Anniversary weekend…

Today was my late father’s birthday. He would have been 91 today. It’s been a long time since his passing, but he was taken from us far too young at 65. 

And tomorrow, it’s Mothering Sunday. Mum passed away in May 2010, aged 79. That event is still very fresh in my mind. Some days I don’t think about the fact I live on my own, but on other days, the memories are painful. Loneliness is not something I cope with very well at all at certain times of the year, but I’m sure Mum and Dad are looking down at me, wondering why I’ve gone wrong on occasions but also wondering on the good days I have occasionally. 

I miss them both, and always will.

Allen Brooks


My first match as an umpire….

Year:- 1987, I was 14 years of age at the time. A tall, beanpole teenager with spots. Shyness and nervousness to the fore (what’s new?). My old team were playing a match in the local area. I was down to do the scoring, coloured pens at the ready.

The other umpire was a kindly, avancular man who used to be a cricket umpire tutor, you know, the stuff I do now during the winter. I was sitting down, pens and book at the ready, when this gentleman said “Come on Allen, out you come to the middle with me, I’ll look after you”. 

This was my first ever match as an umpire. At 14 years of age. This can’t be happening! But it was. Absolutely terrified as hell. I’d picked up a few pointers from doing practice matches in the school playground, but this was my first ever game. Eeeek!

I got through the match, I don’t know how, but I did, without too much trouble. My colleague helped me through and was reasonably complimentary afterwards. Though he was avancular, he was a hard taskmaster. There was much work to do to iron out the rough edges, of which there were many. But I can look back now and say that was my first ever game, thirty years and plenty of blood, sweat and tears later. It’s been a hard road, but it’s good to look back at favourable and enjoyable times on occasions.

Purely memories now of course….

Allen Brooks

Making connections….

Had a few conversations at the cricket dinner I went to last night, and one theme came to the fore, my blog! 

“What about that bus that went the wrong way, Allen?” was a very good leading question. It goes to prove, the people asking the question have read the blog. At least that’s a positive! 

Someone else said they like my writing style. I’ve modified the way I write stuff on this blog compared to my last effort. I’m still open, candid and honest (I hope), but with an assumed name that takes the edge off the candidness, if you see what I mean. 

Let me explain. I got in trouble on my last blog for a few articles, and despite the good comments I was getting from people, I was still plagued by the negativity (no change there!). This time round, the modifications are in place; I still enjoy writing and hope the pieces are good and enjoyable for the reader. All I want are no comebacks and acrimony, I can do without that and the writing reflects that. 

So, good connections and people are talking about in a positive light, which is my reason for the everyday contributions.

Keep reading 

Allen Brooks

Recovery time….

Hello. Late morning today after a very good evening yesterday. It was our county umpires dinner last night, and it was superb. 

Food excellent, company excellent, and the guest speaker was a stand in after the original one had to fly back to Australia, as sadly, he isn’t too well. Some good tales of days gone by from the speaker, very entertaining, and it was very well received. One thing I noted was that the speaker had never addressed an audience before, he was thrown into it a little bit, but he performed very well without any problems at all.

I rolled in gone midnight, hence the late lie in today. Another very good day, and my well being goes up a notch as well, so all good from my point of view. Also, I didn’t have to say grace after my previous disaster, it befell someone else to do that job. Relief!

Allen Brooks

Magical Mystery Tour…

As I said, it’s been a strange week. And the journey home from the pub last night was no different. 

I get the regular bus home and I know the way like the back of my hand. I was checking my phone, as you do, when I looked up to see the driver has gone the wrong way. Instead of turning right down a side road and back into another main road, he’s just carried on. 

A couple of passengers alerted him to this fact, and I wondered what the driver’s next move would be. He then asked for directions! A driver that has been trained on the route asking for directions. Well, I’ve seen it all now.

He got to the end of the road, did a u turn in the middle of the main road and headed back whence he came. Embarrassing. A couple of passengers wanted to get off at the next correct stop, and was alerted to this fact, but again, the driver nearly overshot the stop. I’d love to know what mystery tours the bus company were doing. I had to laugh, as it was another episode in a bizarre week. 

I hope I don’t get the same driver again. Could end up in the middle of Essex somewhere. Sat nav required!

Allen Brooks

Getting things sorted….

Morning. The washing machine engineer has been and the diagnosis was just as I thought; it’s broken! Ha ha. Seriously, it’s a combination of metal fatigue and certain washing powders that cause the wear and tear on the drum, so a part has been ordered and hopefully things will be back to normal soon. Good efficient service from the engineers, that’s always a plus mark in my opinion.

Other things? Been sleeping much better this week. Not quite sure why or how, but I seem to be. Going to bed at a regular time, waking up at a regular time, especially with the lighter mornings, seem to be doing the trick at the moment. And, consequently, my mood has improved markedly too. Despite the upsets of the routine being disrupted on more than one occasion this week, I have felt able (for a change), to deal with those problems when they’ve arisen. Believe me, a good night’s sleep is vital to my well being.

So, it’s not too bad at the moment. Grateful for that to be honest. 

Allen Brooks

Rocking all over the world….or maintaining the status quo?
Clue is in the title. Well it was music bingo night at my local pub, and again, I made off with the winnings on the last game of the night!

One lucky lady who had never appeared before made off with £85 from two full houses. Was it to be my night? Well, in the last game, I was miles behind from getting the full house until one by one, the rest were ticked off until….

One to go….and to ensure the suspense, the host deliberately kept the previous song going for nearly 90 seconds. Agony. But then….but then…Rocking All Over The World by Status Quo was belted out, and I won again!

This time, the pot was shared with another player. The host kept us guessing and waiting until he announced us both as winners. £47 shared so as I won last time, I allowed him the greater share, so he got £25, myself £22.

Absolutely fantastic fun with all the hits being belted out and a superb atmosphere to boot. It is just a great pub, probably one of the best I’ve been to, because of its hospitality and enjoyment factor. Just wonderful! 

Just to leave you with a coincidence. The last horse race winner I picked was called Rock The World. Tonight it was Rocking All Over The World. Spooky eh? Well, even if it isn’t, I’m slightly richer than when I started the evening. 

What a wonderful life

Allen Brooks