Continuing the sub-series about my visit to Tintagel within the series about my Cornish holiday. Also taking the opportunity to pitch for votes for NAS West Norfolk for Lynn News Charity of the Year.
I continue my account of my Cornish holiday with the second of what will be three posts about Tintagel. In my previous post I ended with the new bridge that one uses to enter the grounds of the castle. Before getting into the body of this post I have small piece of business to attend to…
NAS WEST NORFOLK ON SHORTLIST FOR LYNN NEWS CHARITY OF THE YEAR
NAS West Norfolk, of which I am branch secretary, is now the only organization in West Norfolk to whom autistic people can turn for help. We are run by volunteers, all our money comes from donations, and is all used to run activities that help autistic people. For more details about The Lynn News Charity of the Year and to vote please click here. Please also help to publicise this any way you can.
THE CASTLE GROUNDS – THE ASCENT
Excavations are ongoing, but already a huge amount has been revealed – this place was massive back in the day. Within the castle grounds the official walking routes are well kept, and the ascents and descents are all fairly manageable. When the weather is good, and we were lucky to get an exceptionally benevolent day, there are some stunning views in addition to the ruins. Time now for some photos…
Some recent autism and disability related events and a farewell to wicketkeeping legend Sarah Taylor.
There have been two significant events in as many days for me, and I mention both of them in this post.
NORFOLK DISABILITY PRIDE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION
On Sunday I travelled to Norwich for the Norfolk Disability Pride event, which included the photographic exhibition at which I won third prize (£25 voucher for WEX Photography, which I discovered to my chagrin that I cannot redeem online), for this photograph:
This photograph was taken through a train window while travelling between St Erth and St Ives in the far west of Cornwall.
A big screen was set up on the ground floor of the Norwich Millennium Library displaying this and other photographs for the exhibition (the above was not the only one of pictures to feature, and several others got appreciative responses from viewers), while a variety of groups connected with disability had stands in the foyer of the Forum building, immediately outside the library. In the Auditorium, off to one side of the foyer, was a #ToyLikeMe exhibition (a campaign to increase the number of toys that feature disabled people).
Not wishing to be overly late home I caught the 3:10 bus back from Norwich (as well that I did, since by the time it got to Lynn the rain was coming down in stair rods, and it being Sunday the last no 2 bus to enable me to avoid walking all the way home from the town centre left just after the ExCel bus from Norwich had arrived at the bus station, so I only got a bit wet rather than thoroughly drenched).
AUTISM FRIENDLY SOCIAL GROUP
The first of these took place last night at King’s Lynn Library, London Road, between 5PM and 6:45PM, and it is intended that they will become a regular event, with two more sessions, for Wednesday 16th October, 5PM to 6:45PM and Monday 28th October 5PM to 6:45PM already confirmed. Various games and puzzles are available for those so inclined, and refreshments are provided. We had a few people come last night, and I hope that more will get involved as word spreads, but the important thing is that the group runs – even if only a few benefit, that is better than none.
SARAH TAYLOR’S RETIREMENT
A top class batter, and for my money the best wicketkeeper of either sex to have played in the 21st century, Sarah Taylor has hung up the gloves after an international career that spanned 13 seasons and much of the cricket playing globe. She has made the decision on mental health grounds, and I hope all would wish her well for the future. Those involved with the England Women’s set up deserve credit for their efforts to help her over the years since her mental health issues first came to light, and she deserves credit for being open and honest about them, as well as for her deeds as a player, shown below, courtesy of cricinfo:
Born May 20, 1989, London Hospital, Whitechapel, London
Current age 30 years 134 days
Major teams Adelaide Strikers Women, England Development Squad Women, England Women, Rubies
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
Batting and fielding averages
Note especially the number of stumpings (most of them slick leg side efforts) that she executed in her career – wicketkeepers are often colloquially referred to as ‘stumpers’, but increasingly few of them truly merit the term.
The conclusion of the county championship season 2019, a busy week and a photography prize.
