Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 28, 2012

Friday, 27 January 2012 – a great tennis match and an ‘awesome’ horse!!

A lovely fresh morning greeted this day, overcast though the promise of warming up as the day went on.  I must admit that awaking to a empty house, apart from myself, has certain attractions, particularly early in the morning, when I don’t have to worry about disturbing Susan, not that much noise comes from this writer. Apart from checking up on a bit of morning news, and tuning in briefly to our local radio to make sure all is running smoothly,  this is not a house where one has the TV or radio blaring throughout the day regardless of whether one is actually listening or watching those mediums. I’m afraid I could not cope in a environment of that nature these days! Anyway, I woke much earlier than I probably would have preferred or needed to, and while a bit more sleep ‘may’ have come, decided to get up and do something useful – like a walk to the local shop for a morning paper, some water for the gardens, and a small spot of early morning garden trimming. Much much more needed in that area, and I think February will be a busy month for that kind of activity!!

A little piece from today’s ‘Letters to the Editor’ in the Age newspaper, which attracted my attention, and I like reading  –  “We Australians who are also Muslims join in celebrating this day and in expressing our patriotism. When Islam receives largely negative attention in the media, Muslims who have adopted Australia as their homeland hope to express their solidarity with it. Islam teaches that loyalty to your homeland is part of your faith. It is the religious duty of Muslims to obey the government and the law.  As Australian Muslims, we are blessed to live in the land that grants us freedom and protects our rights. Long live Australia” [written by Maureen Choudhry of Narre Warren].

Just one of many reflections arising from yesterday’s celebrations of our ‘Australia Day’ which as usual for this date, saw thousands of migrants and refugees welcomed as Australian citizens’ at citizenship ceremonies throughout the nation. That particular pledge, undertaken by our new citizens which occurs after having first passed the relevant citizenship test, reads as follows:

‘From this day forward, under God I pledge my loyalty to Australia and it’s people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey”  [Australian Citizenship Pledge]

Just looking at the major headlines in today’s age, we see that:

  • Australia Day shame [as Julia Gillard is dragged to a car by her security team amid clashes between police and Aboriginal protestors].
  • Coup attempt inflames PNG political crisis – as an attempted military coup led by a retired colonel in Port Moresby yesterday caused a tense standoff between forces loyal to Peter O’Neill and Sir Michael Somare, who both claim to be Papua New Guinea’s prime minister.
  • Trauma numbers on rise for falls – falls, particularly in the elderly, are catching up to road accidents as a major cause of trauma injuries in Victoria.
  • Scots defy Cameron on vote for breakaway – Scottish prime minister Alex Salmond has taken a formal step towards an independence referendum that the government hopes will secure a mandate for withdrawal from the United Kingdom within five years

Didn’t feel like cooking for just myself tonight, so went out and bought a pizza of the seafood variety. I knew I really shouldn’t have done that, but it was enjoyable enough, although as expected, the reaction of my body later on was ‘uncomfortable’  –   it is occasionally difficult to regularly discipline myself into the correct foods to eat, although tonight would have been okay had I left some of the pizza for tomorrow. Not a huge eater in one attempt these days, and when I try to be, I ‘am told’ quite quickly that was an unwise action. We do slip up on the odd occasion!!

It was a solid, and long five hours tonight, in front of the TV watching the second of the Australian Open Men’s Semi Finals – Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray. I’d set myself up for a long night, but did expect to have retired before 12.45am. Watching the match on my own as usual, though there was a bit of communication on Face Book with son James, and a couple of his friends, all of us presumably from different parts of Sunbury.  I also found a chat message from friend Jena, in the Phillipines – I’m sure that she didn’t appreciate, or understand my quick reply that ‘would love to chat, but too busy watching the tennis’ tonight!!  I’m afraid [much to the annoyance probably of ‘former’ friends] that online chats are not something I have much desire to involve myself in these days – there are always other tasks that I feel my time could be better utilised towards!  I guess that’s why most of my former online friends have disappeared – I don’t really blame them, my attitude has been my choice!!

Anyway, tonight’s match went for five sets, early on dominated by Djokovic, who then started to exhibit his usual performance of pain, breathing difficulties, etc,, and I genuinely expected that if Murray won the 2nd and 3rd sets, which he eventually did, that Djokovic [as he has done on occasions previously in his career] would throw in the towel, and give the match to Murray. Well, myself, together with son James, and his friend on Face Book were all proved wrong, and Djokovic found a ‘new lease of life’, and came back at his opponent, racing through the 4th set, before we had a very long and tight final set. Murray had plenty of chances to break service, and even win the match –  at one stage, Djokovic stepped up to serve in that final set with the score in his favour at 5-2. But he faulted, Murray rallied, and suddenly the score was 5 all!! For the next 10 minutes, either man could have won the match, but once again, Andy Murray failed to take full advantages of the opportunities he was given, and consequently fell just short – seems to be the story of his career to this point in time – World No. 4, but he can’t get past the three in front of him, in the tournaments that really matter. I’d earlier sent a message to English friend, Jane [who I recalled was a bit of a tennis fan] – yes, she’d heard that he lost – but he will Wimbledon, next Grand Slam tournament, after France, on the agenda.

Final result in Men’s Semi Final No. 2:  Novak Djokovic [Serbia] defeated Andy Murray [Great Britain]  6/3, 3/6, 6/7, 6/1, 7/5

Women’s Doubles Final:  Svetlana Kuznetsova & Vena Zvonareva [Russia] defeated Sana Errani & Roberta Vinci [Italy]  5/7, 6/4, 6/3

Interestingly, the tennis coverage had a brief interruption, when Channel crossed to the Moonee Valley Racecourse, where viewers were given the privileged opportunity of witnessing that magnificent racehorse ‘Black Caviar’ run and win it’s 17th race in a row. The Club was forced to throw open it’s gates to let all in who wanted to see the horse run such is the extent of ‘Black Caviar’ mania at the present time.  While there was not much betting on the horse, with the result considered a foregone conclusion – odds of &1.02 return for a $1 bet –  the atmosphere at the racecourse was electric as race time approached. I’m not sure off hand if there are horses with better records [I think there a couple on the international sceme] but Black Caviar’s win took her equal with Hong Kong’s former super sprinter ‘Silent witness’ as well as with New Zealand stayer of the 1950s ‘Mainbrace’ on 17 consecutive wins. I think our friends over in England are going to see Black Caviar run over there later in the year.

As for the Cricket Test, at stumps on Day 4 from Adelaide, we see the following scoreboard.  Australia:  7 for 604, and 5 for 167 versus India: 272 and 6 for 166 at stumps.



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