Sunday, May 23, 2010

Swans news: yesterday J and I went to Sydney for the day to watch the Swannies play. Before details of the day I will explain how we managed this. When the Swans first sent out membership materials for Canberra members, they told us they were changing the package, due for the most part to the ACT government no longer forking over a share of the money to hold the match at an ACT venue. This had reduced the number of matches being held in the ACT. The Swans instead offered us a package of one match in Canberra (last weekend's match vs the Bulldogs which I missed due to illness), one in Sydney at the SCG and one in Melbourne. Both J and I thought that a decent bargain and paid our membership. When the actual sign-up package arrived, the match in Sydney was at ANZ Stadium, which is the huge arena built for the Olympics. You have to walk miles from public transport or even from the entrance to your seat. I called the membership office and reminded them that they had promised us SCG tickets. After much rustling of papers on their end, they acknowledged that yes, they would honor the SCG promise. So, we signed up. When the final membership package arrived, the materials all said ANZ stadium. I got nowhere with trying to contact the membership office online but J took the matter further, partially because she was already angry at them holding a night match during Earth Hour. Somehow she managed to wangle us 2 member's tickets to a match of our choice at the SCG. I feel sorry for those Canberra members who didn't get this opportunity, but I was very satisfied.

So yesterday we did a one day excursion to Sydney, which started off on the wrong foot when my alarm didn't go off and I had to throw myself together in a hurry. Fortunately, due to some precognition, I had gotten everything ready the night before, down to socks and underwear laid out, so I was only a little late. We stopped in Marulan for game snacks (don't ever buy them at the venue) and discovered that the BP in Marulan was selling Krispy Kremes. Thus fortified, we continued and actually made it to the park & ride site (UNSW carpark) without getting lost. The Bear, who knew Sydney intimately, always drove in Sydney and I never paid much attention to details, and they've built new roads since we used to go to Swans matches. We took our bus to the SCG, went to the members office, retrieved our tickets and discovered we had the option of sitting in the Ladies Pavilion.

When I was hoping to get match seats in the SCG, sitting in the Ladies Stand was my dream, built in 1896, it epitomizes to me the charm of the old SCG. This was also our first view of the new SCG since construction was competed. The Victor Trumper Stand (named after a legendary cricket player) had completely absorbed the area formerly known as The Hill. which used to be simply grass and where the unwashed masses watched events and where the loudest commentary on any match's proceedings emanated from. It is all very spiffy, which is why I wanted to sit in the old part of the stands. We got 2 of the last remaining seats undercover (the skies were threatening) and settled in.

Somewhere along the line I had overlooked the fact the the Fremantle Dockers were no longer the walkover they used to be. It looked like cocaine was not the only drug of choice among the WA player community, because these guys were seriously large. They dwarfed our lads and won most contests where mere muscle ruled the day. The umpires didn't help either. We also were missing several key players. Craig Bolton is injured. Mumford is on suspension. Keneally left early, and Jude Bolton and LRT were cycled on and off the field. Henry Playfair did well and kicked his first goal. Official match summary here. In the third quarter the heavens opened and it rained almost the entire rest of the match. I have never before had the luxury of under cover seating so I was very glad we had manged to sit in comfort. Got the bus back to the car and drove home, stopping in Marulan for burgers. I was safely home by 9.30.

The outing only confirmed and refreshed in my mind how lovely going to Swans matches at home in the SCG is. And why tickets to ANZ Stadium are to be avoided (except for finals). There was a decent turnout (about 70% capacity I'd guess). The crowd was lively until the downpour (and it really rained). Nobody in our area was drunk or obnoxious. I think next year J and I might opt for a 3 game SCG membership and buy our Canberra tickets because there are times J can't go to matches here and I don't like going by myself.

I spent the beginning of the week sick with some sort of lurgie (bug) that sapped what strength I had and gave me a sore throat instead. I slept a lot, read a lot, made the Imp infinitely satisfied with me being held captive. My best book of the week was Marion Halligans's The Apricot Colonel. She usually writes about Canberra, so it was nice to read with an idea on my mind's eye of where she was. It would be lovely to have Tilly's as your local drop in spot. The Fog Garden was the first novel of hers that caught my attention, and since it was about a woman whose husband had just died, it planted a subconscious thought in my brain. Never assume that life will always proceed in the fashion your are planning.

Work on Thursday really tired me out, so I am not going to push with anything today so work tomorrow will be bearable. I finally got the brush fencing that screens the front entrance to the house repaired. One more step in renovations. Now I can get at the front garden more seriously.. I noticed that the fencing guy had tromped thoroughly on my iris, so I might sacrifice them rather that trying to figure out how to incorporate them into the landscape. If you don't know and love iris, they don't do well and look scruffy.

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