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Writing9th December 2010

Day before the big bowl off, pans out like any other with ‘Team England’. A sculpted time and motion study in detailed preparation. A preordained cookie cutter experience of life on tour.

07:30 Awake.

08:00 Breakfast. Fourteen minutes for two pieces of toast, half a grapefruit and glass of fresh orange juice. Grapefruit chewed seven times on the left side of the mouth, seven times on the right.

Pause for three minutes whilst Swanny and Monty giggle over the word ‘masticate’.

09:00 Gym. Ten minutes on the exercise bikes. Ten more on the treadmill. Thirty-five for circuit training.

Five minutes set aside for team bonding – in this case Swanny videoing Matt Prior using the Shake Weights suggestively. Ten minute warm down whilst Graeme thinks of spontaneous joke. Restart filming with Matt, cue off the cuff humorous comment from king of the video blog one-liner. How does he do it?

Twenty minutes for shower and sauna. Ten minutes to change, including time to point and snigger at David Saker’s Captain Caveman briefs.

10:30 Management slideshow on High End Performance Vectoring.

12:45 Slideshow concludes. Any Questions (apart from what is a High End Performance Vector)?

12:45:06 Session closed.

12:45:07 Stampede begins toward direction of lunch buffet. Offerings consist of salad, selection of cold meats and Tesco own brand coleslaw for that little touch of home.

13:04 A cream and jam covered Ian Bell found passed out in sugar coma across dessert trolley. Words “Tell Shane I forgive him” scrawled into soft topping of giant Tiramisu. I knew he’d be the first to crack.

13:30 Compulsory nets. Bell left to sleep off lunch under bowling machine. ProBatter set to ‘Random’ in anticipation of Mitchell Johnson recall.

Pause for three minutes whilst Swanny and Monty giggle over the word ‘helmet’.

16:00 Nets finish. Ice baths all round except for a still sleeping Ian Bell and Chris Tremlett who’s cried off to the physio with “a really bad stitch”.

17:00 Dinner in Hotel restaurant. We seem to have a spare seat for some reason.

19:00 Loud screech of tyres indicate KP will not be joining us for group screening of Dumb and Dumberer. Cinematic experience somewhat spoiled by Swanny’s repeated exclamation of “That is so funny!” followed by frantic scribbling.

21:00 Retire to hotel bar for quiet drinks.

21:45 KP returns with speeding ticket and “a bit of drippage where it didn’t all go in the bottle”. We have a good laugh, apart from Swanny who seems oddly sympathetic.

12:30 Goodnights said. Uneasy feeling in group we’ve forgotten something.

02:45 Woken by sound of Ian Bell being carried to room by night porter.

There you go.

Like clockwork.