Musings From The Padded Cell

Idle Life And Sacrifice.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Saint Augustine

A note this week to two parents, thousands of miles away, perhaps wondering about their boy in a foreign land.

A Message To You Rudi (And Penny)

One week on and your boy is settling well into the ebb and flow of Idle life tutored by a master of the art. An angelic appearance hides an ability to whack the ball miles; welcome to Young Joe Root as he has been christened on something called What’s App.

Unlike his predecessor and countryman David, he opted out of a six-hour route march around the local streets as a pre-match warm-up.

Getting out of the taxi by The Scruffy two years ago on his first night out, David took the wrong turn and, at one point walking across Idle Moor, was convinced the lions and tigers would have him. Fortunately, the local fox had been fed.

Idle Moor – no elephants sighted.

In fairness, several years ago I did see elephants and camels on the fields, returning home from work early one day after a heavy night at The Scruffy.

Thinking I was more hungover than usual I went to bed convinced I was hallucinating and resolved to stop drinking until told it was only the local circus in town.

David returned in the early hours, had two hours kip and took six wickets and a catch that would have killed me quicker than a hunter’s bullet, the ball travelling as fast as it was. Life, I concluded, was losing it’s fairness rapidly for those the wrong side of fifty.

On my return last Friday night from a gig – the artist was pushing sixty – I found him safe from all the village dangers.

These include food poisoning, local women called Chavs and the White Swan jumble sale, where you can pick up that nice DVD player you thought you had lost for good and for such a knock down price too.

Thankfully, he appears not to have the nocturnal properties of our Antipodean socialite from last year who always liked to see the sun go down and come up again before deciding on bed and whether he could be arsed to play cricket.

I’ve also introduced him to his place of work for the summer who remember Antipodean Man well, at least two of the waitresses. I kid you not I saw him sheltering from the sun in the grounds this week or maybe hiding from sex-mad waitresses.

For his first day of work I offered him a packed lunch, made sure he had his sun-cream and watched moist-eyed as he went on his way – the remote was all mine again and no longer need I sit in the office pretending to work all day.

Of course we have introduced him to The Scruffy which is just as well as he informed us that carrying cash in South Africa is not advisable.

The quaintly named ‘Nob Ed Corner at The Scruffy including a few departed for a bar in the clouds in recent years.

With supreme timing, The Scruffy has begun to take cards which has scuppered Big Al’s last remaining form of exercise, robbing him of the need to trudge down the hill to the cashpoint. All they need to do now is offer bed and breakfast.

Speaking of the big man, I went to help him with his energy switch the other day only to find his gas consumption was equivalent to heating a rabbit hutch.

Secretly, I admired this frugality until he confessed that he and Luckless Linda spent longer in bed than John and Yoko. The polar ice caps are safe with men like Big Al.

Last Sunday we had a group trip to the recently opened Sunbridge Wells – take a look here – and gently introduced him the the delights of Bradford city centre.

Of course, our hometown has had tough times but there is plenty of evidence of former days of glory.

Bradford’s Town Hall

I have told him his time will pass quicker than the blink of an eye…enjoy my son!

One Hundred Years Ago

A moving tale in amongst the growing number of casualties on the battlefield of the ultimate sacrifice from a young Idle lad is included in this week’s cuttings. One to take a moment to ponder.

Life Getting You Down?

I passed a man dressed as Spiderman the other day with an advertising hoarding hung around his neck offering special deals on pizzas. He seemed cheerful enough which struck me that perhaps many of us expect too much from life and, therefore, can feel let down at times.

It also struck me that had he tried a bit harder at school he might not have to dress like a twat to make a few quid. I suppose it depends on your point of view?

Cllr Ross-Shaw – is he the secret Spiderman?

Or could it have been one of our politicians auditioning for a new career when the voters of Bradford finally twig what a balls-up of the city they have made?

Bradford Council’s Executive

The next day I passed and Spiderman had certainly piled a few pounds on which was possibly not the best advert for the pizzas.


Spot the missing tree?

As the cherry blossoms – those still standing – continue to illuminate our street, T’Council sent their surveyor (coincidentally my old cricketing mate Paul from Thackley) armed with a can of white paint.

We had an amicable chat like two civilised blokes. I do actually get why councils have to spend fortunes to avoid the odious “blame and claim” culture we live in and employ blokes like Paul to graffiti the pavements legally. Better than dressing as Spiderman I suppose.

However, the irony of this should not be lost on anyone in that this is driven by highly educated people fleecing a system that has lost it’s marbles and paid for out of the pockets of you and I.

That well-known parasite called the lawyer is behind all of this.

The day after, a large wagon and two men came to dig up the pavement at ever more expense. And yet I still cannot believe that there was not a more effective and far cheaper solution here with a bit of thought.

We await our new tree in due course and the bill to the taxpayer is likely to be more than hopeless Hapless Hinchcliffe’s office refurb at City Hall.

And Finally; Just When You Thought You’d Seen It All?

There I was having passed Spiderman once again, stationery at the zebra crossing, hoping I had a better weekend than him in store.

Strolling across oblivious to all was Chav Mum, eyes glued to her mobile, followed devotedly presumably by two of her brood sat astride a mini-quad bike I kid you not.

The eldest cannot have been older than five and yet I could already picture him covered in tattoos, roaring down a street on a giant quad, ape like features grimaced against the wind, no need for neurosurgery should he crash.

Small wonder we are breeding a nation of sedentary, in-bred morons with the communication skills of a sub-continent help-line.

There…I feel much better now!

Have a great weekend.

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