Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bens training

Good session tonight over at Mopsies led by G-Man, I helped out a bit. There were a lot of new lads there tonight and the rest of the team ensured that they all got a chance to bowl and bat which was good to see. I was impressed with Ben's batting, he batted against Frank and scored 9 off him - two 4's and a single before being retired. He took the skip down the wicket and smash it approach, so it looks like on one hand facing my bowling all the time may give some advantage when it comes to Leggies?

As we left, Dave Ayres approached us and said that Ben had been selected for the game on Sunday. It'll be interesting to see where he bats, I've got feeling he may get to bat at No.3 with Mitchell or perhaps higher as some of the boys from Billericay school are away this weekend on some school event, so this means another depleted side.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Joe development

Late home from work this evening - marking AS and A level work, didn't get way till 9.50pm, so didn't get in till 10.45. Somehow, Karma was on my side, not only had the cricket highlights just started, but as I came up the stairs I saw this... Joe's support boot outside his room. meaning when I looked inside there he was asleep with only the bandage on!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Joe update, paddock and the weather

On the 25th (Friday) I took Joe along to the clinic on my own and hadn’t seen the progress since Monday when I last photographed it and was pleased to see that everything is coming along nicely. Joe still can’t bring himself to look at ‘The Hole’, but is quite happy to see images of the impact wound and the Bone ‘Exit’ wound. The ‘Impact wound’ has still got the scab over the top of it and they’re still applying the Jelly stuff to loosen it up so that they can peel it off and have the wound the same as the other – pink and raw. This approach in the long run means a less significant scar, allowing the wounds to scab up apparently leaves a more prominent scar. The visits to the clinic are still Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so it’s difficult with regards to work, but at the minute both of us a swapping the visits and our employers are showing a great deal of understanding with this, which is a appreciated. The next big day is this coming Friday (June 1st) when a new set of Xray’s are due and the next development in the healing process. Michelle is under the impression that they’ll be doing a MRI/Cat Scan on this visit to look at the ligaments around the knee as there were initial concerns that there may have been some damage of that kind. Fingers crossed that’ll be reasonably okay and wont be that significant in the longer term?

Today Ben and I went over the paddock and had a bit of a bat and a bowl and I said to Joe “What about you come over and umpire on the LBW decisions”? and Joe said yes, see he came over. We had almost an hour where I batted against some really good bowling by Ben (He bowled me 4 times) and then I bowled at him with the side arm using Readers Wind Balls. Then a bunch of Estate Kids came along and were watching, these are the kids that back in the day when we used to mow a wicket on the adjacent football field in the summer used to join, so they eventually said ‘Come on let’s have a game of quick cricket’? and I realised that if we did that Joe could be the bowler. So we did and Joe even got to have a bat sitting in his wheel chair having one of the Estate Kids as a runner. More amazing still Ben bowled at him in a reasonable and humane way! In 99.99% scenarios Ben would be looking to maim Joe or give him absolutely no chance of hitting the ball, but it seems Ben’s able to empathise with Joe’s situation and off Ben’s bowling with his runner Joe scored the highest ‘Innings’!

Also talking to Joe today and asking him about his leg he was saying that with regards to his perception of what was the aspect that he was more concerned about with regards to seriousness of the injuries his answer was ‘The open wounds’. He said that the broken bones were now a negligible aspect and that they didn’t concern him that much at all and he felt that he could probably put his leg down and apply some weight on the leg. We’ve said not to do that till at least this Friday when we visit the Fracture clinic and I suspect that, this is what they’ll be saying to do next based on what I’ve read about of other peoples recovery processes. But, having said that, Michelle suggested that he tried sleeping tonight without the plastic cast on tonight and he wasn’t up for it at all. Again he said he’d wait till Friday and see what the consultant surgeon would say.

Exit wound and operation scar (Right) "The Hole" on left.

Close up of "The Hole" as it was on the 25th of May. The scarring fron the split is clearly visible above and below the hole

Close up of the bone exit wound and the scar from the operation.

The Impact Wound. You can see this is massively different and the scab almost looks ready to come off.

