The Reverse Sweep and his brood were back in England last week looking at property and crèches in and around Haslemere in Surrey. Yes, after six years in the South of France the triple realities of a meaningful career, schools and easy access to a support network plus an unhealthy addiction to county cricket mean that we are likely to move back to Albion at some point this summer.
We picked a good week to visit the UK. For once, the weather was better than it was in Cannes, and we also got to miss England’s embarrassing capitulation against Bangladesh in the World Cup – more of which later.
Now Mrs Reverse Sweep is quite keen on living in a picturesque English village, so off we went to Chiddingfold, a quintessential Surrey village a couple of miles outside the town of Haslemere fully equipped with a gastropub, private school, village green, golf course and the all important cricket club.
So having placed Chiddingfold right at the top of our list of places we want to live (yes, it really was that beautiful) we headed north towards Witley.
And then The Reverse Sweep almost crashed the ridiculously cumbersome hire car we were driving.
Not because of a fox, peacock or any other type of suicidal wildlife, but because the road sign said that we were one mile from Hambledon.
Yes, that Hambledon – arguably the real home of cricket and site of the foremost cricket club of the 18th Century.
What better than to combine our twin loves of cricket and history and stop off to touch the hallowed turf.
Or so we thought.
Despite a nagging doubt in our minds that the Hambledon Cricket Club in question was actually in Hampshire and not Surrey, we ignored any negative thoughts and trawled the roads of the small and inconsequential hamlet in a desperate attempt to find the cricket ground.
When we did that nagging doubt turned into crushing disappointment. There was no way that the ramshackle cricket pitch in front of us could be the home of the Hambledon Cricket Club. There was no pavilion. There was no memorial to commemorate the scene of Hambledon’s former glories.
Sadly, this was irrefutably not the real home of cricket.
And at the same time as The Reverse Sweep trudged back in disappointment to the aforementioned hire car uttering more expletives than Graeme Swann to Daryl Harper, Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam were applying the final rites to England’s World Cup hopes in Chittagong.
Double disappointment doesn’t even go near enough.
If you like this, follow us on Twitter @thereversesweep