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T20 Birthday Present

Readers of the Times may have noticed a 75th Birthday notice about me on May 15th. Two things. Saying that my favourite dish, worth driving 80 mile through the mountains to enjoy, looked pretty prosaic when referred to as "boiled meats". The dish is "bollito" with "salsa verde". In the event it was hardly worth it with slightly dry meat, a salsa without much taste and a bottle of corked wine. However the two hours spent in the gorgeous town centre of Cuneo was worth any amount of good meals. I have never enjoyed window shopping so much, all under cover of heavy arches with a general level of elegance unmatched. There were no signs of recession in Cuneo. The second slightly off-beat comment concerned my boast at winning the longest drive at the eighteenth hole at Cannes Mougins GC. Mentioning that some of the other contestants were perhaps even older than me turned into the idea that all the other contestants were somewhat geriatric. There were indeed older players than me but plenty of younger ones too: and, young or old, the members at this lovely Club have made me very welcome in my six years in Nice. I would hate them to feel slighted in any way. For the record the drive was 260 yards on softish ground with a slight uphill at the 250 yard mark.
Of course that slight frisson of pleasure was as nothing compared with watching England beating the Australians fair and square in the T20 Final. I decided to open the champagne within 30 minutes of the start and hardly had a moment to regret it. All this to watch AND the highest quality comments to hear from Michael Atherton who was enjoying the thought of a winning nine to one betting slip in his hip pocket. Will Nick Knight please take a moment to reconsider his out of order comment which labled Collingwood as "not a natural captain". Can any of us remember an England team playing with such drive, purpose and confidence? Please nobody tell me that it all came from the "coaching staff". Congratulations to Collingwood. Natural or not he came out of a testing fortnight with flying colours and a team to be proud of.


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