Yesterday to Lord's to enjoy a wonderful day's cricket, with England batting most of the day against India - building a winning position which at the time of writing looks to be in vain, as rain and bad light are preventing the coup de grace. But yesterday was good cricket and good weather, and I enjoyed being there for its own sake.
The archetypal literary cricketing match is, of course, in A G MacDonnell's "England, Their England" a wonderfully funny book which is well worth reading, and not just for the cricket chapter. And you don't need to be a cricket lover to enjoy it, any more than you need to be a golfer to enjoy P G Wodehouse's golfing stories.
Yesterday, Lord's was pretty full - but Finbow prefers it empty: "'Why are we going to Lord's?' I asked. 'There's no match on.' 'We're going to Lord's because there's no match on', he replied. 'Since cricket became brighter, a man of taste can only go to an empty ground, and regret the past." Complete nonsense, of course, but fun. Finbow is a central character in C P Snow's Death Under Sail, an early work, but a pleasant murder mystery. He went on, a maturer writer, to produce the great 11 novel sequence Strangers and Brothers, which apart from its intrinsic merits, gave us the phrase 'corridors of power'. Snow returned to the murder mystery later in life with A Coat of Varnish, which is a little masterpiece and a real collector's item. Note to Harriet D - you'll enjoy this if you don't know it, any lover of Innes will appreciate the writing and the mystery.
Finally, there's an excellent cricket match, too, in Dorothy Sayer's Murder Must Advertise, in which Lord Peter Wimsey is trying to be someone else and play a boring, quiet game - but he loses his cool when hit on the funny bone, and smites the bowing to all four quarters to win the match for the agency where he is working undercover.