Melbourne – Part 3

My first view of Ethiad Stadium
My first view of Ethiad Stadium

Edinburgh Military Tattoo Melbourne

Day three of our trip and today is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I think everyone was up and ready bright and early. The Tattoo was at 1pm but we had no idea where the Ethiad Stadium was, what the area was like and what kind of parking to expect. We  talked about this and made the decision to call a taxi, deciding that this was, by far, the easiest choice – probably expensive – but easier and less stressful. At about 12 we headed off to the Stadium. On the way there we passed what we were told was the largest Shopping Mall in the Southern Hemisphere – Chadstone Shopping Center. I decided that had to be a must if possible. We decided to hit the merchandise  area and this is where we had a major disappointment. As part of my birthday gift, Andrew and John had purchased a Tattoo Merchandise Voucher. We heard nothing from anyone so we assumed that this would be in the form of a kind of Tattoo Show bag

At the stadium concourse
At the stadium concourse

and I presented the Voucher at the Merchandise Area only to be told that this had nothing to do with them and that the Tattoo Administration should have contacted me and sent the goods to me directly. This never happened. (More on this) Also Andrew wanted a Tattoo Teddy Bear for  Trish, but they had run out of them.  I just bought the usual – a golf shirt, T shirt and a Baseball Cap. Our seats were  not too bad, but the best Andrew could get at such short notice. They didn’t know about it and it was something they dreamed up for my Birthday at almost the last

Aboriginal Fire Ceremony Welcome to country.
Aboriginal Fire Ceremony Welcome to country.

moment, but I have to say the seats were not bad at all and we had a fairly good view of things.  For anyone who has been to Edinburgh or seen the Tattoo on Television, the format is fairly standard and flows swiftly from one section to the next. I think over the years most people ( or perhaps just me) have   decided on their favourite.  I liked all things from the Governor’s Guard of Honour, Australian Defense Force Band,  Pacific Islanders, The New Zealand Maori the King of Norway’s Guard, the Scottish Country dancers, the South Australia Police Band, Massed Pipes and Drums, but my favourite over the years is the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland. They fascinate me.

The performances by all the cast ( 1200) was outstanding up to and very much including the closing performance and the Lone Piper. If I were to make one complaint it is that due to the roof being closed over the smoke from fires and guns took a long time to clear so a lot of the photographs have a smokey look about them,not as sharp as they should be – if that makes sense.. Would we go again – most certainly – I would even give up Celtic Thunder to go back to Melbourne.

Pipes and Drums
Pipes and Drums

At the end of the Tattoo we managed – after a while – to grab a taxi and make our way to  Chadstone Shopping Center  – and yes, it is a massive place but it was late in the afternoon so we really didn’t have much of an opportunity for a full exploration of the centre – perhaps next time – although I did need to get to Optus and have some adjustment made to my phone. Since the distance between Chadstone and Oakleigh wasn’t too far, we walked back to the hotel. We had  something to eat and drink in Chadstone, so no one really felt like dinner, so the boys read whilst I did some work on the computer – I carry a portable modem with me. An early night was in order for the drive home in the morning. – Confession – I went out to  the nearest KFC ( about five/six minutes walk away) and had a Cheeseburger.

Top Secret Drum Corps
Top Secret Drum Corps

The Big Adventure.

Ok, that’s the second run to Adelaide over now we just have the  five day trip to Melbourne and back. I am so looking forward to the Tattoo. In nearly 65 years the Edinburgh Military Tattoo has only moved out of Edinburgh four times and three of these time have been to Australia. I have never been to the Australian event – this will be a first time. We are, as I said earlier, going via the

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Great Ocean road. Our first run on Friday will be from here to Mount Gambier. The boys will do in one run what I generally take two to do – overall about  1000klms. But then as Herself suggests, there is nearly 30 years of a difference   :o)

At the moment Windows 10 is still causing me heartache. I  spent some time with a Microsoft Guru who was very helpful and  finally got  Word, Outlook, Excel, Power Point and Publisher all working – fantastic.  Still have problems in that the start/menu button is still not working on windows 10 and I cannot access the apps – which means that although these programs are working I can’t quite get to them because I can’t get into the applications folder – grrrr… Not only that, my computer refuses to recognise my printer – they wont talk to each other.  I am not altogether sure why but I seem to spend a lot of time these days  humming Trini Lopez   (If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning) It is definitely  a true saying “To err is human – but to really stuff up you need a computer”

Benji got a severe talking to the other day as I tried very nicely to impress on him that wakening up and pouncing on a sleeping form at 04:20 does not a happy daddy make.  :o) Must have worked

Hello!!
Hello!!

because the last two mornings I have slept until 6am –  thank you BJ.  This five days away to Melbourne is going to be fun. The poor dog went gaga when I came home from Adelaide and that was only overnight — how is he going to be after five days? This will be the longest time I have been away from him since he was rescued and brought home. The longest I have been away from him was two days and Herself tells me he just sulked in his bed only coming out to go out and to eat. Yes, of course I will miss him.

