Have I just seen our 2031 Ashes hero? OK, that’s 16 years away, but with the current series against Australia now under way, we’ve been looking at the strength of youth cricket here in West Dorset in 2015.
Yarn’s very own cricket fan Peter Smith (not much of a player but has commentated on the BBC’s Test Match Special), started his innings with Bridport’s Under 9’s…
Bright green palm leaves, swaying against a gentle breeze; peonies bursting out in bloom; the smell of freshly cut grass — it’s all deliciously relaxing.
Very much at the heart of our green and pleasant land, we British have always loved botanicals: on our walls and upholstery, framed or on frocks, we are instantly captivated by plants and flowers
It was late and the night was sharp and still. The car headlights kindled frost fires in the black hedgerows as we turned off the Maiden Newton road, wiggled around the radio station and plunged down the side of Toller Down heading for Powerstock.
We bumped over the Kingcombe dogleg, car wheels spinning loose flints into the frozen verge. The road dipped into the valley and climbed steeply uphill over clods of frozen mud and cow spatter to the clump of Scots pines at the Mount Pleasant crossroads.
Why would a former football league player who scored more than 170 goals across the leagues, and is a club legend at Reading where he holds the all-time goalscoring records, choose to manage a club in the Western League where players are paid travelling expenses only, not thousands of pounds a week?
And why, six years into his current spell in charge of Bridport, is he so comfortable here despite indifferent results this season, that he would probably only be lured away from a role he clearly loves if Reading FC came calling?
It’s a quiet, graceful experience, this ballet dancing class with Carla Steenkamp Sheills.
And it’s a new one for me, because, unlike many of the other women in the class, I’ve never done it before.