All Time XIs – Surrey

My all-time Surrey XI, as I find ways to make up for the absence of live cricket.

INTRODUCTION

Since there will be no cricket, or any other sport come to that, for a while I am going to fill the void by playing selector for a few all-time squads. Since I grew up in south London I will start with Surrey.

MY SURREY XI EXPLAINED

  1. Jack Hobbs – more first class runs and more first class hundreds than anyone else, also still has the England record for Ashes runs – 3,636 of them, including another record, 12 centuries in those matches. He was also a more than handy bowler of medium pace and a brilliant fielder at cover point. His claim to an opening slot is unanswerable.
  2. John Edrich – the left hander was one of three strong contenders for this slot, and both of the other two, Andrew Sandham and Tom Hayward, actually did open the innings with Hobbs, but although I see the value of picking an existing partnership, Edrich’s left handedness creates an extra problem for the fielding side to contend with, and for me that is the crucial factor.
  3. Ken Barrington – finding big run scorers associated with Surrey is not difficult, but what sets Barrington apart (and no 3 is has natural position) is that he was even more of a heavy scorer at test level (average 58.67).
  4. Graham Thorpe – that rara avis an English middle order batter from the 1990s with a record to boast about. A century on debut against Australia and an average in the mid 40s maintained through precisely 100 test caps tells its own story about his consistency.
  5. Peter May – In what was an overall low scoring decade (the 1950s) he maintained a test average of 46.77, and was also highly prolific for his county.
  6. +Alec Stewart – in spite of the fact that doing so loses some of the brilliance of Stewart the batter I name him as keeper for the sake of the balance of the side. The leading scorer of test runs in the 1990s, and a very able keeper. Given the top five he would very likely be coming in with free rein to play his strokes.
  7. *Percy Fender – a fine all-rounder, a highly respected captain who many felt should have had the England job and precisely the right kind of person to be batting no 7 in a strong team – he holds the record (35 minutes) for the fastest century against genuinely first class bowling.#
  8. Alec Bedser – a man who in the period immediately after World War two was not just the spearhead, but pretty much the entire spear of England’s bowling attack, and the first to take 200 wickets for England.
  9. Jim Laker – probably the finest of all orthodox offspinners, and for Surrey he was frequently more successful away than at home (in each of seasons 1955, 1956 and 1957 this applied to name but three).
  10. Tony Lock – the other half of the great spin pairing of the 1950s, a slow left-armer.
  11. Tom Richardson – a fast bowler who took more wickets for Surrey than any other bowler in their history. His 1,000th first class wicket came in his 134th first class match, and his 2,000th in his 327th.

This team consists of an awesome top five, a batter-keeper at six, an all-rounder and four frontline bowlers. There are two left handers among the top batters, and the bowling contains the new ball pair of Richardson and Bedser, an offspinner, a slow left armer and a leg spinner (Fender), plus Hobbs’ medium pace if required. I have not included an overseas player, but if mandated to do so I would bring in Waqar Younis in place of Richardson.

George Lohmann (definitely in an all-time Surrey tour party as cover for Bedser), Martin Bicknell, Bill Lockwood and Alf Gover all merit consideration as bowlers, while other than the openers I could not accommodate Douglas Jardine and Eric Bedser were two of the better batters to miss out. Mark Ramprakash did not come into my calculations because his record at the highest level was ordinary, and the bulk of his runs for Surrey came while they were in division 2 and not up against the strongest bowling attacks.

PHOTOGRAPHS

 

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I am rationoing my photographs at the moment because I cannot be sure of getting opportunities to take more in the immediate future.

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England Lose Twice In Under 24 Hours

Accounts of the Rugby World Cup Final, a WBBL T20 and England’s 2nd T20I v New Zealand. Also lots of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Most of my readers will be aware of what happened in Yokohama yesterday morning, but that was not the only fixture involving an England team this weekend, and before sharing some photographs I mention both matches.

ENGLAND RUGBY TEAM HAMMERED

England went into the men’s Rugby World Cup final as favourites, having downed the mighty All Blacks in the semi-final. I was listening to commentary on the Women’s Bag Bash League game while keeping an eye on developments in the Rugby. The best it got for England was when they were briefly level at 6-6. Thereafter South Africa were utterly dominant, the two tries they ran in near the end merely making the scoreline a realistic reflection of that dominance. The WBBL game was excellent. The victorious Melbourne Stars had spinners bowl 12 of their 20 overs, and those 12 overs went for a mere 51 between them. Lizelle Lee scored an astonishing century for the Stars to give them a very respectable total, which their bowlers as described above defended.

