So, at the outset, yesterday didn't look too promising. I'd arranged to take Rory and one of his mates...also called Rory to Lord's to see Middlesex play Essex. It was 'kid for a quid' which was a real plus, but the weather forecast was pretty dreadful - a definite minus, especially after our visit to cricket nirvana for the New Zealand test.
Anyway, the rain stayed away for most of the day: we enjoyed the privileges of the Members' stand, thanks to my student membership (just about the only time I've exploited my student status since returning to the arms of academe last September), and the boys had a terrific day.
Praise to Middlesex CCC for laying on some half term-ish activities that kept the lads in good spirits even though rain blew out the end of the match - they were particularly taken by the free binoculars for turning up in their club shirts, and the player autograph session at the end. Actually, as we wanted to avoid the England football hoards at Marylebone, heading for 'wemb-ber-ley....wemberley', we hung on around the pavilion and the two Rorys not only collected all the Middlesex signatures (that's Rory S getting his book signed by Middlesex, Ireland and England's Ed Joyce, above), but all the vanquished Essex players too......except the grumpy skipper Mark Pettini who'd been LBW'd for a big fat zero earlier in the day!
But my highlight of the day was noticing a new message on my phone, calling it and hearing an unmistakable voice: "Hello, this is James Burke......."
For anyone under 40, it probably means nothing, but for me, James Burke was the BBC's voice of science, technology and the Apollo missions. My mission for my Masters dissertation this week has been to track him down...and I landed a big step in the the mission yesterday!