Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Pseud tours Australia – Mimi

When I was little the big dread after the long summer holidays about going back to school was because the first thing you had to do was write the essay “What did you do on your holiday?” Everyone else had had really exciting times – camping in France or Spain, maybe even going to America. I just had 2 weeks in Devon to make interesting. There was one year with an element of interest when someone nearly drowned on the beach but mostly my hols were deeply dull.

This time, however, I am quite happy at the thought of the “What I did on my hols” essay. For one I don’t HAVE to do it, and for two my hols were a bit interesting!

So what happened to make my hols interesting in a sporting way? For Pseuds readers? Well – I chose to take my time off in the home of sporting excellence and endeavour. Yup – I went to Australia. A country (delightful though it is in many other ways) that judges all and everyone by their achievements in the sporting arena. From the moment I arrived it was clear that if you care not for sport, there is little else to read in the papers.

My time coincided with the pre-season Footie (a culture all of its own) and the Tri-nations cricket competition. This was between India, Australia and Sri Lanka and most of the stories were not about any actual games but the sledging between Andrew Symonds, Harbhajan Singh and the entire Aus v Ind cricket establishments. None of it very enlightening but quite fun as a spectator sport.

I did go to a match at the “G”. That is the Melbourne Cricket Ground and it is the most enormous of stadiums (or should that more properly be stadia!). This is a sports ground so huge that with 50,000 spectators it feels empty. My gosh – coming from the NE of Scots where a crowd of 7,000 in Inverness is a sell-out – to get 50,000 is beyond belief. But there that’s a show of lack of interest.

However, when I was at the G, I found myself sitting in the part of the ground filled by Indian supporters which was fun. When the teams came out to warm up, the Indians came right up to our part of the stadium and played up well to us. They were well aware of all their fans and gave us good photo opps – which was nice.

It was interesting that when the Aussies did their warm up in front of the Aussie part of the crowd, Victoria’s finest (known as the Filth), found it necessary to be very much on duty. Not being a regular attendant at football matches in the UK, I found the strong police presence quite off-putting.

Once the match got underway – after of course the ceremony of the toss and the TV interviews of the captains in the centre (a delight for me as my favourite chap Mark Nicholas was presiding) – there was much to enjoy. Ricky Ponting won the toss and chose to bat but was out for virtually no runs after twitching at the crease like a demented Dreyfus. Symonds – the subject of so much controversy was also out cheaply and once the Indians were in to bat, Symonds was the one who bowled an absolutely stupid wide at the end of the match! Which India won.

Indian One-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was charm and delight personified. Ishant Sharma – who earned the nickname Instant Karma – was a 19 year-old revelation of brilliant fast bowling.

I left the G having witnessed some wonderful cricket and some rubbish from the umpires – Gilchrist walked (as he is known for) to a shocking decision which deprived us of seeing him in his retiring pomp. Mostly it was fantastic experiencing this mythical ground – even half full, it was a great day.

A few days later I encountered Aussie sports in a very different environment. I took a drive down The Great Ocean Road and stopped off at a small (in Aussie terms) beach called Kennett’s Creek. Here I, almost literally, ran into some home boy surfers. Fortunately they were efficient and seeing a swimmer without board in the waves took evading action and did not run me down. It was a very hot day and I felt the best way to deal with the heat was to put on my cossie and get into the beckoning waves. What I didn’t realise was that the beckoning waves were of a strength to knock me under and nearly knocked me out!

The chaps were obviously far more au fait with the circs than I was, and very kindly shepherded me back to the beach in safety. It was a salutary experience but also one that led to an understanding of the great Australian mate-ship thing. You nearly drown, get rescued and share a stubbie or two. Nice!

There was one other delightful sporting gem that happened to me on my hol. I met an elderly chap who had seen Don Bradman play when Jardine took England to the Bodyline win. Mr Walker had stories to tell and it was a joy to talk to someone who had been witness to history. At the end of his stories he said to me “and of course I was at school with Sam Loxton”. It’s a shame I didn’t have more time to hear and take down more of his stories.

So that’s what I did on my hols. One other thing I did – and maybe some Pseuds will understand this – I did buy some lovely pyjamas!

48 comments:

andrewm said...

Welcome back, Mimi, and thanks for an interesting account.

Perhaps this has been discussed already, but there's definitely an idea here - regular writers tell us about the sporting side of their travels/holidays. Even if it's just beach cricket. In fact, especially that.

