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Melbourne

Up at 0430 for a cab ride to Canberra airport. It was fogbound, as is normal at this time of year but the first flights out (to Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide) usually go as their aircraft are already on the ground. Tough luck for Sydney of the first arrival, which is from Perth.



Since I'm (unusually) in Melbourne in mid-winter, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss to go and see the footy - the most exciting sport in the world.

Took the train from Cheltenham station to Spencer Street Station (Southern Cross). It was absolutely crammed with St Kilda fans. The Lots of families heading in to the football. You could tell by the teenagers wearing footy jumpers autographed by various team members and the folks wearing the red white and black beanies and scarves. St Kilda is based at nearby Moorabbin so there are lots of fans in this part of town. (Also there was a small contingent of highly dressed individuals headed for the races at Flemington.)

I've never been to Docklands (aka Telstra Dome) before. It's pretty nice actually. The view is very good and you can see all the players and the action. By contrast, watching on television is sometimes like watching through a keyhole, for there is often action going on beyond the immediate play. Because the weather was poor, the roof was closed and the lights were on as if for a night match, although it was afternoon.

The game was good if one sided. St Kilda established an early and unbeatable lead while Hawthorn foundered. Fraser Gehrig, Steve Milne, Troy Schwarze, Brett Voss and (especially) Nick Riewoldt were all in fine form while the old warhorse, Robert Harvey, played like a champion. Which, of course, he is.

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