AFL Round 2 – SK v GWS, WB v NM: My Favourite Things

I’m back in Melbourne.  Footy is back.  Art is back.  Family and friends are again surrounding me, as are housework, cooking, taxiing and organisational work and family dramas.  And this weekend past had them all.

I am one of the 70 plus artists participating in this year’s Art Town event.  Over last weekend and next (jump along to have a look), all along Chapel Street and surrounds, there are visual, sound, film and instillation artists hidden in nooks and crannies all around Windsor, Prahran, Greville Village, Chapel Street North, Yarra Lane and South Yarra.  I didn’t participate last year because at this time, I was having my own Footy Art Exhibition (see www.cartoonswork.com.au).  Is that already a year ago?

This year, I based myself in the Montrose 1887 Café at 34 Chapel Street Windsor.  I had scoped the place out Thursday, talked to the young man who owned the place, and got permission to take over the table in the front window to paint.  I took photos and did initial sketches, of the scene across the road, the scene towards the bar, and the view from across the road to the lovely old architecture of the building where the restaurant/café was located.   I had already bought the readymade frame, trying to cut down on work and cost, using a specially prepared picture frame.  I was set.

I was outside the café before 7, along with the chef and we were both way too early. It was supposed to open at 7.30 and the day manager was running late.  So I chatted to the chef and unpacked the car, and was ready to go when the doors finally opened.  I sat in the front corner and squirrelled away, having the chef make me both breakfast and then lunch to go, I got heaps painted.  Fellow Glen Eira Artist Society members were painting nearby and I said g’day on a break.  They came to visit me later on.  By 12, I was packed up and left all the gear in my car to head to the footy.

Away went the brushes and paper, in went the thermos and membership cards.  Away went the absorption into my art, along came the absorption into others art.  On the platform, one of the Peters showed me his sketched, his preparation for the painting he would do tomorrow.  This small thumbnail was his plan, his direction. (Peter Roccella and Peter Edgely are award winning artists and their work can be seen on this website: www.gleneiraartistssociety.org).

It was an incredibly warm weekend to be going to the footy.  Rina met me on Windsor Station, met Peter E and saw his work, and then he was off home, running very late for his other commitments, and we caught the train, Sandringham line, which took us directly to the Dome.  I was home again, back in the loving embrace of our ground, in my family unit, ready for a smashing but hoping for success.  Hope won out.

How great is Saturday afternoon football. Each of us had a moment where we relished the blast from the past, a Saturday afternoon spent in the sunshine and warmth (the warmth I don’t remember) and with the roof open, we watched some magic.

It was a wonderful game, two improving sides making a spectacle of marking, goaling, tackling like madmen and keeping us on the edge of the seats.  It was a close game all through, with 28 goals kicked through the whole match. Nick Riewoldt was inspired, kicking 5 from spectacular marks and great passes, and this great wonderful soldier took along the new boys for a ride, Tom Hickey kicked 3 goals and played well in the ruck, our new young spunk Eli Templeton, had us riding high again with his two, and Montagna, Armitage (with the best mark this season, a screamer of a grab, never seen before from this young man), Montagna, Ray, Dempster and second gamer Luke Dunstan, all added their slots through the middle. Our experienced midfielders, our new boys, our defenders, all played their part.  It was a total team effort.

For Greater Western Sydney, they had two inspired players, with 5 goals to Devon Smith and four to Jonathan Giles.  Whitfield, Cameron, Townsend and Mumford all added theirs to the tally.  Saints barely won but win they did, by 7 points.  We will take it any day.

Saints fans were up and about.  As the boys willed each other on with ferocious determination, we raised the roof with some of our own.  For only 19,640 people in attendance, the noise was unbelievable.  It may have also helped that I was in the middle of the Saints faithful and we rose and cheered as one.  There was no smacking by GWS this time, as in the NAB Cup, or by us over them last year. It was a tight, wonderful contest and the winner was not known til the last.  We were happy.  What a great game.