Ebren said...

AM - I'm not sure anyone wants to hear about the time I skinned someone with a Ronaldo stepover to score whilst in Berlin, and the next day Ronaldo stole my idea and did exactly the same thing in Berlin.

To be fair, I was in the Tiergarten and he was in the Olympostadion - but theft is theft.

guitougoal said...

Ebren,
Please let us know about your stepover stolen by Renaldo.The thief always pushes the ball where he wants to, most of the time it is the place his opponent just left.
Mimi,
welcome back, I am glad you survived but I suspect you pulled the coup of the year:to attract attention from the local beach boys!

andrewm said...

Yeah, come on Ebren, you tease. Tell all!

DoctorShoot said...

Mimi
the wave-crashed british girl floundering in the rip, cossie asunder with too much flesh showing, is always an irresistable bait for aussie surfer boys...
an oldie but still a goodie...
hope you didn't have to kick in for the beers...

offside said...

Fluffy pyjamas?

Zeph said...

"Mahendra Singh Dhoni was charm and delight personified" At close quarters, I hope? Can we be told?

Zeph said...

Nice account Mimi, and I'm glad you like the place and its people (especially those nice boys on the beach) - some bloggers on GU are succeeding in putting me off Australia for life!

Margin said...

Hooray for efficient surfers and old men on nostalgia trips.

This is surely how every holiday in Aus should go... Especially the bit where they lose at cricket.

;)

mimi said...

Thanks peeps for your comments. Doc: I'm very much ashamed to admit that there was a bit too much flesh exposed! It was purely accidental.

Offy: very fluffy!

Zeph: sadly only got within a few metres of the charming MS Dhoni but phwoar! Also very phwoar for MS Nicholas. Definitely had been working off all those pies from the cooking comp!

munni said...

welcome back, Mimi, really enjoyed reading this.

bluedaddy said...

Devon! You're bitching about going to Devon mimi? We used to go to Middlesbrough!

Welcome home and back to t' Corner. Place has been waay to quiet without you (apologies to all for my own infrequent visits).

BTW not buying the accidental exposure for one minute mimi. Those surf dudes didn't stand a chance and we all know it. (Stubbies are tinnies right, or was the surf a tad cold?)

bluedaddy said...

Or even too quiet maybe.

offside said...

OK, now we've established fluffiness, what about colour? I'm guessing pink. Which shade, exactly?

guitougoal said...

offie,
regarding the aussie surfers the shade is pink blue tomato.

mimi said...

Offy: so wrong! The pjs are blue and white (bit like me after the ocean battering, though black and blue might be more accurate!).
Glad you enjoyed the read munni - it really was fun. Especially India winning and also we got the chance to drive part of the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit just as they were beginning to get all set up for next month's opener.

Bluedad: you've sussed me, so easily. The first time was truly accidental, but can I hand on heart say the same about the second?

I leave you to decide.

bruce greengrass said...

Mimi,
I'm glad to see that the Aussie surfers helped you discover the true Meaning of Sport.

Now you've found a top flannelette outlet, I assume my nightshirt is in the post.

mimi said...

If only I'd understood the importance of pyjamas earlier in my life ...

MotM said...

Lovely, warm stuff again from the flannelette warmed Mimi and the land of warm beaches. I am doing all I can to get to Aus for the 2010-11 Ashes (well two Tests) and hope to have as wonderful a time as you have had.

AndrewM's idea of sport on one's hols is a good one. We're off to Vegas for a week at the end of May - even I won't call blackjack a sport, but I do count Texas Hold'em which I'm hoping to play assuming the identity of Paul McCartney's lovechild gone to seed.

offside said...

Texas Hold'em, eh Mouth? That'll be the end of ya. Mark my words. Highly addictive stuff.

Ingrid said...

Mouth,
do you mean you intend dressing up in
fluffy pyjamas, then pretending to drown, hoping that hunky surfer boys will fish you out?

Are you Russel Brand?

greengrass said...

guitou,
you're crazy!

Your madness, my gladness - thanks!

I.o.u. a pint of off.topic.

ingrid said...

Dearest Guitou,
many thanks for the t-shirt you sent me!

I'll be wearing it in the tap-room - please meet me in the cellar, where I will be happy to thank you in my special way (say nowt to Greengrass).

mimi said...