NEW ZEALAND LEVEL T20 SERIES

England won the first match of the five game T20 series in New Zealand, but the hosts struck back in the small hours of the morning GB time. Worcestershire’s Pat Brown got slapped for 32 off just two overs, while Lewis Gregory who mysteriously also only got two overs started his international bowling career by knocking a stump back with his very first delivery and finished with 1-10. England were not up with the rate at any point of the chase, and when their final wicket fell to the penultimate ball of the game the margin was 21 runs (substantial in this form of the game). Chris Jordan had a fine match for England, with 3-25 and then 36 off 19 balls (second top England score behind Dawid Malan with 39). Saqib Mahmood, picked without the domestic figures to suggest international quality, had 1-46 from his four overs, a very poor showing.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off (features a couple of spider pics near the end)…

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The “Impossipuzzle” – merely difficult when an autistic person who enjoys puzzles takes it on (total completion time aprrox three hours).

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At the autism friendly social group, King’s Lynn Library, next two sessions Wednesday November 13 and Monday November 25.

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Ths puzzle was much easier than the other featured here. Can you spot what is wrong with the track arrangement that forms a border?)…

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…As shown trains can get on to the circle of track but not off it.

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Spotted while out and about today, a small hedgehog near the Gaywood River (three pics)

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Monday Medley

Links to some of the best pieces from today, includign several about autism, a solution, a problem and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post is divided into three main sections – a sharing section, because there has been some truly outstanding stuff come to my attention today, a problems and solutions section and some photographs. 

THOMAS’ PICKS

To clear the deck for the rest of my shares, which are all around the same theme I start with this little gem from Atheist Republic titled “5 Major Reasons Why Creationists are Dead Wrong

For the rest of this section we will be using shades of #RedInstead because all these pieces relate to…

AUTISM

I start this section with an old post from Autism Mom titled “10 WAYS YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE AUTISM ACCEPTANCE

I have already reblogged stimtheline’s magnificent Autistic Bill of Rights, but I take the opportunity to point you all in that direction once again, complete with a jpg of the suggested Bill of Rights…

ABR

My remaining shares in this section are all from a new find…

TO ASPIE OR NOT TO ASPIE

Not many people have produced three full-length posts in the space of a day that I am eager to share, but this blogger has managed it with the following:

  • Think Different, on of the best pieces I have ever seen on the theme of embracing one’s diversity, in this case neurodiversity.
  • The Nuances of Discrimination, which deals with protecting autistic people from discrimination, and is an absolute must-read.
  • Is Autism a Disability? A wonderful post which tackles head on some of the ways in which the conversation about autism is currently cooked against us from the start. I quote the closing lines of the post as an appetiser:

    It’s a label that holds me down and pushes me into a box I can’t escape from.
    Give me some new words to define me.
    Or better yet, let me define myself.

A SOLUTION AND A PROBLEM

First, a solution to the problem I posed on Saturday in “Failing to Convert“:

Logic Solution

Here is Hamz George’s explanation of why this is so:

Hamz Jeorge 
Jan 6, 2018

Relevant wiki: Truth-Tellers and Liars

Since every statement is false, let us convert them into true statements, and number each statement:

Ann: 1) One of us took the painting. 2) The painting was gone when I left.

Bob: 3) I arrived first, third, or fourth. 4) The painting was still here.

Chuck: 5) I arrived first, second, or fourth. 6) The painting was gone when I arrived.

Tom: 7) Whoever stole the painting arrived after me. 8) The painting was still here.

According to statement #7, Tom is not the thief. #8: Since the painting was there when Tom arrived, he could not have been the last to arrive. Tom must have gone there first, second, or third. #6: The painting was gone when Chuck was there, so he didn’t arrive first. #5: So Chuck got there second or fourth. #4 and #8: As two other members (Bob and Tom) arrived to see the painting, Chuck didn’t get there second, either. So Chuck arrived fourth. #3: This means Bob arrived first or third. #2: Since the painting was gone when Ann left, she didn’t arrive first. Otherwise, no member after her would have seen the painting. So Ann went there second or third and Chuck arrived fourth. But since two other members (Bob and Tom) saw the painting when they arrived, Ann didn’t go there second, either. So Ann arrived third. #3: Therefore, Bob arrived first, and Tom arrived second.

In summary, Bob arrived first. Tom got there next and the painting was still there, so Bob was not the thief, and neither was Tom. When Ann arrived, the painting was still there, but it was gone when she left. So Ann was the one who stole the painting. Chuck arrived last and discovered that the painting was gone.

Yes, Charlotte, you were right.

