I've listened to it through once with my head buried in my hands, cringing at the sound of my own nasal remarks. I sound like a knobberbit of an in-experienced radio show guest, which isn't too far from the truth: there's a reason why I blog, rather than broadcast.
Still, our cycle around the lidos of London was a nice mid-summer jolly. Hopefully it will encourage others to take up a similar cycling & swimming lifestyle around town.
The star of the show is without a doubt Sam the Wheels, the legendary bike wheel builder of Brixton. I still can't quite believe we door-stopped the old boy for an interview at 7:30 in the morning.
Thanks to Jack Thurston for making a bumbling bike guest just about sound half-decent.
Live! (knobber) blogging from The Oval, well, as Live! as you can (knobber) blog from a rather pedestrian four day County Championship game.
Refresh and scroll down for updates.
Thank heavens the twenty20 is finished for Surrey. From slog-fest favourites to bottom of the Southern group. Back to the traditional County Championship, and back to the bottom of Division One.
Surrey have been truly shocking so far this season. Pace preferred over match winning spin, out of form experienced players over youth, and let us not forget the Chris Lewis farce, parachuted in as a Surrey T20 star, and then sent packing at almost the same pace after failing to make an impact.
And so on a sedate Sunday afternoon at The Oval, Kent have come to town to try their luck against the out of form home side. I've come simply as a comedown from the cricket chaos of T20.
It takes some adjustment to find the pace of the County game in the first game back following the T20. It also takes some adjustment to find the crowd. 23,000 Suitscricket fans packed out the old ground less than forty-eight hours ago when Middle! Middle! Middle! Sex! Sex! Sex! skittled out Surrey. Not so today. The pavilion has plenty of legroom. Last Friday and each boundary was met with a blast of Eminem over the PA. I'm watching the afternoon session with the soundtrack of a couple of Maidens sitting behind me finishing off their late luncheon salad.
But this is serious business for Surrey, especially for stand in Captain Mr Ramps. It's back to Ramp's Watch once again with Twinkle Toes still trying for his one hundredth first class century.
118-2 for the Brown Caps with yer man looking steady on 40. Expect the mainstream knobber media whores to descend on South London if Mr Ramsps is still standing at the crease come the tea interval.
Nothing flash from the forgotten England man. He has got four days to strike up his amazing feat. The support at the other end is from Jonathan Batty, currently showing 25 on the scoreboard. The Surrey 'keeper needs to keep his head and offer Ramps strong support for what could be a momentous sporting afternoon in South London.
No Glam Girly Friend (playing some minority sport that attracts even less of a following than County Cricket, apparently.) Instead I've treated the fragrant mrs onionbagblogger to her first pavilion trip of the year. There's talk of a late afternoon boosting of the crowd from the boys from, um, Peckham. Let's hope they make it here in time for Twinkle Toes' major moment.
126-2 Surrey; 48 for Ramps.
Bugger. Ramps is walking on 48 after a fine catch. That hundredth hundred will come, but it's clearly hanging over Ramp's head and affecting his form. Pantomime over, back to the serious business for Surrey of putting some runs on the board with new batsmen Afzaal.
I'm shaping up for an afto of on the tinnies. Yet to try out the *unofficial* Bring Yer Own Booze policy in the pavilion. Not sure if one is actually in place, to be honest. Heartened by bloke sitting in front of me with his can of Stella. Maidens behind me have moved onto afternoon tea.
Chin chin (I hope.)
The Middle England Maidens sitting behind us are turning out to be right noisy buggers. They're sitting in some sort of sectioned off area of the pavilion. A VIP area for VIP's, if you will. It's full of knobbers to be honest.
Here's me concerned that my six cans of Carling will cause a fuss. A G&T too many for the Maidens and they're making more noise than the ODI beer boys back in the Bedser Stand last week.
Surrey meanwhile are rather quiet. Afzaal (Player of the Season?) is solid, if steady on 13. Batty is carrying the cause on 42. 159-3.
