we can introduce it, with our all girl, frilly gloved gals team?? Hugh can be selector and captain and mascot and .. well, you name it.

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  16. Thanks, Favourite Vintage Finds ~ next, I'll need to find the best 'natural' laundry booster on the market to maintain those outfits!

    Yvonne ~ oh, that sounds wonderful! And yes, Hugh can be whatever he pleases. Without the boxers. I suspect he's learned his lesson.

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  17. Glad you're back. Love the new Header. I'm afraid I don't know anything about cricket, being a self-absorbed American. Sorry, but this was fun to read. Sorry also about the rain. Not that it's my fault. Totally blameless there.

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  18. Thanks, dear Margaret.

    Brisbane is starting to go under water now. Touch wood, I'm ok where I am, as is my family, but it's heartbreaking and there are very tough times ahead. All 'reverse rain-dances' will be very much appreciated.

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  19. Just think of you, Shell, as I read the news - what's happening is so far removed from the fanciful world you've created here. Much well-wishing to Brisbane.

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  20. Shell, me too. I just saw the headline that the floods are reaching Brisbane. I know the media likes to sensationalize but do keep us up to date on your safety.

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  21. My heart is heavy for our beloved Queensland. Thinking of you all in Brisbane dear Shell. xo

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  22. Dear Shell fans: Eric @ PDP has posted a tribute to Australia even as the Seine is overflowing. Leave a comment to show your solidarity for our lovely Shell and her countrymen and women. We love you, Shell!!!

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  23. Been thinking about you, Shell, and hoping, hoping you and your family and friends are safe.

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  24. Thank you, all, so very much. I'm feeling a bit weepy, I have to admit. Favourite Vintage Finds, I hope this stays away from your part of the state.

    It makes my heart ache.

    I feel so incredibly lucky ~ all of my immediate family's homes should remain safe, including mine. Sadly, some close family members' farms are under water and I have some dear friends whose businesses have done likewise. Everyone will be close to someone who has experienced major losses.

    75% of the state of Queensland is officially a disaster area, and Brisbane {& the neighbouring town of Ipswich} is already under water in many places, with peaks not expected until Thursday. Roads are cut all over the place. More than 35 suburbs are currently under water, with possibly more to come as the levels rise. The most important thing is for everyone to stay safe so there's not further loss of life. We're in for some sad & tough times, but all we can do is hang in there, help each other, and start the clean-up process when it's all over. They are saying it could take two years of solid effort.

    I've just heard on TV that a crocodile has been seen somewhere in Brisbane. With all that's happening, it hardly seem surprising.

    Thanks again for your caring and concern. As long as we don't lose power, I'll touch base when I can.

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  25. Thank you for the update, dear Shell. I'm sure we're all relieved to hear from you, and so sorry for the losses of you and your neighbors.

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  27. Shell, so glad to hear you and your family are safe. But so sorry to hear about the devastation. Take good care....

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  28. Mixed feelings !
    So glad to read that you're safe, hoping you'll remain so and so sad for all those people who lost their life or belongings in such a huge flood (almost twice the size of my country) that I can't imagine what it looks like !!
    I am more and more convinced that we, humans, played the "apprenti sorcier" with Mother Nature and we are just starting to pay back.

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  29. I'm so glad you checked in to let us know you're ok. I feel so bad for everyone suffering there. Stay safe Shell, and I hope you don't see any crocodiles.

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  30. Never mind my email, I'll keep checking here for updates. Remind me never to take a day off from listening to news. When I heard about Brisbane tonight, my first thought was Shell. Stay high and dry, my friend.Anything we can do from here (Red Cross, rescue) let us know.

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  31. Thank you all, dear friends! I'm fine ~ we lost power in my suburb for 24 hours but it's just come back so I wanted to check in and give you an update.

    Debs, amazing ~ I was growing up in Ipswich when the 1974 floods occurred. I'll pray your Aunt is safe and sound and gets in touch soon.

    The worst is over, and the waters will subside over the next few days ~ it's already going down quite quickly in places. Though it's been terrible everywhere, my heart especially goes out to those in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley {within 2 hours west of here} who experienced the inland tsunami. At least we had some time to prepare ~ they had no warning whatsoever and the raging water was ferocious. There are still people missing.

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers to all those affected. The overwhelming support and caring that's being expressed everywhere is very cheering for the folks here. I'll draw and post when I can. Huge hugs all around. Bless your fuzzy hearts!!

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  32. It's a relief to have an update from you, Shell. I hear the news and try not to worry. We've seen some dramatic video here. I'm glad the worst is over, at least for you.

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  33. I'm getting a very late start to this new year, but I've been thinking of you, Shell, as I hear the news about the floods hitting Brisbane. I'm glad to hear you and your family are safe, but so sorry for the devastation surrounding you. It sounds terrifying and heartbreaking. I hope you will all soon be playing cricket in the sunshine with your furry friends in cute caps.

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  34. Oh, Shell, so glad that you are safe and have returned keeping us updated. So sorry for the devastation and pray that the sun will help in the recovery... The coverage of Brisbane has been horrifying and please know that you and all of your countrymen are in our thoughts.

    Bisous,
    Genie

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  35. Thank you for the update, Shell, and so glad you and your family are safe. Glad the floodwaters are subsiding, too, altho I know there will be massive cleanup that will need to be done.

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  36. Shell, very worried about you. Updates we get over here sound worse and worse.

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  37. It's good to hear you are safe. We lost everything in Hurricane Ivan and I know you must be bewildered and amazed that rising water can do such incredible damage. My heart is with you at this time, and yes I will be donating to the relief fund.
    Best wishes,
    PJ

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  38. Thank you all so very much ~ Paula, "bewildered" is certainly one of the feelings. I'm so grateful that I personally have not had any hardship, but the sadness for what everyone is going through is rather overwhelming. Action will be one of our best cures, I feel, and it's already out there with everyone throwing themselves straight into the clean-up as the waters subside, strangers helping strangers, and of course friends and family helping loved ones.

    Hiker, there could be some delays in the news updates there ~ please be assured, the worst is over in terms of the violent ravages, though people are still putting themselves in danger in places and we all need to be careful about the health risks associated with the brown, putrid, toxic water and so on as the clean-up is done. And people are still missing, particularly in the Lockyer Valley rather than Brisbane/Ipswich, and the search continues there.

    Clean-up for me will begin in earnest tomorrow on my family's farm which was completely submerged, but I'm endeavouring to bring you a post with a little 'feel good' story out of all this hardship asap. Thank you all, again and again.

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  39. I'm glad you're blogging again. But did Francophile Friday get drowned in the storm??

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Merci, grazie, thank you for joining our conversation lounge. Your smile lights up the room. Even more beautifully than our crystal chandelier. x