2.1.04

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh, Australia's test cricket captain, has started his last Test before retirement. He is leading Australia against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, one of the greatest grounds of the world. He has built the team into what is currently the best team in the world. He's had some bad times, but goes out with some marvellous accomplishments. Well done!

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cricket
I'm not a cricket tragic, but do enjoy watching the game. My grandmother used to listen at all hours of the night to the shortwave broadcasts from England, so I suppose I must have some of her genes!

I enjoy watching one day games but also very much enjoy five day Tests. If you don't know cricket, this may seem something strange, that a game isn't over in an afternoon or an evening. Tests in cricket are true tests indeed. Played in summer time, they can be a test of physical endurance. Players in India have worn vests with ice in them, in an attempt to keep cool. Heat and glare sap the concentration and ability of the fielding team. Sweat can be seen dripping from under the helmets of the batsmen.

Cricket is more than a physical duel between two teams. Test cricket is a psychological tussle between them, led by theri captains. Field placements, choice of bowlers, methods of attack are all important. It is a team game with all members of the team contributing. A bowler bowls to his captain's requirements, not to his own whim. The bowler may tempt a rash stroke, but it is the fielder who takes the catch. The opposition's strengths and weaknesses are analysed and dissected and plans drawn up for each new player.

In most games, unless there is a big disparity between the teams, pressure continues to mount as the days pass. This pressure is felt by both batsmen and the fielding team and how each reacts plays a major part in deciding the game.

Some say that watching Test cricket is like watching paint dry. I beg to differ.

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I've been trying all day to get into Blogger. Finally there. I haven't had problems for months.

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1.1.04

This is a bit frustrating. Blogger will let me post, but nothing shows after refreshing page.

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memory triggers
Do certain triggers evoke something special for you?? I've written in the past about sounds and smells. This time it is something very prosaic - shoes.

Just before we went on holidays to the North Coast of NSW, I bought some rubber thongs to wear on my feet at the beach. This pair is purple and white with flowers on the innersole. When I put them on, I am in immediate summer holiday mode.

My mother was very fussy and would never allow us to go barefoot. I can see several reasons for this. She was terrified we might get bitten by a spider etc. She grew up in the depression and while she always had food and her dad had a job, many others in the mining town of Lithgow didn't. Many of the children were barefoot. Having something on our feet reassured her that all was well in her world.

We hated her insistence on shoes, so when thongs were first introduced, we were jubilant. Something on our feet, but not much. Almost as good as being barefoot.

I had a pair of blue rubber thongs. Because I had flat feet, I walked differently to many and never made the flip-flop sound as the soles of the thongs slapped on the bottom of my feet. My different walk also meant that I did not put as much pressure on the piece between my toes, so I didn't pull it out of its anchorage point.

I wore those thongs for many years. Each had indents on the rubber from my toes and heel. After about eight years, the heel wore through into a hole and I was desolated at having to retire them. I had worn them around the house at home. I had worn them on holidays down dusty, sandy tracks to the beach. They had sheltered my feet from the burning heat of the January sands. Protection was given my feet in the dressing sheds at the beach each afternoon, (another fear of my mother's). They required no maintenance such as polish and were quick and easy to put on.

As we went around the point with our evening picnic and climbed on the rocks, they crunched thousands of tiny periwinkles beneath them. Better the thongs than my feet! Put on my hands instead of my feet, they helped propel me through the water when swimming. They made a very satisfying sound when clapped together to frighten an unsuspecting younger sibling. When it rained on holidays, I slipped through the sandy dust, now a dirty mud.

School resumed the day after we returned from holidays and how I hated the socks and lace up shoes regimen. Each afternoon, on returning home, those shoes woud be torn off and my familiar blue rubber thongs would go on.

So, it's no surprise to me that my purple thongs put me in holiday mode the minute I slip them on. Not for me the pairs with sequins or embroidery. Mine cost $2.99 at the local supermarket.

Note; the link is to show pictures of the beach. This was not the cottage we stayed in.

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Happy New Year to you all.

We had a very quiet evening here last night. We went down to Rodd Point on the Harbour for a while in an effort to find a cool sea breeze. We were disappointed, so came home, watched the 9:00pm fireworks and then went to bed, having turned the airconditioner on. We must be getting old!

While that may be true, I have never been one for crowds, particularly on NYE. Almost a million people packed the harbour foreshores and boats on the harbour to watch the new year come in. As we returned just before 9:00 pm, the traffic to the city was very heavy, despite pleas from authorities to use public transport.

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