A NEW PROBLEM FOR YOU TO TACKLE

Another one from brilliant

GCDs

PHOTOGRAPHS

Although not as dramatic as a few weeks back, The Walks, King’s Lynn’s best known park, is still somewhat lacustrine, which has led to it receiving a most unusual visitor – an Oystercatcher, a wading bird which would normally visit a park and for which King’s Lynn would be the extreme South of its possible living area…

gull and oysercatcher
The oystercatcher in shot with a gull.
Oystercatcher
A close-up of the oystercatcher
Oystercatcher - vignetted
a second close-up of the oystercatcher
Oystercatcher BB
What my bird book has to say about the oystercatcher
Oystercatcher range
The Oystrecatcher’s range

As you will see there were a few other fine birds on show today…

Library display
Close examination of this display of local publicity materials just inside King’s Lynn Library, will make my contribution to it obvious – it has looked like that for some time.

lacustrine walksmudlump Imudlump IImudlump IIIBlack muscovyGullsMixed muscoviesMoorhenMoorhensmuscovies x 3Muscovy ducks x 4Muscovy ducksMusocyv ducks x 2Swan 1Swan abd drakeSwans and muscoviesSwans IISwans IIISwans IVSwans VSwanstwo muscovy ducksWater birds

 

A Thriller To Start The Women’s Ashes

An account of the opening salvos in the Women’s Ashes and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Unlike the original Ashes, which have been fought for since 1882, the Women’s Ashes is contested across multiple formats. The current scoring system awards two points for a win in a limited overs match, 1 for a no-result and 0 for a defeat, while the sole test match is worth four points. 

A Classic Match

The first of three ODIs that the women will be contesting took place at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Australia won the toss and put England in to bat. Several England players got starts but none managed to build a really substantial score, Lauren Winfield leading the way with 48. A total of 228 off 50 overs did not look like it was good enough, and in the end it wasn’t.

Eng;land bowled better than they had batted, and at 87-4 Australia were looking distinctly shaky. Alex Hartley failed to hold a return catch offered by veteran Alex Blackwell when the latter had 35 to her name, and Australia were behind the rate, Talia McGrath having occupied 26 balls for a score of 7. This missed chance and some aggression from Ash Gardner (27 off 18) made the difference, Australia getting home in the final over with Blackwell unbeaten on 67. 

A highlight of this match was the preponderance of quality spin bowling on show – in Gardner, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Jess Jonassen Australia had three high-class practitioners, while Hartley and the experienced Laura Marsh both bowled well for England.

More details and official reports here.

ON THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ‘WOMEN’S ASHES’ AND ‘ASHES’

This applies across the board, and not just to cricket between England and Australia, but this seems a suitable place to mention this. I see the distinction between these categories as that between a restricted (“Women’s”) and an open category – if a woman is able to play alongside the men she should have the right to do so – the existence of Women only teams is an acknowledgement that few women could because the men are generally larger and stronger. Similarly if a disabled athlete happens to be performing comparably to their able-bodied counterparts they should be able to compete alongside them. 

In terms of cricket I would expect that a woman who earned selection for ‘The Ashes’ as opposed ‘The Women’s Ashes’ would not be a specialist fast-bowler, but I could see spinners, wicket-keepers or batters earning selection.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some recent photographs…

FWContrasting ducksFarming implementMaids HeadMoorhens, Bawsey DrainMoorhen, Bawsey DrainGulls, Bawsey DrainMoorhen, The WalksSouth GateSouth Gate 2Swan, the NarSwans, The NarSwans, The Nar IIFlying birdsFlying birds IIShip and craneHH an RSCustom House

New flats
A new building among the old.

Thoresby CollegeMinsterTHTH2

What is Autism?

Some thoughts about autism provoked in a good way by anonymouslyautistic and a bad way by the folk at magiquiz.

INTRODUCTION

I am not going to attempt a scientific answer to the question in my title, merely to lay out some of my own thoughts. The original inspiration for this post was a post produced by anonymouslyautistic, titled “WHAT IS AUTISM – FROM AN AUTISTIC’S PERSPECTIVE” and brought to my attention by americanbadassactivistsAs readers of this blog will be aware I am branch secretary of the National Autistic Society’s West Norfolk branch as well as being autistic. 

 

WHAT AUTISM IS NOT

Among the things that autism is sometimes supposed to be but is not are:

  • A form of mental illness (more on this at the end of this section as you will see). 
  • A disorder
  • Something to be feared or worse still hated
  • Something that needs to be cured

I end this section with an example that absolutely shocked me when I saw it by way of twitter this weekend. I invite readers of this post to collectively identify everything they can find that is wrong with the formulation of the question below:

ableist question

If you click on the image you can go to the quiz, take it yourself and then post a comment (if you choose to do this please follow me in highlighting the problems with this question).

AUTISM AND ME

My unsuitability for front-line customer service and the difficulties I have with communication are down to autism. On the other side of the ledger my eye for detail, reflected in my photography among other things, my mathematical skills, my aptitude for working with computers and several other of my strongest attributes are also due to autism.

