So, we didn’t go to the Moomba parade – yet again – this year.  Does that make me a grouch?   Or can I say that I’m merely accepting reality that it’s for a different generation?

To make things worse, we didn’t even think of turning on the TV to see what was happening until after the parade was all over!



The week of the Trilogy

Have you noticed that there are three important days this week?

14th February is doubly significant .  Not only is it Valentine’s Day but it’s also Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.   Apparently the calendar is oblivious to the inconsistency inherent is the full observance of these days.

Easter (and hence Ash Wednesday) is relatively early this year.  The date range for Easter Sunday is 22 March to 25 April, and this year Easter Sunday (under the western/Gregorian calendar) will be 1 April.

And 16 February marks Chinese New Year (the year of the dog).

Some retailers in the city were certainly aware of Chinese New Year!


The Winter Olympics

I’ve previously expressed my view that the Olympics include a lot of sports that don’t normally attract a lot of interest, but which suddenly become hot topics for the duration of the Games.   This especially applies to the Winter Olympics, because so few of us have the ability to participate in the more exotic snow sports (“mogul skiing“? the “skeleton” races?).

Parts of the opening ceremony were good viewing.  However, although some of the other events are actually quite exciting to watch, I doubt that I can get very enthusiastic about them.  Hence, I probably won’t be watching much of them.  

A party in the park

A family member was getting engaged, and we were all invited to a party in St Vincent Gardens.   It was a lovely day, and it was a big gathering.

All the food (and there was a lot of it) had been pre-prepared in special boxes.  It was obvious that a lot of thought and effort had been put into the arrangements.


Obviously there were a lot of family members present, so it was a good opportunity to catch up.   But there were friends of the couple as well, and members of W’s family, so we certainly didn’t know everyone present.


I think everyone had an excellent time!

However, there’s a note to self:   when invited to a function in  park, BYO chair!   Fortunately, even though we didn’t bring any, others did and were generous enough to allow us to borrow them!

To Adelaide

There was a Lions Club BBQ in the park at Penola to mark Australia Day, and from a snippet I overhead there was to be a presentation (“Penolian of the Year”??).   And arrangements seemed to be in place for a car rally to follow.    However,  we “passed” on the local activities and set off for Adelaide.

Car rally?

We made good time (well, set the cruise control for 110 kmph and not too many big trucks on a public holiday), with short stops at Keith and Murray Bridge, and a brief pause at Coonalpyn to take a photo of the painted silos.

Artistic silos at Coonalpyn



A wrong turn just before our destination meant we took a “scenic tour” through the CBD and North Adelaide, but even so, we were settled in our roomy but dated accommodation at about 3.30 pm.   We then headed down trendy Melbourne St for dinner at a “Himalayan” (Nepalese/Tibetan) restaurant.

Melbourne St, North Adelaide

The tennis experience

We’ve been to the Australian Open each year for many years, and I suppose we thought we were familiar with the grounds.  However, it seems that a lot of work has occurred since the last Open (and some is still in progress).   There are more buildings, more of what used to be open space is covered with concrete, and any memories of what used to be public open space in the area are just that:  distant memories.  Is it all worth it for an event that lasts for just 2 weeks each year?

Gavrilova in action

Obviously the “powers that be” have decided that the answer is “yes”, and are presumably satisfied that there’s no risk that the Open will not continue to be held in Melbourne for the foreseeable future?

As well as all the work going on in the grounds, the visuals and screens at the courtside appear to have been upgraded, so that during breaks, the crowd is exposed to a rather amazing array of glitzy advertising.


Electronic displays






We arrived fairly early for the evening session, so sat in one of the numerous outdoor bars with a glass each of “sparkling” and watched a set or so of the Stosur match.  We then went in search of a “sit-down” meal, but the central venue that in past years has provided a reliable, if slightly pricey, meal is no longer there.  We ended up queuing for a pasta meal, which was fine (although the efficiency of the venue in getting prospective patrons seated was a little doubtful).

There are numerous venues catering for “hospitality” arrangements (see here) (such as arranged by “corporates”) but there are very few places for “sit-down” dining (aka “restaurants“) open to the holders of normal tickets.  There seem to be plenty of places serving “fast food”, much of which, now that I look at the map more carefully, seem to have the potential to be of a good quality (well, no Maccas!);  I guess next year, we ought to do our research and plan accordingly.


We went to the evening session on the first day of the Australia Open.  Well, we didn’t see Tomic!   We saw Nadal playing a qualifier, Estrella Burgos (from Dominican Republic),  and that was followed in the women’s by Daria Gavrilova,  who played an American qualifier, Falconi.    Nadal is the title holder and is number 1 seed, and Gavrilova is number 3 seed in the  women’s draw.   Hence, both the matches were uneven, with Nadal and Gavrilova winning in straight sets.

Nadal in action

I guess these mis-matches are inevitable in the first round, although Estrella Burgos played some amusing shots, and the capacity crowd certainly got behind him at times, too.

Nadala and Estrella Burgos after Nadal’s win

Certainly watching tennis live at the venue, especially with a capacity crowd, is quite a different experience to watching it on the TV.   But the venue is rather different this year, so more about this in the next post.