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28th February 2022

Plus 7 and dry when driving in.

It was certainly not 7 degrees 48 hours ago.. 34 in Sri Lanka.. what a beautiful island.

Archie’s cricket tour was a huge success and I am so glad that we made time to go as it was a huge experience for the boys and the parents who went.

They played 5 matches, all against local colleges and local clubs.. all of a very high standard and Archie's team of Gloucestershire under 18s won 2, lost 2, and tied one..

Archie bowled in 4 of the games and he took 6 wickets off 24 overs..He was very restricted in the overs he was allowed to bowl and fast bowling in 35 degrees for a youngster is pretty tough and Gloucester like all clubs now restrict them because of possibly injuries..

The tour started with 5 night stay at Citrus Waskaduwa which was our base camp for the first two matches.. the second being at the famous Galle International Stadium.. A test ground with a huge reputation.. One side is fronted by the ancient fort and just being on the ground and watching your son play there was a very special moment.. Archie took two wickets on the ground in a match they tied on the very last ball.. talk about excitement... even the locals stopped and came to watch.

Clare and I left the party to stay with a friend of Clare’s who she has not seen for 15 years.. To help matters he had only just opened his new hotel Halcyon Mawella 3 weeks earlier.. it was rather spoiling to say the least.

Back up North for 4 night at the Heritance Kandalama Hotel where Clare and I spent a day travelling and watching elephants ..The boys played 3 matches while based there..

Back to Colombo for the last 48 hours  before flying home..

The whole trip was organised by Dipan Suwarneraj of Lion Sports Travel and frankly they were excellent.. we certainly travelled for hours in buses to and from matches ..The other parents, who most we had not met before were good company.. It was a very special trip indeed..

The Sri Lankans are such lovely welcoming people and they went out of their way to help and make us welcome..

The trip helped local cricket schools and money was raised before we went to help local cricket schools with kit..

Back here was pretty special for the first few days .. Does He Know and Two For Gold were both brilliant at Ascot as were Mr Grey Sky and Bobhopeornohope at Ludlow.. Bob I believe was the 75th winner I have trained for John Perriss….

The last few runners were certainly not such good viewing and must wonder as to why they ran so disappointingly..

Dandy Dan was third yesterday with Lauren Hawkins.. Her second ride and again she showed up well.. Very kind of Phil Andrews to allow her to ride his horse in points to points..Both are enjoying their racing and pointing experience.

The time difference while in Sri Lanka certainly helped as I was able to watch live all my runners.. while having a drink.. needed at times for all different reasons.

The team here have been brilliant as you would expect.. How often have I said .. You are only as good as the people you employ.. I know they loved me being away and although Maddie swears she hates doing the blog she is very good at it..

Sadly in the 12 days I have been away our world has changed .. Russia really has sent shock waves around the world and it is a huge worry as to where it will all finish.. I just hope sense will prevail, although I am not so sure Putin feels that way.. I just hope it is not 1938 all over again.. History!?

We don't have many to run this week.. It seems Mat was keen to run as many as possible while I was away!!.. And he is away this week!!

Good to be back as always after a break.. Fired up and ready for the next few important weeks..

We need to laugh in difficult times..