Locusts and Laziness in the Outfield!

Cricket Ever tried catering for 30 starving teenagers engaged in a cricket festival.  Sound easy?  Huh, you don’t know the half of it!  OK, foolish though it was, I allowed myself to be bullied (yes, that is the right word!) into co-chairing the Refreshments Committee for a school.   "Yeah, so?" you may be thinking.  This ALL DAY event wasn’t on the programme and it  was mid-week when the employed are at the office and we entrepreneurs are diligently going about our business.  Guess who was the only one available . . .

Shopping_trolley1 It all started last night with major shop in local superstore.  I realised this was becoming a rather too regular occurrence when one of the assistants there saw my co-chairperson and myself moving down the aisle withBang_head_3  (at this point!) an empty trolley and said, "Catering again?" 

[NOTE TO SELF: Reduce unnecessary stress and resign!!!]

Now then, why was this stressful?  Because the fixture was not on the list as we were told by the person then arranging said fixture list that the parents of the boys involved would cater.  The gentleman who told us this at our meeting is currently in hospital recovering from brain surgery . . . I jest not!  But, guess what?  This year there are no parents on the Refreshments Committee who have a sprog playing cricket!  Yep, not a mini-Botham to be seen anywhere and certainly not on our side on the pitch today!

I arrived and made a huge error.  Spoke to collection of boys sitting around to ask directions to the kitchen (which was upstairs and round the back) because didn’t want to enter the changing rooms by mistake.  Only parked myself in front of the scorers.  Given instructions and heard muttering around me.  Well, I didn’t know!  Just thought they were sunbathing.  There was no sense of urgency or passion about them.

Sandwich_platters Lunch was supposed to be at 1pm.  Game still on at 1.35pm.  Sandwiches, etc, curling nicely in anticipation of locusts stripping gastronomic delights aesthetically arranged on groaning tables.  (Well, a girl has to do something to pass the time!)

Take the opportunity to watch the match from the plate glass window (well, we are in the local county cricket ground, no less).  Our lot are fielding . . . actually LYING DOWN on the outfield between balls.  Couldn’t help contrasting this with the Test Match which was playing on the massive screen in the club house (took up all of one wall).  Noted that those playing for their country do not lie prone between deliveries.  Decide to speak about this with our team’s coach when they finally do come in.  (Just an excuse really, as he’s 6′ 4" of rippling rugby international.)  The other lot (would you believe from Essex!) have brought giants (are there any power stations in Essex?) and their lads know how to hit a ball.    Imagine the surprise of an elderly gent as he was passing the open railing fence on his electric scooter when a ball whistled past him and reached the other side of the road.  Game halted while ambulant pedestrian flagged down to retrieve the missile.  Feared for the old boy’s ticker, such was his surprise.  Oh well, that’ll be something to tell the cat when he gets home.  Ball retrieved.  Nobody disputed the six runs awarded.

Mindful of Jamie Oliver’s big push on healthy eating in schools, had provided lovely selection of fruit (OK, red and green apples and satsumas), again, beautifully arranged as I was getting bored.  The little devils skirted around the fruit and much of it now sits in my fruit bowl.  Not so the two-finger Kit Kats in varying flavours.  The place looked like the locusts had been through!  Spent a while chatting to rippling rugby man, who’s a gentle giant.  Ask him what time tea is required.  My worst fears as to our team’s capabilities are confirmed.  He tells me he thinks they’ll all be out in an hour.  Cooked tea planned but they’ve just had lunch!

Rush into town with daughter who wants to go round charity shops as she’s going to a fancy dress party tomorrow and wants to be some chipmunk character from Pocahontas.  Ask her why she can’t be mini mouse like most girls.  Well, I did encourage her to be a free spirit, so only myself to blame.  Manage to get a couple of garments which can be cut down and altered (by tomorrow night??) and rush back to cricket ground with her.  Meet co-chairperson there and her daughter.  They are meant to be helping but other girl has been to her school Prom last night and needs to ‘talk’ to Verity about it.  We lose them but it is a small kitchen so it’s a blessing really as they lean on work-surfaces which are quite greasy due to double fat fryer which must be used often.  Why teenagers can’t actually stand without support is a mystery to me.  All utensils covered in a film of sticky, aged grease.  Glad I took all my own stuff.  We set to.

More pretty displays.  Just can’t seem to help myself.  Tea looks good.  Locusts swarm for the second time.  They came, they ate, they left. 

Collected a take-away for husband and son on the way home.  Before you start tutting, I’ve been catering all day and there’s a limit to a girl’s endurance.  That’s it for this year, we’re now fixture-free.  Anyone have a book on the theme "How to Resign Without Causing Ripples".  If so, please call me . . .

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