Sunshine and cricket will be perfect mix post lockdown

Return of play will be welcome at Sidmouth Cricket Club

Return of play will be most welcome at Sidmouth Cricket Club - Credit: Alex Walton

The weather last weekend showed us that spring was just around the corner and now it is finally here, at least from a meteorological point of view. 

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement the previous Monday we are now all looking forward to our lives returning to some degree of normality. School children return to school on Monday and we can meet in two family groups or a group of six people outdoors from March 29. From April 12 it is planned that non-essential retail can open and the queues at the local barbers will no doubt be lengthy once again!

The town of Sidmouth will soon have more commercial activity with a new refill shop due to open. And I was delighted to hear that Polka, the independent ladies fashion boutique in Fore Street, will not be closing down. They will now be relocating to new premises in the High Street near The Chattery. This is positive news as we head towards summer. And it won’t be long before we can enjoy a drink outside our favourite hostelry from April 12. At Sidmouth Cricket Club we will be praying for decent weather as we have the perfect situation for enjoying an outside drink. Other local establishments will be planning ahead if they are lucky enough to have an outside area. For some the cost of opening will be uneconomic and they will wait until May to open.

The recommended walk this week starts in the village of Sidbury. Proceed out of the village in an easterly direction and continue up Hatway Hill until you join the road that links up the A3052 and the A375. Go straight across at the crossroads as if heading towards Farway. Go down the steep hill and enter the village of Farway and then turn left heading towards Church Green. Go past the church and the primary school and take the road out of the village back up to the main road on The East Devon Way. Continue across onto Farway Common and follow the East Devon Way down through the Knapp Copse Nature Reserve. Go past the Lower Knapp Farm holiday home complex and then join Roncombe Lane. Turn right and continue back into Sidbury. This walk is just under ten miles. The views are stunning and the walk is mostly on country lanes.

On the cricketing front the recent test match against India was very disappointing with England losing inside two days. When will they understand that Dominic Bess is a lucky charm to have on their team?! The rugby last weekend was interesting with many of us learning about rules we didn’t even know existed! Apparently you can restart play with the support staff still on the pitch and a knock-on is ok as long as the ball doesn’t immediately hit the ground. So dropping the ball onto your leg is ok! There was no doubt that Wales were more adventurous with their play but England did show flashes of brilliance on occasions. On Friday evening the Exeter game at Sale also had a fair amount of controversy with an early bath for Jack Yeandle. It will be interesting to see the crowd’s reaction to this microscopic officiating when spectators return to the stadiums. Quite frankly they might not have a clue what is going on!

Finally for racing fans the build up to Cheltenham is getting very exciting with the festival just around the corner. It will be very different this year with no paying spectators. I went on the Wednesday last year amid all the fuss about whether the event should have taken place or not. I was delighted to see Goshen win at Wincanton and the Champion Hurdle is now perhaps the most exciting race to look forward to. The Gold Cup will also be a much anticipated race with Al Boum Photo going for a third straight win.

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