The images here below are of the Paddock this week. I'm using a heavy duty Playground Mat to bowl off of this summer to prevent ant further damage to the wicket whilst I try and maintain it and get the grass growing in the footholes created last year.
 This shot here is the Paddock as it was this morning after I'd given it a bit of a mow. I just need to try and get Ben in there some more or some of the other lads, so that we can justify putting the nets up! As you can see the weather is in stark conrast to a couple of weeks ago or even a week ago when it was bloody cold at 12 degrees most days and now we have dry fine weather with blue skies and a cool easterly breeze keeping the temp at 25-29 degrees centigrade.

Here's Joe and his lightweight cast on his way to the clinic on Friday. He's using the crutches a lot more now and I've fitted the hand grips with spongey hand grips. 

I've not said much about my bowling recently because there still haven't been any matches. I've noticed that I'm marked as a squad member this year in the 4thXI's for Saturdays, but as yet there's been no matches that I'm aware of and there looks to only be one more lined up for the rest of the season?

My bowlings okay- up and down days, probably a lot of positives to be taken from it, but without any matches I can't see if there's any benefits of my practice. I've now developed a square turner that spins at 90 degrees to the flight direction and I can bowl this at will which is good. My accuracy despite being able to spin the ball much harder this year looks very promising and my only concern would be my bowling speed. I've been trying to improve the speed, but this leading to developing sore shoulders and I can only put this down to the 'Joe Factor' because he's not around I don't think I'm doing the same amount of running around and exercise that I would normally do and this does seem to be having some impact.
Did Joe recover? See below...
Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Training batting and Ben

A couple of days ago the weather was cloudy and windy with a North Westerly and averaging around 12 degrees, last night Tuesday and tonight at 6pm it was more than double that at 25-26 degrees!

Last night the 'Senior lads' in the U13's had Frank McLeod training them and doing some interesting Batting drills with them, which with a bit of luck and some application Ben might have taken something from and be able to apply it to his game. Given that Ben's highly unlikely to show any enthusiasm or appreciation for anything let alone cricket, today he let slip that he thought that the session was good/useful and that he liked Franks sense of humor. The boys involved were...

Mitchell McLeod
Harrison Birch
Frank Farrington
Stevie Wyatt
Anthony Ayres

Frank had one stump in the ground and an off-side field set up where all of the others were spread out evenly and one bloke on the leg-side. He then did throw downs making them drive the ball back at him as straight as possible trying the thread the ball through the ring of fielders. He then threw the ball out wide instructing them to leave those and not go after them. The objective seemed to be to get over the ball, keep your balance and bring the bat through straight in order to middle it, rather than edge it and hit the ball square. If you did that be it first ball or otherwise you gave up your go and the next bloke was in. It was a good drill in that it was ruthless, if you wanted to stay in, you followed Franks instructions and these were simple. The one that they had trouble with was, that once they'd been there for a while and were getting settled, he's always offer one out wider and so many of them went after it rather than leaving it!

Then today, Ben took that out onto the square at his school game, unfortunately Ben was batting at No.8  today so ended up with 7 not out, but he did give me the impression that he'd taken on board what Frank had been teaching them and he was looking to go on and score more runs, if it hadn't been for the fact that the lads that followed him all lost their wickets in quick succession.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

U13's first game of the season

It's Saturday night 23.30 and I've been watching the forecast all day and it's not been that good with the prospect of rain, but I've just seen the most recent update and it looks like we may be lucky? Joe's going to be there and he'll be taking along a score book and he's going to see if he can score it.

Sunday -

Up early and at the ground at about 9.10 ready for a 9.30 start. Getting there at that time didn't work out as the other lads had been warming up and speaking to the coaches and Ben joined in just as that finished.

It's at this point I have to write about Ben and his attitude towards Cricket and everything else other than XBOX games and Scooters. Currently the things that consume Ben's time these days are scooters - when he's outside and XBOX war games (Battlefield 3) at all other times. Balancing these obessessions with cricket and other stuff - school and homework is becoming increasingly more difficult. I have to admit I'm pretty much obsessed with cricket and I have to be careful not to go so over-board with my obsession that it puts Ben off of the sport - e.g. expecting him to want to join me everytime I practcie which at the weekend can be 2 or 3 times a day an hour or more each time and an hour or so most evenings.

