mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
I suppose when a cricket fan decides to make their Test debut as a spectator having followed the game with a religious passion for nearly twenty years, it seems only fitting to pick an occasion that turns out to be the biggest ever crowd for the last day's play of a Test at Lord's, the home of the world's greatest sport. And so it was for me last week Monday. The record books will show that England outplayed India comprehensively but as far as experiences go, few will match the pure joy that was 25 July 2011. It felt special from the moment the ticket prices were announced the evening before and the response online was immediate. I knew it was going to be a big crowd but I never imagined people would be turned away because it was full! It wasn't as bad as Old Trafford in 2005 but for the biggest ground in England, this was something new. At £20, boy was it worth it!

(If you missed the panoramic views of my day out at Lord's that I posted about a week ago, you can view them here).

By the time I arrived at St John's Wood tube station around eight, the queue had already snaked itself in an orderly fashion half a mile from the ground and onto Circus Road (as pictured above). Ticket sales were to begin at half-eight, gates to open at nine and play to start at eleven. And as the rate of people joining the queue behind us increased after my arrival, I'm fairly sure it eventually ended up close to a mile long.

The queues were so long because the MCC wanted to negate the effect of touts buying tickets in bulk. I'm led to believe the MCC normally sells a maximum of four tickets per person on Day Five at Lord's but for today they sold a maximum of one per person. And with free entry for Under-16s who had just embarked on their summer vacation, a lot of young fans could be seen waiting patiently with the rest of us. Stood in front of me was an Indian gentleman who was also attending his first Test at Lord's but he had arrived in London just for the match alone from Dubai. The lucky bugger didn't have any tickets until ten days before the first day's play but his English manager at work (he was employed with Willis Group Holdings) suggested writing to the MCC. He did and they got him tickets for the first four days and then he queued for the fifth!

23 More Pics From A Great Day Out ... with Commentary! )
mcgillianaire: (Royal Coat of Arms)

A panoramic view of the Laurieston district in the Gorbals area of Glasgow as seen from the north side of the River Clyde. The two delightful bridges of contrasting styles date from the Victorian era. [Taken 29 Jul 2011]

I've just returned from attending a wedding in Scotland but no it wasn't the Royal one. I spent the weekend in the Scottish Highlands celebrating the nuptials of a close friend who I have LJ to thank for meeting in the first place. She posted as [ profile] 3neonangels but stopped a few years ago. Thanks to her and her new hubby, I got to visit Glasgow and the Isle of Skye for the first time but in a bid to keep expenses to a minimum, found myself travelling by bus for about thirty-five hours in the space of three-and-a-half days. Of course it was worth it. And needless to say thanks to my old camera working again (albeit flash-free) the memorable experience will linger long in the memory. Unfortunately I can't be arsed and am too tired to make a proper pictorial post but I will leave you with a few panoramas to whet your appetite. In the meanwhile, have yerself a wee bonnie night!

Glasgow Central railway station is the busiest in Scotland and second-busiest UK station outside of London after Birmingham New Street. As you can tell, it has an endearingly Victorian dated look to it. [Taken 29 Jul 2011]

A panoramic view of the Scottish west coast taken from Armadale on the Isle of Skye, within the grounds of a castle and gardens that once belonged to Clan Donald, one of the largest Scottish clans. [Taken 30 Jul 2011]

Portree, the largest town in the Isle of Skye. Population: 2500. The scene of a beautiful wedding earlier in the day when the sun was shining, the men were wearing kilts and we were led by a bagpiper. [Taken 30 Jul 2011]
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
You can imagine what a happy bunny I must've been when I realised not only would I be attending my first-ever Test match, and at Lord's no less, but I'd also have a camera with which to capture the special occasion!

Click image(s) to enlarge. This is probably my fave panorama to date. It was taken at 11:41am, forty minutes into the day's play from the Lower Mound Stand, described by Blowers on TMS as "like a province in India".

The problem with the cleaned and cropped up version of the picture above is that it cut off too much at the bottom for my liking, so you've got both to make your own mind up with.

This panorama was taken at 4:28pm, not long before the game ended. And as you can tell, there was a fair amount of cloud cover by this point but it was still quite warm.

And just for the sake of completion, here's the clean and cropped up version of the same panorama.


