Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ashes Diary: Mongolia and mopeds

I went out on my moped in the Capital last night, intent on finding out how London was gearing up for the Ashes series ahead. Here are my edited findings for Nutley:
23:25 It's a reported 28 degrees at the Gabba. Through my visor it is raining hard, spotting one Australian in retro shirt in Piccadilly Circus. There is an Ashes series about to start, why is everyone F*&£in waiting for a bus?
23:55 Sports Cafe, Haymarket. After a ring round, transpires this is the only place showing live action all night. Speakers on full volume, it's like a Cup Final. Amazing atmosphere. How will fans keep up their energy for five days. Restaurant seats with own monitor have been sold out for weeks.
00:02 Steve Harmison's first ball results in a cacophony of laughs from Aussie punters.
1:05 Onwards to Cricinfo's offices to see how they cope with ball-by-ball coverage etc. Three are on duty and shepherd's pie awaits for the lunch break at 2am.
1:20 A reader from Northern Mongolia emails in. "It's very cold," he writes.
2:30 Am warned off going to a cabbie rank under the Westway due to high danger at this time of night, so will have to make do with speaking to a cabbie listening to TMS later on.
Speak to security guards, venture to the Kensington Hotel where the Aussies stayed last summer, and make it back to the Sports Cafe to see if punters have moved on to Vodka Red Bull. Catch last session with TMS in bed - you couldn't end it any other way.