353 days ago

Woodlarks Photo Article: The Rogue Bloggers make it to Lunch at the farm shop at 12.03 (19 miles)

It’s 12.03 and the old man’s team has reached lunch break at19 miles. Just 15 to go. Lucian listens to the cricket, I lag at the back trying not to think about feet or legs. I suspect Group Two, the Health Nazis,  are catching up fast. Onwards and more onwards. We are, with gift, aid at £26,000 You can help Woodlarks with a donation here.


524 days ago

Michael Vaughan vs Shamima Begum – why the BBC does not speak for me, part 567

Mr Vaughan used to captain Yorkshire and England at cricket and until last year worked as a commentator for the BBC at which point he was suspended following allegations from the whistleblower and anti Semite Azeem Rafiq that Vaughan made a racist remark to Asian players in 2009. That allegation made by the anti-semite and alleged sex pest is denied by Vaughan. On the other hand, Ms Begum left the UK to join ISIS, admitted to watching and applauding beheadings in Syria and condoned the attack on the Manchester area which saw a raft of young girls killed.


619 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - Books by my family, too many missing and the underpants man

A kind reader sent Joshua some old fashioned postcards of railway trains. Half of them are now framed and sit at the top of the landing. Beneath them are just some of the books written by family members. One has a very famous pair of pants.


641 days ago

Voting in the MCC special ballot

When I was 16 my father arranged for me to join the Marylebone Cricket Club waiting list and a few cold winters later I found myself a member of the world’s most famous cricket club. These days the waiting list is an eternity long. As I am allergic to London, I have not been to a match in years. My in-laws are the only Indian family on earth with no interest in cricket but I keep on forking out the Country membership fee on the basis that one day I shall retire and head down to snooze in the sun watching a spot of cricket at Lords.


1109 days ago

Cancelled by the Wokerati: Youthful error - odd one out contest

Here they are, four folks who did something a long time ago and which is the odd one out and why? Your delightful quartet in this cancel culture era are: East London pin-up now resident in Syria Shamima Begum, LA Resident Harry Windsor, now ex England cricketer Ollie Robinson, and Kamau Bobb of Google. The common thread is teenage regret.


1302 days ago

Nobody’s Kingdom the last book by the late Dr TJ Winnifrith published today

As I recounted in my non eulogy eulogy my father published around 20 books on subjects ranging from the Brontes, George Orwell, the philosophy of leisure, Greece old and new and the Vlachs.  One of the highlights of the last weeks of his life was the first copy of his last book arriving in Shipston. That book is published today.


1802 days ago

England did not win the greatest cricket match ever because of diversity!

For some reason, my wife’s family seem to be the only Indians on this planet who do not give two hoots about cricket. After seven years with the Mrs, I still found myself yesterday trying to explain what is a four, a six and an overthrow. None the less, as yesterday afternoon went on we had two TVs going at my mother-in-law’s house: one for tennis and one for cricket. Gradually even the Tennis goggle box became a cricket one as my mother and father in law became engrossed by the World Cup Final, without doubt the most exciting ODI ever.


2274 days ago

Double delight: Two videos of Australian cricket captains crying like babies

So Steve Smith got caught cheating. The man who was a bad and tastless winner ( like all Aussie cricketers) got caught and now pleads forgiveness for what he will soon be calling a moment of madness. He says it was "an error of judgement" Tough luck pal, Australia cheated in the Ashes and you knew about that too as you diod about cheating in prior tests in SA this year. Your regret is not for the cheating but for being caught and a life ban and end of the millionaire lifestyle is exactly what you deserve. 


2278 days ago

The scale of cheating in Australian cricket will come to horrify us all

The lead opinion piece in today's Times newspaper explains how academic success is not down to the choice of school but is genetic. The lead sports story is about how a nation where most folks are descended from convicted criminals has been caught cheating on an industrial scale at its national sport. Discuss.


2536 days ago

Photo Article - It's just cricket

In England life is so clinical and clean and removed from nature. Our food is covered in plastic. Seeing your cat wander through the cat flap counts as a wildlife encounter. How different life is for me in Kambos, Greece.


2888 days ago

Good News - my father's membership of the Conservative Club approved

Gosh, the Conservative Club in Brislington is efficient. It was only on Wednesday that my father and I trouped in to complete his application. On Thursday another visit as Dad thinks the Cider is cheap and enjoys a place where the only newspaper is the Sun and with cricket on the TV.

By Saturday an email arrives


3079 days ago

Midsomer Murders New Series - Political Correctness gone mad?

My father and I are both great fans of Midsomer Murders. Okay the plots are ludicrous but both Inspector Barnaby's have been interesting characters and the new Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) has a terribly funny dog. Ok I know it is fairly sad to admit this and so perhaps I should out Adam Reynolds as being another closet Midsomer fan just for the sake of solidarity.