Ben has said in the past that he feels that he does better going straight into his bowling cold, not having had a practice bowl, so today and yesterday I didn't suggest that he practiced and went with that approach. You'll see from the score sheets and his bowling figures below he didn't do that well. The disappointing thing was that he didn't seem to be that bothered by it or make the connection between having not practiced in the last couple of weeks and being hit for 10 runs an over. Once off he then bowled to me off the pitch and it was perfect, his response was...

"What's that all about, I bowl three over and the balls all over the shop and then I bowl one at you and you're bowled 1st ball"?
"Maybe the 3 overs out in the middle served as looseners and now your warmed up and ready to go"? I offered, he shrugged his shoulders and didn't bowl anymore.

Because we were down on numbers - only 10 turned up, we had a couple of lads from the U11's in - Charlie Blerkom and Sam Good. We fielded first under grey skies and a cold wind. It was a rusty performance overall apart from Sam Goods. Sam it has to be noted is only 9 and stands about 3'6"easily the smallest bloke on the pitch, but he's an exceptionally good bowler and as you can see from his figures saved the U13's from an embarassing start to the season. I can't really say what went wrong for Ben I know he was bowling wides some of the time, one ball he looked as though he was trying a bouncer, but overall it looked as though right from the outset he was just trying to bowl too fast and G-Man had a word with him after the first over and suggested he take it a little easier.

To be honest the opposition had some exceptionally strong looking players especially the opening bowler, he looked very fast and was a big lad, some of the lads joked about which car was his. One or two of their bats were a bit handy as well, so overall given that the side was depleted in numbers and have so little in the way of training leading up the game because of the weather, they did okay.

Scene of Joes accident

Friday, May 18, 2012

Week 6 Joes Progress

So here we are 6 weeks after the accident and this is how things are looking. We're still taking Joe to the clinic every two days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) which is difficult because of the time off work aspect needed to do it.
Joe's still a bit distressed at the prospect of looking at the wounds.
The new 'Storm Trooper Boot' is a lot better and Joe's now okay about his leg coming out of it and having the wound treated, you get the sense that he knows that the join between the bones albeit only 6 weeks since the accident is fairly secure and today he's been at school using crutches and moving around a lot - from class, to the school and back again which is quite some distance, but he was exhausted by the time he got in at 1pn today. He's scheduled to do a couple of full days next week - Monday and Wednesday.
The impact wound.

So here's a second look at the impact wound (Above). Last Monday the jelly that breaks down the scabbing was applied to it and it has started to work on it. The nurse was able to peel away the edges, but the centre of the scab is still attached to the tissue underneath and this was causing a great deal of pain as the nurse tried to remove it. So she's left it as it is here and has applied more of the Jelly to break it down.

The Exit wound where the Tibia came through the skin
and scarring where the surgeons opened the would to conduct
the operation.

This is the exit wound (Above) where the Tibia came through the skin, it was the lower half of Tibia attached to the foot that came through the skin and struck the ground and got dirt on it. During the operation that part of the bone that had become infected with dirt was removed and filed away. The scar (With stitch marks) is where the skin was opened up in order that they were able to get inside of the leg and clean it up and manouvre the bone back into alignment helped with the two titanium rods that were forced through the length of the lower leg via to access wounds just below the knee
This is 'Split wound'

The split wound (Above) which was the worst looking and the deepest, at one point at least 15mm is coming along very nicely, this is the one that we had the infection scare with last week. I didn't get to see this mid-week as Michelle went with her Dad and I was at work, so I've not seen this since last Monday and this has improved a great deal.
Here's the wounds in situ apart from the 'Impact Wound' which is on the other side of the leg.

The overall look of the leg is good, much of the bruising and swelling has gone down and this morning Joe finished the second course of anti-biotics - Flucloxacillin and Methicillin as far as we can recall which were foul tasting and Joe was happy to see the back of those. They were difficult to use as they had to be administered an hour before eating so in the morning for instance Joe had to be woken up early in order to have the medicine.

The next significant event is June 1st when we're back to the Fracture clinic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cricket at last!

