Last week there was a welcome reunion with my Australian friends from Sydney. Andrew and Kellie and youngsters Zac and Maddie were on a three week tour around Europe. Their time in the UK was limited to just 4 days so there was only a small window of opportunity to meet up. So we got together on day one of the first Ashes Test in Cardiff, and this was the first time I had seen them since 2012 when they came over for the London Olympics.
We originally met at the cricket in Sydney back in 2007 and as always they got into the spirit of the occasion. Andrew and Zac looked particularly fetching in their patriotic dresses! They are a great family who work hard, but play hard too making the most out of life. It was fantastic seeing Andrew looking so healthy after having major surgery to remove a benign tumour from his brain at the end of 2014. The ex-QPR footballing legend is planning his next Ironman Triathlon!
Sporting encounters between the two countries are always a great event with the traditional rivalry. The ground was sold out and the game swung both ways on the opening day. Happily for me, and not so much for these guys, the cricket went very much in England's favour. England recovered from a shaky start to reach 343-7 at the end of the day's play, and went on to win the Test by 169 runs. It was the first time I had been to see the cricket in Cardiff, and it was really well done. The walk from the railway station along the River Taff, through the grounds of Cardiff Castle was stunning.
Unfortunately they had to head straight back to London after the day's play, and back to Australia a couple of days later. So hopefully it won't be too long until the next encounter whether it's in the northern or southern hemisphere.