Musings From The Padded Cell

Seasons In The Sun

“It’s paradoxical, that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.”
Andy Rooney

It’s that time of the year again. But first!

An Open Letter

Mother bowling from the Washing Line End on a damp wicket.

To – Management Committee, Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League

Dear Sirs

May I respectfully point out that should I be sprawling on the ground this summer having failed to replicate deeds of several decades back and now simply looking like a deluded, half-blind old fool as the ball inevitably crosses the boundary line, debris in the form of jelly beans from my pockets can be explained.

I have no Australian blood in me so therefore cheating is not the purpose of filling my pockets full of sugar, merely survival. I can though be made to cry like a child especially when we lose the toss and have to field under a blazing sun.

“Slower than me mum bowled” as Our Geoffrey would say

On these occasions I may also rely on a tad too much Factor 40 but this is not to aid my teammate Molly with his 30mph reverse swing from the long boundary end. If it starts swinging from the middle overs this generally means via Cow Corner, out of the ground and over the houses.

I also fully respect your desire to add yet more jobs each Saturday to keep us busy; we love 30 yard fielding circles albeit most umpires I know struggle seeing 22.

Likewise, “live” scoring for the weekly audience of 7 is a real joy but please avoid stump microphones unless you can find a translator to unravel the following response from my colleague on being carted over Cow Corner again.

“Tha’s a looky fooker…as this neva seen a street bat lad? Wen I were ur age ad a bit more respect for us old uns…nah fook off yer out…go get them spots seen toooooo!”

As Child Welfare Officer I will try to control these unreasonable rants but may plead diminished responsibility if one more youth calls me “old and crap!”

Despite the apparent belief that the game should still last into the Saturday evening dusk, the fact that old fools like Molly and me still get in the team every week suggests the yoof do not share our passion.

Therefore, the only way I can survive 3 hours chasing leather is with a regular supply of sugar and a quick dash off at the drinks break in the opposite direction to change my Tena pad.

I realise that certain clubs wish games to last into the early evening to take a few quid over the bar to pay their “Pros”. It would be lovely to share a pint with the odd hired gun were it not for the fact they are away faster than the sun to count their cash or mail it to some foreign parts.

So, before our beautiful and unique game vanishes from sight would it be too much to ask that heads are pushed together to devise a format that might not rely on old duffers like Molly and I for much longer?

Yours Respectfully

Concreting Bradford – More

Regulars will be aware of my dismay at the house building orgy currently going on in Bradford from numerous posts such as this. The sprawl of houses flying up is largely disproportionate to the needs and average incomes of Bradfordians. That a Labour council waves these through defines their hypocrisy.

Recently there have been several more examples just to highlight this dash for profit.

In Bradford city centre a spectacularly ugly development of 166 one and two bedroom apartments, along with retail and professional services, food and drink, and non-residential space on the ground floor

Were this London or Manchester one could see the need for this type of development.

Meanwhile, ten miles down the road, a developer responsible for building 124 homes has acknowledged “challenges” with the site following concerns over drainage from residents.

Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire said it was aware of the issues at its Branshaw Park development on fields off Keighley’s Occupation Lane and was focused on tackling themsee here.

But once we’ve sold the lot we’ll be off!

And this development – see here – just defies belief given the lack of infrastructure currently in place to serve existing needs.

Note the following: The 21.35 hectare site is currently made up of a disused quarry, operating quarry, school playing fields, vegetation and some residential plots.

This is not about housing need at all simply naked opportunism on the part of the developers.

Dumb And Dumber Ride Again

Harry…before he could utter the words “…you owe me a tenner!”

School holidays again and it was time for a road trip with my ever-growing, newly gruff voiced godson Harry.

As we set off down the short stretch of the M606 out of Bradford, I noticed one of our more challenged residents of the city clearly trying to read the small print on my number plate.

I wasn’t sure where he was trying to get to, perhaps a horticultural meeting in East Lancashire, but obviously he was a man of great importance and stature to be honking his horn and jumping up and down behind the wheel of his obligatory Golf.

The sun was reflecting off the sheen of his gelled head as I smiled in my rear view mirror almost apologetically for I knew his business must have required an injection of speed.

The young man’s patience gave in as he undertook me on the inside, a practice I understood is not in the Highway Code but then again this is part of the theory test that so many locals appear to struggle with, perhaps because it is in English.

Suddenly he seemed to have lost the urge for speed as he drove alongside me, wound his window down and offered a strange greeting involving shaking his fist with bulging eyes. A Haka maybe?

I counselled Harry against returning the greeting as he sped off to read the next bumper on our busy route.

Just another day in Bradford.

One Hundred Years Ago

As the modern day greats of golf contest Augusta this weekend, a more sobering tale here from another age.

Members of the Shipley Golf Club we were at the club house on Monday were pleased to see one of their caddies, Cpl O’Donnell, who was recently awarded the Military Medal and bar.

Cpl O’Donnell, whose home is in George Street, Saltaire, is at present home on leave.As a result of passing the hat round, an ‘Easter egg’ of 30 shillings was handed to him by Mr F L Wade.

Another old caddie of the club, J W Beaver, has also won the Military Medal and in recognition of this a present has been sent to him in France

I’m told they still contest the Wade Trophy at Shipley and good on them.

That’s all for now!

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