Sunday, 3 October 2010

Spring sunshine

I composed the original opening paragraph to this blog entry in my head during my morning shower. It was the morning of the AFL Grand Final replay between St Kilda and Collingwood. I wanted to tell you about how Tom and I had witnessed a little piece of Australian history. A historic premiership title for St Kilda. A classic game in the record books of Australian Rules football.

Unfortunately, and as you might have gathered, I’ve had to rewrite.

Tom and I were lucky enough to be one of the 93,000 fans with tickets to the game. We arrived early at the historic MCG (as historic as you get in Australia), with painted faces, banners ready and nerves a plenty. The anticipation was huge, and Lionel Richie entertained the crowd before the match on a bright sunny day.

As it turns out however, we paid per over $300 for the privilege of watching our team get totally smashed. The St Kilda team managed a paltry one goal in the first half, and it was clear at half time that the Magpies would defeat the Saints in both spirit and score. There was none of the drama of the first final game last weekend, and as the chants of the St Kilda fans died, the gap in the scoreboard increased. In the end, we were defeated by 56 points.

A solitary Saints fan comtemplates the Collingwood masses

Our view of 'the G' from the nosebleed seats!

Our favourite, Nick Riedwolt in practice. He didn't kick a ball like that all game.

Nice hunks of muscle warming up! (You see why I like this game now?!)

Go Saints! Go back home and get some practise in before next year!

On a more positive note, spring has arrived here in Melbourne! This weekend we have basked in glorious sunshine and mid-20s temperatures. The first signs of a suntan have started to appear, and our garden chairs have made their first appearance on the balcony. Today we drove along the coast to luxurious Brighton (the Sandbanks-suburb of Melbourne) and met Tamara for a walk on the beach and a diet Coke in a cafe (gosh, aren’t we daredevils?!).

Tamara biking, us driving, back from Brighton. (We are a lot lazier than the Canadians!)

Pretty beach huts.

I don't think we'd be allowed to paint a beach hut like this on Branksome Beach.

A solitary umbrella.

Summer clothes are out!

The English Rose and the Canadian Sweetheart!

Along with the spring weather has come an annual attempt at self-improvement on my part. In an attempt to boost the health of both body and mind I have started a new healthy eating regime, have been making sure I get to the gym, and have even visited the dentist for a spring clean – only here in Australia they don’t call it the dentist – it’s a ‘dental spa’. Hmmm, the only ‘spa’ like quality of the dentist in my opinion is the price! To counteract all the good that this is doing, Tom and I have started a new wine tasting course (intermediate level, don’t you know! – I still don’t have a clue what I’m tasting, fear not) and have been doing lots of eating out.

Earlier in the week we took advantage of a special offer at Melbourne’s branch of Nobu, and dined there with the Canadians. During the course of our meal we were surprised to see a group of three ladies walk in wearing tracksuits and sit down in the booth next to ours. Nobu is not the kind of restaurant where you wear a tracksuit, and if you or I rocked up in such attire, I’m pretty sure we would be politely declined a table. So naturally this raised eyebrows, and after much hushed discussion and a little bit of Googling, we figured out that we were dining next to a dressed-down, baseball cap-wearing Missy Elliott! We all found it very amusing that whilst in one of the finest Japanese restaurants in town she ordered fries with ketchup and diet Coke...

We were also treated to a meal out with Tom’s second cousin Merryl and her new beau Bill. You should all know about Merryl by now, as she is a regular blog character. However you might not know that she was sadly widowed a couple of years ago. Merryl is full of enthusiasm and life, so we are very happy that she has found someone to share this with! No pressure Bill, but now that you are on the blog, there is no turning back!

We have rounded off the evening with a series of Skype calls to Tom's family back home - first Peter and Sue, then Anna, and finally Anne. We were especially touched by a plea from seven year old Rosie for us to come home soon!

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