In Quest of Books or Glory? -Jamaica 2005

Civic Duties

Civic Duties

Today we had "Civic Duties" to perform. This consisted of visting the Jamaica Library Services to see the opening of a cricket exhibition in association with Melbourne Cricket Club.

For this we duly rolled up in our best dress. I chose the "red" polo shirt emblazoned with the official libraries tour logo Sir Geoff chose his usual tropical suite, very fine for this climate. Mr Five Pints looked his usual debonair self, given a bit of imagination.

Marlon turned up with the eighteen-seater bus and having negociated Kingston's usual manic traffic, we arrived at JLS HQ to be greeted by "Mrs. Mitchell" and" Miss Fraser." We were introducted to most of the senior staff at JLS and taken on an informative tour of the HQ and its workings. Considering this was a cricket tour, this was very much the busman's part of the holiday - and what was I doing there? This was too much like work, especially when "Internet" and "Bandwidth" came into the conversation. I could help laughing at the old enourmous ledger that the finance director was using - they seemed oblivious to using a computer for this purpose - basic practise in most public sectors operations these days. No! No! more busman's stuff! Stop! Stop!

Time then for the formatilites of speeches and opening the exhibition. Having perused this, lunch was in order and I noticed the prescence of the TV crew again. They must again heard of the mighty drinking of Mr. Five Pints! No! No! More speeches and then the presentations of books of Birmingham followed by the receiving of books of Jamaica. Ha! And you thought you'd have an empty bag Mr Five Pints on your return! Not so! They got you there mate!

Having filled our faces, and said goodbye, we returned to the hotel were I was glad of the chance to just laze around. We were supposed to be on holiday and it was too wet to bathe. I did eventually manage the bar where we gathered to be taken to a "party" at Melbourne CC in our honour apparently. Haydn and Fozzie were still going on about the "Spicy Potatoes" from Day Four and you just get dragged into the banter, especially when a menu is passed around. First question is: "How long will the Spicy Potatoes take to produce?" half expecting the chef to come our fingers bleeding waving a blood stained knife - "Do you know how difficult these are to do in twenty minutes?" Bit Pythonesque I was thinking. God job we didn't ask for straight noodles such as you get in Belgium, courtesy of the EU and its commissioners.

The party was a bit of a blur as it seemed to consist of more "Jerk Chicken and rice and peas and tings" and lots of Red Stripe. Someone , I think it was Cowdrey, tried the local white rum, but it smelt more of aviation spirit than rum as I know it so left it alone. Might ruin the taste of the spicy potatoes I thought.........

It was towards the end of the evening that I noticed that Cowdrey seemed to be talking to a rather nice looking woman and seemed to be getting along very well. So well in fact that he declined the bus home, so of course, the team decided to put 2 and 2 together and get 47 so he ended up being called "Papa Cowdrey". Hmnn. The things beer does to ones mind. I ended up talking to some of the locals, mainly about former test cricketers who played for Melbourne, including Courtney Walsh and Michael Holding, known by Dickie Bird as "Whispering Death" his run-up was so quiet. Well eventually, we split the reggae music and Red Stripe for the hotel bar. The party must have gone on somewhat as the same people there tonight were there in the morning - mainly on nearby benches. Oh well! Another late night. Tomorrow beckoned and the big day!

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Copyright 2005 A.G.Morris