A 2nd Class Return To Dottingham

I’d a rare break from writing yesterday. Leaving casa Strachan at 7.30am and not getting home until 11.00pm rendering opportunities of putting pen to paper nigh on impossible. My destination the city of Nottingham – Robin Hood’s manor, domain made famous by Brian Clough, home of Boots the Chemist and place my late dad served his National Service in the 1950’s.

My odyssey, though, wasn’t to cross swords with the Sheriff of Nottingham, or pay tribute to a football manager who, despite his forgettable 44 days as Leeds United manager in 1974, I greatly admired. Moreover my trek to the east Midlands was as  cricket spectator for day three of the England v India Test match at Trent Bridge cricket ground. A game already heavily stacked in favour of an Indian victory after only two days

This my inaugural visit to the home of Nottinghamshire county cricket club. An engaging stadium fifteen minutes walk from the Nottingham train station.

My day did start too swimmingly. On the outbound journey I very nearly missed my train from Leeds, a consequence of nasal congestion hindering my ticket purchase. Leeds Central Station management have kindly provided me with the CCTV clips of the incident to explain further:-

Writing this section of the literary chronicle of yesterday’s trip to Nottingham, I’m half listening to my wife Karen’s telephone conversation to her sister. Their erudite discussion including copious use of the word ‘Uh-hu’ and comment on fashions currently being broadcast on ‘Lorraine’.

In her distinctive north east tones, my missus has just informed her twin sibling how much she likes clothes from the retailer Mango; particularly their 2018 autumn accessories like handbags and millinery…… This information has no relevance to the narratives topic. However, I thought I share it in the unlikely event you ever get a pub quiz question of ‘What are/were Mrs Karen Strachan’s favourite items in Mango’s 2018 autumn catalogue.’…… There’s no need to thank me.

Anyhow back to yesterday’s cricket to Trent Bridge…….

Despite England’s long hard toil in the field, events not aided by their apparent decision to only start holding onto catches when 500 runs behind India, I had an enjoyable day.  My companion, a riveter called Pete Trainstrike, an affable chap for one so horribly burdened name wise.

I met up with Pete at the ground. His nasal congestion not clearing with the use of Tunes causing him to miss his train, resulting in a round trip of 160 miles by car from his home in the village of Duckpond.

Erratic of mind and a lover of TV dramas set in villages, Peter Trainstrike gained fame in Duckpond by being the first villager to series record ITV’s Midsomer Murders on his Sky+ box. He’s also the only person in West Yorkshire (possibly the world) who has every DVD of ITV’s Heartbeat sellotaped to their living room ceiling.

When I met him on Radcliffe Road, close to the Fox Road stand where we had tickets he was still heavily bunged up and sporting several narrow cuts on his balding pate. Witnessing them, I assumed the cuts were collateral damage after Heartbeat DVDs had lost adhesion on his room ceiling.

Pete was fed up he’d had to drive, complaining his unexpected driving duties had scuppered his plans of a few beers.

I tried to cheer him up by pointing out that at least his sobriety on arrival home would aid his evasion of falling Heartbeat DVDs. However, it was a futile strategy on my part as, according to the riveter, they’d all fallen en masse the previous evening while he watched Poldark.

Pointing at one of the many cuts on his bonce, he informed me that particular scar had been inflicted by the disk containing a Heartbeat episode where Greengrass’s dog found Frank’s stolen sheep.

Again I tried to put a positive spin on the situation, telling him “Well at least something good came out of it!”

2nd class return


Leave a Reply