I will be covering a lot of ground in this post, hence the title. As well as stuff about this week I will be looking ahead a couple of days. Before moving on to the main body of the post I start with…
THE END OF THE ENGLISH CRICKET SEASON
The last round of County Championship fixtures was largely spoilt by the weather. Somerset managed to keep things interesting in the championship decider in spite of more than half the match being washed away. Having managed 203 themselves they bowled Essex out for 141 and forfeited their second innings (only a win would do for them, so they had to go all in) leaving Essex 63 to get in 65 minutes of playing time. Essex, with no incentive to go for the runs, played time out quietly, finishing on 48-1. Elsewhere Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire secured promotion to division one in a match in which less than one whole innings was played, Gloucestershire reaching 220-7 (having at one stage been 67-6). The experienced Graeme Van Buuren made 93, and 18 year old Ben Charlesworth was on 77 not out, having not ever looked like being dislodged – expect to see more of that name in the future. The decision to abandon the final day’s play without a ball being bowled may very well have denied him a maiden first class hundred.
Had the big match at Taunton been allowed to go the distance I suspect that Somerset would have won it and claimed their first County Championship, but as it is their wait for a title extends into its 129th year. Essex too would probably have preferred matters to be settled on the pitch rather than by the weather, as they will know that this title, their second County Championship in three seasons, will always have an asterisk against it in people’s minds due to the ruination of this final game. Somerset meanwhile will rue the way they collapsed to Kyle Abbott at Southampton in their penultimate match, which allowed Essex to move to the top of the table, leaving Somerset needing a win in the last game.
A BUSY FEW DAYS
Here is what I have been doing since I last posted here:
Tuesday – Yes I Can 2 at the Corn Exchange. I was there for the duration of this important event, and the NAS West Norfolk stand attracted plenty of interest.
Wednesday – Drop In Centre at the 7th Scout Hall, Portland Place. It was also on this day that the 2020 aspi.blog wall calendars arrived.
Thursday – physio session at Tapping House in the morning and CBT with Dr Daglish in the afternoon.
On Sunday I will be journeying to Norwich for the Disability Pride Photographic Exhibition, having just been notified by the organizers that one of my photos has won third prize – yes folks, I am now officially a prize winning photographer. I have not yet been told which the prize winning photograph was, but it was one of these:
Looking at the state of play in the final Ashes test match and in the closing stages of the County Championships, a couple of dates for the diary and some photographs.
The final test of this year’s Ashes series has no bearing on the destination of the urn – Australia have already ensured possession of that with their victory at Manchester. However, an England win would tie the series (previous examples of such include 1962-3, 1965-6 and 1972). This post looks at that, and at the closing stages of the County Championship.
THE TEST MATCH
Australia won the toss and put England in to bat. England were somewhat fortunate to reach a semi-respectable 294, Rootbeing dropped three times en route to 54, while Buttler with 70 produced his only major score of the series, and Leach again showed his ability to hang around, lasting 80 minutes (43 balls) for 21. However, in addition to Root’s good fortune Denly, Stokes, Bairstow, and all-rounder Sam Curran, in for Jason Roy, all scored between 14 and 22, and in all cases were culpable in their own downfall. Denly and Burns put on 27 together for the first wicket, the biggest opening stand by either side in the series to date. Archer dealt swiftly with both Australian openers, Labuschagne and Smith have had a good partnership, but Labuschagne has just gone for 48, LBW to that man Archer, adding to this match’s substantial tally of ‘nearly but not quite’ innings and the even more substantial match tally of innings ended by batter error.
I have to say that I am a bit worried about how this match is going, because a 2-2 series draw would give the England selectors something to hide behind and excuse inaction, whereas a 3-1 beating would surely compel action. For similar reasons I take scant comfort in Buttler’s 70, which may simply have bought him an extension to a test career that has yielded inadequate returns for a specialist batter. I hope Anderson can regain fitness because the young speedster Archer and the wily veteran swing merchant Anderson in partnership is an enticing prospect.
