Tag Archives: cricket

Review of the Year

There are lots of these posts going around, so to prove my lack of originality here is mine.


Screenshot 2015-12-15 22.02.08

A subject that took over my blog for a few days in December was the #TieForHelena. An online friend of mine (we’ve never actually met in person) and fellow swimmer was attacked near her house because she was wearing a tie. As a community we wanted to support her and hopefully give her the confidence to wear a tie again. Here’s the original post outlining this: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/tieforhelena/

What actually happened was that it seemed to strike a chord with people and it turned out to be quite big. Here’s the summary post I did: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/that-went-well/


About to start mile 20 - not happy!

About to start mile 20 – not happy!

There were two main events that were the focus of 2015 for me. The first was back in May and was the 2swim4life event. A simple premise of swimming a mile on the hour, every hour, for 24 hours. I trained hard for it and had great support on the day, here’s the write-up I did: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/2swim4life-summary/. That said, it took me a while to get my focus back again: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/if-found-please-return-to/

Swimming the Channel

Screenshot 2015-08-26 14.08.43One thing that did help me to regain my focus was swimming the channel on behalf of the charity Aspire. This was a channel crossing with a difference as it was to be done in the pool over the course of 12 weeks. I decided to add another element to the challenge and do it in 22 days: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/swimming-the-channel/. I completed it successfully and as you can see I was effusive in my final write-up: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/ive-done-it/.

It’s not too late to sponsor me if you have any spare money lying around after Xmas: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/

I didn’t do a channel relay this year (although there may be one on the cards for 2016), but I did write some of my thoughts on them for aspiring relay swimmers: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/channel-relay-thoughts/

Bala Disaster

2015 wasn’t all good though. I had my first ever DNF at Bala this year – and to make it worse I wasn’t swimming, but kayaking and had to pull my swimmer out of the water (sorry again Rach): https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/shit-shit-shit-shit-shit/. Fortunately we did get a swim in the following day: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/sunday-was-better/.


A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

I also tried to play cricket again in 2015, for the first time in over 25 years. As you can see from these posts, it wasn’t a complete success: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/crickets-hard-work/; https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/cricket-hmmm/


But at the end of the summer, I did treat myself to a swimming trip to Crete. It was a trip organised by the wonderful Swimtrek and I met some great new swimming friends: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/more-on-crete/. I’d definitely recommend one if you’re thinking about it.

Not a bad 2015 all in all. And I still think that 2016 will be even better.



Filed under Charity, Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming

Cricket… hmmm

Well, it turns out that I am rubbish at cricket.

Perhaps that’s not altogether unexpected as it’s about 30 years since I last played, but it’s still hard to have the truth so brutally revealed to you.

Actually, I’m going to blame my son for all of this. He started going to the kids’ sessions at the local cricket club and it was great fun to take him and then sit in the sun with a pint in hand watching them all play. After the sessions he would want to have some more practice so I would bowl for him a bit. As I was doing that I was giving him tips and hints about his batting, or advising him about his bowling technique. And to be honest I sounded like I knew what I was talking about (or at least I did to me).

Time to put my money where my mouth was. I went to the adult nets session and didn’t disgrace myself, so I put myself forward for selection.

It turns out that on the actual cricket pitch things are a bit different.

I’ve now played two matches and the stats don’t make great reading:

– Matches lost – 2
– Over bowled – 0
– Catches dropped – 2 (although 1 was genuinely only a half chance at best)
– Fielding errors – 2 (at least)
– Balls faced – 7 (in two innings!)
– Runs scored – 0
– Pulled muscles – 2

My batting stats. Ouch!

My batting stats. Ouch!

It’s not the kind of stats that light up Wisden.

In the first match I thought I fielded ok. I dropped a good chance for a catch in the deep, and also had a very hard chance that I was just pleased to get a hand to. But other than that I ran about quite well and made what I felt were a few decent stops in the field.

When it came to batting I hit my first ball straight to the square leg fielder, but it was a good contact. But then in the next over I got over excited and pushed an easy catch back to the bowler. I wasn’t too disappointed as I could rationalise it as being a bit rusty – but at least I hit the ball cleanly and can [kind of] do it.

The second match was awful though. In the very first over in the field I chased a ball to the boundary and within about five paces I felt two muscles go – the very top of my thing on my right leg and my gluteus in my left leg – or if you’re not an expert in anatomy, my bum muscle! I spent the next few hours hobbling round the field trying to do the best I possibly could, which wasn’t very good at all.

Then when it came to batting I faced three balls. The first I confidently left to the off side. The second I confidently left to the on side. The third I swung at, missed completely and ended up being stumped! I didn’t even hit a single bloody ball!

Absolutely rubbish. And now that’s it for about seven weeks as swimming stuff, holidays and childcare take over.

Having said all of that, I might be rubbish, but I loved it. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and at times I would pinch myself that I was actually a part of a ‘picture postcard’ scene. So if they’ll have me back I think I’ll give it another go in a few weeks time.

A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

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Filed under Thoughts

Cricket’s hard work…

My son has joined the local cricket club and takes part in their Friday evening training sessions, so I get the really arduous job of taking him up there and then sitting in the sun reading my book or chatting to other parents, with a pint in my hand. It really is tough!

But as my son gets more and more enthusiastic I found myself throwing a few balls for him to hit and then trying to help him with his technique. I don’t claim to be any good at cricket, but listening to myself it sounded like I knew what I was talking about, so I thought I’d put that theory to the test.

Despite it being close to 30 years since I last played I thought I’d give it a go and so I went to the adult nets session last night.

I’m pleased to say that I didn’t embarrass myself.

They had the bowling machine on, which they kindly turned down to low speed for me, and I missed the first few balls bowled to me. But once I started to move my feet I managed to hit a few. Some of them might even have turned into runs in a match. Following that I then had a bowl and while I didn’t take any wickets, I didn’t launch the ball at anyone’s head either. In fact I really enjoyed it.

I’m stiff today though!

I really didn’t do that much in the grand scheme of things, but what I did do was use muscles that don’t normally see much action – or at least not in that way! I’ll be back though.

– – –

On the swimming front, I’ve definitely got my mojo back and am enjoying trying to increase my speed endurance. I’m doing a pyramid of 100m – 200m – 400m – 200m – 100m with a set time per 100m (at the moment a not too stressful 1:55, but I’ll lower that as I get into it more). On top of that, I’m going to be getting back into the lake when I can.

I’ve not got a big year of events this year, so I’ll be aiming to ‘tick over’ while improving technique and my base speed.


Filed under Swimming