Plodging to the cricket
I'm usually a very 'glass half full' kinda girl, so when I tentatively looked out from our balcony this morning and saw that it WASN'T actually raining, I thought, 'YES, GET IN, the game will be ON!'
There was an occasional shower, and I didn't dare look too many times at the sky which was grey. Misty. Threatening. Ahhh it'll clear, it'll be fine.
The game was due to start at 4pm, so Eddie and I strolled off into town to find breakfast and coffee. We sat for ages watching the world go by with our ham and cheese croissant and coffee. Lots of hustle and bustle with people getting from A to B including Nasser Hussein strangely enough. Captain of the England men's team from 1999-2003. "Eeh there's Nasser," I said, slurping the last of my iced coffee.
Back to the ranch, and time to do a little bit of artwork with the new Sharpie pen I'd bought at the supermarket. Usually, the 'crowd' of supporters at any England women's game is made up of the player's families. But Eddie and I only have a tenuous link with Dani Hazell because she is a northerner like us. After being left out of the England pathway set up last year, this year Durham have finally been included as a new regional development centre (RDC) -so we thought we'd celebrate this with our flag!
So armed with the flags and a brolly, we were ready for the game. Yesterday's taxi driver from the Hoppings told us that it was too far to walk to the cricket ground, and no-one in their right mind would do it.
So off we set, on foot - with Google maps to guide us. Shortly into the journey, it started to rain. Actually, it lashed down, but undeterred, we strode on, the step counter looking healthier by the minute. Up and up and up into the tropical hills - hearts beating like drums and our whole bodies dripping with sweat.
50 minutes into our epic climb, we could see the floodlights of the Daren Sammy Stadium - peeping through the rain forest. We could even hear the faint sound of steel drums - guiding us in safely to our destination.
It was 3 quid to get in. Inside the stadium, there were little stalls selling beautiful Caribbean food. Chicken, fish, macaroni cheese, rice, potato salad...we were starving after our hike so ordered a bit of everything with a beer.
We took our seats in the stand along with a handful of other Brits and locals. We admired the stunning ground and backdrop whilst munching happily, and messily on our feast.
The trouble was, it was hoying down. The covers were like Olympic swimming pools, and the outfield was turning into a lake. A couple of the 'caged' England girls were having fun playing water polo with a little ball as the DJ boomed out reggae and the occasional "How are you feeeeeelinnnn'..."
I was feelin' surprisingly good thank you. A belly full of good food, glorious surroundings and 10,000 steps under my belt. My flags flapped damply in the breeze. I think Dani popped her head out the door to take a look for a second, and then the announcement came that the game was to be abandoned. The very first abandoned game in the history of the Womens World T20. And we were there.
As the Brits piled into their booked taxis, Eddie and I set out to plodge home in the torrential, biblical rain. The roads had turned to rivers. Eddie was like a drowned rat, wading through the gushing torrents. I, of course, had the brolly, so managed to maintain some degree of dignity.
We did, of course, LOVE IT.
It would be nice to watch just a little bit of leather on willow at some point this week. But hey ho if the rain decides to scupper things, then so be it. It'll take a whole lot more than a monsoon to dampen our spirits!