The club was determined that despite the forecast of more showers there would be cricket tonight at Mopsies Park 'The Home of Cricket" and sure enough just after 7pm on a damp and cold evening with the grass soaking from the earlier heavy showers, the Cricket Gods looked down and decided "There will be cricket"! And there was...

Ben getting padded up to bat first with Kieran, from our perspective as bowlers he did exceptionally well, hitting all of the balls through the off-side, some of them back past the bowler bewteen him and mid off and generall all along the ground! He even hit a four! He looked in good touch and it might do his confidence some good when he gets to bat in a proper game this Sunday.

Ben looking pretty professional driving the ball for 4 through the off-side!
Joe's doing well with his leg, despite the fact that his fibia is still broken and not joined he feels comfortable enough to have his leg out of the 'Storm Trooper Boot' for short periods to give it a bit of an airing. On the 16th he went into school on crutches for the first time without his wheelchair and that went well.

Last night I noticed that when he sleeps now (With the boot on) he crosses his other leg over the top of the bad leg, so that's also an indication of how confident he's feeling about it slowly getting back to normal-ish.

Bowling & The Paddock

I had a bowl last night, went okay, bowled a lot more balls - somewhere in the 90-120 region and my shoulder has come away from it feeling okay, obviously due to the increase in exercise that I've been doing in the last week or so - pull-ups, press-ups and planks. But, I must admit my legs feel a bit tight, so I need to get some Yoga and stretching things going,

Rolled the paddock last night and that's looking pretty good, need short showers and sunny weather to get the grass growing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Whoa! Two days of sunshine - what the hell is happening?

Whoa! Two days of sunshine - what the hell is happening? Saturday and Sunday a whole weekend of sunshine and despite this the local pitches were still far too wet to allow for any games and all of our clubs fixtures were cancelled this weekend. I was especially gutted as it looked as though I was definitely looking at getting a game despite the fact that I was option 21 of 22 players for it and somehow over the week I crept up the list to become option No3!

There was an U13's game scheduled for tomorrow night (Monday) which older son Ben would have played in, but that's been cancelled so that 'The Rec' (below) can dry out a little more.
But the good news is, the club reckon that despite the fact that there may be a little rain on Tuesday at some point, training will happen.

With the wet weather The Paddocks had a soaking and it's only been today and yesterday that it's been dry enough to mow. The council fortunately had been round with a sit on mower and had cut the grass very roughly - so that did the majority of the work for me, but getting it down to a reasonable height was still bloody hard work and too two sessions with the mower blades set at differing heights.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Storm Trooper Boot + 1 Day (He Plays Cricket)

Just in case you arrive here looking for cricket related stuff, Joe plays cricket as well as my other son Ben (13) and myself.

So right from the outset as soon as Joe woke up he was into new experiences, he woke up laying on his side properly with his leg sideways too - first time that's happened in 36 days. Then as soon as he was up and out of bed he had the confidence to walk from his bed to the kitchen with no assistance required from us, he uses a zimmer frame at the moment, but as soon as he shows signs of real confidence we'll get him using his crutches.

Throughout the day, the walking around with no assistance increased and so did the distances. The longest being from the front of our house (Kitchen) to the back of the house and into the garden where Joe sat in the sun with me playing Chess.

The 'Storm Trooper Boot' in the longer run will mean that once he's confident that his leg wont re-snap at the slightest knock, he'll be able to remove and sleep without it on, but at the minute he's still really wary about how stable his leg is and probably worried about the gashes in his leg. Despite this he's been willing to take the top off the boot today and give his leg an airing, so that's a start.

This evening he had the leg in the air above his heart which helps to reduce any swelling I think and is more conducive with the healing happening at an faster rate. It seemed that this worked so well, that with the reduction in the swelling it became apparent that there is a lump that feels like the end of one of the titanium rods sticking out of the front of his tibia just below the knee. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but it could mean it's there so that the rod can be removed at some point? We'll have to see what happens in the longer term. Our next hospital visit is the first Friday in June which I think is the first? Till then it's the same schedule as before - Monday, Wednesday and Friday visits to the clinic to have the wounds dressed.

