Monday, 28 May 2012


Jennospot 68  Cricket

Oi've been asked by a real noice American lady ter describe the English game o' cricket. Trouble is, it's easier ter play than wot it is ter describe.

O' corse, all British boys are born knowin' all there is ter know about cricket. Fer girls it's different; they 'ave ter nut it out fer themselves. That's one reason wot accounts fer girls bein' so much more intelligent than boys.

Any'ow, cricket is a bat an' ball game wot is played between two teams of eleven people, (wot is called a "side"). One side 'as bats, an' the ovver side 'as the ball. Only yew can play wiv fewer than eleven, loike wot we do, 'cos it ain't always easy ter get tergevver eleven kids wot wanna play. The game is played on grass, 'cept that, in the schoolyard, it's on gravelly dirt, 'cos there ain't no grass, except along the edge of the wall, 'cos the caretaker ain't got no toime ter spare ter go pulling it out.

The grass where it's played is called the "Field", wot strictly speakin' ain't correct, 'cos a field is a space wot gets ploughed up, wot ain't cricket fer cricket, if'n yew get moi meanin'. Any'ow, in the middle o' this "field" yew knock in three sticks quite close ter one-anuvver, wot are called stumps, only they ain't really stumps 'cos they're quite long, about up ter yer waist. An' then at the distance of a "chain" (wot is 22 yards) yew knock in three ovver stumps. Only when we play, it ain't 22 yards, 'cos that's a bit long, 'specially fer the little-uns, so we usually judge it by eye, about 15 yards say. Not only that, if'n it's in the schoolyard an' it's too long, the ovver kids, wot aren't playin', often run across between the stumps, wot ain't too good fer the concentration o' the players.

When yew've got yer three stumps set up, it's called a "wicket". On top of the three stumps yew put two short sticks called "bails". Actually, it's them wot ought ter be called stumps, 'cos they're real short an' stumpy. Only they're called bails. They're there so's yew c'n tell when the wicket 'as been 'it by the ball, 'cos then they fall off. Only we don't 'ardly never play wiv the bails on, 'cos they're a bit fiddly, an' always get lost. Besides the wind blows 'em off an' all, specially fer the girls, wiv their skirts. An' that ain't got nuffink wotever ter do wiv bein' bailed out.

Any'ow, the side wot 'as the bats, puts a man in front of each wicket wiv a bat. Yeah, that person is still called a "man", even if'n it's a girl. Talk about discrimination! That there "man" 'as ter stand between the wicket an' a mark on the ground just in front of the wicket, wot's called the "crease". While 'ee or she is in that little space, they're safe, an' can't be got out. Their job is ter defend the wicket, an' prevent it from bein' hit by the ball wot the ovver team 'as.

P'raps Oi oughtta explain, that when we play, there ain't but one wicket, 'cos wiv just a few of us, ev'rybody plays just against the one wot 'as got the bat. Get it? An instead o' the ovver wicket, we put in only one stump, or even just gas-mask box, ter mark the place.

The side wot 'as got the ball, 'as the job o' sendin' it down from the ovver wicket (or gas-mask box accordin' ter circumstances) towads the one wiv the bat. That's called a "delivery". Only yew can't deliver the ball any ol' 'ow wot yew loike; yew gotta "bowl" it, or it don't count. Bowlin' means that yew gotta deliver the ball wiv a straight arm that goes over yer 'ead by the ear. If'n yew jus' throw it, it's called "chuckin'", an' the umpire calls "no ball". Only we don't never 'ave no umpire, wot can lead ter disputatious argument, wot ain't cricket. Any'ow, the one wiv the bat c'n still score off a no ball, even if'n 'ee can't be bowled out wiv one.

The batsman or batswoman (wot ain't never called a "batter") c'n score by 'ittin' the ball, an' then runnin' as far as the ovver wicket (or gas-mask box), wot counts one run. If'n the ovver team gets ter the ball an' throws it back  ter 'it the wicket while the batswoman is between the crease an' the ovver wicket, then they're out, an' someone else c'n 'ave a go at battin'. They're also out if'n the ball wot the batsman 'its is caught afore it 'its the ground. Oi 'ope that's clear.

There's also some special scorin'. If the batsman (or woman) 'it's the ball ter the edge o' the "field" it's called a "boundary" an' counts four runs, but nobody 'as ter run, 'cept the person wot 'as ter go an' fetch the ball. If'n the ball goes ter the edge of the field afore it touches the ground, it counts six runs.  That don't 'appen very often, 'o corse.

When we play in the schoolyard, there ain't no "field", properly speakin', but it counts as a "boundary" if'n the ball goes as far as the wall. A six-'it, is a ball wot goes over the wall, loike inter the infants' schoolyard.

So that's about all there is ter know about the essentials o' cricket. There's lotsa ovver rules natch, loike 'ow yew play when the wicket is chalked on the wall, but Oi reckon 'as 'ow Oi'v already covered the main points. If'n it ain't clear, yew c'n allus ask me fer details, or go ter any British boy; they're born wiv it, loike Oi said; even moi daft bruvver…

Luv from Jenno.

By the way, there's a few pictures of us playin' cricket in moi e-book, "Jenno's Widdlin'ton". It's free:

An' then there's Peter St John's books, specially "Gang Loyalty", wot 'as got a lot in it about cricket, an' over good sports an' all: or

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Real Special

Jennospot 67  Real Special

Sometimes the day begins wiv a clear mornin', an' be'ind all them little indoor sounds of life startin' up, it's all kinda silent outside. That's when Oi reckon as 'ow it's a good toime ter lie in bed an' grasp a-hold o' the deep silence wot is be'ind all them mischievous interferin' sounds o' livin'…

It's the moment when yew c'n find a sorta tremblin' space inside yerself, a sorta space wot yew c'n almost touch, wot yew c'n foller down an' down inside yerself to where it's always silent, 'cept fer yer breathin' an' the beat o' yer 'eart. It's the space where yew live; it's the space wot is really yew.

