“Old Apple Tree, We wassail thee…………………………”
Last night was the Wassail at Wick Court and of course guess who was Master of Ceremonies? Once again in my own imitable style it was a fairly anarchic evening with the young people from Ravenstone School Balham. I kept it fairly short because the young people had been outside all day and it was cold! I am thinking of writing a song/verse that is Wick Court specific for next year that we teach our participants beforehand. I had done my usual bird watching with them during the day and the children were delightful and we saw 24 species.
It was a rush home after the Wassail to host my Book Club. We did something different last night and each one of us had to chose a photograph that either meant something special or had influenced us. It was certainly a wide ranging philosophical discussion with surprising choices by my friends.
I wanted a picture of Basil D’Oliveira ( the South African who played for England because of apartheid). As I have written previously I went as a boy to that iconic Test Match in 1968 when he scored a big hundred and then for political machinations was not selected for tour of South Africa– he later was recalled and the the rest is history. I think it my rude awakening to the world of politics! For many years until apartheid was ended I was very much at odds with the conservative (with a small c) cricketing establishment. I went on marches and boycotted anything South African and even changed my bank. The picture below is with one of the great figures of the 20th century Nelson Mandela – who hugged him and thanked him after they had dinner together said “Thank you Basil you have done your bit!” Throughout the political storm clouds D’Oliveira always maintained great dignity. If you read a previous blog I went into the England dressing room at that fateful Oval Test Match and he said “Hello” to four grubby boys!
Tomorrow we head North for the vital relegation clash for the Mighty Hatters against Burnley. Fingers will be firmly crossed!