SXSW 2007

This is my travel blog. It started as a way for people to keep up with my trip to Australia to watch the 2006/7 Ashes series, and continued with my trip to SXSW 2007 in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas in March '07.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I’m not sure what it is about Melbourne that makes one feel so at home. Perhaps it’s the 1230 restaurants (2004 survey) serving all types of food at all times of day and night, maybe it’s the Queen Victoria Market where all types of fresh fruit, veg, meat, cheese and fish are available most days of the week, plus loads of clothes, hardware etc, maybe it’s the numerous small bars that seem to lurk down every side alley, maybe it the sports facilities - MCG, Telstra dome, Rod Laver arena for tennis, Melbourne Grand Prix, Melbourne Gold Cup etc etc, maybe it’s the wonderful trams, maybe it’s the great countryside not far out of town. In fact apart from all that it’s hard to see what Melbourne has to offer at all…………
Of course it wouldn’t be anything to do with the fact that I’m in profit at the Casino to the tune of A$350 so far. Not at all. Not one jot.
I saw the Ashes urn today. It’s small. Very small. It also looks suspiciously new, but that maybe due to it’s renovation before starting this tour of Australia. I also discovered an uncomfortable fact. The Ashes urn is entirely Australian. The urn itself is Australian as were the contents. It was presented to Ivo Bligh, the captain of the English team sent out to avenge the first ever English test defeat at the Oval in 1882, by the ladies of the country house he was staying at in Australia. Indeed one of said ladies was to be his future wife. When he died in the 1920’s she presented the urn to the MCC. Hence the reason it belongs to us not them. Possession is nine tenth s of the law and all that. We just better make sure it does make it back to Lords and not get held up by some modern day Ned Kelly.
I think we are on the present buying trail tomorrow at the QVM as although we have one more internal flight to complete, and we are both up against out luggage allowances on internal flights, Tutes has kindly volunteered to act as luggage carrier in his hire car down to Sydney. From there home is fine as we have loads of luggage allowance spare in Business class.
Glen McGrath has also officially retired as well as Shane Warne. I shall be more glad to see the back of him than Warney. Warney is a character, bowling leg spin, which was just about dead and buried as an art when he came on the scene. Whether or not he is playing for you or against you, you can’t help but enjoy his talent. McGrath by contrast is a real grumpy old git, never giving praise freely to his opponents. There’s always some sort of dig at how wonderful he is and how crap they are. He also managed to get the best of England at the most inopportune times. Time and time again just when England would think they were doing well, he would dash those hopes on the rocks of his line and length bowling. Roll on 2009 summer!


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