London

Cricket: SURvMID T20 and Day 2 of ENGvIRE by 3.1

As I make my way to Lord’s this evening for Middlesex v Surrey T20, I’ve just remembered to check in on some of the very interesting matches I’ve been at over the last few weeks, especially with the Lord’s Ashes Test looming next week (for which I have tickets to Day 1).

The penultimate Tuesday in July saw us up in Patch’s office as usual for one of the Surrey T20 fixtures, though this was to be a London Derby against my beloved Middlesex.

AB de Villiers heads out to bat, but he was dismissed rather cheaply a few overs later.

The amazing view from the CricViz box in the Bedser Stand

Having set a reasonable score, the Middlesex fielding then slogged through the humidity of the evening to choke Surrey’s batting chase for what was a very memorable win away.

Middlesex took the 37-run win against Surrey, finishing up 209/3 (Surrey couldn’t make the chase and finished 172/9)

Meanwhile, on what was set to be one of the hottest days in London, Patch and I headed to Lord’s for Day 2 of the England v Ireland Test.

The morning session was brutal. The sun didn’t let up once and it was 38°C before noon. Patch ended up abandoning his seat in Edrich Upper for an air-conditioned one in the media centre (as he had his ECB accreditation with him). That didn’t stop Ireland’s Tim Murtagh (who also plays for Middlesex) taking a few wickets though.

England fought back admirably, with the Adam Leach having a good knock (though not good enough to be picked for England for the first Ashes Test). The clould cover (and respite from the sun) came over in time for around tea time, however this followed a change in the weather and thunderstorms in the area(!), which eventually meant the match had to be abanoned!

The view from Edrich Upper Stand before the floodlights came on

For the home T20 game tonight against Surrey, we will be in the Grand Stand Upper. A bit more square of the wicket than I’m used to, but always good for a change! Hoping for a Middlesex win, obviously!

London: Shangri-La by 3.1

I was told to meet at London Bridge at 15:00 on Friday 19th July and to bring an overnight bag. It was for a surprise to say thank you for all of the days that I was home alone whilst Patch was working away on the Cricket World Cup.

What I wasn’t prepared for was a room with a view on the 42nd Floor of The Shard:

I tried really hard to shrug off my shock and suprirse, but I was genuinely overwhelmed. What a surprise. Even after a good 2-3 hours of staring out of the windows, I still couldn’t believe where I was. There was a whole lot more waiting too as it turned out we had a reservation for dinner at Hutong on the 33rd Floor.

The food was amazing.

Half a duck to share, with freshly-made pancakes and lovely ‘Make A Wish’ cocktails

Shredded chicken with steamed buns

The first course of duck is carved at the table and served

The duck was served as two courses, where the remaining duck came back as a re-imagined dish.

Chocolate tart with mandarin ice cream

After dinner, we headed up to the highest hotel bar in Europe, GŎNG at the Shangri-La for a few drinks.

Lovely foil on the cocktail menu, with little facts detailing the insipiring inventions that inspired the drinks

Nothing could really prepare me for the view from the hotel room. I had time to gaze out of it for a few hours before dinner, but it was equally amazing when the light was fading and the lights of London were clicking on.

Patch had made sure I had a good view of the trains. We shared a bath whilst watching the city below us and nothing could remove the surrealness of the situation. Magical.

I watched out of the window for hours, until I eventually fell asleep. It reminded me of the time I’d stayed in the Park Tokyo Hotel in Japan, falling asleep with the slow blinking of lights on the tops of buildings and the slow light trains of the trains below.

At some point, I was woken up by the cloudy light of the morning. It had rained overnight, and I do remember opening my eyes briefly at 03:00, seeing that we were inside a low-lying rain cloud.

Loving the emergency cup noodles, ha!

Breakfast on the 35th.

It was nice to be up in the clouds.

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