Dec. 29th, 2006

chickenfeet: (quantum)
I don't appear to have read much in 2006. I think a lot of that is down to months wrestling with Penrose.

Anyhow, the list )
chickenfeet: (spin)
When I reflect on the Ashes summer of 2005 and the ongoing train wreck of this winter I'm struck by how large a part luck has played. In 2005 England won by the skin of their teeth despite daft selections and some mediocre performances. The weather played along nicely. McGrath got conveniently injured. England had few injuries and so on. This winter the luck has gone the other way. Stupidity certainly played its part in Brisbane and Adelaide but England have been pretty unfortunate, especially in Perth and Melbourne., The injuries we all know about and they have been important but twice chance has really clobbered England. In Perth, just when things looked like they were turning around they had that nightmare third day when the catches didn't go to hand and all the marginal umpiring calls went the wrong way. And then there was Gilchrist with one of those innings that just happen sometimes. In many ways Melbourne was still more unfortunate. On day 2, England had Australia on the ropes. They also had Matthew Hayden plumb LBW about five times but he went on to score 150. That really is a knife in the guts when a side is three down in the series. It's just kicking a fella when he's down that Koertzen then found his index finger on day 3.

Now, I don't for a nanosecond think that without the dodgy umpiring or any of the rest of it that England would have won this series. They have been comprehensively outplayed by a better side and would, barring utterly freaky luck the other way, have been well beaten. I do think though that they would have looked like a decent competitive side at the WACA and the MCG instead of capitulating as they did.
chickenfeet: (widmerpool)
In spite of intermittent difficulties in conveying the substance of my essays, he [CG Stone] perfectly caught the opening sentence of the first which began: 'The close of the Dark Ages fell on Christmas Day in the year 800, when Charlemagne was crowned in Rome as Emperor of the West.' Stone articulated a comment: 'Don't start your essays with that sort of metaphorical clearing of the throat.'


Anthony Powell - Infants of the Spring. The author is describing his early experiences as an undergraduate at Balliol in the 1920s.

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