Friday, January 5


While we are on sports, English cricket is just one of those things American ex-pats will never understand. It is not anything like baseball, tho a round ball, bat and silly outfit is involved. There is also base running and pitching (known as "bowling"). There's even a catcher called a "wicket keeper." Any case, the game really is a means for the former British colonies to trounce England, which is exactly what happened in Australia this week during the coveted Ashes. For the first time since 1920, Australia defeated England 5-0 during the test match - a "whitewash," as it is called here with much despair. To understand what this means, imagine being a Chicago Cubs fan awaiting the World Series. Or Cal going to the Rose Bowl. Last year, England's historic victory at the same tournement at Lord's Cricket Ground in St John's Wood resulted in the players binge-drinking for 48 hours and meeting the queen pasty and hung-over, all of which was gleefully covered by the Fleet Street rags. Highs and lows indeed.

In other news, the 23-year-old man who won £9.7 million on the lottery four years ago has admitted threatening commuters on a train. Michael Carroll, who has a lengthy crimminal record, became abusive after being told to stop playing his music. Magistrates in Cambridge gave him a two-year community order.

I leave for the US tomorrow, where I will visit San Francisco, Boston and New York for work and fun. Viva la vida!