That’s better. Oppressing clouds over head, scent of rain in the air and a disappearing burning orb. Perfect conditions for teaching. No longer do I melt holes under my shirt armpits nor need a towel to mop my forehead. We now have a proper English summer. And I’m going to take full advantage. No need to dreamily gaze out the window. Instead full focus on me, this chalk and that board. Lessons are a go go; here’s some singing, cage fighting, DIY and more…
1) Climate Studies
According to the Oxford English Dictionary climate is, ‘the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general over a long period.’ As opposed to day to day weather changes, climate is in for the long haul. Those in the know will recall the Azores anticyclone above North Africa, where a high pressure system blocked the rains from reaching countries such as Mali. Hence seasons of unceasing drought ensured. Long spells of desperate, life threatening conditions. Something like 14mm of rain in thirty years. Why yes class, I did achieve an A* in Geography GCSE.
A side who cannot cope in the English climate is India. Timed with perfection, away went the blistering sun and cracked pitches. In came a sweeping wind and monsoon rainfall. A side who can play in all conditions? Give me a break. India are about as confident batting on green pitches, as Michael Fish was in predicting a storm. One for the elder reader there.
Virat, Rahul, Pujara, Rahane, Karthik. All outstanding test match players. Pujara averages over 50 for gawd’s sake. Each blown away by Jimmy and Broad. Particularly Murali Vijay who Anderson spread thickly onto his bloomer toast. Like lemon, Vijay curdled in the swinging climate. His was a sticky end, bagging a pair. Yes the bowling was intense and in the right place but some of those shots, were as loose as Stokes’ fists on a standard night out. The slope at Lords compounded with the swinging ball, ensured no Indian batsman looked certain where his off stump was.
Didn’t take Sherlock to figure out where the stump was. Hurtling towards Jonny Bairstow. India must knuckle down and play sensibly. Otherwise like a hurricane, they will be caught up in a whirlwind of destruction and obliterated in the marvellous English climate.
Nightingales, Mercury, Boyle. All know how to make the heart sing. To reach that crescending high note, before swooping down and taking the listener on a journey of soporific satisfaction. To be a world class singer you need a combination of natural talent and hard work. Playing the part of Fagin in a school production, I was reliably informed by the music teacher that, ‘once your voice breaks, you’ll have a strong singing voice.’ Bollocks. Absolute bollocks. I mean don’t get me wrong class, I was sensational in ‘Oliver.’ Channelling Ron Moody, Fagin warbled with the evil malice of a man who, instead of singing, spoke the song lines. That music teacher needs to review their situation. Can a fellow be a music teacher all his life? I think he better think it out again.
The golden nugget of knowledge there is that hard work only gets you so far. Had I natural talent, you’d certainly not find me attempting to light a spark in the clouded vacant teenager eyes I see before me. As a result the world would be my oyster. West End, Broadway, Hollywood. There’s no telling where singing could take me. Certainly far away from picking a pocket or two in Manchester’s fashionable Piccadilly Gardens. Stardom would be my middle name.
In reality it’s James. But I am lucky to share that with the star of England’s musical. James Anderson. Like Matt Willis in ‘Wicked’ Anderson put in a performance that made the ball sing. Match figures of 9-43 are mesmerising. Jimmy is the wizard of his trade. India lacked brains, heart and courage because of his lethal first innings spell of 5-20. Facing batsmen have about as much chance picking the out swinger as Javert does in outsmarting Jean Valjean.
Backed up by a rousing supporting cast, Anderson continued his twilight ascension. No matter how many times you watch him in action, you find yourself awed. Number one bowler in the world at the age of 36? Elton John, you can sit down now, there’s a new rocket man in town.
Throughout history there has been an oppositional theory to architects and their designs. It goes something like this. Basically the most boring, drab buildings are always designed by the most wacky, crazy people. For example, Stonehenge is a pile of grey stones. Boring right? But the druids who created it were some of the most drugged up, wild and messed up kids of the era. Conversely the Ancient pyramids are colossal, impressive structures. Yet the Egyptian architects were more likely to kiss a cat, than get off with a MILF on a night out. It’s the same in today’s skyscraper world. The team who designed the Burj Khalifa, which is 823 metres tall? Fans of flower pressing, every single one.
