Thursday, 16 December 2010

The harem's newest member - "Olivia"

My new pride and joy arrived today, even if initially it was inexplicably delivered to a Mr Hill at number 39, a house a significant distance down the street from mine. It matters not, she's here now and she looks gorgeous. I've never seen such a piece of willow. It's a good thing I'm not superstitious, as I counted thirteen grains on the face...

I spent a while wondering about names. I knew it had to be a girl's name beginning with 'O', and came up with about a dozen candidates. I whittled these down to Odessa, Ophelia and Olivia before finally plumping for Olivia after I got one of my twitter friends to decide a winner. Given the olive-green colour of the labels I suppose it's rather apt!

So now comes the preparation, and I'm really rather nervous about it. I really don't want to muck up such a lovely, expensive bat. I rang M&H for some tips and they were very helpful, and I'm going to try my best. The first coat of oil went on at 2pm today and the second is due at 10pm. By the time the tea-break rolls round tomorrow (much of my life at the moment seems to revolve around the timings of Ashes Tests) the oil should have soaked in and I can start with the knocking in, which is the part that terrifies me the most. One thing M&H were at pains to stress was that I will probably need to hit the bat much harder than seems sensible, so no namby-pamby taps... Once I think I've got it nicely knocked in, the facing can go on, and the bat will be ready to start the season.

One simple, really nice touch was the guy at M&H wishing me good luck with the bat. I'm already dreaming about what shots I'm going to play and how many runs I'm going to score. I know a bat, however good, can't turn a rank amateur into VVS Laxman overnight, but for the moment it's nice to dream a little...

For those who asked, here are a few photos of my new bat:

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