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Tuesday
Jan302018

Sport v music

When my significant other and I moved to a small Victorian country town in the mid-80s, he was set, socially, being something of a sports tragic and a determined and ferocious footballer. He also happened to be the Uniting Church minister, but because he played footy for the local team, he was in.

Not so much his wife, who was, at the time, a paid-up member of Keith Dunstan’s Anti-Football League. In a desperate effort to meet kindred spirits, I joined the local recorder group (the fact that I didn’t actually play the instrument wasn’t going to stop me), because it seemed to be the only organisation in town that didn’t revolve around sport or children.

Times have changed. Even the tiniest hamlet these days seems to have a book group, an expresso machine and a film festival. In a recent issue of the Age Entertainment Guide, Marty Boulton wrote: ‘Yes, we love our sport in Australia, but more people go to live music every year in this country than sporting contests’.

That’s surprising and encouraging, but for someone like me, Australia still feels like a sports mad nation. Over the last fortnight, in the blistering heat of a Melbourne summer, we have hosted the Australian Open, where the temperature on the surface of centre court alledgedly hit 69° on one day. Asking players to continue under such conditions surely constitutes some kind of human rights infringement, but on they go.

If you tire of the tennis on television, there are two types of cricket on offer: Big Bash and One Day (male and female), now that Test Cricket is done for the season. Aforementioned husband’s idea of chilling bliss is to sit on the couch, flicking between the tennis and the cricket. In the winter months, of course, it’s all about footy (and with pre-footy these days, the season seems to last about nine months). A multitude of other ball games is on offer, especially for those with a dedicated sports channel on tap.

I missed out on the competitive games gene. I’m woefully uncoordinated and I don’t enjoy watching, although my love for our offspring exceeded my lack of interest as I trailed around watching them undertake various sporting endeavours. I was genuinely happy that they were keeping fit, meeting other kids and learning the physical skills I so embarrassingly lacked. I am chuffed that my family is sporty, as long as I don’t have to join them. Along with a good many Australians, you’ll find me at a music gig instead.

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Reader Comments (1)

Dear Clare --- I write to say thank you for your article in The Age today, St Brigid's Day - 1 Feb 2018 about the heat. In my antiquity, I now live in Ballarat but my life has been spent in the sub-tropics and the tropics. Born in Brisbane where I lived until I was 11 years of age and then went on to live in Bowen, Townsville, Mount Isa and the Northern Territory with some years in Toowoomba (very like Ballarat climate-wise) squeezed in. So this means that I have experienced both the dry tropics and the wet tropics. Here in Ballarat, I live in an almost eighty-year-old brick house. If I am honest, in winter it is much on the cold side (at least for me) with a couple of damp spots. Of course, in summer this is reversed. I don't have an air-conditioner. Merely a pedestal fan. Last weekend here was rather hot. However, the house has plenty of windows on the east and north. There is a rooved verandah on the north. On the south, there are no windows - but there is a courtyard which is shaded in the morning hours. On the eastern side, there are windows in the bedroom. Last weekend was rather on the hot side here - but I pushed up (all the windows in the house are of the push-up variety) the bedroom windows and, in the shade of the high concrete fence between my neighbour's house and mine, there was a cool breeze. So this is the reason I enjoyed your article so much. It bears out the reality of dealing with climate. I don't pretend to tell the snow communities what is right and wrong and whinge about it - although I have seen some cunning tips on the internet. I wish the same applied with Victorians dealing with the heat!
Blessings and a beautiful and productive 2018
Brigid

January 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrigid O'Carroll Walsh

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