May. 2nd, 2011 06:15 pm
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
"USA! USA!" is the wrong response. I think that article pretty much sums it up for me. Celebrating death is not civilised behaviour. But don't get me wrong, Usama bin Laden was an evil, evil man. And maybe I'm in a minority, but I would've rather he be put through a fair trial and incarcerated for the rest of his life. It might even have diminished the passion for reprisal attacks by his followers to a manageable level. And y'all know I'm not religious but I heard this on the radio today and it struck a chord: ‎"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." -Proverbs 24:17 (New American Standard Bible)
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
"But not every politician is a cricket-lover. When I was Prime Minister Cabinet met on Thursday mornings, at the same time as Test matches began. In those days Cabinet debated policy and took decisions, so the meeting stretched on until lunch-time. From time to time folded messages would be brought in to me by the Duty Clerk. I would read them before passing them to Robin Butler, the Cabinet Secretary, a descendant of the great Victorian cricketer Richard Daft, and from him they would cross the table to the Chancellor, and later President of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Ken Clarke. Grimaces or smiles would follow. These notes drove my Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine, who sat on my left, to distraction. Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary, Chancellor ... was sterling crashing? Was there a crisis? A ministerial resignation? No: they were the Test scores: disbelievingly, Michael filched the notes from my blotter for the Heseltine Papers."
~ More Than a Game: The Story of Cricket's Early Years by John Major, page 11/12 ~

I thought I'd shared this before but either I didn't or I failed to tag it properly. Either way, it's worth a second read. For what it's worth, the ex-PM (and Ken Clarke) are probably the only Tories I don't find nauseating.
mcgillianaire: (India Flag)
"I remember how I refused a pressing invitation from Signor Mussolini to see him in the early days of March, 1936. Many of Britain's leading statesmen, who spoke harshly of the fascist Duce in later years when Italy became a belligerent, referred to him tenderly and admiringly in those days, and praised his regime and methods.

Two years later, in the summer before Munich, I was invited on behalf of the Nazi government, to visit Germany, an invitation to which was added the remark that they knew my opposition to nazism and yet they wanted me to see Germany for myself. I could go as their guest or privately, in my own name or incognito, as I desired, and I would have perfect freedom to go where I liked. Again I declined with thanks. Instead I went to Czechoslovakia, that 'far-away country' about which England's then Prime Minister knew so little.

Before Munich I met some of the members of the British Cabinet and other prominent politicians of England, and ventured to express my anti-fascist and anti-nazi views before them. I found that my views were not welcomed and I was told that there were many other considerations to be borne in mind."

~ The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru, pages 18 and 19 ~

Nehru wrote this book over a period of five months in 1944 while imprisoned in Ahmednagar Fort between 1942 and 1946, following his participation in the Quit India movement. Thousands of his fellow Indian National Congress members were jailed by the British during the War.
mcgillianaire: (Shakespeare)
"STRESSED? Spell it backwards for the cure." ~Anonymous
mcgillianaire: (Default)
For the first time in its 133-year history, there is not a single Englishman in the men's draw at Wimbledon. There is of course world number 4 Andy Murray and doubling Great Britain's contingent will be fellow Scot and wild card entrant, Jamie Baker. His world ranking? 254.
mcgillianaire: (Portcullis Logo)
A contender for the Labour leadership contest wishes he had assassinated Margaret Thatcher in the 80s and is applauded loudly. A twenty-six year-old accountant in South Yorkshire tweets about blowing his local airport sky high due to bad weather and is convicted.

Meanwhile, Harriet Harman the acting leader of the Labour Party believes half the cabinet should be made up of women. And there are more women Labour MPs than in all the other parties put together, but they make up just under a third (81 out of 258) of all Labour MPs. She says "Labour men are great - but they are not twice as good as the women". Fair enough, but her arithmetic falls short. 1/3rd women MPs should equal 1/3 cabinet posts right? Besides if she's so keen on gender parity, why didn't she and others join the leadership challenge?
mcgillianaire: (Three Lions (WC 2010))
I hate the person/people who scheduled our final exams with the first weeks of the World Cup. This is a big reason why I moved here!!!
mcgillianaire: (BBC Logo)
Just heard this Australian expression for the first time on a 2007 BBC TV programme called How to Be an Ex-Prime Minister. Very cool!
mcgillianaire: (Gordo's EU Treaty)
If the majority of our electorate are anything like the focus group in last night's Newsnight programme, then God Save Us All...
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
"True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else." -Clarence Darrow, American Lawyer (1857-1938)

Posted via

mcgillianaire: (Football player)
"One of the best and worst things about listening to sport on the radio is when you turn on mid-match and, before the score is given, try to discern what is happening to your team from the tone of the commentators and their particular choice of words. We all become amateur linguists, and the moment is fascinatingly pregnant with possibilities."
~ Rob Smyth in The Guardian, 25 September 2009 ~
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
The concept of ABH was considered by the Divisional Court (DC) in DPP v Smith (Michael Ross) (2006). The defendant held down his former girlfriend and cut off her ponytail with kitchen scissors a few weeks before her 21st birthday. The Magistrates acquitted him on the ground that, although there was undoubtedly an assault, it had not caused ABH, since there was no bruising or bleeding, and no evidence of any psychological or psychiatric harm. The victim’s distress did not amount to bodily harm. The DC allowed an appeal by the DPP, rejecting the argument for the defendant that the hair was dead tissue above the scalp and so no harm was done.

