Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Just Not Cricket

I’ve been reading and enjoying Mark Pirie’s ‘A Tingling Catch: a Century of New Zealand Cricket Poems 1864-2009'. I’ve enjoyed watching the game down the decades, Lancaster Park, Seddon Park, the Basin Reserve. I’ve seen Walter Hadlee, Sutcliffe, Burtt, Motz, Richard Hadlee, Turner, Crowe et al down the years. Test matches are tests – of character, will, skill and ability.

It’s a hard game to explain though Harry Ricketts ‘How to Watch a Cricket Match’ does a fine job. In cricketing terms I’d call it a fine cover drive. Pirie begins with a poem from Brian Turner:
‘A game about which
you can know very little
and say anything
and be right sooner or later’

While Cyril Childs describes the progress of a cover drive.
'the speeding ball
rearranges the pigeons
         but slightly'

Geoff Cochrane’s poem “My Elderly Father Watching Cricket’ rang very appropriately:
“How can he sit there enjoying the cricket.
when there’s death to think about?’

The Canterbury earthquake dominates the nation’s thinking. The lack of casualties is miraculous. The consequences are mind-boggling. The whole infrastructure of a city fractured, home and work patterns shattered, nature’s insecurity revealing how fragile civilisation is. The State of Emergency has been extended for a week. But people pull together and will rebuild. I spoke too soon when I said the Cathedral was secure. Apparently there are doubts now. And this morning aftershock based on Lyttelton is scary. Poor people!

Cousin Sally lives in Darfield. Telegraph Rd runs from the township to the Main South Rd. About two/thirds of the way down the road the middle white line is now at the edge of the road where the fracture went through. Half a road is a measure of the shift.

Sally also reports that the stone Catholic church at Little River is badly damaged as the bell tower fell through the roof. It was a lovely old building not far from the cottage in which I grew up. It looked so solid and permanent. That bell was symbol of a country Sunday and the occasional wedding and funeral.

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