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I am not a number, I am a free man

Posted in ECB ACO

I have been thinking hard about what to put in my blog lately - so much is going on, so much to talk about, so many people have commented on various issues.

Then I turned over the TV and I saw the opening titles of Patrick Magohan's 'Prisoner' and I realised what I had been having biggest issues with - "I am not a number, I am a free man" - so who am I?

I have had various incidents these last few weeks that have made me wonder. Here are a couple of examples but I am sure you all have many more.

I am not an umpire

I carry a large ACO trolley bag with me. Due to having a back issue last year I do not want to carry too many heavy loads and the trolley is brilliant - it holds my board, scoresheet folders from two clubs, handbooks, pens, spare pens, emergency pens, first aid kit, note paper, clock, calculator, spare calculator, pens, jumper, rain coat, sun hat, sun cream, packed lunch , pens (think I mentioned them), binoculars, and so on.
If you are a notcher you will know what I mean.

Enough for me, enough to supply a short notice co-opted colleague, info on all the competitions etc.

A few weeks ago the fact that I was trundling along with my bag on wheels led me to be escorted to the umpires changing room. Err no, sorry, just because it says 'ACO' does not make me an ump. It means official.

I am hungry

I always bring food with me to a game as often there is very little of the tea interval left after all the checking and the urgent trip to the loo, and no one seems to save scorers an apple or a bit of cake. Dear Dick Ellis did once get me a plate of food at tea which was so kind. Thanks Dick. I always remember that - we were in Dulwich I think.

By the way - please, please umpires can you make sure you wave and wait for a reply after drinks. We need a trip to the little girls' room sometimes. The other day we did not get the chance due to computer issues with my colleague - long story...

I am forgotten

The last straw was Sunday when I turned up at the ground at 9am, 30 miles from home, to discover the tournament I was scoring was cancelled two weeks before and I was the only person they forgot to tell. I later found out the umpires were called on Wednesday.

So, to sum up, (pun intended) 'I am not number' but I care about the numbers, I am not 'a free man' - I have commitments - just remember to let me know if they are cancelled.

Oh, and I did become something else this week - lunch for lots of little biting insects who loved the fact my table was under a tree. Apparently I am yummy - well, if you are a gnat.