Mixing with the poor and famous

Isaac wrote about a day last week for his homework, saying something like “It started off like any other casual day…”. For me, it didn’t start like that at all. I woke up feeling like I’d been run over by a truck, longing for just one normal day which we haven’t had in so long…..

After that we went to our new house and tried to take in a lot of information about how to maintain a pool, how to remember which key is which, how to set alarms, how to keep fish alive, how to open garage doors etc etc etc. Exhausting. The estate agent remarked “You’re very quiet?”

Then everything ramped up another level. We went to watch the South Africa vs England cricket match at the Manguang Oval. Coolio!

On the way in I got robbed – I was at the back of our procession and a bloke came in next to me as I rounded a corner, shouted in my ear for a while and meanwhile rummaged through my bag and nabbed himself a new phone. I was frightened at first, then annoyed with myself but I went to the toilets to be on my own (a recurring theme in this blog) and made the decision to enjoy the day. The guy was obviously dirt-poor and he hadn’t hurt me – just taken a phone from a sitting target. I even declared out loud “I still love Bloemfontein” (only in a whisper, but it was still out loud)!

We eventually trotted back with 2 burly policemen and looked for him but who were we kidding..? One of his friends would have gone ahead and warned him even if he was still around. He was offline within minutes. An hour or so later husband looked on his phone at ‘find my phone’ app and saw he was back online!! He and Peyman ended up in the back of a cop car chasing the little blue dot on Col’s phone screen – ha ha! “I bet your thief was quaking in his shoes being tailed by Starsky and Hutch (Peyman’s cardigan flapping in the non-existent breeze)” said Caroline later via whatsapp. They ended up outside a KFC apparently, loitering around, listening to peoples’ bags whilst they rang my phone. I half expected them to commandeer a helicopter and get winched down onto the wicket. No such luck, and no phone.

Meanwhile I was becoming a cricket fan! England were smashing SA out of the park and there was plenty to enjoy – singing, drumming, snacks, shade, and a wedding proposal on the big screen. There were Mexican waves, lead by a sweaty topless man legging it backwards and forwards at the front with a SA flag trailing behind him. England got 399 – the highest total ever scored at that ground. At half time everyone streamed onto the pitch and had a little party in the sunshine, with numerous selfies and mini-rugby or cricket games – oh, and later we were treated to a succession of streakers! Honestly, you miss SO much detail just watching it on the telly… (I guess greased-up cheeks would reflect the glare of the floodlights too much on a screen.)

Once England started fielding we had more to shout about, particularly a catch by Ben Stokes right in front of us where he literally just plucked the ball from the air whilst travelling sideways at full speed – it was awesome – even the home fans were on their feet. Maybe it’s because we went so crazy at that, but just afterwards a man came and asked us if we’d present the Man of the Match trophy at the end of the evening!! We thought it was a wind-up but once we realised it was real we took, Oooo, 2 seconds to say YES. We woz goin’ on the telly box! Yeyyyy!

An almighty thunder storm stopped play so we had to wait for hours for our moment of fame. The kids and their friends worked out dance routines, weather reports and tricks for going viral during the wait. Also we looked like drowned rats due to aforementioned thunderstorm, and most people had gone home except the media, our friends and a couple of stray dogs. Never mind -our moment came, and we were very sensible of course. IMG_1858We met HD Ackerman, the equivalent of Gary Lineker I guess on Match of the Day, which is great because from now on, whenever he is on TV we can be that annoying family that shriek “WE MET HIM!!”. (Did I ever mention we saw Gary Lineker filming an advert for Walkers crisps on Worthing seafront? It’s like these sports commentators are stalking me I tell you.) We gave a big fat cheque to the England captain, Eoin Morgan (who seemed rather Irish to me but never mind) and another one to AB de Villiers, the SA captain. Then we presented a trophy to SA’s hero – Quinten du Kock the man of the match, and he signed a cricket bat for us. Thankfully they were all on the rather small side, which was weird because most of the players were ginormous and I thought we’d look like little gnomes. One of the photographers looked through the lens and said “cute little family eh?” to his photographer friend, who replied “yeh.. shame”. (Which here means ‘sweet’ not ‘oh my goodness, poor them being so tiny!!!”)

“Just one normal day.” That’s what I wanted, but I think you’ll agree this was not it.