28 September 2013
I spent the last night of my residency with Tina, Delta and Dionne. They are not much chop at lullabies. From early evening until two am disco beats belted out from the direction of The Gardens Oval, home of the Waratahs . I didn’t know who was causing the noise or where it was coming from and thought it may have been a dance party at the Casino which is also nearby.
At 6.30 am when it started again I was almost full of admiration for whoever was running this dance party, obviously in the Territory they had great stamina. Pulling on my walking gear I headed off to complain, met a woman walking her dog but she did not know who was causing the racket and suggested that it was Territorians winding themselves up for Grand Final Day,
‘But did they have to do it all night and be so loud?’ I asked.
‘Well, they are fairly crazy for AFL here,’ she said.
Afterwards, yes, but before? I am crazy for AFL too, but wondered after four hours sleep if I would be able to stay awake for the entire game this afternoon. Her lack of enthusiasm for GFD was explained by,
‘I’m from New South Wales.’
When I reached the oval I saw it was chockers with purple shirted people all walking around the perimeter. Slowly. Maybe it was some sort of weird ritual to get the Dockers over the line but the purple shirted smokers outside the gate told me it was the Cancer Council’s Relay for Life.
‘Almost finished,’ they said and dragged on their smokes.
I softened a little, the edge taken off murderous. Thanked the DJ for Nutbush City Limits at 1.30am and the four hours sleep. Sarcasm not registering, he laughed. He hadn’t played that in his set. It was him. He pointed at his mate who beamed. Only another couple of hours and it would be all over.
The relay participants looked like the walking dead. Underneath this oval was an old cemetery, headstones, bones and all, bulldozed to make way for sport. Not sure what the real dead thought about the noise but the appearance of a few ghosts would have been handy.
Donate to the Cancer Council Relay for Life here http://www.relayforlife.org.au/Donate.aspx