Here's a good story from an Adult with a similar injury and some of the same concerns we're having and this has settled my mind a little.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Joe 1 step backwards 3 steps forwards

At last some really good news for Joe
The last look at the two wounds encased in the Plaster of Paris cast.
We didn't really know what the outcome of todays visit would be, we weren't sure whether the potential infection situation was going to escalate and become serious and to be honest I was going down the amputation scenario in my head and really worrying about it. Fortunately that aspect of the recovery took a back seat and it seemed as though we were reading far too much into it and that it was a only a mild infection and that re-introduction of the duo of pencilin drugs was enough to render it no longer an issue. The puffiness of the swelling was still there, but the consultant said that it was part and parcel of the natural recovery process.
A slightly worried Joe waiting to have his heavy cast cut off.
The decision was made having seen the Xray that the cast could come off and some other alternative support would be put in place. We were hoping that this would be the case, and we figured that if they did remove the big cast would they then replace it with a light-weight full length resin cast? The Bank Holiday Nurse seemed to think that was unlikely as that type of cast wouldn't be able to have the window cut in it in the same way so that the wounds could be accessed, so we were part prepared for another full weight Plater cast.

Joe having been encased in the cast for the last 5 weeks was a little concerned at the prospect of having it removed and no longer having that sensation of total support. He also caught a glance of the big split wound lower on his leg near his ankle and this upset him a bit as he hadn't seen it previously.
Xray #1 Side view showing the still wayward Fibia and the starting to fuse together Tibia + the two Titanium Rods
Again as a layman this still looks very sketchy, but we're assured that everything is going along really well and that the Fibia will join together in time and fully recover. The pins are staying it seems. They will fuse together with the bone and become as one and being Titanium they wont be an issue at the airpport which everyone else seems to be concerned about!
This is the lower wound where the skin spilt open as the leg bent before it snapped in half.
The image above is the bigger lower wound which was exceptionally deep at one point. This is the wound that they suspected had become infected. Despite how gruesome it looks, it is doing exceptionally well and the tissue is all growing back. They've now stopped for the moment using the seaweed fibre stuff to pack it and they're using a gel that prevents the wound fron scabbing up.

The image above shows the half cast removed revealing some of the stuff that till now has been invisible to us/Joe. Either side of the Knee and just below it are tow small plasters, these are the entry wounds for the Titanium rods. Beneath the plaster were stitches and these were removed with some discomfort for Joe, saying that the pain levels this time were 6 out of 10 as they were removed.
Here's the leg free at last showing the extent of the swelling and the positions of the wounds that we've been watching slowly heal over the last 5 weeks. 

This is another addition to the list of wounds that I'd forgotten about. It was probably mentioned at the very start of the process, but being tied up in the emotion of everything and knowing that they didn't consider it as a important as some of the other wounds it was forgotten about. This is the impact wound on the opposite side of the tear/split wound. This has a big scab as you can see, but they don't go a bundle on scabs these days and it may be the case that when they have a look at it on Monday at the clinic, they'll put some kind of scab removing Jelly on it? We'll have to wait and see.

So with the massively reduced stability which was offered with the big PP cast, Joe was nervous understandably with the prospect of his knee bending and his leg being so free. Here he is in his wheelchair with the new replacement for the massive cast - a below the knee, removable plastic support! Probably 1/20th of the weight of PP cast so Joe was freaked out initially by the lack of support and was really nervous about every aspect of the change, but with every new challenge in the cast he faced going home, the more he realised the benefits of this new cast and the more sure he became of it as would be expected. From my point of view knowing that his Fibia is still floating loose and aware that the Tibia can't be that fully fixed surely - I was nervous for him and empathised with his situation! It would just seem that if he was to put any weight on it - surely bones and joins would be compromised? Similarly if he was to lift his foot off the ground from the hip - you'd imagine that the weight of his own leg and foot, combined with the weight of this boot would weigh down and pull the join in the tibia apart? Seemingly not though, otherwise they wouldn't have taken this action - it just goes to show how amazing the body is at repairing itself in these situations! .
Joe at home points at the entry wounds for the titanium rods.

