Melbourne, Day 3

One of my friends at Holy Cross CC, during the (northern) summer, expressed some surprise that I was planning to go to all five days of the Tests in Melbourne and Sydney. He remarked that he himself had only managed 3 consecutive days at a Test match. This concerned me somewhat as Jon is a big cricket fan, and I wondered if I would last the pace, having only ever been to 2 days myself. I needn’t have worried however, as England haven’t lasted 3 days, falling to defeat late this afternoon. I skipped the moment of triumph for the Aussies, leaving the ground a couple of overs after Monty’s wicket fell, as I had a convenient dinner date with yet another cousin and her family. We ate in Chinatown, in a restaurant which didn’t seem to know if it was Malaysian, Chinese or Thai, but it mattered little as the food was great.

The cricket has also been great – watching cricket at the MCG is an awesome experience. I should confess that I found myself quite dismayed at the end of Day 1, after England had opted to bat on a day and pitch made for bowling, and getting out cheaply for 159. The problem with only being here for the cricket is that when the cricket lets you down it can be a bit disheartening. Add in that I find travelling on holiday alone a bit depressing at the best of times, and a day of weather which wouldn’t have been out of place in Manchester in April, and it doesn’t really add up to a good time. However, my cricketing spirits were lifted by Flintoff’s two wickets in two balls on Tuesday evening, and 3 more cheap wickets on Wednesday morning (including Ponting and Hussey), before the England skipper inexplicably decided to release the pressure on Symonds and Hayden by giving them easy singles, which built their confidence and ultimately their huge match-winning partnership.

Somewhere in all this I realised that the best way forward was to give up on England success and simply enjoy watching the cricket, which I did. It has to be said that this is an outstanding Australian team, and there is no question that even now, with the series already in the bag, their hunger to win is much greater than England’s. It can be seen in everything from their running between the wickets to their attacking in the field.

Enough on cricket for the time being. My solo-travelling spirits have also improved, and I now have 2.5 days to enjoy in Melbourne, with the weather getting gradually better. My thoughts at this point are to explore the city a bit, and possibly take a trip down to the Great Ocean Road. We’ll see what transpires. Suggestions involving the words “Neighbours” and “official tour” will not be well received. I will endeavour to update the blog more frequently, but have been stymied so far by a lack of internet connections and a lack of time.

Time should not be a problem for the next little while, and once I get back to Sydney I will have regular internet access again. But will certainly try to post before then.

Ciao for now.

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