Our cricket season begins…

Cricket, Kilmartin glen

First game of the season for Will and I today- always a day to celebrate in our house. (Although the photo above is an old one from last year taken at Dunadd in Mid Argyll.) People who do not understand the noble game may stop reading now!

Today we played for the Greenock 2nd 11 in a cup match round in Helensburgh- against their 1st 11. Actually we only had 8 players in the end- so it was a bit of an uphill battle!

The pitch was, well, moist. The balls from the fast bowlers broke through the turf and either sat up to be smacked, or beetled along the ground. There was some turn, but slow slow turn. I did not bowl today but Will sent down a few overs- he got a googly back through the gate to bowl one of their openers. He also bowled the last over.

I dropped two catches- one should have been taken, the other whilst running in from the boundary- just managed to get a painful finger on it a deep mid on.

I batted at number 3, but by this time the wind had dried out the pitch a little and the ball was spinning and kicking up- I hit a couple of boundaries and then edged one to first slip- out for 11. Grrrr. William did really well too- he made 8 in a last wicket stand of 30 odd, looking comfortable for about 5 overs before a loose defensive shot was taken at silly point.

All out for about a hundred in reply to their 250.

But we both had a great day!

Scottish cricket comes home…

Today we played cricket against Mid Argyll Cricket club.

What a ground! In the shadow of the ancient hill fort of Dunnad in Kilmartin Glen. There is something about played such a quintessentially English game (a discussion point- I know!) so close to the ancient seat of power of the Scots.

For the record- we lost. Badly. But it was a great day.

Meanwhile Emily and Michaela were at Toward Sailing Club fun day. Sailing races, food, swimming and being towed behind a speedboat on an inflatable. Emily that is, not Michaela.

The stones of Kilmartin…

I took a little walk in Kilmartin Glen this lunchtime, as I had an hour to kill between meetings.

It is a landscape littered with ancient history- revealed in stone. It contains a concentration of neolithic and bronze age sites that is probably the richest and most concentrated in all Europe. There are more than 350 ancient monuments within a six mile radius of the village of Kilmartin, 150 of them prehistoric. Monuments include standing stones, a henge monument, numerous cists, and a “linear cemetery” comprising five burial cairns. Several of these, as well as many natural rocks, are decorated with cup and ring marks.

I took a little stroll up the old hill fort of Dunadd– centre of the ancient kingdom of Dal Riata, the original Scots- who came over from Ireland some time in the pre Christian period.

It was a place visited by St Columba on his great missionary journeys.

Marked in the rocks are a carved footstep and bowl, thought to have been used as part of the coronation ritual for kings. They would be no use to me (should anyone suggest me as the next king) as my feet are too big.

Around the kirk in Kilmartin Village are many medieval stones- to complete the journey towards modernity. Lives of fighting men remembered in intricate recorded stone. Our longings to be as close to immortal as technology will allow us to become.

It is a place where we feel our beautiful fragility.

And in my case, then go to another bloody meeting.