A Timeless Test

Last night I finished reading the Folio Society collection of ‘The Best of the Raconteurs‘.

Grill leak 2Grill leakWe have under floor electric heaters in our living room.  During one of the heavy storms just before Christmas we noticed a pool of water under the grill.  I telephoned Penyards, the owner’s agent, leaving a message as it was after hours.  I received a phone call the next day advising me to take out the relevant fuse.  The heaters themselves were, of course, switched off.  This meant a climb to the top of the stepladders to investigate the ancient box.  There were two appropriately marked fuses.  I pulled them out and reported back.  It is understood that this falls within the holiday period, however we have heard nothing since.  Today, more rain in daylight enabled us to investigate the source of the water dripping down the elongated window, through the grill, and into the pit below.  Jackie rigged up a catchment system and I left a message on Penyards’ answerphone. Buckets It is, of course, another holiday.  Watch this space. In the meantime we will try not to drive ourselves insane listening to the drip drip drip that had previously been quietened by its slow slide down the window pane.  The initial plastic receptacle was, perforce, replaced by a more adequate bucket.  And another, for there is now more than one entry point for the rain, and the deluge continues to fall.  The dining table and chairs were evacuated to what we hope will stay dry land.

Knowing that we were likely to have to pay for our lunch by playing Trivial Pursuit, as we prepared for a trip to Shelly and Ron’s I reminisced over the six hour marathon Matthew and I played against New Zealand in the form of Tess, her brother Warwick, and his now wife Lou.  This took place on Boxing Day four or five years ago, and is never to be forgotten.  It was rather like a Timeless Test match.

Until the cricket match between England and South Africa at Durban in 1939 tests were played out to their conclusion with no time limit.  After nine days that game was abandoned as a draw, otherwise the England team would have missed the boat home.  It was the last of its kind, and the longest ever played.  In those more sedate times, cricket teams spent six weeks each way on a boat, and were not required to arrive jet-lagged and immediately pick up a bat.

I really don’t recollect the outcome of the said England v. New Zealand test.  Did we abandon it as a draw?  Did anyone win?  Who cares?  Mat and I struggled to contain ourselves and not give the game away, as, time and time again, Lou came up with the right answer, and Warwick, debating it to the death, talked her and Tess out of it.  There was no time limit on these extensive discussions.  I would imagine that when it came to the last, central, question of choice, Mat and I probably selected a category for our opponents that we knew Warwick would like, just to let them score the winning runs.  But, as I say, I can’t remember.  I was probably asleep by then.

As mentioned above we will be enjoying one of Shelly’s delicious meals followed by after-dinner games.  After this we will return Flo and Scooby to Emsworth, with, if there is time before Jacqueline returns to Boston in Lincolnshire, a diversion to Mum’s where she has spent the New Year.  It is likely to be too late, and I to be too sated, to write anything more tonight, so, with this early post, I wish all my readers a Happy New Year.

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