Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rooftop spectators, New Orleans, flying car

When I woke this morning I had a picture in my head of the extra-mural cricket spectators at the Oval yesterday; they sat astride rooftops, and crowded together at open windows. They were drawn, I was going to say, by one of the most civilised and civilising of sports. But the sentiment was spoilt for me by the answer to a question in the quiz in the Independent newspaper today. Who said: "Cricket civilizes and creates good gentlemen. I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe; I want ours to be a nation of gentlemen.?" Robert Mugabe.

"We saw New Orleans in the night ahead of us with joy. Dean rubbed his hands over the wheel. 'Now we're going to get our kicks.!' At dusk we were coming into the humming streets of New Orleans. 'Oh, smell the people!' yelled Dean with his face out of the window, sniffing. 'Ah! God! Life!.'" From On the Road by Jack Kerouac, published in 1957.

The hedge, which separates our little garden from the road, is about 8ft high. There is not a lot of traffic and the last thing you expect to pass is a car-transporter. So for a moment, as we sipped our lunch-time drinks, we were under the impression that a car had taken off and was skimming along at hedgetop level.

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