Aah - T shirts. those nice soft white ones are almost as good as lovely fluffy pyjamas. I can't wait to go to the Taproom - but wouldn't intrude on the shenanigans in the cellar!

guitougoal said...

Mimi, Ingrid,
Handmade with love just for you, I knitted them, pre-washed them with zeph's on my side doing the packaging- The shipping-It can't be stressed too much that it took almost a year to do it! let's drink to that pseuds accomplishment.

greengrass said...

guitou,
it was well worth the wait!

Way past my bedtime, so tonight I spurn my nightshirt in favour of my long-sleeved PC t-shirt.

Skål!

mimi said...

Well, Guitou, as you know I'd drink to almost anything, but I do think a special glass of something should be raised to you for our lovely T-shirts. Perhaps the angel Zepherine could devise a special cocktail for us all. Then we could wear the shirt and drink together. Which would be fun.

offside said...

Haven't got mine yet. Will the colour fit my favourite loincloth? The suspense is killing me.

And I could do with a drink.

mimi said...

Drinks would be very good. Why doesn't Ingrid fire up the bar and the BBQ? A few road-killed roos would start the meat menu and surely a cocktail is not beyond you, Offy?

guitougoal said...

-Zephirine is busy selling tee-shirts to the tourists on Picadilly circus-Chances are she sold even Offside's shirt cause xxxl are very much in demand.

offside said...

I can do cocktails, cockiness, roasted cockerelles, you name it. And if Ingrid is around to give me a hand, what are the chances of a cock-up?

mimi said...

And to think lowering the tone used to be my job! Offy: I surrender the crown to you, unreservedly.

And the pyjamas.

offside said...

wow, if the pyjamas are coming off, we're in for an interesting night.

gg, you owe me a drink.

mimi said...

Well I keep waiting for someone to open the cocktail bar. I guess there's only one for me: Sex on the beach!!!

offside said...

Mimi,

when you're finished having your sex on the beach (take your time, by the way, this one shouldn't be rushed (unless the tide is coming in)), I'll mix you a Pyjama Jackhammer:

3 oz guava juice
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 oz peach schnapps

Combine ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a highball glass with shaved ice, and serve.

mimi said...

Ooh yum - good choice of ingredients Offy. Just need something a bit stronger to numb the pain of my boy Bell's injury.

offside said...

Something stronger? My, we are demanding tonight, aren't we, jammy girl?

How about a Flaming Liquid Cocaine Blaster? I think that's as strong as they come:

1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
1/2 oz Jagermeister® herbal liqueur
1/2 oz Goldschlager® cinnamon schnapps
8 oz can Red Bull® energy drink

gg said...

offy,
if the pyjamas are off, you'll need one.

Have two - a Canny Carrick and a Bent
Benzema!

offside said...

Ah, gg! I thought it was just Mimi, me and me tonight. Welcome. I thought Fletcher was quite fletching tonight. Otherwise, dull and disappointing game.

I get a strange sens of pleasure from knowing that you're in a pub in Sweden, I'm in my easy chair outside on the deck in Moorea, and we're doing the same thing (even though we're wearing different colours). Cheers!

guitougoal said...

did you like benzema gg? cause Tartaulas is doing a selling job on fergusson- This guy reminds me of a used car salesman of the 60's-"My car is not for sale,
except if you insist enough with the right check"
Are guys having a pajamas party...on moving sand?

offside said...

Guitou

Mimi actually insists all pyjamas must be left on the peg just outside the door.

She didn't say whether we could keep our hats on.

mimi said...

Ooh well I was just about to be very disappointed but the young Alistair has taken his second fine catch.

Lovely from the dark god of English cricket. I refer just to his lovely eyes. OOOh.

Enjoyed the last cocktail and yes, of course, pjs must be left at the door if requisite leopardskin bikinis are provided in place!

guitougoal said...

here you go....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9yCvd86-P4

mimi said...

I'd choose this one>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNhvYavW5Is

Ingrid: where's my drink??

ingrid said...

You spilt it down the front of your pyjamas, you ninny. Come on, off with it.

mimi said...

Thing is Ingrid, it's very cold here, so even if I took off the fluffy jams, there'd be the pink thermals underneath!

ingrid said...

Pink thermals? Now, that is hot. Almost as hot as greengrass' flannel nightshirt.

I'll get my fan.

mimi said...

I can't possibly entertain this conversation. I have just been outed on GU as Ian Bell's mum!!

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