I will finish this section by reminding people that different does not necessarily mean less, and that we are autistic people – note the emphasis given to the second part of that designation.

PUZZLES

In this section I provide the solution to one puzzle and offer another for your inspection. Both are mathematical in nature. 

In ‘Midweek Mixture‘ I set the following puzzle:

The above table shows two putative sets of coin toss records, each for one coin tossed thirty times. Which is more like to be genuine based on what you can see?

a) series one
b) series two

To begin the solution, here is the table above with a column added:

coin tosses complete

You will see that the two sets of coin toss lists in the original problem were made up, but if you look at the results for the set of coin tosses I actually performed you will note that it looks much more like series two than series one – randomness is clumpier than we intuitively expect (the idea for this problem came from a book by Natalie Angier, in which she tells the story of a teacher who uses an experiment in which half of her class are assigned the task of inventing a series of coin tosses, and half of actually tossing coins and recording the result, while the teacher goes out of the room – and nearly always the teacher can tell the real from the fake). 

My new problem comes from the mathematical website brilliant:

octagon

PHOTOGRAPHS

As usual I end this post with some photographs, in this case featuring a family of swans I saw swimming along the Gaywood River yesterdary morning:

Swan familySwan family 2Swan family3Swan family 4Swan family 5young swanstwo swansyoung swanwhite swanwhite swan 2white swan 3Swansswans 2Swans 3

 

2017 Photographic Wall Calendar

A sneak preview of the 2017 Photographic Wall Calendar.

INTRODUCTION

As some of you know I created photographic wall calendars last year. I recently mentioned that I was going to do again this year. This morning my inbox contained an offer from Vistaprint that was too good to refuse, so the calendars will be arriving with me some time around October 20th.

THE FRONT COVER

This time, there will be no borders, and no added text. It will surprise few who have followed this blog recently to find out that I have chosen an Inlandsbanan picture for the front cover…

front-cover

The actual calendar will be much bigger than this of course.

THE MONTH PAGES

Here are the individual pages for each month…

jan

feb
This picture was taken quite recently, but I decided that it looks wintry enough for February.

maraprmay

june
This picture is one of my Swedish ones, but not inappropriate for the month.

julyaug

sep
This picture was taken on Heritage Open Day, which in King’s Lynn is always the second Sunday in September.
oct
Two pictures both from October 1st joined together.

nov

dec
Another two pictures from very recently joined together for this purpose.

 

Autism and Other Stuff

Some stuff about autism, some important links and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Although this post includes some links that are not specific to autism, and of course some photos, enough of it is autism related to warrant the first word of the title.

AN IMPORTANT EVENT ON MONDAY

This Monday an ‘autism positive’ event is taking place at the Theatre Royal in Norwich. I will be present in the dual capacity of autistic adult and branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk. As well as a display with full information about our branch we will be distributing leaflets about efforts to get some adult oriented events and activities going. Apart from the official NAS branding and header which  I copied and pasted from the website the leaflets are entirely my work…

leaflet-social-media-whole-doc
This is a screenshot of the whole document – two leaflets to the page.
leaflet-social-media-single-leaflet
This is a close up of a single leaflet.

Advertising attended to, the second part of this section relates to:

AUTISM AND EMPLOYMENT

First of all, here is the grim truth about autistic people and employment in the UK:

  • 75% of us are unemployed.
  • Others are employed in low paid and/ or part time work, so that 85% of us are classed as underemployed.

So, what can be done about this? Well, recruitment practices need to change and here is for me the single most important thing that could be done:

Abolish standard interviews, which place one in a position that one will never be in when in the job, making skills testing mandatory instead. Many autistic people however mujch preparation they put in cannot do themselves justice in interviews, while if you have them do the kind of work that they would be doing in the job they will fare much better, and you will learn not whether they can say the right things but whether they can actually do the work.

As a segue into the next section of the post, here is a link to a petition created by an autistic adult (Chris Packham), which calls on the Government to:

Introduce a moratorium on the hunting
of critically declining wading birds

LINKS

My first link in this section comes courtesy of the consumer group Which? who have managed to get the Consumer Rights Act to cover all travel sectors. Please read the full piece here.

My second link, courtesy of Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK is to a piece that demonstrates that Jeremy Corbyn’s investment program will cost less than the Tories current QE program.

I give the last word before the photographs to DPAC, who have prepared some online action to coincide with the Tory conference for the benefit of those who cannot make it to Birmingham but want to be part of the protest. Please click the link below to see how you can be part of…

ONLINE SHENANIGANS FOR THE TORY PARTY CONFERENCE

PHOTOGRAPHS

All the photographs below were taken yesterday…

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Having seen an abundance of cormorants where the Nar joins the Great Ouse it was a fine bonus to see these swans enjoying the Nar.

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To be able to capture this creature on camera was a huge bonus.