Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.


Recent Comments

Monthly Archives

Most recent entries


Advanced Search

Other Blogs I write for

Brian Micklethwait's Education Blog

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Transport Blog


2 Blowhards
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alan Little
Albion's Seedling
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Alex Singleton
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Biased BBC
Bishop Hill
Bloggers Blog
Blognor Regis
Blowing Smoke
Boatang & Demetriou
Boing Boing
Boris Johnson
Brazen Careerist
Bryan Appleyard
Burning Our Money
Cafe Hayek
Charlie's Diary
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
Chicago Boyz
China Law Blog
Cicero's Songs
City Comforts
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Clay Shirky
Climate Resistance
Climate Skeptic
Coffee & Complexity
Coffee House
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Contra Niche
Contrary Brin
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Скрипучая беседка
Dave Barry
Davids Medienkritik
David Thompson
Deleted by tomorrow
diamond geezer
Dizzy Thinks
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
Dr Robert Lefever
Dr. Weevil
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
English Cut
English Russia
EU Referendum
Ezra Levant
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Flickr blog
Freeborn John
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
Fugitive Ink
Future Perfect
Gaping Void
Gates of Vienna
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Idiot Toys
India Uncut
Jackie Danicki
James Delingpole
James Fallows
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Jihad Watch
Joanne Jacobs
Johan Norberg
John Redwood
Jonathan's Photoblog
Kristine Lowe
Laissez Faire Books
Last of the Few
Lessig Blog
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Alone
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
listen missy
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Mad Housewife
Mangan's Miscellany
Marginal Revolution
Mark Wadsworth
Media Influencer
Melanie Phillips
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael Jennings
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
Mick Hartley
More Than Mind Games
mr eugenides
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
My Other Stuff
Natalie Solent
Nation of Shopkeepers
Never Trust a Hippy
NO2ID NewsBlog
Non Diet Weight Loss
Nurses for Reform blog
Obnoxio The Clown
Oddity Central
Oliver Kamm
On an Overgrown Path
One Man & His Blog
Owlthoughts of a peripatetic pedant
Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
Picking Losers
Pigeon Blog
Police Inspector Blog
Power Line
Private Sector Development blog
Publius Pundit
Rachel Lucas
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Rob's Blog
Setting The World To Rights
Shane Greer
Shanghaiist The Violin Blog
Sinclair's Musings
Slipped Disc
Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
Squander Two Blog
Stephen Fry
Stuff White People Like
Stumbling and Mumbling
Style Bubble
Sunset Gun
Survival Arts
Susan Hill
Technology Liberation Front
The Adam Smith Institute Blog
The Agitator
The AntRant
The Becker-Posner Blog
The Belgravia Dispatch
The Belmont Club
The Big Blog Company
The Big Picture
the blog of dave cole
The Corridor of Uncertainty (a Cricket blog)
The Croydonian
The Daily Ablution
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Kitchen
The Dissident Frogman
The Distributed Republic
The Early Days of a Better Nation
The Examined Life
The Filter^
The Fly Bottle
The Freeway to Serfdom
The Future of Music
The Futurist
The Happiness Project
The Jarndyce Blog
The London Fog
The Long Tail
The Lumber Room
The Online Photographer
The Only Winning Move
The Policeman's Blog
The Road to Surfdom
The Sharpener
The Speculist
The Surfer
The Wedding Photography Blog
The Welfare State We're In
things magazine
Tim Blair
Tim Harford
Tim Worstall
Transterrestrial Musings
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog
UK Libertarian Party
Unqualified Offerings
Violins and Starships
Virginia Postrel
we make money not art
What Do I Know?
What's Up With That?
Where the grass is greener
White Sun of the Desert
Why Evolution Is True
Your Freedom and Ours


Mainstream Media

The Sun
This is London


RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0


Billion Monkeys
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Brian Micklethwait podcasts
Career counselling
Cats and kittens
Civil liberties
Classical music
Computer graphics
Current events
Digital photographers
Emmanuel Todd
Expression Engine
Food and drink
Getting old
How the mind works
Intellectual property
Kevin Dowd
Latin America
Media and journalism
Middle East and Islam
My blog ruins
My photographs
Open Source
Other creatures
Pop music
Quote unquote
Roof clutter
Science fiction
Signs and notices
Social Media
South America
The internet
The Micklethwait Clock
This and that
This blog

Saturday July 22 2006

Okay I’ll try again.

