I never had a best friend growing up, we moved around to many times for that to be possible, I attended 8 different schools before I turned 13 so I never really got time to find a best friend , well, except for my brother Matt.
Matt was 5 years younger than me and that age difference suited me just fine. I wasn’t ready to “grow up” (I’m still not) so playing with my brother let me act like a kid for a little bit longer.We would spend holidays creating our own super hero characters for our own comic books , we have several hundred characters and story plots still in a file somewhere, most of them pretty cool but others haven’t survived the test of time.
I will go into these characters in future blogs, they still mean a lot to me in a strange way.The number one thing that Matt and I got up to though was, cricket, mainly backyard cricket.
As anyone who has ever played backyard cricket will tell you, there are specific rules that have to be obeyed:
1. One hand one bounce catches are allowed
2. Catches are allowed to be claimed off a roof or a tree IF caught one handed.
3. Electric wickets apply
4. If, heaven forbid, you go out first ball, you are allowed to request a “do over” using the “ ahh c’mon I wasn’t ready” excuse ( this rule doesn’t work from the 2nd ball onwards)
5. The 6 and out rule applies
However we added a few “special rules” in our matches, such as (and now all SPCA members please turn away briefly, thanks) if you managed to pin any moving pet with a cover drive you instantly got 25 bonus runs but the main rule, the NUMBER ONE rule when we lived in Hilary outside Durban was that if you hit the ball down The Rise you were out AND you had to fetch the ball.
Now that may sound fair enough but The Rise was a hill spawned in the pits of Hell , a hill so steep you needed to hire one of those Himalayan Sherpa’s to climb the dreaded thing.
The Rise was situated on, in cricketing terms, our leg side (we were both right handed) so we never ever played any leg side shots, ever! The ball could pitch 12 inches outside leg and we would either: A-catch the ball ; B- shoulder arms and not play a shot or C- shimmy across , like Fred Flintstone playing 10 pin bowling, and attempt a straight shot or a cover drive.However there were those dreaded times where I would accidentally hit the ball down The Rise and with eyes lowered, shoulders slumped and head bowed ,I would manage a meek “ ….damn it…..” from my now quivering lips and begin the ghastly decent down the hellacious hill trying not to think of what lies ahead when you try get back up.