I am thrilled to announce that after four weeks in hospital and just over a week since eight-hour heart surgery after a heart attack, my wife, Sylvia, came home today.
There is a journey ahead to get back to full fitness, but the surgeons have done a wonderful job and have pronounced themselves 'delighted' with the outcome. We are equally thrilled and I can only say that your good wishes and prayers have helped considerably over the past few weeks.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Thanks also to all of you who have kept the blog going with guest pieces and with comments, all of which have been appreciated. Normal service should soon be resumed, now I have regained five or six hours of visiting and travel time that was a part of each day.
My thanks have been extended personally to the wonderful cardiac team at the Golden Jubilee Hotel in Clydebank, but I am happy to repeat them here.
On to cricket matters and the signing of Conor McKerr tells a disappointing story from a county perspective. With bowling places very much up for grabs, no one has yet put their hand up to say that they can be a regular member of this side, in the absence of Hardus Viljoen and Will Davis.
Those two bowlers need to get fit and, in the case of our terrific young prospect Davis, he needs to get his body to a level of fitness where he can bowl quick on a regular basis. That can take to the mid-twenties for some, as their bodies fill out and the musculature for such an arduous task becomes defined. Time will tell if Davis becomes the real deal or perhaps another Alan Ward, whose physique never fully came to terms with the demands of full-time professional cricket.
As for the others, the four-day game has proved a challenge too far at this stage. All are capable of bowling good balls, but there are simply not enough of them and a few too many poor ones to build up any pressure on the batsmen. As the club greats of the past showed, when conditions are against you, sometimes you can frustrate a batsman out, yet the current crop, albeit young, struggle to maintain that pressure and offer a 'four ball' almost every over.
In our current travails, I can only assume that Greg Cork is now seen as a batsman who bowls, rather than an all-rounder. Otherwise he had to be worth a go, but instead we have brought in McKerr, a strapping 6'6" fast bowler from Surrey. At 19 he is hardly an experienced man, but the hope is that his raw pace might surprise opponents in the next month. He is well-rated and, having represented his native South Africa at under-19 level, has obvious talent.
Where he gets a game at The Oval is a moot point, as they are awash with fast and seam bowlers of talent. I don't expect the lad to run through teams, as this is first-class cricket, not a fairy tale, but if he offers something different it is worth the gamble.
He will get a stringent test of his talents at Trent Bridge this weekend, that's for sure...