A Day in the Life
A day in the life. Just a normal day in the life of an Addis Army cricket tour.
Let me set the scene. It is post series win day in Joburg. Freddie, James, Tremers, Smithy & the Pleb Celeb i.e. me, are chilling out at the Strathaven guest house. After brekky we resemble the vultures in the film ‘The Jungle Book’: “What shall we do, I don`t know, what do you want to do, I don`t know what do you want to do, now don`t start that again.” So we do what cricket fans do when we have no cricket. “Nothing” and very nice it was too. A bit of a swim, catch some rays, read a book.
It’s all going worryingly well and I begin to wonder who will be the first to suffer a degree of boredom. Normally my boredom threshold is achingly low and I am convinced that I will be the first to lapse into ‘kiddy’ mode. But no, Freddie breaks the mould by playing throw the ball to the dog. Tremers, Smithy and myself are sunbathing on the grass area which to the casual observer would resemble 3 beached whales. So Freddie’s little game is, see how close I can get the ball to one of the beached whales so the dog tramples over our sun burnt bodies to fetch the ball. Jolly Japes all round.
That little game done, we settle into a period of musical chairs around the pool until the grumbling pangs of hunger ease us out of our inertia. A delivery of fish and chips of various sorts ease us back into the day whereupon plans are made for the evening meal.
So it’s Mandela Square for a scoop or 2 (or 3) at the Hard Rock Cafe before we move onto the food. Freddie to his credit is happy with the concensus of opinion which is a Thai. I do get the feeling however that Freddie has complied to eating his least favourite grub just a little too easily. My 6th sense comes to fruition when we eventually amble over to the Thai Restaurant. The Fredster has obviously done his research whilst the motley crew were getting their beauty sleep in the arvo. No rush says the tall one in the Hard Rock Cafe. Agreements nodded all round. Indeed why rush, we’re in holiday mode, no need to battle off to the Thai just yet for scrumpy’s.
However, it all becomes plainly clear as we pitch up to the Thai about 8.32pm. “Sorry,” says the manager. “We shut the kitchens today at 8.30pm”. Aha, game set and match to Freddie. “Greavsie, go and scope out that steak house over yonder” he suggests and like lambs to the slaughter off we trot. Steak & ribs are the order of the day at Trumps Restaurant. The meals arrive and eyes widen as the food is placed in front of us. The dirty footed one (James) has ordered pork ribs. He gets in fact 2 racks of ribs to consume which nigh on overwhelm the plate. Freddie sitting to his immediate left senses an opportunity. No way can James eat all of his ribs and a portion will surely come Freddie’s way. Now with an appetite that belies the callow youth’s appearance, James methodically devours said ribs with not a morsel for the dogs let alone Freddie. Smithy, Tremers and I are content with our offerings, washed down with a more than acceptable red and finishing with brandy floaters. Lovely Jubbly.
Bill paid - 500 rand each, scandalous. We trot off to the pick-up point for the taxi pick up. The area has a few locals sitting around on a bank off about 10 steps so I sit myself down on the top one. The scene is reminiscent of the soldiers in the Redoubt in Zulu. All we need now are the spears and shields and colour sergeant Tremers bellowing Fire, Reload, advance. But no, I take a look behind me and my soldiers in arms are nowhere to be seen. A great hoot is to be had they feel by hiding behind a wall and leaving me alone on the ‘safe’ streets of Johannesburg. I make not a move, content in the fact that Mish, our taxi driver will be along shortly. Like a magical Tommy Cooper trick, our chariot arrives, the four reprobates suddenly reappear giggling like pre-pubescent school girls and off we trot home. As a non-cricket day goes, I am sure Tina Turner would say. It was “Simply the Best”