Day 13: Saturday 3rd August

I wake at 6.45am. My first thought is to check on the cricket. It hasn’t got any better, Australia had scored 520 and declared and we are 50 for 2. It looks like it could be a long haul to save the game-I’ll be praying for rain-but not here in Tamworth. Since we have been in Australiait has rained once overnight in Sydney, but other than that it has been almost blue skies and temperatures of between 15 and 20°C. It’s very pleasant, although here in Tamworth, because it’s inland, temperatures drop to almost freezing overnight and it gets quite cold.
Today’s a ‘day off’ for the staff, with the students spending the day with their hosts. It’s a chance for us to catch our breath. We are not governed by the clock, but there are still things we have to do.
During the morning, I stay back at the motel to deal with an issue that has arisen overnight. The rest of the staff head into town to collect the kit from the laundry and spend some time shopping.
Mr Walters has an eye for a bargain and finds Tamworth’s equivalent of Clydach market. He buys a pair of brown shoes for £15 and a pair of blue ‘sneakers’ for under £10.
They go to a café for coffee, but only just get there before it closes. In line with last night it closed at 1pm as did much of the rest of the town-on Saturday afternoon most of the town is closed, certainly very different to back home in Swansea.
While they were in Tamworth, they came across a lot of our students, they included; Katy Baran, Hannah Breeze-Jones, Brittany Jenkins, Yvie Powe, Bethan Rees, Kira Button, Jack Cambriani, Max Harris and Bethany Davies. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves.During the morning, we discovered that I had made another major mistake!!! I had lost the tour credit card with the tour contingency in it. It still has about £2,000 in the account. It’s a major panic for me.

I ring the bank in the U.K. immediately and cancel the card. A check of the account shows that no money has been withdrawn (Phew!!!!) However, the problem is that they can’t get a replacement card to us for 8 days, which is obviously too late for us to be able to use. £1,000 on the card is to pay for our trips to Australia Zoo and Underwater world, which we had been unable to pre-pay for.

After several emergency calls home and to school, I arrange for money to be transferred to another account which I can access here.

Problem solved-but I fear that I may hear more of this in the future. Eeyore, Eeyore.

After lunch, back at the motel, we update the blog. I write up Thursday 1st August and Friday 2nd August. Miss Jeffreys, Miss Rushworth and Mr Lewis proof read it and type it out.
Mr Long continues to upload photos and video clips, but they can take a long time and a twenty minute match clip can take as long as 12 hours to load and then process before it can be published.
Mr Walters continues to prove to be a perfect domesticated room mate. He keeps me supplied with tea and coffee does my washing and ironing-yes ironing!!!! The staff in school will never believe it, and generally ensures our room looks ‘spic and span’.
I receive an email from Melanie Young which she had received from Joel’s host in Newington.
Our family billeted Joel for 2 nights during his stay in Sydney v Newington & wanted to let you know how impressed we were with him. He was a pleasure to host as he was very polite, courteous & friendly. It sometimes  a bit difficult for boys to come in to a new  environment but he was cool calm & confident. You can be proud  of him.
Our only regret was that he couldn’t stay longer & my boys get to know him better.
Thought I’d touch base with you & let you know that he also seems to also be having a great time & loving the tour so far.
It is great to receive further confirmation that our students are being well looked after and more importantly are being well received wherever we go.
In the evening we go out to Longyards for another steak meal. We get there for 5.30pm because the Super 15 final is being screened there at that time. We enjoy another fantastic steak and watch much of the game which is won by the Chiefs.
Also there are Jack Cambriani and Max Harris and their host family. I speak to the father and he is very complimentary about there behaviour.
We return to our motel by 8.30pm and I turn the cricket on. England are continuing to struggle and when I fall asleep at 11.00pm they are 120 for 4, but Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell are starting to mount a recovery. Fingers crossed for better news in the morning.

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