Got up after 9 today, and it felt good. Yet ANOTHER cloudy day in Melbourne, although it cleared yesterday in the afternoon and was quite warm. I have the receding-hairline pommy sunburn to prove it.
Am currently in a café, with a frustratingly wonky internet connection, digesting an enormous breakfast, and considering my next move. Have booked the Great Ocean Road trip for tomorrow, so will probably just head down to St Kilda today and hang out.
My experiences of Australia so far have all been good. Melbourne seems like a curious hodge-podge of different buildings and architecture, but at least the cities I’ve been in so far look a bit different… the usual suspects – McDonalds, Starbucks et al are all here, of course, but not as prominent as they seem (to me) to be in UK cities, which all seem to look the same these days. All the Aussies I’ve spoken to, while pleased to have regained the Ashes, have been disappointed in England’s lack of fight this series. Sat next to a guy from Melbourne yesterday at the MCG who applauded England’s attacking shots (almost) as much as the Aussies taking wickets. They like a good contest here, and unfortunately England have fallen woefully short of providing it. Naturally the Barmy Army have been in good voice regardless, which may be confusing/amusing Diana’s gran, but shows a loyalty to their team the Aussies (and many other nations) would be hard-pressed to match. Although there were Pommies dotted all around the ground, the official Barmy Army were diagonally opposite me in the ground, which significantly reduced the irritation of hearing “Everywhere we goooo…” so often. In fact, I found the BA considerably less annoying here than they were at the Old Trafford Test this year. The trumpeter was allowed in and tootled away from time to time, treating us to everything from ‘The Great Escape’ to the theme from Jim’ll fixit, with the Grandstand theme somewhere along the way.
There were England flags everywhere in the MCG, and what’s more I spotted an Ulster flag (amen to that) and even a Republic of Ireland tricolour… was less pleased about the latter, obviously, but was intriguing to see, especially if they were supporting England. It’s hard to imagine anyone (other than, perhaps, a Scot) travelling all that distance to cheer on whoever’s-playing-England.
So a couple more days in Melbourne, and then back to Sydney for New Year’s Eve (weather forecast: rain). Was planning on heading back to Denistone to stay with the Coys, but with news just breaking that Diana is dangerously near by I might have to take evasive action…