Thursday, 11 October 2012


Fresh bread smothered in bramble jelly comes pretty near as good as it can get.  Up there near an empire biscuit.  That's how good.

But cricketers should be warned.  Today is Old Michaelmas Day.  Brambles should not be picked after this date.  Satan was banished from heaven on this day - a series of inappropriate tweets and texts against his skipper the Almighty led to his downfall.  He fell into a bramble bush and cursed them as he fell.  Some accounts have it that he spat on them, some that his fiery breath polluted them, others that he urinated on them.  That's the devil for you, devilish. Whatever the truth is, cricketers wanting occupation this weekend in the absence of cricket to engage their attentions should not go bramble picking.

Bramble picking was an important ritual of FB's childhood.  Nature's free bounty was not to be scorned and roadside hedges were scavenged with care.  FB is confident that his parents ensured that the young FB was not exposed to the danger of devil polluted fruits.  These days he is in thrall to the Bramble smart phone.  So it may be that the Devil had the last laugh after all - as he mostly seems to do.

Cricketers should beware however, for the Devil certainly seems to have had his impact on this day in other ways. What else could explain the performance of Pakistan and India who on 11 October 1956, playing a Test against each other for the first time, played the slowest day in Test history? In a full day's play only 95 runs were scored for the loss of 12 wickets. Crowds may well have rioted, but they were all fast asleep.

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