Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 25, 2010

Weather change and a weary day

Yesterday’s drive to Bendigo was quite enjoyable [and would have been even better had there not been a meeting to attend to, the purpose of the trip.  I think it  was just a ‘day out of the office’ granted to me by the boss as I had no major role up there other than picking up and delivering a group of tenants members from the  train, and handling a bit of  ‘paper work’ during the course of the day.

Bendigo itself is located about 153 kilometres north  west of Melbourne [therefore 113 from Sunbury], and is the 4th largest city in Victoria [behind Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat]. It’s a beautiful city, quite old in places, being a significant gold boomtown of the Victorian era. The discovery of gold in 14851, created [as it did for the Ballarat area] an influx of migrants from around the world, seeking to make a quick fortune. Bendigo is notable for its Victorian architectural heritage and gold mining history. Since 1851 over 22 million ounces of gold have been extracted from its goldmines, making it the highest producing 19th Century goldfield in Australia in the nineteenth century and the largest gold mining economy in Eastern Australia. It is the largest finance centre in Victoria outside of Melbourne as home to Australia’s only provincially headquartered retail bank, the Bendigo Bank,  Impressive Victorian buildings line the wide streets of Bendigo, as a reminder of the rich history built from one of the world’s most exciting gold rushes. One of my favourite buildings in the town is the Bendigo Art Gallery, although I’ve not had the opportunity to visit it for many years, and unfortunately, didn’t have the time to do so yesterday.  Certainly it is not a ‘country town’ with the traffic around the main city area, quite heavy yesterday, and the city itself, a very business metropolis.

Anyway, we were well looked  after at the motel conference centre, where the organisational meeting was conducted, and also well catered for the ‘lunch’ part of the proceedings. Very nice food, although by the end of the day, I’m not sure that it did me a lot of good!! Ended up rather tired and lethargic by the evening, although we did manage a walk in the warmth of the late afternoon, perhaps that bit of exercise was ll-advised on this occasion.  That ‘tiredness’  actually continued into today  –  a Thursday that seem to literally ‘drag on and on’ as if someone had stopped the clock!!!

Meanwhile overnight, the weather changed, again,  and it rained throughout the night, and into much of today, which while bringing a bit of welcome relief to the few brief hot days we had just had, the change was not so noticeable indoors. But I must  say that the affect of the rain on the gardens is a beautiful sight to see – when I returned home yesterday afternoon, the gardens at the front of the house looked quite dry and depressing even though it had not been many days since the last rainfall  –  but this morning, and again this evening, the freshness and new colour to the shrubs and flowers was a delight to see.

Now up in Brisbane today, the long awaiting ‘Ashes Test Series’ commenced – the first of five cricket tests between Australia and England. Certainly, the English supporters were pretty confident of a good win in this series, if the comments of one of my online friends in the UK was anything to go by. However, things didn’t start out too well for the English, when their captain decided to have a bat. He himself lasted just three balls before he was heading back into the dressing rooms – not the kind of start that England had hoped for, and assumed. Anyway, while there were, during the course of the day, one or two good batting partnerships by the English batsmen, overall, Day 1 of the Test had to be Australia’s day! And one man in particular  –    Australia’s Peter Siddle took a sensational hat-trick on his 26th birthday, and his return to test cricket after suffering some injuries and a form lapse,  as Australia dominated day one of the first Ashes Test.  At the time he took that hat-trick  [3 wickets in 3 successive balls, a rare occurrence at any level of cricket by a bowler], I was in the car, on my way home, waiting at a railway crossing actually! My phone buzzed, just seconds after the third wicket had been taken  –   I knew it would be Adam [son number 2]  –  with his brief to the point message ‘Hat trick to Siddel’.  I can always rely on Adam , if something significant happens in cricket, or in sport generally!!………………………..Peter Siddle finished with 6-54 as England were dismissed for 260, the Victorian claiming his first five-fer of the year. It was a cherished moment for the 26 year-old on his birthday, considering he last played Test cricket 10 months ago against Pakistan following a stress fracture of the back  Anyway, it was Australia’s day, with England all out not long before stumps for Day 1.

The Ashes 2010: birthday boy Peter Siddle completes memorable return to Australia's Test fold

Back in the groove: Peter Siddle took six wickets on day one in Brisbane Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Scores: Day 1 of First vTest Australia vs England: England all out 1st Innings:  260 [highest scores were Ian Bell with 76 and Alastair Cook 67]. Apart from Siddle, Xavier Doherty in his first Test match picked up 2 wickets.  At Stumps on Day 1, Australia in response were o wicket for 25 runs.

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