How many helpings of turkey, steak, trifle and pavlova can a person eat over Christmas?  In my case, apparently, too many!  I suspect it’s going to take ‘til next Christmas to get my body back into shape and that’ll be just in time to do it all again!

And speaking of doing it all again, Boxing Day saw two events begin that have now become institutions, on our eastern seaboard anyway.  Do Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and probably Brisbane take any passionate interest in the Sydney-Hobart yacht race?  Maybe not, but the Cricket Test at  The G  would, I’m sure.

I was front-and-centre to watch that Test and it wasn’t long before I realised why the mute button is a Godsend because with cricket come the dribblers!  At lunch the coverage skipped northward to watch the start of the Sydney-Hobart and as a helicopter/drone flew east and low over The Bridge, one of the dribblers blurted out:  ‘Ah, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Paul Hogan helped build that!’  Oh Good Grief!  You may have been a test cricketer in your day but I doubt you ever graduated from sand box!  The Bridge was opened in 1932 and Paul wasn’t even a glint in his mother’s eye at that time.  He was born in 1939!  Paul did work on the bridge later but off-handed comments like that drive me crazy and I begin to think some of the dribblers may have been hit on the head by bouncers a few too many times.

The race started on time and the big boats were up the harbour, out The Heads, made the right turn around the furlong buoy and were off Wollongong or possibly even Jervis Bay before the smaller boats had even made it through the spectator fleet and to The Heads for their date with the right turn buoy!  The race record stands at 33 hours, 15 minutes (and change) and you’d have to think it’d take longer than that to just dry the sails after the race!

So here’s my suggestion.  Why aren’t the big boats sent out to round the New Zealand North Island, navigate The Cook Strait and then head back almost due west to join up with the pack as they begin their slog up the Derwent?  To my way of thinking it would achieve three things:  First, the big boats would get a real workout of 2 or 3 days;  Second, it would create a greater spectacle having more boats working up the Derwent at the same time;  and Third, it would actually give a reason for the existence of New Zealand!  In short, it’s a Win/Win.  Just remember, you heard it here first.

Meanwhile back at  The G  one of the dribblers mumbled (as an Indian batsman clobbered a ball) “Agarwal has moved into the 30s.”  No, actually Agarwal’s score at the time was 40 and if the dribbler had been paying attention he’d have known that.  There were far too many comments along those lines so I hit the mute button.  And so it remained until a small grandchild with puzzlement aplenty across its face – wanted to know, “Poppy, why are you watching the TV with no sound?”  Ah, the innocence of a child!  It’s fair to say this one is going to find out about reality soon enough and while I was tempted to say something like, “I’m saving on electricity”  or,  “Because the Indians are playing in this game it’s being broadcast in Hindi”  or  (and I thought this one was the best)  “Because Nanny and Poppy live in the country, the TV stations don’t always broadcast the whole of every programme to us,”  but I didn’t.  I de-muted and was just in time to see Mitch Starc clean bowled as he tried to lift the pill into the third tier of  The G  beyond long off when caution should have ruled.

Into the vacuum this development created, a dribbler then said,  “At least he kept his head down over the ball!”  Where do they get these cretins from, the bargain table in The Reject Shop?

But The Galahs did win one Test against the Indian team and I think they did well to achieve that but what are we to do when the Sri Lankans arrive?  Many of the dribblers felt they had the solution saying things would look up when  The Three  had served their time and came back into the team.  Don’t get me started!  THEY’RE NOT COMING BACK!  THEY DON’T DESERVE TO COME BACK!

Never let it be said though, that I was selfish and not prepared to go on record with a solution.  Many of the current players in  The Galahs  need to have their minds focussed on the task in front of them, be it batting (a monumental must), fielding or bowling, so I ask, are you familiar with horse racing?  What does a trainer do when a young colt can’t, or won’t, focus on his task?  Well, for the good of the Oz team I propose contacting Justin Langer with the suggestion and (if asked) I’ll even provide the razor blade and the bottle of metho so he can set about gelding a few of them.  I think that’s our best and possibly only chance in the long term.

And yes, there’s been scads of tennis around the country and I just can’t wait for The Open to begin because  The Fed  is back in town!


Talk at you later,


Hillside Critic

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