Friday, 24 May 2013

Test Preparation

So how exactly does one prepare for a Test Match; as a spectator?

Well, when it's an overseas Test, and it is scheduled to run through the night, there is a fair amount of organisation and preparation required.
I sometimes start the day before the Test by getting as many extra hours ( usually ends up as minutes) of sleep as I can. Credit in the sleep bank is a good thing.
The day before, I also like to get ahead of myself on the housework, emails, folding washing and any other little jobs that might distract me from devoting myself 100% to viewing every single ball bowled and every little piece of commentary.

On the morning of the Test, I ensure I know exactly how the day is going to pan out. Every meal is planned, prepared and cooked well in advance. I knew when I staggered out of bed this morning that today's breakfast menu would be porridge with almond milk, walnuts and greek yoghurt.
 A quick trip to the grocers mid morning sorted out my snacks for the day and into the evening. It covered mandarins, feijoas, tamarillos, and as an extra treat, kale chips baked with lemon zest.

So, onto my pre arranged lunch of leftover kumara, vegetable and lentil mash (yes, I know; I'm very rock and roll). That was actually a bit of a highlight of my Test preparation, I love that meal!

After lunch, I try to sneak in a quick nana nap if at all possible. I am, if nothing else, a pragmatist. I like my sleep, and will take it wherever I can get it. The prospect of 5 nights in a row of broken sleep looms large in my mind.

There's the usual jobs to get down to in the afternoon, school books to help read, football juggling to admire. All the while my mind is percolating thoughts. Dripping away slowly in the background. Spilling into the little espresso cup sized space in my head. I'm imagining what is happening on the other side of the world. What's going through the team's heads? What thoughts are they having? What's on their breakfast menu?

Dinner tonight, pre Test was pretty straightforward. I planned ahead (of course) and roasted a piece of lamb in the slow cooker all afternoon. That made me available to respond to emails, look for work, return calls and finish a few other fiddly jobs while it was slowly cooking. There was something strangely appropriate about  having a good New Zealand roast lamb accompanied by an excellent Central Otago Pinot Noir whilst preparing to watch a great New Zealand cricket team do battle.
I've even painted my nails already. That's my usual Friday night girly indulgence. Not this Friday night. I'm 100% focused on blokes. And their cricket.

That out of the way, it's time to get myself set up on the sofa. I have a few things to keep me company during the long night ahead; sleeping with the BlackCaps. I've got the Pinot. I've got the kale chips. I've got buckets of Earl Grey, Milo just in case and frooze and brain balls. I'll get my PJs, my warm slippers and my favourite blanket out too. The sofa has to be setup with the optimal number of cushions to support me, my laptop and my iPhone; but also cosy enough if I should happen to just doze off at any time in the wee small hours.
I've also got my hand cream, my lip balm and my tissues. I've got a cold. I'm not expecting tears.

So what else is there left to do?
 Oh yeah. Practice my cheers 'Come oooooon you BlaaaaaaackCaps!'
Give it heaps lads. I'm ready.

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