Appropriating this logical theory we come to the architecture of mills. Built to produce flour, or transfer water into energy, mills are fairly boring buildings. Many have fallen into rubble. Some stay preserved at National Trust properties. But all look dismal. Consequently we must presume the architects are exciting individuals. And you know what? We’d be right.
For in a crucial Vitality Blast fixture last night, Tymal Mills secured victory with a hat trick! Yes Glamorgan were sinking in their run chase of 187, but Mills ensured the end provided some spectacular fireworks. Charging in like the demon architect his is, Mills had Salter caught behind, before clattering Timm Van Der Gugten’s stumps. As the crowd exclaimed in anticipation, Tymal burst through the defence of Michael Hogan and victory was secured. Scintillating stuff. Mills ensured Sussex are still in biting distance of qualifying. And all because of the ‘Architect Theorem.’
4) Cage Fighting
Ah the noble sport of cage fighting. Scrawny guys and gals, plucked off the streets and sent to rip each other apart. Like cock fighting, but without the… nope seems identical. Somebody who may make a career change into the cage is one Ben Stokes. I mean we’ve already penned his nickname; the ‘Bristol Brawler.’ Now we just have to decide his walk on music. How about ‘Town Called Malic’ or ‘Club Tropicana.’ Come to think of it, right now the music circulating through his skull is probably ‘Freedom.’
For Stokesy can walk once again. He has been found not guilty by the Bristol Crown Court jury. As such his ginger head is free to roam the streets of England in the early morning. Closing his eyes with relief, Ben has remained poker face throughout the trial. Now though he can transform into the emotional machine that ripped through India’s batting at Edgbaston. Added to the squad for Trent Bridge, Stokes cannot rest completely at ease for there is still the internal punishment. The Cricket Discipline Committee will decide over the upcoming weeks.
What’ll it be? A yearlong ban, like Warner and Smith? Perhaps a slap on the wrist fine? Never afraid to voice his opinion Vaughan has stated that Stokes has already served a match punishment in missing the Ashes. Although problem is that technically that was no punishment; merely the ECB not picking a player under police investigation. Now it has to be deemed if he brought the game into disrepute. Which, let’s face it he did. How can brawling in the streets at 2am, midway through a series, NOT be disreputable. Putting himself in that position was irresponsible and a poor example to youngsters. Therefore the crux of the issue though is his social activities; it’s not the first time he’s been caught late night drinking. A change in his mentality; stern dressing down; curfew and perhaps even a psychologist. Those are better options for England’s all-rounder.
Either that or prepare to see him in a cage, strangling some cocks in the near future.
Final lesson of the day class comes in DIY. Or maybe that should mire accurately be retitled DNDIY. Do Not Do It Yourself. I refer of course to exiled builder Steve Smith, who this week returned to the pinnacle of ICC batting rankings. Despite having not played since January. With Virat Kohli scoring a mere 40 runs at Lords, somehow he has slipped behind Smith to second. Apparently the scoring is based on a ‘sophisticate moving average.’ Hence point tallies will increase if performances better past results and decrease if they decline.
But if you don’t play… you neither gain, nor lose points. Cleaver Stevie, upon realising India were travelling to England (where Kohli always fails) allowed the Aussies to be caught cheating, so his ban would occur in 2018. Therefore Virat would lose points facing Anderson, whilst Smith increased his lead. By doing absolutely nothing Steve Smith is the best batsman in world cricket.
Cheats never prosper? Above all this lesson proves otherwise class. Oh and here’s a sneak peek at the answers to the A Level test you have yet to sit…
As I wait for the investigation into my teaching methods, you can get out of my sight. Homework is to measure the rainfall, watch Les Mis and start a fight club. The first rule of which is… never mention my name. I’ll be in the pub while you beat each other up. Class dismissed!