February 1, and already my thoughts are turning to the thwack of leather on willow, the polite applause of the Panama-hatted spectators snoozing in their deckchairs, the...who am I kidding? Village cricket, thank God, has probably never been as it is commonly portrayed, at least not round here, but after 24 years of playing it my enthusiasm remains undimmed. Even the first hint of spring sends me searching out the linseed oil and getting to work on my bat.
Anyway, my good friend Colin Seditas, whose own career as a youthful tearaway fast bowler has left significant psychological scars on several local batsmen (one brutal evening of 'chin music' at Gracedieu sticks in the memory), has just opened Scotland's first specialist cricket shop, Cow Corner. It caters for all your cricketing needs, with features including a handy bat selector, as well as all manner of equipment, books and games. I'll be returning to it on this blog in a couple of weeks, but for now, salivate over those lovely Newberys!
Oddly, just seconds after I posted this, a mail arrived from Poetry Nottingham, with the proofs for the forthcoming issue, including my poem Sweet Spot, which is at least partly about buying a cricket bat. Weird coincidence.