Saturday, September 24, 2005

Saint Benjamin's Day

Saturday morning, and not just any Saturday morning. Today is football Grand Final Day.

And not just any football Grand Final Day, but one in which the West Coast Eagles, my brother's team, are playing, and may even win - their first appearance at this level for eleven years.

And not just any Grand Final with West Coast in it, but one where my brother, the sanest human being I know, is here.

My brother runs to a different calender to the rest of us. There are to him three great feast-days throughout the year. And none of this St Eustace's day or the Feast of the Lenticles rubbish. His Saints are a fast bowler, a centreman and a mad wicket-keeper/batsman. The High and Holy days are as follows:

Australia Day - is the first of these. Australia Day is in January. By divine fiat* it is always hot, usually hot and dry, occasionally hot and cloudy. One year we had lightning, one of those summer storms that stalk out across the paddocks on legs of lightning. But usually the sky is a clear, hard blue, the horizon seems a billion miles away, and the leaves of the eucaplypts droop. Australia Days on the west coast smell more like wattle, on the south it's peppergum.

Australia Day is the cricket. If we can, we go. If not, the default celebration is barbecue (steaks thicker than a Bible, oysters, squid, chickens, various crustaceans), drinking and lounging, watching on the tv.

Boxing Day is more of the same, except it's test cricket. Cricket is a game invented for Australian summers - long, slow, the kind of thing you can chat about during the game, or even (heresy) read. Boxing Day is food, alcohol and lounging.

And then Grand Final Day. End of winter, early spring. Another barbecue, planned three days in advance. More of the red wine, less of the cider and beer, consumed for celebration or consolation. Maybe indolently chucking a cricket ball around afterwards. The day's pretty much a write-off for study, or work, which is all pretty good.

Anyway, study and gym tomorrow. Work monday.

Grand Final Day today.


*knew a girl who used to drive one of these


Anonymous Camilla said...


I hope you are all having a Happy Grand Final Day. Many blessings for the New Season.


3:39 PM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

Heres for Port Power V Freo Dockers 2006

8:46 PM  
Blogger Benedict 16th said...

oh and my word verification: mmewl
Even the computer is missing the catwoman

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Camilla said...

I had a dream last night that the Dockers were playing the Grand Final. Mind you, this was all in the middle of another dream about a bizarre mass murder, monstrous house fire and children going missing in the dark, forbidding forest, so...maybe not.

My comment appears to have hayfever.


Bless you.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Champurrado said...

Gawd, if only I could will myself to have cricket dreams. Your post caused an irrational thought. Maybe i should just leave for the airport, buy a ticket on the first flight to your part of the world and truly enjoy the game as it was intended. Here's to the baggy green.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Bronze John said...

Damn good game. But nothing compared to us versus Geelong/St Kilda.
I suppose the other thing is I wasn't that sorry to see Sydney win, and truth be told I wasn't that sad seeing West Coast lose.

And as for the cricket - we lost the Ashes and I'm almost glad, too. This is the England we need. The old enemy, strong, aggressive, confident, hopefully having fixed the deep, systemic problems that kept it so low for so long. Flintoff, Harmison,... bring them on.

Although I don't know that us versus the rest of the world is quite as good an idea as it sounded a year ago.

11:22 PM  

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