So, from Joe's point of view and ours' a massive leap forwards, way beyond our expectations, as I said earlier I kind of expected to see him walk out with a new cast possibly the same as his red one or in a best case scenario a full length but lighter resin type. So this is a massive advance in his progress.
2015 Sept what's Joe doing now? Did he recover fully?

Half way through the process of removing the cast.

Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Joe falters

Back to the Hospital this afternoon and evening with Joe with a bit of a scare. The previous dressing change revealed a sudden swelling of the his leg, so was definitely interested in what his regular nurse would make of it. She didn't even dress it - had us straight up the hospital to have it looked at by the heavy-weights. She seemed to think that the wounds were starting to show signs of going ...sceptic - blood poisoning scenarios with the potential for the whole thing going very wrong. I'd thought that on Monday so was glad that this nurse reacted the way that she did. The wounds have been cleaned very thoroughly, painful for Joe as you can imagine and swabs taken from the wound to check for infection. The consultant was quite happy with the situation as it stands and Joe's back on a course of anti-biotics to ward off the chance of an infection. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's an infection in the surface wounds and not the internal wounds or some form of infection in the bone, which has been discussed as the bone made contact with the road during the accident. The potential for things getting a lot worse are there, but seemingly minimal at this stage, but it is very worrying.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Fitness - Wrist Spinner & Cricket

What with the situation with Joe and the care that's been needed to look after him and this is not just the physical stuff, but the fact that it could be all to easy to sit him in front of the tele or a series of DVD's and let him get on with it, we've been tied up keeping him busy and optimistic about his long term recovery prospects. As a result it's mean that along with the bad weather I've not had that many opportunities to maintain a fitness regime and as a result I'm pretty unfit in comparison with the expected fitness levels expected at this time of year.

So yesterday I made a concerted start to get back on track. In addition, thinking long term, I don't want to be part of the reason the rest of society has to dig deep into their pockets to pay for the treatment of more than 50% of the UK's population who are over-weight and therefore susceptible to an array of illnesses and conditions. Increasingly this topic appears on the news and again it appeared recently (Here) supported by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Oliver who are pushing for food awareness/benefits to be taught in schools. The more you talk to people who are involved in the health and education around this subject, the more you realise it's another massive nightmare scenario that could come crashing into everyone's lives in a dramatic way. So being of the type that sees that each individual has a responsibility to the rest of the collective society, I'm looking to keep myself out of hospital and doctors surgerys as much as possible by keeping fit.

So, I do a few things on a regular basis that don't involve having to buy expensive kit or joining some gym where you're surrounded by a bunch of posers and other types with weird agendas...

1. Pull-Ups; I have a pull up bar in the doorway of one of our rooms and I kind of commit myself to doing a few each time I walk past it. I do the basic pull up and one where, once I'm up there I bring my knees up to my chin and hold, as that works on the stomach muscles (Core).
2. Rotational Press-Ups: Again similarly I do these in batches of ten during the day whenever I can, some days when it goes well I'll get 60-80 done in a day, but more often 20-40 a day.
3. Plank type 1. This one I try and get done at least once a day and hold for 30 seconds. The Woman in this does a variation where she brings her leg across underneath her which I may adopt. But normally after 30 seconds I maintain the static position and raise my left leg off the ground for 30 seconds and put it back down and repeat with th right leg for another.
4. Plank type 2: Then I continue from there using the sideways variations shown in this video for 15 seconds each side

To be continued

Joe's Progress with his Leg Break

(4). Fitness
(5). The Bowlers Art by Brian Wilkins

Joe's Progress

I think since the last time I posted up some pictures of Joes Wounds and the rate that they are healing, he's been in twice and had the wounds dressed and looked at.

The Weather & The Paddock

We're into May now and it's dismal - day after day it's just grey and wet, not always loads of rain just light persistant rain interspersed with a brief sunny spells. But all this combined with a wind pattern that is dragging cold air from the North Pole it's cold, damp and miserable, more akin to the weather you'd expect to have in March.