I arrived at Lords just before the tea interval.  Had I waited a further half hour I would have had to pay only £10 instead of the all day price of £20, but I wanted to press on with my day, and was immediately rewarded with a siting of my first of several celebs.

Yes, Boris, braying in his Boris voice that “It’s a draw”.  Behind Boris, that Space Pod is actually the new (by Lords standards) Media Centre, which is one of my favourite new buildings in the whole world.


As he walked past me, I grinned at him and said “Celeb”, and he grinned dutifully back.  Celebs are fair photographic game, is the agreed point.  Not that the distinction between celebs and civilians bothers me much.

Boris was eventually proved quite right about the result, but almost the first bit of action I personally set eyes on was the fall of the fourth Pakistani wicket.  Faizal Iqbal, our second ball in the first innings, was finally out in the second, caught Cook bowled Panasar.

This picture only shows the general view that I first saw, from the back of the stand to the immediate left of the Space Pod.


But zoom in a bit and you can see the England side in a huddle on the left, celebrating, and Faizal, with his back to us, trudging back to the pavilion.


A couple more wickets soon after tea and it would have been game on.  I wrote last Monday about how Pakistani batsmen like to play shots and might be unsettled by having to grind out a draw, and England captain Strauss in his after-match interviews said the same thing.  His plan was that England didn’t have to worry about runs and could pile on the pressure.  But as he also acknowledged, Pakistan batted well under said pressure.  Abdul Razzaq, who was exactly the kind of dashing stroke player that I and Strauss thought might lose patience, and Pakistan captain Inzaman-ul-Haq calmly batted out the final session, and I contented myself with taking snaps of what action there was.  These few are the best.


My favourite is the second one.  That must be a Pakistani physio sitting on top of Razzaq, but what on earth are they doing?  And a couple of the England guys appear to be drinking Toilet Duck.

But one moment Inzy was stroking it around for ones, twos and fours, and the next moment they were all shaking hands and it was finished, England being accompanied back to the pavilion by a man with one of the very latest hand-held miniature TV cameras.

I also photoed the ground as a whole, of course.  Cricket grounds are special, because, being so big, they are not all one big lump of unified stuff, however stylish.  The best ones, Lords definitely being a great example, are stylish in a quite different way, having several stylish buildings all jumbled together.  The first of these shots is cute and arty, but the best architectural snaps turned out to be panoramic, in a way that gives you a feeling of what it’s like to be there.


And, of course, I kept my eyes and lens open for Billion Monkeys.  But at first I saw hardly any.  Maybe they felt intimidated and even superfluous.  Great sports, such as cricket, have always been very, very happy hunting grounds for Real Photographers, and the ground was also dotted with film crews.


So instead of snapping spectators with cameras, I began by merely snapping the most interesting looking spectators, with my camera:


If those last two, Flintoff (the news on that front has suddenly turned bad again) and the Pindi Express, had been playing, it would have made a better game of it, and there would almost certainly have been a result.

At first, as I say, few Billion Monkeys, but then, as I moved ground the ground towards the pavilion, from stand to stand, especially after the game was over and they were setting up the little end-of-match presentation ceremony on the far left as I first saw the ground, I started to notice Billion Monkeys, and by the end of my day I had quite a decent collection:


Another classic water bottle snap there (number 3) and an excellent Monkey self portrait shot (number 6) to add to the collection.

Next, a couple of snaps of Channel 5 TV commentator Mark Nicholas and his gang, first waiting to do, and then doing, their thing, interviewing players etc.  Nicholas is in the dark suit, with the mike.  And unless I am grievously mistaken, that’s Boycott in the hat.  The celeb count was starting to rise!


Going back to that last of the Billion Monkey shots above, that hubbub, which happened outside the pavilion after the game was over, was, when I photoed it, just a hubbub.  I just stuck my camera in the air and tried to get all the other Billion Monkeys in action.  Snap snap snap snap.  (The marginal cost of digital photography is zero.  Underspend on cameras and overspend on storage media.  Blah blah.) But who or what was being hubbubbed?

It was only when I got home and took a more careful look at my snaps, on my computer screen instead of on the silly little screen on my camera, that I found out who the fuss was about.  Yes, Ian Botham!  I had been within about twelve feet of God, and I hadn’t even known it.


And then there were these guys.  They weren’t being mobbed madly, but they were being treated with way above average respect.  Signatures were being solicited.  Billion Monkeys were snapping.


Again, I only worked them out when I got home.  These guys were the umpires, Simon Taufel and Steve Bucknor.