My Mrs and my step mother regard Midsomer as terrible. I am not sure what Mrs Reynolds thinks but the Mrs/Step mum point out that the plots are ludicrous and all too predictable and frankly not very interesting. I suppose they do have a point but there is a comfort in the familiarity of it all.

The Mrs/step mum have also criticised Midsomer


3791 days ago

Ireland & West Ham both win on the same weekend – when did that last happen?

As you might have gathered, teams that gain my support on the sports field can rarely be described as consistent models of success. West Ham, Northants CC, Ireland & Ulster at rugby, Eire at football and England at Cricket. The less said about the last on that list the better – for now I have decided that supporting the England women’s cricket team is less painful.

My big loves are, for my sins, Irish rugby and West Ham. For the former I can blame my father. For the latter I have only myself to blame. But this weekend both Ireland and West Ham won. I really cannot remember the last time this happened. 

At this stage of the season I usually have a conversation with God on the matter of sport. Heavenly father, will you allow West Ham to avoid relegation and as a trade-off I will give you that Ireland will not win the six nations. But would you mind terribly if we won the Triple Crown? I sense that God is not really interested in such discussions (although why he should have anything against Irish rugby is beyond me, surely he cannot support England?) and thus Ireland will probably not win the Triple Crown and as for West Ham? If the appeal against the red card shown to Horseface (Andy Carroll) on Saturday is successful – as I think it should be – we actually looked like a half decent side. 

Okay we are still in the 3rd relegation spot ( 18th) but in theory just one win would put us 11t


3821 days ago

The cruel wit of a new ShareProphets writer

An old friend from my Investors Chronicle days will be joining ShareProphets next week – an expert writer on property, insurance and (oddly) biotech, He is also a bit of a sports nut. We have spent long hours discussing cricket and soccer. Sadly he supports Spurs but nobody is perfect. 

In his New Year greeting to me he wishes the best of luck to England’s Cricketers and the footballers at West Ham United. An apt if cruel pairing.

I wonder if any other side could be added to that list of the biggest flops of Autumn/Winter 2013? I really am struggling to think of one that entered its current campaign with such high hopes and has proved such an abject failure at every single level. The Nigella Lawson PR machine?  The Ship of Fools global warming nutters trapped by record Antarctic ice? 

Any other suggestions?


3959 days ago

Northants wins!

In 1976 my family was living in a small village on the borders of Northants, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire called Byfield. Buy a mile one way and a mile and a half the other way we were just inside Northants. And one day I was told by my Uncle Chris (who was staying) and my father that we must all listen to the radio as something historic was happening.


4337 days ago

Reasons to celebrate: Australia trails Ethiopia at Olympics

The Olympics has caught fire for me at last. Do not get me wrong, I have nothing much against Australians. Okay, half of them are descended from convicts and most of the rest claim to be Greek. They are a bunch of philistines. And you would not want many of them (apart from Clive James, Germaine Greer and perhaps Peter Tatchell) in your pub quiz team. Why is it that the few really smart Australians feel the need to emigrate?

But generally they are an okay bunch. It is just that when they win at sport they are insufferably bad winners. And, damn it, they are normally pretty successful on the sporting field. I reckon that in 44 years on this planet I have suffered enough Australian sporting triumphalism for one lifetime and so I admit to taking an extreme vicarious pleasure in Aussie sporting humiliation.


4388 days ago

June Extreme Weather Competition

Another Master Investor 2012 DVD on offer in this week’s competition. Simply tweet me the answers and first correct answers wins. You may have noticed that it is raining a lot. I gather that during the next three days we will see rainfall equivalent to all of what is normally expected in June.

This heavy rainfall is – like the drought that proceeded it – all part of global warming. Not.

On June 6th in the not so distant past a country cricket match had to be called off. The reason (and this is a Trivial Pursuit question) was why? The answer is “snow stopped play.” Presumably the year was one before global warming was such an issue. Well what year was it and which two teams were playing?

Answers to @tomwinnifrith


4394 days ago

Sarfraz Nawaz – A great influence on me

At the top of this blog are the men and women who have, I think, had a great influence on making me what I am today. Folks I admire more than any others outside my immediate family. My father would undoubtedly be top of the list were immediate family to be included. The only cricketer there is Sarfraz Nawaz of Pakistan and, critically for me, Northants. Chatting to another key influencer today (my uncle, Christopher Booker) we discussed among other matters our memories of Sarfraz.

The first cricket match I listened to on the radio (we had no TV) was the Gillette Cup Final of 1976 between Northants and Lancashire. At the time we lived in a small village (Byfield) two miles from Warwickshire and three from Oxfordshire so just inside Northamptonshire. And so my father and Uncle Chris ( who was staying with us) insisted that we all listen to the game.