Well England did it - by 2 runs!
This has to go down as the most exciting test match ever. It was amazing really, and I feel a bit sad that I hadn't seen it live on TV as I was trying to get the lawn back under control after not having cut it for 2 weeks. In truth, and to my everlasting shame, I forgot it was on. The next test is at Old Trafford in Manchester - just round the corner from work. I think I can feel a 5 day illness coming on! It all takes me back to 1981, and the Test match at Headingly in Leeds. This was the match that Ian Botham scored 149 runs and turned not just the match, but the entire series around and England re-gained the Ashes. That match I did watch!
This years match threw up another hero - Andrew Flintoff who scored significant half-centuries of 68 and 73 and took 7 wickets. The best thing about all this is that Flintoff is a Lancastrian coming from Preston, a town about 20 miles from where we live. As the next Test takes place in Old Trafford, the home of Lancastrian Cricket, he will be playing at "home" and supported by thousands. I'm feeling sorry for Australia already - not!
Lots of stories about Robin Cook and some of his quotes in the papers. One of his more interesting statements was that if ".. we had won the peace in Palestine, there would have been no war in Iraq". That is an interesting thought, and the more I play around with it, the more I understand what he was saying. The West's preoccupation with support for Israel has meant that a stark political and military imbalance exists in the region. Israelis and Jews require the rest of the world of the time they were the subject of victimisation by Hitler - vilification, humiliation, execution, theft of lands and possessions, ghettoisation and demonisation; yet they are comfortable doing the same to the Palestinians. As someone said recently, to understand is not the same as sympathy, and I think Tony Blair has to be honest and concede that the recent attacks are the direct result of our meddling in Middle East affairs - particularly Iraq. For many, because they have very little with which to fight back, use the only weapon they have which is themselves. I do not condone it, I do not condone violence in any way - but I understand it, there is a difference.
Weather is looking good for tomorrow, and I have the day off. I'm actually going to the physiotherapist for my first appointment to have my shoulder "worked on". Not sure what the problem is. Could be an old injury with a touch of new RSI; we'll see. But mostly it will be an opportunity to put Bethen's new bed up and laze in the sun!