Fer me it's a roight quiet place, a still place. It's a place wot goes beyond sound, where Oi c'n be jus' me. It's where Oi c'n be jus' me wivvout no name, wivvout nuffink, except jus' me.

In that place, Oi c'n be 'appy jus' enjoyin' bein' wiv mesself. An' if'n Oi keep real still in this silent part o' mesself, Oi c'n start feelin' as 'ow strong Oi c'n be, 'cos Oi c'n fill mesself up wiv that kinda force wot comes from jus' bein' alive. Oi c'n fill mesself up wiv the sort o' power wot comes from the silence o' mesself, an' from ev'ryfink else wot is.

When Oi'm there, Oi don't weigh nuffink, an' that's real relaxin' loike. When Oi'm there, Oi c'n know, wivvout really finkin' about it, wot a 'wunnerful creative sort o' bein' Oi really am; a bein' wot c'n touch ev'ryfink wot is, jus' by lookin' out from be'ind moi eyes. An' then Oi know that livin' is somefink wot is full o' energy. An' when Oi know that, then evr'yfink starts lookin' new, jus' loike Oi were seein' it fer the very first toime... 'cept that it ain't the first toime, an' that makes it even better.

Cripes, then Oi know that Oi'm special, jus' loike everybody else, an' ev'ryfink else is special: Yew too. Real special…

Monday, 14 May 2012


Jennospot 66  Squirrels

There's a big walnut tree in Peter St John's garden. It's got squirrels. Yeah, them little auburn furry animals, wot run around an' jump, an' eat nuts. Well, that's okay, 'cos they're real pretty an' amusin', 'cept when they get up inter Peter's roof. 'Ee troid finding out 'ow they get in; an' 'ee blocked up all the 'oles wot 'ee c'd find, only it didn't do no good, they still kept on a-comin' in. So in the finish 'ee gave up, an' jus' wrote a poem about it. In case yew moight loike it, 'ere it is:

House Squirrels

There are squirrels in my ceiling.
There are bumps and little thumpings.
Bringing me the oddest feeling—
Ghostly sounds of bounds and jumpings.

I can't see who's romping up there,
But when autumn leaves are falling
Squirrels store their walnuts up where
It's quite safe for cubbyholing.

There are squirrels in my rafters—
At least two; their fleet feet scratching
On the beams, with muffled laughters,
Slyly scuffling mischief hatching.

Three or four play on the roof ties
With rumbustious, rowdy clawing.
My noisy ceiling signifies
Busy squirrels acorn storing.

Lively antics in the attic
Every day around the nightfall,
Rush about, (they're never static)
Playing noisy, nutty football.

Squatter squirrels in the loft, where
Furry friends rejoin the home teams
For squirrel soccer up the stair,
Punting acorns round the roof beams.

The noise they make—and everyday—
My ceiling squirrels: you may scoff;
But when they play, it's no ballet—
They ought to take their boots off!

By the way, don't ferget moi e-book, "Jenno's Widdlin'ton". There ain’t no squirrels in it, but it's free:

An' then there's Peter St John's website:
Yew c'n go squirrelin’ around on it, if'n yew loike, but it ain’t got no squirrels neither…

Monday, 7 May 2012


Jennospot 65  'Appiness

D'yew know wot Oi reckon? Oi reckon as 'ow in America, they've got fings a bit wrong wiv their idea, wot's kinda written inter their way o' bein', ter go a-chasin' around doin' wot they call, "the pursuit of  'appiness".

The fing is, an' it came ter me the ovver day all of a sudden loike, that the best way ter find 'appiness is ter ferget about it, 'cos if'n yew go a-chasin' after it, yew can't never catch it up. An' then yew get all un'appy 'cos it stays outta reach. But then, if'n yew ferget about it, one foine day, when yew least expect it, yew'll look around, an' yew'll say ter yerself: "Cripes, Oi'm 'appy!"

It don't take no special 'oliday, or lots o' fings wot yew own, ter find yerself  'appy. It jus' 'appens loike that, wivvout givin' any warnin'. The trick is ter recognise it, when it 'appens, 'cos yew c'n be perfec'ly 'appy wivvout realisin' yew're 'appy. That's p'raps the best way of all ter be 'appy. Still an' all, Oi ain't about ter go outta moi way ter make rules fer doin' it. Oi reckon as 'ow makin' rules, is a sure-fire way ter makin' yerself, an' ev'rybody else, real un'appy… don't yew fink?

There's somefink else an' all… if'n yew want ter be 'appy, yew gotta be real careful wot yew put yer 'eart into, 'cos ev'ryfink an' ev'rybody changes, an' if'n they 'appen ter break, then yer 'eart will get broken wiv 'em. See wot Oi mean? So it's best ter put yer 'eart inter real valuable fings wot are goin' ter last a long toime. Oi ain't about ter tell yew wot those fings are, 'cos that's too much loike makin' rules. Besides, they ain't the same fer ev'rybody. Yew gotta work 'em out fer yerself. When yew've done that, then yew're well on the way ter 'appiness, only don't go lookin' out fer it. Wot's more, don't go a-pursuin' it 'cos that's fatal. Jus' ferget about it, an' wait fer it ter 'appen', 'cos it will. Yew'll see…

Luv from Jenno.

By the way, don't ferget moi e-book, "Jenno's Widdlin'ton". It ain't always 'appy on ev'ry page, but leastways, it's free:

An' then there's Peter St John's website:
Yew c'n go merrily clickin' around on it, if'n that sorta fing makes yew 'appy, at least fer a little while…