Summer in the City.
A steaming hot day in London was the order of the day yesterday. we kicked it off with street food in Camden Market, followed by a walk up the Regents canal- a bohemian, arty area in parts that was fascinating to walk.
The start of the canal walk is right by the market, over the bridge. The path along the Grand Union Canal takes you along the northern edge of Regent’s Park, right through London Zoo, where the wild dogs and bird cages line the walk for a short way.
The canal opens out into the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice.
So how did Little Venice get it’s name. Two theories abound. One is that when Robert Browning’s wife, Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, died in 1861, he returned from Italy and moved to Warwick Crescent. Local history has it that Browning referred to
this area as “little Venice’. Another theory has it that Lord Byron
named it as a joke – no one knows for sure. Victorian writer Anne Thackeray Ritchie, a friend
of Browning’s described the canal as
“touched by some indefinite romance, cool and deep’. I certainly like to believe so. Although I wouldn’t want to walk there after dark. A bit spooky and unsettling.
While we were in the area we took a quick glance at Warwick Avenue…
Also Lords Cricket Ground.
There’s a breathless hush in the close to-night Ten to make and the match to win A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play, and the last man in. And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat. Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame, But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote “Play up! Play up! And play the game!”
Sir Henry Newbolt
We said a brief ‘hello’ to Eros- the Greek god of erotic love-in Piccadilly Square.
Had a drink in The Nags Head in Covent Garden .
And finished the evening off at Kinky Boots the concert, showing at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Last train home saw us getting back to the South Coast at 2am, tired but having had a great day in, in my opinion, the greatest city in the world .
“You don’t win or lose the games because of 11 you select. You win or lose with what those 11 do on the field.”
A key part of cricket is the pavilion- the main building in which the players usually change and the main location for watching the cricket match for members and others.
It’s also the epitome of Englishness- the place where the ‘cricket teas’ are served. Pots of tea, sandwiches, sausage rolls, scones, cream and jam and of course cake. Summertime personified.
The 2020 cricket season is now over, for what it was worth this year, in England. Let’s hope village cricket has a better ‘run’ in 2021.
The Gentleman’s Game
There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night—
Ten to make and the match to win—
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
‘Play up! play up! and play the game! ‘
The sand of the desert is sodden red,—
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; —
The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
‘Play up! play up! and play the game! ‘
This is the word that year by year,
While in her place the school is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind—
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!
By Sir Henry Newbolt.
W.G.Grace and Sheffield Park.
W.G. Grace, English amateur cricketer who established and popularised the game of cricket . Born: 18 July 1848,Died: 23 October 1915. Test debut (cap 24): 6 September 1880 v Australia.
He was important in the development of the sport and widely believed to be one of its greatest players.
He was good friends with Lord Sheffield of Sheffield Park, now a National Trust property. He played for the Lord Sheffield XI many times home and away.
If you visit the property today you can see the cricket pitch and the foundations of the original players pavilion and the ladies pavilion. Also the original rollers that rolled the pitch and the oak tree that Grace hit ‘full toss’ when hitting a ‘six’ in July 1883.