|Bradman Oval with the adjacent Bradman Museum of Cricket.|
It was an auspicious start to the day. I thought of doing a quick walk around the ‘world famous cricket’ ground at Bradman oval. I do this walk almost daily at least once and with autumn in its full glory, you would have to be legless not to walk. Any walk always has to involve Milo. As soon as he spots the ritual of putting shoes on feet, he becomes intolerable. He jumps up against the door handle like a maniac let out of Bedlam. I usually take the Norwegian nurse’s dog Louis as well.
All of us trotted along very nicely and were half way around the oval where a youthful team or two were doing what normally gets done on a cricket oval, play cricket. There was the usual sporadic clapping just after the sound of a ball being batted. The crowd was just as sporadic, all wrapped in blankets with some sipping tea from thermoses.
I had almost gone over half way, lost in thought, if that is possible, with in between telling Milo, ‘nice walking Milo’ at the same time jerking the lead. “Nice walking, Milo” a bit sterner now again. I have hopes of Milo learning to ‘walk nicely’ without trying to forever pull my arm out of the socket. I feel justified to jerk him as well, to balance the books as it were. He takes notice for a second only to resume pulling again. Jack Russell are obstinate. Their noses are not like any other dogs that we have ever owned and will sniff out a wood-duck from miles away. All of a sudden a chorus of very loud shouting. “Watch out”.
I was still lost in ponderings or whatever, probably a bit of Alzheimer, when out of the blue a cricket ball landed right next to me in between Milo and Louis. I could have been killed. Everyone broke out in clapping and cheering, ‘well done’, I heard a few shout. Sport has never been keen on me nor me on sport. At school sport I was always happy if a ball did not get kicked or thrown towards me too closely and was mightily relieved if I had to stand somewhere near the back of the grass. A short stint at Scarborough Basketball club in Cronulla taught me to stay well clear of sport. I suffered broken nose and spectacles.
I threw the ball back but even failed to cover the distance between where the ball had fallen and the wooden picket fence. This was only a short distance away. Anyway, this caused some hilarity amongst the sparkling white clad cricketers. The oval is a very well maintained cricket place and the distance between me, outside the oval, and the wooden bat was considerable. No wonder they were clapping.
I continued the walk back home pondering (again) how our lives are just so incidental, hanging by a tenuous thread of a possible unfortunate landing of a cricket ball.
I returned Louis to the blonde Norwegian neighbour. He always walks ‘nicely’.