“Linderrrrrr!” Shouts Graham from upstairs “where’s mi lucky DCC pants?”
I ignore him as I make my own preparations for today’s big bust up against Toddy. I hadn’t been able to do the shopping, so it was left to someone else [who shall remain nameless] to replenish my cellar. Uncorking an innocuous-looking Frizzante, my mind was taken to the rolling hills of Treviso and those hard-working Latin hunks handpicking Glera grapes for my delectation. Flutes don’t do it for me, so I decanted a good half pint into a Double Diamond barrel glass that I once robbed from the New Gardeners. The liquid popped and fizzed, inviting a good slurp, but goodness gracious me, what was this muck? It tasted like strainings of the Devils jockstrap. That said, there was no way I was letting a full bottle go to waste, so I added a dash of Vimto and some piquancy to proceedings whilst mi laddo loudly shuffled through his drawers throwing together a chairman-like outfit.
The newly-christened ‘Fernhurst Fizz’ cocktail was dispatched sharpish which took me nicely on to the shivers stage, where one begins to lose feeling in one’s legs. I like to be duly anaesthetised before hitting Birch Hall as, to be frank, cricket is a bit of mystery and Graham drops me faster than a Bombay breakfast, off talking cricket to anyone who cares to listen.
Upon arrival, I meet up with my pals to peruse the extensive wine list, wetting our whistles with a pint of San Miguel whilst everyone disappeared outside to watch the match.
“who’s winning?” pipes up Eunice.
“We haven’t started yet” counters our recently appointed sommelier, William J Atkinson, who was busily rearranging the beer mats.
After some pfaffing about, Darwen were to bat first so I decided to go for a nosey as T20 is a supposedly racier form of the game. Well, our first mon (think he is called Ameer or Whammo or something like that) didn’t even hit the first three balls, he just kept pointing his bat at the sky. “Stuff this” I said to the ladies, and we promptly returned to the warmth of the bar. All the men congregated in their usual position outside the doors and cheered a half-tonnage from Geoff Clarkes lad and rapid 45 by a lovely young man from South Africa as we reached 164 by around 7.30.
Right, half time and it’s down to business with a bottle of the ever-popular Spumante DOC which has a long-lasting perlage and great for chasing down a bag of pork scratchings. We have a natter whilst a load of blokes in blue outfits jockey around on the verdant field. Coming out with only £7.25 in my purse, I had spent up already, so I seek out Mr Chairman for a modest emolument. He is unusually hard to find, but I eventually corner him in the mens khazi. Before releasing any alcohol vouchers, I know that I must feign interest in the match.
“where are we in the league?”
“has the professional had a haircut?”
“did you turn off the tumble dryer before we left?”
With Graham’s morale and will to continue our chat evaporated, I saunter off with a pony in mi pocket. Nice one…to the bar ladies! Thinking I wear the head of an ass, the very inexperienced barperson tried to fob us off with a cheap magnum of IGT-Veneto, otherwise known to the Italians as ‘Rimozione della vernice’ (paint stripper). Aye aye William, you’ll have to be getting up a lot earlier to catch out this Mrs Chairman! That said, we weren’t going to let a full bottle go to waste and in the absence of Vimto, we sloshed it back and waited for the hallucinations to start.
All seven dwarves rolled into one, Raymond, drifted by and asked us if Darwen were winning. With a grin now permanently etched on my face, he took that in the affirmative and downed another pint of Hopstar in rather premature celebration as by this stage, I hadn’t a clue who we were playing, never mind the state of the game.
As it happens, Darwen won. I think Chris Rigby scored a few points and Tony Russell won some catches but the Prosecco was taking it’s toll. Observing my confused state and reddened chops, cheeky bugger Mick Douglas remarked that I looked like a haemorrhoid in designer clothes. Well Dougie, it was a maxi from Primarni actually, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Still, time for another bottle and with Grahams £25 still burning a hole in my purse, it was time to raise the bar with a Superiore DOCG. I have it on good authority that Wordy had toured the North West’s Lidl’s and Aldi’s to find this delight from the town of Conegliano. By this time, it could have been turpentine for all I knew, but we weren’t going to let a full bottle to waste and it was duly dispatched by the time our taxi arrived. Response must have lowered their cabs of late because it seemed quite difficult to alight back at the ranch and I quite literally fell out onto the pavement. No tip for you Mr Taxi Man!
Anyway, well done the Towers and Man of the Match Jordan Clarke. Mrs Chairman looks forward to sampling the Prosecco with you all next time.
Love, hugs and kisses
Updated 22:50 - 3 Jul 2017 by Darius Ainslie