Away from the Maidens madness and elsewhere in the pavilion and it's anoraksbusiness as usual. A bloke near the boundary is busy with his crayons: a colour scheme for every eventuality. Red for a run, white for a wicket, silver for a streaker. With mrs obb in attendance, let's hope the latter isn't required.
We're looking forward to the tea interval. There's talk of 'exploring the Surrey library.' Blimey. That's not something I would have ever thought I'd say.
Can count: *whisper* three.
Back after the break. We went for a wander around the old pavilion during the tea interval. Got horribly lost. Ended up at a private function for retired Tories. My face didn't fit, and I can confirm that the cut-off combats look isn't being paraded around the Shires this season. Tossers.
We ended up in the kitchen for the main restaurant.
Oh, er, so sorry. I appear to be lost, as I tried to explain to Chef. Cobblers. I was trying to lift some of the food from the supplies.
mrs obb was impressed by the pavilion:
'There's pictures of cricketers EVERYWHERE, and the toilets don't smell.'
It's a bit like obb HQ II then.
170-3 Surrey ahead of the final session. Honours just about even in what should be a fascinating four days of play.
No sign of the (T20) knobber Mexican wave today. You'd be struggling to be honest. The lone steward in the OCS may, or may not participate, and then there would be a big empty nothing until the Members in the pavilion voted with their arses on their seats.
No sign of the Peckham boys either, who seem to have blown me out, so to speak.
We were reminded on the scoreboard that:
'Surrey ground regulations state NO stacking of beer glasses.'
I hope the retired Tories sitting behind me are taking note. It's not the stacking of beer glasses that is causing me concern; it's more like being poisoned by the stench of shitty perfume.
And that's just the gents, boom boom.
The *unofficial* Bring Yer Own Booze policy seems to have survived. Hick. A kid sitting nearby did burst into tears though when his Coke (urgh!) sprayed up in his face.
New ball now available for Kent. Not taken yet. 208-3 Surrey with eleven overs in the day remaining.
All to play for, all level as Afzaal is removed for 57. A fine 103 partnership for the Surrey man with Ally Brown. The game is about level with nine overs remaining in the first day. Another wicket could change all this.
Yasser Arafat has the ball for Kent (TRUE!)
230-4 the 'rrey.
Attempting fifth can of the afto.
Back at base, and bugger me: Crap Match Report LIVE! lovers may recall a toilet incidentt up at Lord's at the start of the season; a bloke got out his Bill Clinton and syphoned the python WITHOUT removing his shorts. The old man was simply pulled (ouch!) from within the shorts, and then relieved externally.
A repeat performance at the close of play this afternoon from the same Surrey chap.
And so following a half-decent velo sprint (middle bunch finish in the middle group - just call me Mr Average,) I'm sitting here now at the Lovely Lido, watching some official weirdness break out all around me.
The SE11 blue skies are bouncing down on the water, reflecting an al fresco freshness to the South London sun kids. But not in the lido deep end, sectioned off for some blue sky bonkers activity.
Nope, not the return of Mr G-String and his amazing ball of Edam with the wire cutter up his arse trunks, but what can only be described as the South London Hold Your Breath Under Water Championships.
Hey - I think I've found a sporting event I could actually win.
Here's the scene: a swimmer / drowner descends into the deep end, flanked either side by some snorkelling wetsuit boys. I once saw a similar scene in an adult magazine.
It all seems very official with timekeepers and clipboard carriers. It could quite easily pass as a time and motion study for deep sea divers.
It's not a great spectator sport to be honest. For a couple of minutes, all that you can see is the occasional flipper from the flanking wetsuit boys splash above the water. And then a swimmer / drowner emerges, looking much like Alex Ferguson after he has had a hair dryer moment.
At least that's what I think is happening. It's either that or the inverse activity of an adult learn to swim class.
No worries; it's all wonderful, it's all part of lido life. There's been a real effort this season to make the Lovely Lido much more than simply an arseing about by the pool experience. But arseing about by the pool is important too.
We've got the return of the traditional South London Swimming Gala next week, where local school kids will be given an opportunity to showcase their swimming talents. This is a rarity in Lambeth.
