Fitting in with the Mystics

Mystics versus Bugle at Bugle, 25th July 2021

As a newcomer to tour the first game was a whirlwind of faces, places, and green grass stains. While some started the morning with a healthy warm-up walk, I decided to launch my Mystics' career by hitching a leisurely ride with Duncan (one of the few faces I could put a name to at this juncture despite Fraser's best efforts to convince me his name was Dudley).

Upon arriving, the captain of the game positioned me at point, before pointing out (pun intended) that I was heading in the wrong direction. Once on the field, I took in my team and realised with relief that they were all helpfully marked out by their orange caps, before remembering that only one team fielded at any one time ... I did use to play cricket, I promise!

The bowling opened with father and son, something that wouldn't have been such an issue for this match report if they didn't look quite so similar. Needless to say, one or the other, or possibly both, got a wicket ... or two? I felt I'd finally found someone on my level when their eleven-year-old came out to bat, but despite being fined for showing up my fellow fielders, I still couldn't forgive myself for not managing to catch him out. However, I did evade the child-bullying fines (those were reserved for the tall one who bowled him out).

After a quick bat in the nets for me during tea, it was time to start batting -- child-sized pads and all. Waiting for my turn, I watched eagerly as Sean (who I recognised as the man with the knives) scored his 100th run for the Mystics. Nevertheless, things still weren't looking good. 17 overs in, we were 20 for 7 and for the first time I considered the possibility that all those jokes about me fitting in with my aching bones may have been truer than they were all letting on. Luckily, the late middle order (notice the cricket terminology) were able to put on a fair couple of partnerships to save the Mystics from utter defeat. Though, sadly, due to an impressive catch from Bugle it was still a defeat.

I realised quickly, however, that losing wasn't going to put a dent in the unfettered joy of tour at Tor View. We all went back to the barn for a hilarious game of Fraser's unwanted birthday gift (Scrawl: the adult version) but don't worry, it wasn't for women! Or should that be winning ...

After a lot of laughing, we retired to bed. I was feeling achy, tired and bruised but mostly just deliriously happy from having spent the evening in the company of more than six people!

Charlie Penny

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