Monday, 28 December 2009

It's just not cricket

I've had the most sensational three days, living in the lap of luxury in a hotel on Melbourne's most exclusive street and being a guest of a member of the MCC at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It's back to earth with a bump today, though - a rickety top bunk in an eight-share dorm, with two blokes snoring like bandsaws, five people returning from their night out at 3am and a couple giggling and rocking the bed below me (I don't think they were doing anything more sinister than cuddling, thank God, but the bed was really not up to much - the slightest movement had it trembling like a hammock tossing on the high seas). Anyway, after some moments of severe petulance at reception this morning, I've been moved to a different (and hopefully more peaceful) room, and tomorrow I have a trip down the Great Ocean Road to look forward to.

In the meantime, I'll just reminisce about living in the Novotel - with a chaise longue, for reading, and a gloriously comfortable double bed, for lounging, and room service, for stuffing myself with delicious morsels on Christmas day! Not to mention watching films until my eyes were popping, plus a new print of Easy Rider at the arthouse cinema on Boxing day. And amidst all this sybaritic pleasure, I even managed to look after my soul too, and visited St Paul's Cathedral for Christmas morning mass, which was lovely.

And yesterday was the apogee - a visit to the MCG, which for most Melburnians is considerably more holy than St Paul's, and my first live Test match, courtesy of Keir, whose guest I was. Those in the know said it was the slowest day's play they'd ever seen (in fact, I missed the most exciting part of the day - the streaker - when I popped to the loo, dammit), but being a cricket virgin I think I got more out of it than them. First, I had nothing to compare it to, and second there were moments - when Pakistan was scoring runs, and Australia was taking wickets - when I could really see why people become obsessed with the game. Looks like I might have something to watch to tide me over when the rugby's on holiday for the summer...

Aah, heady days. And more to come - the Great Ocean Road, New Year in Melbourne, and then pastures new in New Zealand. On second thoughts, who cares about a bit of snoring?!

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