And then there's the South London Synchronised Championships to follow. Ah - I see what's happening: maybe this Hold Your Breath Under Water lark is a prelude to the false smiles and funny hats of the synchro swimmers?
Live! (knobber) blogging from a meaningless twenty20 game at The Oval. Wake Me Up, Before You Go Go.
Refresh and scroll down for updates.
And so here we are, another Big Friday Night Out, another Big T20 London derby game to please the punters. Except there's bugger all to play for. The North London foe of whom we shall not speak their name qualified for the quarters before Surrey struck up their first win in the slog-fest this season.
Not quite sure why I'm here: SorrySurrey have been an utter shambles so far this season; and then some...
The last thing we need on a Friday night in South London is for the Sex! Sex! Sex! to come and rub it in, so to speak. Still, I'm not a Surrey Member simply to sip the free cups of tea served up in the pavilion, so here I am for another Friday night SE11 humiliation for the home side.
C'mon the 'rrey!
Surrey 30-1 in the fifth - a tight and tidy start from the 'Sex. T20 means that our North London friends are Pretty in Pink with their pyjama girly cricket kit. I'm in my cut off combats (which aren't that pavilion friendly, but after the season Surrey have had, can't say I give a shit.)
The 'Sex won the toss (oh yes) and put the 'rrey in for a knock. Benn-ing was bowled for eight, but we're in safe hands (I think) with Mr Ramps looking elegant at the crease. Twinkle Toes use to play for the 'Sex (oh yes, etc) let us not forget, and always seems to have a point to prove to the North London ponces.
Scrub that: Ramps has been caught for eight as well. Bugger.
Blimey - they're falling like NZ batsmen mid-wicket: Murtagh (duck - ta for coming, etc) and Razzaq (caught and bowled for six.)
Surrey are in deep shit on 45-4 in the eighth.
The knobber Mexican wave has already made an aborted attempted around the old ground, a sure sign that the Suits at The Oval are as bored as the Surrey openers now sitting back in the hutch.
A latecomer gawblimeygeezer wide boy has arrived unfashionably late in the pavilion. At least he made more of an entrance than the Surrey openers, stumbling into his seat and knocking over the four pints of Foster's for the bloke sitting next to him.
Nice work, fella.
48-4 Surrey in the ninth. A shocking start for the Brown Caps, and with little time for a recovery.
Fifty finally up on the scoreboard for Surrey, Afzaal on nnnn-nineteen, Batty on eight.
With the 'Sex already guaranteed a place in the T20 quarter-finals, our North London friends are turning the screws on Surrey. And get this: not content with inflicting another home humiliation on Surrey, the 'Sex have confirmed tonight that they will play their T20 quarter-final at The Oval in South London. England have blagged Lord's for the first Test against South Africa.
Can't see that I will be first in the queue for a T20 ticket on Saturday morning.
59-4 Surrey in the 11th. Shit - Afzaal has just slogged to the pavilion, hitting the gawblimeygeezer wide boy on the head. No surprises that the hapless motor mouth spilt his beer.
The Oval is pretty much full now to the 23,000 capacity. Fantastic stuff for a Friday night, shame about Surrey's cricket. I'm sitting at the back of the second tier in the pavilion, with the corporate box of the Captain's Room to my right. The Suits are stuffing themselves on prawn sarnies. All the talk is of :
"I really think his wife should be told about this."
Prawn sarnies aren't that bad, are they?
81-5 Surrey in the 13th. 150 or above would be a good score for the Brown Caps.
Afzaal clean-bowled for a fine 37, his highest in this competition to date. Not quite the saviour of the Surrey innings, but 86-5 is at least looking half-average. Chris Schofield is at the crease for Surrey. New bloke just arrived to my left is looking very fidgety. He's wearing a long mac and is checking his phone more frequently than I'm typing blog posts. A surprise streaker waiting for his signal, maybe? Probably just ants in his pants.
Some timely slogging from Schoefield and Batty in the 17th over - 27 runs in six balls. 119-5.
