2011 has been a bittersweet year for me. As I struggled to look for work, I was suddenly faced with something I had never had this much of before: time! Time to do many things I had been putting off doing but was always too busy to do before. Although the opportunities of the “paid” variety were lacking, I was also given opportunities to do other things that just may one day lead to a more fulfilling life.
And so, as another year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the things and events that have impacted me in whatever capacity. Many have been happy but some, not so much. So here we go…
Retiring Swans Co-captain Craig Bolton takes a lap of honour around the SCG
The year in AFL has been a mixed one. My team, the Sydney Swans, spent most of their home games in Sydney playing in wet conditions, which means I spent a lot of time trying to stay dry in the stands. With the well-respected Paul Roos now retired after a very successful 8 years in the senior coach’s position, the reigns were handed down to his former assistant, John “Horse” Longmire. It had been six years since the Swans won a Premiership and with many of its Premiership players retired or retiring, many critics did not give the youngsters on the 2011 playlist much chance to make the finals series. As usual, the Swans showed their “Bloods” spirit and proved the naysayers wrong and we made it as far as the second week of the finals, finishing sixth on the ladder. Not a bad effort at all. Go Swans!
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
Australia: the land of kangaroos, koalas and deadly spiders. Back in 1904, just three years after the federation of Australia, poet Dorothea Mackellar wrote what became an iconic poem entitled “My Country” to describe her love for her home. I’m a far cry from being a poet and am definitely not qualified to criticise such a legend, but I think there’s a little something missing from Mackellar’s tribute: Aussie Rules and Aussie meat pies.
OK, we can forgive her for not mentioning the pies…according to Wikipedia (don’t we all get our facts from there?) the Aussie meat pie originated in the early 1900s, so maybe Mackellar had not had the privilege of trying one when she wrote her poem. But Aussie Rules football has been around since the 1840s!
Do you remember the last time you were disappointed by something or someone? Do you remember who/what it was and why? Well, I can remember it as if it happened yesterday…wait…it was yesterday!
After nearly 2 months of anticipation, the night had finally arrived for my friend and I to go and see the legendary John Malkovich’s performance at the Sydney Opera House as Giacomo Casanova in the Sydney Festival 2011 highlight piece Giacomo Variations, a chamber opera play based on the life and times of the infamous playboy of the 18th Century. I even had to miss out on an evening of White Collar for this! But it was a rare opportunity to see Malkovich in action doing live theatre and singing a little opera. And tickets had been sold out almost as quickly as they had been released so what could possibly go wrong?