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A glorious debut

This week began with a first for me: Monday night, I played a game of cricket. It was the first time I have actually bowled a cricket ball. In a game of 13 8 ball overs for each side, I bowled the second last over, taking 1 for 4. The ball which took the wicket was a nice one - it actually spun, and took out the off stump. I should have had 2-for, except I dropped a caught-and-bowled off my last ball. Really, though, I should have only had 1-for, as I also dropped a catch in the over before, and I would have been bowling at 9 down. Anyway, batting first, we made 5/109, and I would have been the next batsman in, before bowling the opposition out for 73. My fielding was alright, although I should have taken the two catches I dropped. Next time.

Also on Monday, PR sent me some videos he wanted me to use in my talk. Unfortunately, these were .mov files, which meant I could play them fine on my debian box at work, but they wouldn't play on windows. Tuesday, I spent 3-quarters of the day trying to convert them to .avi files, only to find that, while windows would sometimes play them, powerpoint wouldn't. Just before leaving for the day, I finally had them converted into .wmv files and playing in powerpoint. The talk was all ready.

Wednesday, the entire centre, comprising a range of groups from a range of disciplines, had a day where each group leader gave a 5 minute talk about what their group does, followed by 15 minute talks from a couple of group members. I was the second last speaker in what was a long day, and by the time I got up to talk the audience was highly subdued. This was a little disappointing, although I thought I presented alright, and I think any unhappiness in my performance is just my standard me-being-me. Anyway, I got the points I wanted to make across, and happily retired afterwards for a well-earned beer. It was a good day though, and all the talks were of a very high standard.

Thursday I returned to actually increasing the functionality of my equipment - at the moment I am writing a program to analyse the experimental results. This has a couple of major problems, not least being that I am not a programmer. Be that as it may, I have almost finished the program (in perl, if anyone is interested), and it seems to be working.

After work, there was another cricket game, as we play in both a league and a knockout cup at the same time. As we drove up to the ground, the skies looked threatening. As we entered the ground and got ready, the heavens opened up and it rained. Hard. About fifteen minutes later, it had eased up and, despite our better judgements (actually, I'd've played in the wet, but that's me), we played and got the full match in. I didn't get a bowl, but then, with the cake of soap ball being as wet as it was, I could barely throw it, let alone try and bowl it, let alone try and bowl it with either control, accuracy or spin. Despite slipping and sliding in my runners, I fielded reasonably. While I've been able to get a bit of pace up recently when running, my brakes are pretty much non-existent at the best of times. My solution: as I got near the ball, I threw myself to the ground in its vicinity (slid a couple of metres) and grabbed the ball. Doing so didn't seem to cost any runs, so it can't have been a bad tactic. Our opponents made a mammoth 115, which we chased down for the loss of just three wickets with an over and a half to spare.

Later that night, I picked Justin up from the train station. Justin stayed with us for the night before coming to have a flying visit at uni.

Today, PR and I showed Justin around the labs, with PR explaining a lot of what he is currently interested in. That took until mid-afternoon, when PR dropped him at the train station. I then did some more work on my programme before coming home for a well earner Shabbat meal.


Comment from Gillian

Way to go, Alex!

I respond

Thanks Mum. The game was fun. Shame I never played as a kid. That's what I get for having asked Mum rather than Dad whether I could play...

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