I am looking forward to the Tattoo and some shopping afterwards. We set back to home on Monday – overnight in Adelaide and home sometime on Tuesday morning.  Herself has also been having problems with her computer but rather than upgrade ( it is an old computer) so when we get to Adelaide we are going to have a look around and see what we can find.

Anyway we leave in two hours so I had better start getting showered and things ready. I am taking the camera (of course) and the laptop with me and we’ll see how we go.

Cricket, Paintings, Poems and New Year

The Christmas Plant.
One of my Plants – this one was given to me as a gift.

I liked cricket. Notice the word “liked”. I used to sit up to the wee small hours of the morning to watch the Test Match in the UK. I loved to watch the skills and the sportsmanship of Ian Botham, Clive Lloyd. Vivian Richards, Graham Gooch, Dennis Lillee , Rod Marsh, Alan Border, Richard Hadlee,  Imran Khan, Sunil Gavaskar, David Gower, Kapil Dev, VVS Laxman – to name a few. I loved to listen to the commentary  of former – before my time – greats such as Freddy Truman. These days I very rarely watch cricket because it’s just not the same game anymore.  Money, technology, and changes of rules have altered the game to the extent that I think it’s called cricket, but it’s in name only. Yet having said that, over a quarter of a million people turned up this last week to watch the Melbourne  Boxing Day Test. When I liked cricket, the decision of the Umpire was final – if he said OUT you were OUT or NOT OUT, as the case may be.  Not any more – technology and the spy camera can have the decision of the umpire overturned, after all there’s money involved here. The Big Bash League, T20 have contributed to the death of cricket as we have known it. There is a lot of money being thrown

David Gower
David Gower

around and why should a person bother playing this Test Cricket  stuff when he can make a lot of money playing in the T 20 – or even going over to India and playing there. Even ODI ( One Day International) games are suffering.  T 20 is irreversible, it brings in punters and revenue, it brings in the players with  just the ability to batter the ball to all sides of the ground with as few as strokes as possible. If people want to watch this game, fine, but  – inflated egos, players who believe that they are greater than the game itself,  are not for me, I leave all that to the Me/Now generation and their overwhelming desire for instant gratification – The Big Bash.  These last few years – I don’t know – but it’s just not the same.

There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night —
Ten to make and the match to win —
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote —
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’

Yes. well, I always liked Sir Henry Newbolt. Not many people did – he is very Victorian and very dated. I liked his poems about Drake, Devon and Clifton.  Surprisingly enough, I often think of

The Fighting Temeraire
The Fighting Temeraire

Newbolt, probably because on the wall in front of me is a copy of  “The Fighting Temeraire” by J.M. Turner, and one of the great poems by Newbolt  is The Fighting Temeraire. There was an exhibition in Adelaide called “Turner From the Tate” and people expressed disappointment that  The Fighting Temeraire was not included. I don’t think they really understood the title of the Exhibition “Turner from the Tate” because the Temeraire is not in the Tate, it’s in the National Gallery.  Oops…

So here we are, 31st. December and the last post for the year. It’s been an interesting year, sometimes difficult, sometimes frustrating, but always good. I, like others have had periods of ups and downs and it’s been a year when I discovered that I am no longer superman – I cannot lift and move fallen trees on my own – no longer invincible  – I damaged my  sciatic nerve in trying to do so, but it was all good :o) lessons generally can be.  A quiet night tonight – we are far enough away from the main areas not to be bothered by clowns. Tomorrow, the boys, Trish and the girls will be here for lunch and then we are back to “normal” –  Old  Clothes and Porridge .  I hope everyone has a great new year. I will watch the Edinburgh Tattoo and have a glass of something, wet, alcoholic and 22 years old.

Take care everyone – if you are driving – take special care – and I look forward to being with you again in the New Year.