Make that 119-6 - Schofield has been bowled at the start of the 18th for a useful sixteen. New boy Jason Roy facing the ball.
Roy is walking in the strangest of circumstances. The over seemed to have been bowled and the crowd returned to the booze. Then Roy started the lone walk back to the hutch. Probably a catch, but even the umpires seemed unsure. Nice to see some honesty and the Spirit of the Game at The Oval for once.
126-7 Surrey in the 18th.
Spriegel was bowled with the last ball of the game for 12. We now have a game on. The 139 final Surrey score makes it a competative run chase for the 'Sex. Still, I'd never trust a team playing in pink.
Has anyone seen Chris Lewis around The Oval?
>bathroom >booze >sponsor's dolly birds...
Back after the short break with the 'Sex batting. I've just been told that Mr Ramps has won nine out of his ten tosses as the T20 captain for Surrey this season.
Let's summarise that:
Ramps, 9 out of 10 toss.
You'll miss Twinkle Toes when he's gone.
8-0 the 'Sex in the second.
No fragrant mrs onionbgblogger for the T20. Not being a Surrey Member (we're a selective lot) and she couldn't justify twenty notes for the slog-fest five times this season.
She's (hopefully) back at base, chopping, cooking and garnishing the entire contents of a weekly organic veg box. Beautiful though it is (veg box, not mrs obb,) it's not exactly Friday night food. Unlike... the chips 'n ketchup the kid sitting near me is currently painting his face with.
My short walk back to base takes in the best SW8 chippy. That curly cale and asparagus can wait until another day.
15-0 the 'Sex.
A slow start for the 'Sex opening pair of Housego and Goddleman. No rush. The North London boys have got sixteen more overs to bowled at them yet. Twenty-four without loss. It looks tough out their for Surrey.
I'm currently being booed at for not joining in the knobber Mexican wave. Like I care - I've come to watch the cricket.
Sixth over and Goddleman goes for twelve, 29-1 the 'Sex. Surrey have been patient and have got their reward. A bit like me and my chips in approximately one hour from now.
Spin it to win it, Surrey, with some Schofield spin.
The first few drops of rain for South London this evening. With the five over mark passed, it's game on with Messers Duckworth & Lewis waiting in the wing if required.
Henderson and Housego seem to be in a hurry with a series of boundaries in the sixth. Maybe they want their Friday night chips as well?
51-1 the 'Sex.
Some scrappy overthrows from Schofield haven't helped the Surrey cause. But then next ball, Housego was caught lbw for 18, with the 'Sex on 60-2, chasing down 80 more runs with twelve over remaining.
The booing of the members has been replaced by mass booing of a bloke leaning out of his window at the back of the Bedser stand. Nothing to do with watching cricket for free, but the fool is flying the flag of New Zealand out of his window. Not great timing, around these parts.
The Hendersons will all be there... back in the hutch. The Middlesex man has been caught in some style by Mirtagh on the boundary. A brilliant take sees the 'Sex man walking on 26 with the pretty in pink boys batting on 72-3.
The crowd in the OCS are getting 'lively.' Wouldn't you at 7:45 on a Friday night?
The match is wonderfully poised with the 'Sex on 106-3 with five overs remaining. Thirty-four more required for victory, with Messers D&L having the 'rrey on 106, and the 'Sex just ahead on 108. Shame the game means Jack Shit in terms of the Southern T20 group.
Jason Roy has acquired cult status amongst the OCS crowd. No major heroics, just a boundary boy that the OCS has taken to heart. There's hope for yet with my proud cricketing record of nought not out in my two innings to date.
Grandstand finish set up. C'mon the 'rrey!
Three overs, 21 required. Surrey are in need of some urgent wickets. gawblimeygeezer has knocked over another pint. If only the Surrey attack could knock over the bails with such ease.
125-3, the 'Sex.
A four from Morgan leaves the 'Sex with only eleven needed now to win. The Members' are starting their journeys back to the County. At least Surrey's sorry T20 record has been preserved.
