oh honey, honey....
It's the Trent Bridge test match in a couple of weeks, so as you'd expect, our fancy dress plans have started to come together nicely. I'm not entirely sure why, but it's sort of traditional in England to spend around £50 on a seat at a game of cricket and to then spend the day dressed up in a ludicrous and often entirely impractical costume. I don't know what your picture of the average cricket spectator is, but I'd guess that it probably doesn't include a bunch of guys sat in the drizzling rain wearing only white shorts, white hats and with their bodies painted entirely blue (it's the smurfs, you see....by the end of that day at Old Trafford, you could certainly see where they'd been sitting, that's for sure).
We've been doing this for six or seven years now, and in that time we have attended games dressed as Santa Claus, assorted characters from Star Wars, Fred Flintstone, Spanish Cardinals, Bomber Command [video here] and as Vikings. Some of those years have been more successful than other, but I like to think that on the whole we maintain a pretty high standard. If you're going to dress up to go to the cricket, you might as well do it properly, right? With this in mind, what we choose each year is the subject of much debate. Sometimes we decide very quickly, but most of the time there's a fair bit of too-ing and fro-ing as we moot various ideas. Last year, we nearly went to the game dressed as the British soldiers from Zulu - a great costume - but in the end the idea was thrown out as being culturally insensitive for a game against the Indians and we went as vikings instead. This year's idea actually came up whilst we were sat in the stands watching that game and it met with immediate approval: beekeepers. We're going as beekeepers.
Well, I say that... we're actually going as seven beekeepers and one bee.
The costumes have been quite easy this year, I'm told. The bee keepers simply needed a cheap white boiler suit and a hat or smock with a built in net and the bee costume has now been found (it's apparently very difficult to find a bee costume for a bloke as opposed to a "sexy bee" costume. The mind boggles - both at the concept of a sexy bee and at the concept of my mate Mick wearing one of them).
In a change to our normal routine, we are going to be joined this year by C's dad. He's an avid cricket fan, and we first bonded over Test Match special in his garden in France (none of C's french boyfriends ever really understood cricket, so I was off to something of a flying start there...). This will be the first test match that I will have gone to with him, and I actually thought he was surprisingly keen on the fancy dress idea too, saying that he thought his beard was the perfect accessory. Fair enough. C. was talking him through the costume the other day and asking him if he thought he would prefer the hat or the smock, and was a little taken aback by quite how vehemently her father pushed for the smock and seemed to think that the hat/boilersuit combo was a terrible idea.
It turns out he thought that we were going as beefeaters (or perhaps as seven beefeaters and one raven).
It's an easy mistake to make over an international phone line, I suppose, and definitely one to consider for another year.
I still think that beard's going to work out well for him though.
Three weeks to go.
That weekend coincides with my wedding anniversary, actually... although on the actual night itself, I'm off to see REO Speedwagon at Rock City.
(that poor, poor woman....).