Category Archives: Culture

Capturing the Spirit: Cricket in Popular Culture

“…a revolution conducted according to the rules of cricket is an absurdity”.                  Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon What can the work of a Hungarian communist exile tell us about cricket? Arthur Koestler … Continue reading

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Trott and The Art of Fielding

“The problem, like most problems in life, probably had to do with his footwork”                – Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding               I’ve just finished reading Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, both an excellent … Continue reading

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The Sporting Spectacle: Out and About in the Imagined Community

In recent years, a curious media phenomenon has emerged in Scandinavia. Not the sepulchral greys of Nordic Noir, but slow television, as perfected by the Norwegian public broadcaster. The Oslo-Bergen railway journey; the Hurtigruten coastal cruise; the construction and lifecycle … Continue reading

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The Almost Nearly Perfect People: review

I’ll start with the full disclosure: I have family from and living in Denmark, and living in Norway. I’ve travelled in Scandinavia, visiting wonderful places and having wonderful experiences. I’m a believer in their traditional social democratic dream. But Michael … Continue reading

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Ryszard Kapuściński: review

“To tell the truth is very difficult, and young men are rarely capable of it. They were expecting an account of how he go all fired up, forgetting himself, how he flew like a storm at the square; how he … Continue reading

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On Warne: review

As the Ashes preparation ends and the Brisbane toss looms, the man who has defined the embryonic series isn’t a player or a coach. Instead one commentator has repeatedly stolen the headlines, cajoling England, seeking to undermine the certainty of … Continue reading

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Writing the Landscape

I planned this piece in a Moleskine notebook. You see racks of them in most bookshops nowadays. In the late 1980s, the sole supplier died, supposedly ending the line. Their increasing scarcity had been noted by a British man, Bruce … Continue reading

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Playing the Part

Peter Siddle’s bowling style would seem to reveal much about the man. His charge to the crease, efficient action and batsman-bothering follow through are those of the quintessentially Australian fast bowler, heir to Hogg and Hughes, more than Lindwall and … Continue reading

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What Royal Baby Says About Us

The really odd thing about “Royal Baby” – as yet unnamed – is the level of fuss about, well, not very much. There is no ceremony like the royal wedding, no procession to watch like the Jubilee. It is celebration … Continue reading

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Gap Years: a new form of colonialism?

We all recognise the “gap yah” stereotype. Rich, middle-class, privately educated teenager, jetting off to exotic locations for a hedonistic rite of passage. Harmless fun, for those who can afford it. But is there something more sinister behind the banter … Continue reading

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