Ball-by-ball blogging until the death (and believe me, it will be the death...) or bugger off back to base for chips and the Wimbledon highlights?
In the green corner we have the fragrant mrs onionbagblogger and her arrangement of weeds fragrant foliage of the wild variety, captured and contained in the knobber urban courtyard.
And in the colourful corner we have, um, me and my stack 'em high and hope for the best approach to flower arranging.
I'm finding myself drifting towards the green corner to be honest; never normally one for chaos, but the rambling weeds of mrs obb add a little anarchy to my orderly approach.
The plants on both sides are sprouting by the day. So is my right arm after fifteen minutes of watering them every night. Still, it's truly a joy to wake up each morning and see your own little corner of South London paradise in full bloom.
Now then: the front garden is up next. The green, green grass of home has already taken hold, to be honest.
Live! (knobber) blogging from a sun drenched Oval.
Refresh and scroll down for updates.
And so after the England collapse at Bristol (a right pair) and the aborted farce at Edgbaston, the ODI series has come down to a winner takes all at The Oval.
A day of cricket carnage follows, on and off the field. I was cheered to see some early birds (and blokes) knocking back the booze at 10:30 outside The Oval station. Cafe culture comes to South London. Chin chin.
Not so merry at this time of the morning is my cricketing companion, the Glam Girly Friend. A NO Bring Yer Own Booze policy inside The Oval is tough to swallow, but get this... the GGF's usual Oval routine of beating the booze queues by buying four bottles of screw top beer has been outlawed. Bottles of booze are only being sold WITHOUT the top.
GGF is sulking. And she's sober. Not a great start to the day.
Elsewhere and we had to suffer a big screen interview with Surrey Chief Exec Paul Sheldon ahead of the start of play.
'We will fight to win,' was the fighting talk from the man writing out the Surrey cheques. Nothing to do with bottom of the Championship, bottom of the T20 league and out of the C&G Surrey cricket team; nope, the Surrey Chief Exec is going to 'fight to win' the turning down of planning permission to build a wanky new hotel at The Oval.
Nice to know that Surrey have their priorities right.
NZ have won the toss and elected to put England in for an early knock. Strange, given the flat Oval surface. No Bell end, as trailed in the morning papers. Ian Bell is opening for England along with Luke Wright. The injury that never was doesn't seem to be troubling the England opener (although strolling out to the wicket with some highly annoying Eminem nonsense blasting out around SE11 troubled me.)
The Oval is starting to fill slowly. First spot of the day for the mini-skirt wearing sponsor dolly birds. This could be the first time that I take an active interest in corporate affairs.
8-0 England in the third over.
The first Scotch egg of the day. Tastes like shit, but hey, it's a cricket tradition. Mixed it with six pints of lager later and we're in for a lethal combination.
The England opening pair. Luke Wright was caught for 18, and then up stepped KP.
'Balls like melons' as the GGF observed, given Pieterson's manly stance at the crease. Yeah, and I know a girl who likes her fruit juice.
Big expectations from the England big hitter. Hey hoe, KP walks for a duck. Ta for coming, etc. Still no Bell end, batting on 22 and carrying the innings.
The momentum is definitely with NZ.
It seems that KP is in fine company with his Buster Gonads. I'm sitting next to some bloke who appears to have a cucumber wedged up his arse. His legs are spread at close to 180 degrees. Uncomfortable for any blogger sitting next to him, probably even more uncomfortable by the time I crack open the cheese and tomato sarnies.
Ravi Bopara is now batting at number four, with seven on the scoreboard. More Eminem nonsense greeted the Essex man. Wot, No Barbara Streisand?
Kyle Mills is fielding on the boundary by the OCS directly in front of us. I can't take a man called Kyle seriously.
52-2 England in the 11th.
Entered the dull midway stage of the ODI game. Caught between a rock and a hard place. Five days of a Test, or the three hour slogfest of T20? ODI is defo out of place in the modern game of cricket.
The most exciting it got was when a plastic bag blew across mid-wicket. At least KP felt at home, seeing as though he batted like a plastic bag.
