I strolled over to my old school (St Peter’s), where Dad used to teach and still runs the 1st XI cricket, just as he has since the late sixties. Watching the current crop of youngsters practising their skills in what are beautiful surroundings took me back three decades to 1981, the year I was 1st XI captain.
Approaching my seventeenth birthday, I had little or no idea what the future would hold, but what is for sure is those thirty years have gone so quickly. Since that summer of ’81, my life certainly hasn’t all been plain sailing – my own naivety and immaturity are undoubtedly to blame for some of the situations I’ve faced, but you learn some valuable lessons along the way... or at least you’re supposed to...
I now have Chris, Leigh-Ann and Rebecca (as well as my grandchildren Tegan and Harley)... it’s not for me to judge my ability (or otherwise) as a parent, but all three are now in their twenties and I’m so proud of all they’ve achieved and of the people they’ve become. In that time though, my three surviving grandparents have passed away, bringing a deep sadness and sense of my own mortality with the stark realisation that the wheels of time never stop turning. I am so lucky to still have my parents; I’ve put them through such a lot since this picture was taken; yet their love and loyalty have been unflinching.
Relatively late on in life, I met Elaine... she was the piece in my jigsaw that I assumed was missing; the person I didn’t think I deserved to have beside me. No doubt she has changed my life... for the better; the relationships I now have with my parents and children are better than they’ve probably ever been and if I could have given the fresh-faced young left-arm spinner just two bits of advice, they would have been to listen to the people who know best... and never be afraid to give the ball a bit more air.
So this short piece is dedicated to those who matter the most and who have made a genuine difference to the teenager who got there in the end: to Eric and Gertie, Les and Mary, Mum and Dad, my sister Sue; Chris, Leigh-Ann, Becca, lil Chris and my darling Elaine xxx