This is supposed to be a Bank Holiday where we're supposed to get away to the beach or somewhere, or at least get out and about in the fresh air and have a knock-about with a ball or something.
You can't really see from this image how boggy the wicket is over at the Paddock, but it's as it would be usually in February, except that the grass is growing, but if you tread in the boggy stuff you sink and it leaves a big indentation in the mud/grass. Unfortunately the kids off the estate are getting in there and playing football despite it being a mud bath, but I can't begrudge them that and it's good to see kids playing sports rather than sitting on their back-sides texting and playing computer games. To be honest I think they're avoiding this muddy area and I like to think that they're doing so because they know we mow it, look after it and use it for practicing? Dog owners on the other hand are another matter and most of the damage is done by dogs and they allow them to crap all over the grass in the paddock where kids play!
The seed that I put down which I was worried about suffering due to dry weather I reckon for the most part has probably gone mouldy because of the rain in the boggy area previously mentioned, but in the batting area as you can see from above the seeds germinated and has started to come through, so that's a positive.

In addition with regards the knackered fence, I've had a reply from a different person in the council and they're looking now at the possibility of the fence being replaced like for like which'll be a chain link fence. Whether they're thinking a brand new fence all round or just a patch up job I don't know, but with a bit of luck it'll be all round as it'll mean we lose a lot less balls than we do at the moment.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Spinning the Ball

Spinning the Ball

With the weather being so abysmal not only rainy but horrible and cold generally when it's not raining, I've not been getting out and about. That coupled with Joe needing attention and lots going on at work at this time of year - courses finishing, A-Level exams and assessing all over the place, there's been very little in the way of opportunities to get outside and throw the ball around. So instead I've been flicking the all and looking at the positions of the wrist and how it effects the spin. I've even been outside spinning the ball up against a wall and watching how the spin effects the movement back off the wall. One of the blokes on the forum I comment on - Macca always recommends this as a way of checking what you're doing and he says of this as a tool "The wall never lies". My wall isn't much cop, I'd like it to be bigger, but it'll have to do and it has worked because bit by bit over the weeks the work I've been putting in flicking the ball from hand to hand and up against the wall seems to be paying off...

Most of my recent practices have gone reasonably well with nothing much to report on that is negative off the back of the sessions, yeah the sessions have hiccups during them, but increasingly I've got the tools to quickly address these and I get my bowling back on track. But, to say that I've got good control over the subtleties of the Leg Break would be a massive over-statement. I can vary to some extent whether I bowl the 45 degree Leg Break or a small leg break with lots of Top-Spin, but it's a fluke if I get the ball coming out at 90 degrees and I certainly couldn't guarantee that I'd be able to do it 2 or 3 times in an over without messing up some other aspect of the bowling action.

But over the last couple of days working with the ball up against a wall, messing around with my grip and wrist presentation I've been able to get to a point where I can produce the ball spinning at 90 degrees. Not only that - but with what looks like more spin than I would normally get. I've tried to today over 22 yards using Hockey Balls and that went really well, so things are looking good. The only issue was that I felt really un-fit as since Joe has had his accident and the rain came, I've done very little in the way of exercise and bowling, so I'm going to have to work on that pretty intensively.

The other thing I've re-visted off the back of reading some of Brian Wilkins book "The Art of Bowling" is the Flipper. There's a very good section in this book on the Flipper and it's origins and it discusses the Variations as described by Grimmett in his 1930's book 'Getting Wickets', I've not read it fully but he discusses the variations and their potential by the looks of it, but somewhat disappointingly he does concede that he didn't dedicate a great deal of time trying them out (Unlike me) and if you're looking for some practical guidance on the Flippers you could look at my Youtube Channel via this video here where I explain my take on some of the obscure variations. Whilst I'm not going to re-open the chest of Flipper Variations I have been looking at the conventional Back-Spinner and I reckon there's a chance that if nailed properly and floated in amongst a series of Over-Spun Leg Breaks the back-spinner which stalls massively could have the lesser batsman playing at fresh air? So I may work with this over the summer if it ever stops raining!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Not working on building sites and the likes I never hear Jokes anymore offenisve or otherwise, but I saw this posted on Facebook yesterday by 'Pinno the Spinno' and it made me chuckle.

A bloke on a tractor has just driven past shouting "The end of the world is nigh!!" I think it was Farmer Geddon.