"In my judgment, whether it is alive beneath the surface of the skin or dead tissue above the surface of the skin, the hair is an attribute and part of the human body. It is intrinsic to each individual and to the identity of each individual. Although it is not essential to my decision, I note that an individual's hair is relevant to his or her autonomy. Some regard it as their crowning glory. Admirers may so regard it in the object of their affections. Even if, medically and scientifically speaking, the hair above the surface of the scalp is no more than dead tissue, it remains part of the body and is attached to it. While it is so attached, in my judgment it falls within the meaning of "bodily" in the phrase "actual bodily harm". It is concerned with the body of the individual victim."
~ Judge P in DPP v Smith (Michael Ross) ~

"To a woman her hair is a vitally important part of her body. Where a significant portion of a woman's hair is cut off without her consent, this is a serious matter amounting to actual (not trivial or insignificant) bodily harm."
~ Creswell J in DPP v Smith (Michael Ross) ~

(as copied directly from Wikipedia)
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
"Your Lordships have had your attention called to the evils of the exercise of arbitrary powers of arrest by the executive, and the necessity of subjecting all such powers to judicial control. Your Lordships have been reminded of the great constitutional conflicts in the seventeenth century, which culminated in the famous constitutional charters, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights, and the Act of Settlement. These struggles did indeed involve the liberty of the subject and its vindication against arbitrary and unlawful power. They sprang from the Stuart theory that the King was King by Divine Right and that his powers were above the law. Thus a warrant of arrest per speciale mandatum Domini Regis was claimed to be a sufficient justification for detention without trial. By the end of the 17th century, however, the old common law rule of the supremacy of law was restored and substituted for any theory of royal supremacy. All the courts today, and not least this House, are as jealous as they have ever been in upholding the liberty of the subject. That liberty, however, is a liberty confined and controlled by law, whether common law or statute. It is, in Burke's words, a regulated freedom. It is not an abstract or absolute freedom. Parliament is supreme. It can enact extraordinary powers of interfering with personal liberty. If an Act of Parliament or a statutory regulation, like reg 18B, which has admittedly the force of a statute, because there is no suggestion that it is outside the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939 under which it was made, is alleged to limit or curtail the liberty of the subject or vest in the executive extraordinary powers of detaining a subject, the only question is as to the precise extent of the powers given. The answer to that question is only to be found by scrutinising the language of the enactment in the light of the surrounding circumstances and the general policy and object of the measure. I have ventured on these elementary and obvious observations because it seems to have been suggested on behalf of the appellant that this House was being asked to countenance arbitrary, despotic or tyrannous conduct. In the constitution of England, however, there are no guaranteed or absolute rights. The safeguard of British liberty is in the good sense of the people and in the system of representative and responsible government which has been evolved. If extraordinary powers are here given, they are given because the emergency is extraordinary, and they are limited to the period of the emergency."
~ Lord Wright in Liversidge v Anderson (1941) ~
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
"In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. Yet now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there any more. He has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket. This newcomer has built, or has had built for him, a house on the edge of the cricket ground which four years ago was a field where cattle grazed. The animals did not mind the cricket."
-Lord Denning in Miller v. Jackson (1977)
mcgillianaire: (Default)
In 1980, the BBC aired what was to become one of my all-time favorite British sitcoms: Yes, Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister.

"It is about the struggle between James "Jim" Hacker (played by Paul Eddington), the government minister of the (fictional) department of Administrative Affairs (and later as Prime Minister) and his civil servants and ministerial colleagues. Nigel Hawthorne plays Sir Humphrey Appleby, KCMG, a senior civil servant and head of the department, with Derek Fowlds in a supporting role as Hacker's private secretary Bernard Wooley. Much of the humour of the show derives from the conflict between United Kingdom Cabinet ministers who believe they are in charge, and the members of the British Civil Service who are really running the country." (Source: Wikipedia)

Re-live some of the greatest moments... )

I thought I'd also let everybody know that the contact-crisis has been resolved. At exactly 7am EST the lens returned to safety. It was a rather anti-climatic finish but the good news is that there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage. Thank you for all those who voiced concern and it's great to know how much you cared about me. *NOT* ;-)

Goodnight! =)


mcgillianaire: (Default)

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