The smell of leather, the sound of balls being hit, and a ripple of applause from an intently watching crowd. What else could those sensations signify except that most English of summer pastimes?
Mrs Gnome, looking over one's shoulder has suggested a somewhat disturbing answer, but she is incorrect. The Gnome was referring not to sadomasochistic bondage parties but cricket. Honestly... One does occasionally wonder about her youthful past as Miss Pixie when these sort of comments are voiced...
Anyway, cricket. That most glorious of games, where one can spend five days lazily watching the bees pollinate flowers, declare the game a draw and claim you have participated in enough exercise to keep the government's health watchdogs at bay. In fact, fielding on the fine leg boundry is one of the few places left where a gentleman may enjoy a cigar without interference from the constabulary.
For some reason, the Gnome was recently thinking of one of his most memorable cricketing experience - the day he scored a century at Lords. Yes, it's true. A century. At Lords. 100 runs (actually 112 all told before a slightly dodgy lbw decision [is there any other kind?] cut short his innings).
Each one a treasured memory. The ball fizzing through the covers from a Ted Dexter-like drive, a seemingly lazy Gower-esque flick of the wrists to send the ball to deep square leg, a vicious hook à la Botham clearing the midwicket boundry. Ah... a wonderful day.
Of course, when the Gnome says this all happened at Lords he might have been a little disingenuous. It was Lords, yes. Arthur Lords. They were the car showroom sponsoring the ground.
Hey come on... it was still a century, and a Gnome can dream can't he?