Finally we have a Bell end. Caught behind at 46. I've waited all summer to say that.
What we need now is a Captain's innings from Collingwood. Bloke in front of me is more concerned with his Daily Hate crossword:
Five across, what Graham Norton is, opposite of in, three letters, starts with O, ends in T. Collingwood has also just joined the club.
A few spots of rain across South London and we're on Nelson with England batting on 111-4. GGF can't keep still. Must be something to do with KP's bollocks.
Spin it to win it, NZ. Dan Vettori has brought himself on. I confessed to the GGF to having something of a 'man crush' on the NZ skipper. Sounds somewhat homo-erotic, in reality it's to do with him having a beard and wearing specs. GGF is concerned and has offered to 'take me out' at the back of the Bedser Stand.
Caught between a rock and a hard place, etc.
Twenty seven overs and two pints into the day. The Foster's is fucking awful, especially so at £3.30 a pint.
'This is a bio-degradable cup,' as the receptacle holding the pint of piss said. Great, I'll chuck it across the wicket once I'm done.
120-4 England, Shah and Bopara batting in the 27th over.
A strange experience at the Gents: When was the last time you syphoned the python standing next to Shrek? And yeah, girls - it was green.
Queuing at the bar followed (bugger the cricket, the booze-athon is well underway) and I saw Sir Trev McDonald buying a cheeseburger - TRUE!
A bit of a shock buying a pint for my Parliamentarian friend: £7.20 for a pint of Pimms. That's just taking the piss, even by Parliamentarian standards.
Ambrose was the cream of the England innings. Not really, but you know, it sounds good.
I tried to keep my dignity at the lunch interval. It's rather hard though for a boy about town to keep his cool whilst acting as a doorstop whilst queuing for the Gents.
And so SurreyNZ are chasing down 245 in the afternoon session. Three slips and a gulley. Game on, beer on. First breakthrough for England with McCullum lbw for one.
7-1 NZ in the second over.
This ODI lark really is the death nail of the international game. NZ have chosen to take the traditional form of slog 'em / bore 'em to death / and then go for a final flourish in the last overs,
Still, Surrey Chief Exec Paul Sheldon is happy with The Oval retaining Test match status.
All I can update on since lunch is the emptying of the OCS balcony as the corporate guests gauged themselves on a pig's head with an apple stuck in the snout.
A bit like English cricket...
78-2 NZ in the 18th, chasing down 245.
What time does Germany Vs Turkey kick off?
...yeah - I collapsed. Exciting finish though, apparently.
Ah, lookey here – St Luke's off Old Street as part of a Way We See It summer shoot. As ever, I'm running way behind with posting up my WWSI images. The backlog stretches back to last summer.
There's nothing truly outstanding, but I thought this particular set captures the season right. Midsummer, blues skies, lush green grass and still not enough hours in the day. Luckily St Luke's is just around the corner from the (occasional) day job, and so I managed to fit in a cheeky lunchtime shoot last week.
The church itself was designed by Nottinghamshire's Nicolas Hawksmoor; well, not quite. The commanding obelisk spire is a Hawksmoor, John James being responsible for the rest of the fine building.
I'm not normally a fan of churches, either as a place of worship, or as architectural places of interest. The spire of St Luke's though adds certain elegance to Old Street, an area otherwise which would boast a bloody big (and dangerous) roundabout as the only highlight.
St Luke's was taken out of action by the Diocese of London in 1964. It remained dormant for forty years, somehow surviving without a roof. The LSO turned the space into a concert hall in 2004, and artists including Paul Simon, Elton John and Broooooce have performed intimate shows there since.
I think I'd prefer the evening organ recital to be honest.
Not quite so sure about the Southwark Lido. The press release is written in typical architect speak. Blah blah blah bollocks, but yeah - can we actually swim in the South London 'pool,' or is it an art wank installation?
Never mind doctors on standby for Amy; d'ya think the Wicked Witch will get an invite for the weekend? If so, set the volume to 11, sit her down in front of a PA stack when Mss Winehouse does her warbling and hope for the best.