Well, we’ve arrived - and if you can stomach a few cheesy puns, unintended gaffes and some general observations, I’ll again try and keep you up to speed with off-field events, as well as the all-important match news on Nottinghamshire’s 2013 pre-season tour of Barbados.
Like an eight-year old nipper waiting for Christmas I’d been counting down the days until our departure and casting an evil thought or two in the direction of Warwickshire, Hampshire, Yorkshire, Northants and Derbyshire – the other five county’s using Barbados as a base this spring – because they’d all left a day or two before us.
We were last to set off but boy, are we glad that we didn’t try and fly out of Gatwick 24 hours earlier.
"Times must be hard for some ex-West Indian cricketers as former Test player Cammie Smith was on hand at Bridgetown to help with our bags."
As I’m sure you all know by now stretches of the M23 (the bit that goes past the airport to be exact) were gridlocked, or to be more precise, snowblocked.
People were rendered helpless, unable to move for 15 hours in some cases. I’m told some of the nation’s finest entertainers were caught up in it all – and so were Cheryl Baker, Toyah Wilcox and the Rizzle-Kicks as well.
Celebrity spotting can be fun of course – and once inside the airport I think I scored. The Great British Bake Off geezer Paul Hollywood has fairly identifiable features and I’m pretty certain he was there.
Unable to confirm for definite, I then had two pointers. Firstly two youths said, “Hi Paul” and the mystery bloke said “Hello” back. But then - and putting a bit of a downer on my talent spot and making me doubt it was him, the gent in question walked over and bought himself a burger from McDonald’s!
The only reason I know about Bake Off and their ‘soggy bottoms’ is because of George Bacon, the Notts academy bowler who accompanied us on this trip last year. GB is a big fan of the programme as he continually pointed out!
He’s not with us this time around but another academy player, Adam Tillcock, a slow–left-arm spinner, has travelled with the senior squad gaining some invaluable experience.
We got from A to B without mishap, so I guess you’d say our flight was alright. There was a vast array of new movies on offer, including Lincoln, Argo, Life of Pi, The Sweeney and Ted. I’m forbidden from revealing which of the party chose to sit through the entire animated film, Wreck-It Ralph instead.
Times must be hard for some ex-West Indian cricketers as former Test player Cammie Smith was on hand at Bridgetown to help with our bags!
Cammie was hugely popular and helpful on our tour a year ago and it says much about the man that he left the Kensington Oval Test to come down and greet us back to his beautiful island.
To shake off the effects of the flight the players went for a twenty minute stretch and swim at the nearby beach. I asked Harry Gurney about the conditions and was somewhat surprised by the reply, “The current was so strong it nearly swept Fletch away!”
News then filtered through that the cardinals had elected a new Pope, so the only outstanding issue left to be decided in the world is who starts for Notts against Barbados on Saturday.
Nets tomorrow should give us a clearer picture.