We left quickly after the game and missed DD’s visit, and caught the train back to Windsor, where we said our happy goodbyes and I headed off to Dingley Village.  I had a date with Luke 3 ½, my fake grandson.  And with Danielle, my wonderful friend.  The rest of the evening we played, I was fed a great dinner, we made up funny games that left Luke saying to Danielle the next day, that Nanna Yvette is funny.  He has no idea.

By 8.45 I was home and hosting Rina so we could watch the replay.  It was a long time since we were mad enough to do this after a game.  So we settled in, fast forwarded through the rubbish, and went on to enjoy it all again.  Wonderful feeling.  Crazy stuff.  Long day.  Dropped into bed happy and content.

Come Sunday morning, instead of being at Tai Chi, at 8.30am I was back in my café where I stayed until 2.30.  More breakfast and lunch.  More painting.  One of the finished small pieces caught people’s eyes because of the bright orange background, it inspired me, as did my boys, to actually change the background of the others so the three pieces were linked.  I call it: Looking Out, Looking In, Looking Back.  The three views of the place where I sat. By the second day I felt at home in this café, becoming a fixture.  The photographer from the event came and took some shots, the two Peters came for coffee and lunch, and I finished the work and was able to slowly pack up, look around at a few artists across the road, and pack up the car.  And again, headed to the footy with my sister Denise.  The Doggies vs North Melbourne game awaited.

Denise kept her second membership after Jon died last year. So different people will be going to the footy with her this year.  It was my turn.  We met up at the back of the EJ Whitten Bar, on comfy seats looking out at the ground, I caught my breath and caught up with Denise.  I’d bought two salads to eat from my Montrose Café, but today they made them way to spicy and the rubbish bin was the only winner.  My watch had also broken down, battery running as flat as my energy after two full on days.  We went to our seats and relaxed, no one sitting in front of us on Level 2, great views from the wings, and great being with my sister again, at the footy, where I didn’t feel too fussed about the result (other than for her sake).

It looks like neither team was too fussed about results either.  What an enormous effort we were watching for so little result.  It was the beginning of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival out on the field, with only 4 goals kicked by half time.  Supporters groaned and then laughed, the vision before us getting more ridiculous by the moment.  The old adage that the poor skills of one team bring the skills of the other team down seemed to be true.  It was hard to pick a culprit, both equally as comical.  Not so funny for long term supporter/sufferers from either team.  North led by 10 points at three-quarter time after a better effort by all, and North jumped away in the last term to finish, with a 29 point victory at the final siren.  The long termers from North Melbourne stepped up when needed, with 2 goals from Petrie and 3 from Harvey.  Dal Santo’s bright orange runners were an early highlight.  How weird to see our players in someone else’s colours.  Doggy supporters left a little heavy hearted and at least the crowd was better, with 28,512 making it a day.  The best part of the game?  Being there with Denise and watching the Doggies develop and hopefully learn from this.

I thought I could finally relax after my art and footy weekend when I got home, but found family dramas to occupy me late into the evening, showing there really was no rest for the wicked as my mum used to say. With my Iphone App I am keeping up with the Red Sox season opening, and with the Saints App, with the interviews of the fine young men at our Club, which both cheer me up when my energy reserves run lo.  Regardless of what the future brings, this is one happy sports fan, painter and Sainter this weekend.

Art Town Exhibition opening is Thursday 10thth April, 6-8.30pm, goes until Sunday 18th May, and the exhibition is at on Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little chapel Street, Prahran.  For more information, go to www.arttown.com.au.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. I would say something congratulatory and encouraging. But considering this weekend’s opposition I’ll pass.
    Well done on the art work. Sounds fun.

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Young teams in autumn can make for a match that shows the possibilities in Australian Football more than dozens of Flag Challenger contests.
    Riewoldt was superb, our boys’d be 3-0 otherwise.

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