SOMERSET SOON TO CELEBRATE
Somerset are poised to win their first County Championship, having ruthlessly disposed of Yorkshire, while the best their only rivals, Essex, can hope for in this round is to avoid defeat at the hands of Warwickshire. Tom Abell produced a gritty performance in the Somerset second innings, when Yorkshire might have stayed in contention had they taken quick wickets, and with more aggressive efforts by Tom Banton, George Bartlettand Lewis Gregory to back him up Somerset ended up with a huge lead, and a dispirited Yorkshire collapsed for the second time in the match. Warwickshire put up 517 (23 year old Matthew Lamb 173) against Essex, who could only respond with 324, and made to follow on, 101-1 so far at the second attempt. Somerset have 205 points with two games to go, and Essex, playing their penultimate game, and with no chance of the 16 for a win are currently on 192 points, which if they avoid defeat will become 197. Thus at worst Somerset will be in a position from which one more win in their last two games will guarantee them the title, as would two draws, while even a draw and a defeat would leave them heavy favourites. Other than Somerset the only teams not to have won a county championship are Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire (who were twice named Champion County in the 1870s, before the competition was out on an official footing in 1890). In the second division Lancashire disposed of Derbyshire in a match made notable by Josh Bohannon, whose previous highest score in a fledgling career was 98 not out, but who this time round scored 174, batting at no 3 and coming in after the fall of an early wicket. One big hundred does not make an England test player, but if he continues to score heavily from near the top of the order the selectors would have to take note (this innings gives him a record of 660 first class runs at 47.14).
Matthew Wade has just fallen to Sam Curran to make it 118-4 in the test match. Mitchell Marsh, whose medium pace somehow accounted for five England wickets, is now at the crease.
I have two major events coming up – Sunday is Heritage Open Day, and I will be stewarding at Lath Mansion, Nelson Street from 2PM to 4PM. A week on Tuesday is the second “Yes We Can” day at the Corn Exchange, and I will be helping to run the NAS West Norfolk stall.
A brief account of the last 10 months, having reached a major turning point in the story of my illness and recovery.
This post appears at this time due to news that I received yesterday, which while not entirely unexpected was nevertheless excellent to receive. We start with a…
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
This is a story that has been ten months unfolding, the key dates being (as far as I can remember them):
October 5th 2018 – Early return from work due to illness.
October 6th 2018 – Trip to Godalming to visit my mother and see the town cancelled due to illness.
October 8th 2018 – Hospitalized, so weakened that a saline drip was needed to get me from the flat I was living in (two outside staircases, one of them spiral, from street level) to a waiting ambulance.
October 9th-11th 2018 – Investigations reveal that the mystery illness is in fact stage 4 testicular cancer and that there are a number of metastases, including large tumours attacking both lungs (the brain and spleen are also host to smaller tumours).
October 12th 2018 – Bluelighted to Addenbrookes just in time to save me from an operation that had it been performed at that time would probably have seen the end of my life.
October – December 2018 – Once stabilized there follows a seven week period of intensive chemotherapy to deal with the tumours.
December 9th – discharge from Addenbrookes, arrive at new bungalow in North Lynn to begin recuperation.
December – January – in and out of Addenbrookes for various reasons, including an internal bleed caused by blood thinners working too effectively.
February – March 2019 – a couple of admissions to QEH for breathing difficulties (the second certainly brought on by anxiety)
April – July 2019 – A period of consistent improvement, assisted by regular physio sessions at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, leading to:
July 12th 2019 – At Addenbrookes for operation to remove the testicle that was the cause of all the trouble.
August 1 2019 – New physio sessions at Tapping House start.
August 5 2019 – CT Scan at Addenbrookes, although due to my veins not co-operating (six failed attempts) they cannot inject the usual contrast medium.
August 9th 2019 – appointment with clinical psychologist Dr Amy Daglish at QEH, leading to the arrangement of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy sessions which will start at end of August.
August 12th 2019 – appointment with Dr Danish Mazhar at Addenbrookes. Brings the hoped for and almost expected news that I am officially clear of cancer. My next appointment is two months away, and they will be steadily decreasing in frequency, although I will continue to be checked on for the next 10 years. On the way home I arrange to visit NAS West Norfolk’s allotment in West Lynn, where a sensory path is being laid that afternoon.
Another bulleted list as I do not wish to give these an official ranking order:
All the staff at Addenbrookes who were part of my recovery from oncology consultants Dr Danish Mazhar and Dr Han Wong through all the nurses I encountered to all the wonderful support staff who helped at various times. Also and overarching this to that great institution that made it all possible – The NHS.