The most pleasing snap of my entire day in the “what have we hear?” category was one of the Media Centre.


Yes, that media centre.

But now look at this snap:


In the 500 pixels wide version that you see without clicking on that, you just get a jumble, but when you click, you start to see that there are people there.  So let’s crop out these guys . . .


. . . and click on them.

That’s right.  Those are Test Match Special radio commentators.  It says so, on the sign.

Jonathan Agnew is clearly visible through the open window (which I seem to recall TMS demanded as a condition of operating in the Media Centre), and on his left and our right is Mike Gatting.  More dimly visible, but still definitely visible, to Gatting’s left, is Christopher Martin-Jenkins.  Did I ever tell you people that I was at school with CM-J.  Probably I did.  Well, anyway.  I was.  He was the captain of cricket in his last year, being an okay batter and an okay medium pace bowler.  But he also excelled in the end of term Footlights type review and was also very brainy, and I have not been at all surprised by his subsequent career path.

My camera has far better eyesight than I have.  It has a x12 zoom.  Bringing a camera to an event about quadruples the total pleasure I get from the event, because when I get home, I don’t just remember what I already saw; I get to see things which I did not see at all the first time around.  Without the camera, £10 would have been a bit steep for this Lords visit, given how flat the cricket turned out to be.  With the camera, £20 was a stunning bargain.  Best value entertainment I’ve had in a very long time.

Final shots:


On the left, W. G. Grace and an appropriately named roller.  On the right, two towers, glimpsed through a gap, on the way out.  Yes two towers.  Mostly that’s the tower of the Regents Park Mosque, but directly behind it is the BT Tower.

Because, when you think about it, this England v. Pakistan cricket match was, in its polite and good-humoured way, a clash of civlisations.  There’s a whole Samizdata posting to be done in connection with these snaps, in which the fact that the Pakistan cricket team has recently got more Muslim.  See in particular Mohammed Yousuf.

One of the reasons Strauss and I were disappointed at how patiently the Pakistanis batted in this game was that these Pakistani players have become more disciplined in their religious observances, as a team, encouraged by captain Inzamam, and as a result more disciplined as cricketers.

But I don’t want to suggest that this was a clash of civilisations in a bad way.  As I hope you can see from my pictures, Asian-descended and white Brits, and all shades and ethnicities and nationalities in between and all around, all mingled contentedly.  There was no “news”, i.e. unpleasantness, whatsoever.  (One of the things I like about the Internet is that it enables you to learn about non-news, satisfactory, nice-to-be-there events such as this one, in far away countries such as mine may be for you, instead of just about wars and famines and catastrophes.  The news at Lords last Monday was that it was a draw.  Yawn.  And the sun shone.  Nil all with three to play.  Nothing happened.

And all this at a time when the news type news in other parts of the Islam versus the Rest part of the world could hardly be worse.

It is not Islam versus the Rest. It’s Islam versus the Jews. The rest is sitting comfortably in the shaded bleachers, watching the spectacle of the rockets dawning on Israel (over 900 by now, in 7 days). Accompanied by BBC et al cries for poor Lebanese children.

The pictures; a few notes:
- how did you know who’s on who’s team? They all are wearing white
- loved the guys in hats and white shoes; are they some kind of referies?
- why the monkey-kid in the blue/red t-shirt looks at the wrong side of his camera? Expects a banana appearing?
- the media center looks very much like the “press room” in the pioneer camp on the Azov sea of my childhood. Just on a bigger scale and white plaster instead of metal; on the cliff above the beach, among the pines and acacias and bright lapis lazuli of the skies.
-Real Photographers are very manly.
-The minaret looks remarkably like the handgun with the silencer attached. Pointed at the sky.

Thanks for this expo, a nice present for my b’day.

Posted by Tat on 22 July 2006

Given the time it must have taken to put this post together—from the pictures to the commentary—a hearty thank you is in order.  Listening to coverage is acceptable but it’s definitely missing something without the visuals, so your wide-ranging review is appreciated.  I also enjoy seeing someone else’s perspective from, as you put it, a nice-to-be-there event such as this one.

While there are many good pictures, I particularly like part of picture #4 in the section on interesting looking spectators.  In the lower left, the kid decked out in all his gear looks absolutely enthralled while his sister is yawning and mom looks downright asleep.

Then there’s the one of Boris.  He always reminds me of Dudley Moore in the movie Arthur, like he just downed a few and is a bit loopy.

Posted by Mike on 24 July 2006
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.