Team VA's Wonderings

Thursday, February 01, 2007

All a bit rushed really

Well hello there. Been a while by my recent standards-I blame Adams for leading me astray, a tough job, but someone had to do it. I feel that I am no behind on an almost Africa scale, so I am going to do my best to be brief!

Australia Day
The city was flooded with people, which was unfortunate as we felt like the walking wounded after a night toasting Roger Federer. Hangovers and crowds just don’t mix, it just emphasises how wobbly you are. There seemed to be quite a lot going on, including some very dangerous looking aeronautics. We chilled out, had a drink with Nicole and her mum and I headed down to Rod Laver for the second’s men’s semi. I felt this was likely to be a little anti-climatic after last night, and for one it was a shame that I was right.

The evening started well as Mark Edmondson was inducted into the Australian tennis Hall of Fame. Basically they say nice things about him, unveil a bust that will be with Laver, Court, Rosewall, Cash et al and then Mark makes a lit speech. He was the last Australian to win the Australian Open back in the 70s and was a bloody nice bloke. He’d not seen the bust, so inspected it closely after he unveiled it. When he came to speak, he did a great job and used the phrase ‘it’s all a bit overwhelming’, finally he said it once last time and was done. He was a bit overwhelmed.

Just before Gonzalez took on Haas, we were warned that the city’s Australia Day fireworks would go off an hour and a half into the match. I idly mused that Federer was done and dusted in an hour and 23 mins, so there would have been no interruption. When Gonzalez started like a train, it looked like he was trying to beat Federer and the fireworks to the finish line. After an hour and a half and one fewer games than the Roddick/Federer match, Gonzo was acknowledging the crowd’s applause as the fireworks began. It was quite surreal and very loud-I’m not sure how they would have played through it. It was another one-sided semi final, but quite different to last night. Gonzo didn’t hit Federer’s heights and Haas barely showed up. Gonzo did play well, perhaps he might give Federer a game after all.

Set up for the day by breakfast with Helen, Nicole, John and I headed to see Sharapova v Williams (despite previous experience, John scalped a half price ticket off a Qantas employee and got in). The ladies final was a shame-Serena played wonderfully, Sharapova pretty horribly. She’d gone off to work on her serve after her semi-she clearly didn’t have enough time. I’d seen both play twice before and it was a shame that while one played comfortably the best I’d seen, the other was equally comfortably the worst. Serena was on pretty scary form it has to be said.

The men’s double final was more competitive, but saw another straight sets win-the very gracious Bryans over Bjorkman and Max Myrni. Bjorkman had the best non Aussie support I saw. His guys chanted and sang between every game and point. I even enjoyed their Abba inspired-‘Mama Mia, here we go again, Jonas, how can we resist you’. I think it trumped the Aussies ‘I like to Molik, Molik’ (to the tune of I like move it, move it). They didn’t forget Myrni, who was moved to say he felt half Swedish.

Bryden Klein in the boys singles final showed some real heart to beat his top ranked French opponent and clinch a win for the Aussies. It was the first deciding set I’d seen all week. He was so raw, he had to have two gos at throwing his towel into the crowd.

After all that, John and I went for a curry, which was mighty fine and included a cheese naan. Oh yes. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the tennis marathon and seeing Federer will live with me for a long time, but I’m also glad to be moving onto other things.

Big Day Out
Saturday night was quite sensible, as Sunday was Big Day Out, which is a kind of one day travelling Glastonbury. Well more like V I think. A similar line up does the big cities here and in NZ.

Erm, I wouldn’t rush back, though with a few days reflection it was pretty good. My two gripes were that the bars were cordoned off, so you couldn’t have a beer and be anywhere near the stage-not my idea of a rock festival. At one stage the bar was one in, one out. They also had a second crowd barrier: there were about 45,000 people there, 8 or so stages, so why they needed to break the crowd in two was beyond me: I’ve only seen that at Live 8 (150,000) and Oasis at Knebworth (125,000). Glasto manages fine without. There was loads of security forming a walkway for the people pouring back from the front, but you still couldn’t get further forward. Result was that I watched the Killers stood amongst total foot tappers, but couldn’t move forward. I was most unhappy, but am seeing them again tonight, so that should make up for it. Also saw Kasabian, Lily Allen, Muse, Jet and a few others. Missed Tool though. The bands were excellent; the organisers need to go to Glastonbury to understand what a festival is.

Monday was one of those days you have to have every so often when you’re travelling: washing clothes, booking Tasmania flights, accommodation and car (sadly the company renting VW Beetles no longer does, so we’ve a modern piece of crap), planning Dandenong/Philip Island road trip and recovering from Big Day Out. We made it to a movie in the evening, Pan’s Labyrinth, which was Spanish, pretty good and definitely not for children.


  • didn't U2 split the crowd at twickenham?

    I've still not had your photos for the glasto application form, incidentally. Which address did you want me to use?


    By Blogger swisslet, at 8:12 AM  

  • This might explain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:06 AM  

  • Yes Swiss you are right-I'd forgotten that because some Norweigian cretin was late and we didn't get in. It was another very big crowd.

    Terrible to read that someone died in the crush-I do sometimes wonder it isn't more common. Still think they could do a better job at getting the crowd where they want to be, but that's certainly more understandable.

    By Blogger Poll Star, at 10:24 AM  

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