My family, who have been incredibly supportive through all this.
NAS West Norfolk who have been incredible throughout this very difficult period. The comments in response to the announcement on their facebook pages of my ‘all clear’ have been amazing to read. It will not be too long now before you have a fully functioning branch secretary again.
James and Sons of Fakenham who have kept my job open for me through all this time – I expect to return to work in the spring of next year (given the damage to my lungs returning to that workplace during the winter months seems not to be sensible).
Various of my fellow bloggers who have been very supportive through these months (you all know who you are!).
For pretty much the first time since becoming ill I now look to the future with confidence rather than mere hope.
First up, I have just sent an email to the Independent Living Group asking them to include some of my photographs in their Disability Pride Digital Photography exhibition. As well as a link to this blog in the body of the email I attached 10 photographs, one my desktop background image, taken in Cornwall last year, and the other nine recent shots for reasons that should be obvious to anyone reading this post:
England v Ireland and some of the things I have done this week.
I have a lot to share since I last posted, besides the situation in the cricket. However the first focus is indeed…
ENGLAND V IRELAND
England went into this test match with two test debutants, Jason Roy andOlly Stone(Lewis Gregory, in the 13, missed out for reasons beyond my comprehension). England won the toss and chose to bat. Some good bowling from Ireland and a terrible batting performance by England resulted in a total of 85 all out. Ireland were themselves all out before the end of day 1, and England sent Jack Leach into open with Rory Burns, shielding Jason Roy. Burns was out cheaply, but Leach and Roy shared an excellent stand that put England into credit, before both were out, Leach for 92. Joe Denly has just been run out as I write this, making England 194-4, a mere 72 to the good. Ollie Stone bowled well in his first test match, picking up three wickets. Burns deserves a little longer to prove himself, and Roy has one fine innings to his credit here, though I suspect that no 3 at test level suits him better than opening. I am unconvinced by Denly, who is nearer the end of his career than the beginning. I continue therefore to argue for the ‘Beaumontsolution‘ to England’s current opening woes. Bairstow had just completed a pair, plunging England into trouble. The successful bowler was Mark Adair, surely to acquire the nickname “Red” if he has not already done so, who along with the veteran Murtaghhas been Ireland’s best.
If England can put together another 80 or more the prospect of a fine finish remains, but at the moment I make Ireland strong favourites (and good luck to them, they have earned it).
THE KING’S LYNN FESTIVAL
Yes, it is festival time in King’s Lynn. I attended the first of two early music concerts on Saturday evening. It featured the London Handel Players, with a programme of:
Telemann – Concerto for Recorder and Flute in E minor
Vivaldi – Concerto for violin and cello in F major Il Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio
William Herschel– Symphony for strings in F Minor (yes, he was also Astronomer Royal and a distinguished mathematician in his day)
Vivaldi – Flute Concerto in D minor Il Gran Mogol
J S Bach – Brandenburg Concerto no 4
It was an excellent and enjoyable evening, although the wine was overpriced even for such an event. The Herschel piece was not quite the equal of the others, but that is only to be expected given his other work.
NEW PHYSIO SESSIONS
I will be starting new physio sessions at Tapping House a week today. This will help with developing my fitness.
On Tuesday NAS West Norfolk had a steak night at The Globe near the Tuesday Market Place. I was given a lift both ways, and it was well worth it – the evening was excellent.
How yesterday’s predictions fared, some predicitons for today’s Royal London Cup action and a couple of other features.
Yesterday due to timing issues I posted predictions about the outcomes of that days Royal London Cup matches before they took place. This post shows how those predictions panned out and provides predictions for today’s two matches, with one at the half-way stage and the other heavily weather affected. There are also a few other things included.
