Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exclusive poll result, and booklust.

Firstly, the poll.

80% of people believe that Ricky Ponting should be attacked by Gollum. Read into that what you will.

But what I read into it is an unhealthy obsession with a particularly enigmatic Lord of the Rings character. I'm talking about myself as well, and you really don't want to be put in my basket, because I want a hooded cloak and a licence to wander around calling myself Aragorn. Not to mention my general book obsession which has left me in the position of having too many books and not enough shelf, and yet I still keep buying them.

Today, for example, I bought: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Iwain and Gawain and Tolkien's Unfinished Tales. They're to be added to my already substantial collection which includes various tellings of Arthurian legends (from Anonymous to Alfred, Lord Tennyson), Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the rest of Tolkien's works, various modern fantasy (of which I'll be reviewing the latest addition in my next post) and a whole heap of classical literature.

Next on my list for collecting is various mentions of Robin Hood (from Piers Plowman to Sir Walter Scott), a medieval bestiary and as old a chemistry book I can find (preferably ancient and suspiciously stained with blood and that may or may not have at one point been borrowed by a Dr Frankenstein). You can see a pattern.

Anyway, all I'm saying is BE WARNED. You start with a poll and a mild interest in Lord of the Rings. You end up like me. And no, that is NOT a good thing.

Good night!

PS: See how I've carefully avoided mentioning a certain cricket trophy that may have resulted in victory for a certain Antipodean team that was not New Zealand.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Australia snuck through to the semifinals like a schoolboy into an R rated film showing, thus knocking India out of the tournament. Set a rather pathetic total of 205 by Pakistan, they started their chase comfortably, thanks to the top order. However, the combined power of Pakistani and Indian supporters morphed the middle order into jelly, making them play like the West Indies Z team, or England on a bad day. Once again, they were befuddled by offspin and the chase came down to the last ball (although they had drawn level with a single off the second-last). However, Binga Lee and Haury (new breakfast radio show coming up?) managed to keep their heads and seal victory.

Australia now face England in the semi-final, and as far as Graeme Swann and I remember, the Poms smashed them in the last meeting between these two teams. We won't remember any further back, unless it's all the way back to 2007, when England defeated Australia 2-0 in the finals of the CB series. Or to 2004, when England brushed past Australia in the Champions Trophy semi-final. On evidence of all that, we know who should be the favourites! However, lots of bookmakers have decided to go in for charity and are offering juicy odds.

India, on the other hand, have discovered that DIY is not that crash hot, and doesn't really improve performance. I never thought it would - how could a suggestion that it would take a few hours and a fair few drinks to pick up a girl in a Johannesburg bar (or indeed any bar) possibly boost testosterone levels? This kind of implication doesn't just crush egos, it crushes a few other things too.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have slipped under the radar (yet again) by overachieving in a typically Kiwi way and not just getting into the semi-finals, but topping their group. Admittedly they were gifted a win through a collaboration of the pitch and the coin in their match against England, but it has set up a mouthwatering contest with Pakistan, and the possibility of a trans-Tasman final, although not if I get my way. Which I usually do.