Thursday, 5 June 2008

Miracle of the internet - TMS!

Play has just finished on Day One of the Third Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge, and I've been able to listen to TMS over the internet in my hotel room. I've enjoyed listening to Aggers talk about Vera, the air traffic controller at the local airfield, where Prince Phillip's helicopter probably landed so he could open the new stand at the ground; also the arguement about whether Jimmy Anderson has come in at number nine because he's the new nightwatchman or simply because he's been promoted. I didn't enjoy listening to the 3 wickets fall just after "lunch" (6.40pm here) quite as much!
This has meant I've had a nice quiet evening in my room. I didn't fancy going to the restaurant for dinner, so I popped into the supermarket on the way home and picked up some bread, meat, beer and crisps (shashlik flavour so I can continue my policy of having shashlik at least once a day). I should be packing my bag now but it shouldn't take too long and I'll do it in the morning. Andrei is coming to pick me up at 9am so I won't have to struggle with my bag for the half-mile to the office; I'm staying at his house tomorrow night, he's threatening to take me fishing tomorrow evening which I'm looking forward too. I went to his house for a cycle ride and dinner on Tuesday, which means that in a week of staying here I'll not have eaten in the restaurant at all. How's that for keeping the work expenses down?! More about that in a minute...
I met up with Uncle Victor and his son Mikhail last night, accompanied by Andrei, and we went to the hotel next door, which Andrei told me was the first "international standard" hotel in Tyumen. It's a bit of a 60's monstrosity though, and the lifts are small, the four of us only just squeezed in as we went up to the "Billiard Club" on the fourth floor. Andrei and I lost the first two frames to Victor and Mikhail, not surprisingly, and these frames took an hour and a half. Everyone will be relieved to know that the drink of choice was beer, not a sniff of vodka in sight. Andrei left after the second frame, and Victor suggested I play against Mikhail - I won 2-0, and it even seemed that Mikhail was playing properly; either that or he's very good at hiding it when he throws a frame. It's a hard game, played on a snooker table, but the 4 corner pockets are only 4-5mm bigger than the diameter of the ball and the middle pockets are 15mm wider.
Then it was back to my hotel to meet up with Mikhail's wife Natasha, who was having dinner there with some friends. Victor left us at that point and I thought there was a good chance to have a beer or two then politely retire before midnight.. we did have a couple of beers, and I picked up the ladies meal bill (or rather Tigress will) seeing as I'd not eaten in the restaurant all week, and we'd put four beers and 300g of vodka on it (the first and almost only vodka of the night!).
Far from retiring gracefully before midnight, Mishka (Mikhail, not our dog!), Natasha and I went to the nightclub in the "international standard" hotel across the road, where we stayed until 3am. I manfully stuck to beer, with only one random vodka slipping in by accident, but was slightly below par this morning, again. This is why I'm glad of a quiet night tonight!

Oh, and for those that are interested, Jimmy Anderson came in at nine today because Ryan Sidebottom had a "slight twinge" but Aggers didn't know where or to what...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For those who are interested - we won!

Have just heard from the Armstrongs. It was just before midnight and they were by a lake having a fire and Vodka. They are having a great time, but are out of internet contact. Hence why I am providing a mini-update!