HOW YESTERDAY’S PREDICTIONS FARED
Here match by match is what happened yesterday:
Somerset v Sussex – Somerset 282-8 from 50 overs, Sussex 62-4 from 16.3 overs, Somerset win by 69 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method
The Duckworth-Lewis method, now administered by a man named Stern, its two progenitors having retired, is the best method for resolving rain spoiled fixtures yet devised – a predecessor led to England and South Africa retaking the field when the calculation reduced South Africa’s task to 22 off one ball! There is no doubt that having lost four early wickets Sussex were heading for defeat even had the rain not intervened. Coimpetition rules require each side to have batted for at least 10 overs for the game to be considered completed. For Somerset Hildreth scored 81, Azhar Ali had his first decent performance as overseas player with 68 and Lewis Gregoryhit 50 off 28 balls near the end. Mir Hamza took three wickets for Sussex and Chris Jordan two. Sussex had lost the top four in their order when the rain came, with the wickets going to Overton, Davey, Groenewaldand Gregory. A correct prediction for me.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire – Leicestershire 312-8 (50 overs), Derbyshire 266-3 off 39 overs, Derbyshire won by seven wickets off the last possible ball.
Again a bit of rain meant that the Duckowrth-Lewis formula came into play. In the end Derbyshire needed eight of the final over and nearly made a pig’s ear of it. Ackerman made 119 for Leicestershire, while the wickets were widely shared. Billy Godleman made 106 for Derbyshire, guiding them almost to victory, Du Plooywas 73 not out and Madsenmade 60. This was an incorrect prediction.
Lancashire v Northamptonshire– Northamptonshire 269 all out from 50 overs, Lanashire 164-2 from 28.4 overs, Lancashire won by eight wickets under the Duckworth/Lewis method. Lancashire were motoring ahead of the required rate when the rain intervened, and quite rightly the calculation showed as much, earning them the win and me a second correct prediction out of three. Jason Holder made 72 for Northamptonshire, Rob Keogh66 and Vasconcelos 50, while all else in this innings was overshadowed by the bowling of Saqib Mohamedwho took 6-37. For Lancashire Haseeb Hameed made 65 and Keaton Jennings 63.
Worcestershire v Durham – Durham 114-4 from 27.2 overs, Worcestershire 152-6 from 22.2 overs, Worcestershire won four wickets with 10 balls to spare under the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
The fact that Worcestershire knew from the start that their innings would be truncated and Durham did not explains why they were required to chase more than Durham had scored, and the fact that Durham had lost four wickets explains why the differential was not even greater. Alex Lees made 52 not out for Durham, while no Worcestershire bowler took more than one wicket. Four Worcestershire players scored over 25, although the top score was a mere 33 by Hamish Rutherford. For Durham Carse, Salisbury and Raineeach took two wickets. I called this one correctly.
Thus I was right with three predictions and wrong with one, making a fifth Royal London Cup match day out of five on which I have got more right than wrong, and taking my overall record to 19 right out of 27, a strike rate of 70.03% (70.027…%, rounds up to 70.03).
There are only two matches taking place:
Middlesex v Surrey – Middlesex 277 all out from 50 overs The last two wickets boosted the Middlesex total, with Toby Roland-Jonesfinishing with 45, second top score to Ross Taylor’s 64. The bowling star was veteran off-spinner Gareth Batty with 4-29. Middlesex’s total is respectable but I am predicting that Surrey will chase them down.
Glamorgan v Kent– Glamorgan 68-2 from 15 overs, raining at present.
If the rain relents sufficiently to allow a result this match will go a long way to settling who gets the wooden spoon from the South Group, as both these teams currently have 100% losing records. Looking at Glamorgan’s current score my reckoning is that Kent are currently second favourites to the weather to emerge with the spoils. Wicketkeeper Chris Cooke is 29 not out and Labuschagne made 27, while Klaasen and Podmore each have a wicket.
A SCOPE EVENT
Scope had a get together at the West Norfolk Deaf Centre on Railway Road, and I was one of three members of the NAS West Norfolk Committee in attendance. It was a thoroughly enjoyable session, and we raised the issue of Scope helping us to get music sessions running again. With the help of Scope it will be a possibility. We also took part in some of the activities that were made available for us on the day. I have a few photographs to share…
ANNUAL HEALTH CHECKS FOR AUTISTIC PEOPLE
This is an idea being pushed by NAS at a national level. As someone who is autistic and who has had a very difficult time recently due a health issue not being picked up until far too late I want to be involved with this, and to turn my experience to good use. There is information in earlier blog posts that NAS are welcome to use, and I am considering further options for working with NAS on this.