Oh, what a weekend

Weekends, for me, usually involve some form of sport: watching it – live or on tele, reading about it, analysing it, discussing it – and experiencing the oscillating emotions in between.

I’ve also had other things to do this weekend, like looking after a post-op hubby.

He’s been home a few days now, and the real work on the 6-8 week road to full recovery has begun.

The list of duties for the dutiful and loving wife/nurse is endless. It reads, along the following lines: For Marshall: pain killers at 6am; showering; other pills and immune-boosting herbs at 8am; short 15-minute walk to buy the newspaper; brekkie; resting; make healthy smoothies to help regain the kilos lost in hospital; more pain killers at 12 noon; massage sore shoulders and legs; remind him to drink the 6-8 glasses of water a day; remind him to blow his bubbles: 10 times, every waking hour (to help get the remaining left lung lower lobe to expand to fill the vacant cavity where the upper lobe once was); convince him to eat something at lunchtime, even though he’s not hungry; more resting; remind him to do his stretching exercises; go for another 15-minute walk; more pain killers and other supplements at 6pm; make dinner and get him to eat it; resting; maybe watch something on tele; pain killers, supplements and a camomile tea before hobbling upstairs to bed at 10pm. And, for me, in between, all the other household chores.

I have also managed to squeeze in some cricket. I’d already recorded the one-dayer in Perth last Wednesday, and not knowing the result, I watched it over these past few days. Meanwhile, even though I don’t really like admitting it, I also recorded Friday night’s T20 between the Heat and the Renegades, and have just finished watching that. I would never, ever, go to a T20 game. That is for sure. However, I like to barrack for any Queensland team, and as the Heat is a sort of Queensland team, I follow them. Bit pointless really, I know, as I haven’t watched any of the other Big Bash games, but it is a sporting contest, and that’ll do me.

This morning, while the patient was dozing, I also made time to read the Saturday papers. I always start at the back and read towards the so-called important news on the front page. One paragraph in the sporting section shocked me.

Peter Fitzsimons, in his “Fitz Files” column in the Sydney Morning Herald, of 21 January 2107, wrote an article titled My locker room confession.

It starts off with a quote: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything… I moved on her like a bitch.” So said the current President of the United States of America to George W Bush’s cousin, Billy Bush, in defence of his unwitting confession to committing sexual assault.

This is “locker room” talk, apparently, according to the President. Well, in America that is.

Not too sure what sports that man played, and not too sure what locker rooms were involved, but it’s all perfectly OK – really – just normal men’s talk when their testosterone-charged bodies and minds get together after (or before) a sporting event.

Wow! I’m sure glad I wasn’t born a male and a sportsperson in America!

Peter went on to explain his experiences over a couple of decades as a top Rugby Union professional in Australia, Italy, France and the USA – the last of which he played across three sports.

“I heard, and engaged in, some rough talk in those locker rooms, and up the back of the bus. Did we talk about women? A bit. Sexual matters? Occasionally, but not a hundredth as much as we talked about… football. Did we, then, engage in talk that we would not want our mothers to hear at the time, or be reminded of now? No doubt. But, brag of sexual assault? WHAT? Are you out of your freaking mind??? NEVER.”

I can’t comment on women’s locker room talk as I have never been in a locker room full of sporting women – even from 50 years ago – (and, let’s face it – how many female locker rooms were there 50 years ago?) but I imagine it hasn’t changed all that much: encouragement, high-fiving, the game itself, the next game, next week’s training, what’s for dinner, the current diet, the boyfriend/girlfriend, the lack of such, maybe some jealousy or other… who knows? Sure, sexual assault might well come into the conversation, but we all know along what lines that conversation would take.

Surely, there can’t be too many sporting men today boasting to their mates of their sexual assault achievements? Surely?

But, then again, none of us believed that that man could have been elected President. None of us believed that so many human beings could have been so taken-in by such a man. So, who knows?

Peter finished his article with “…blokes like him, who talk like that, have no place in real locker rooms.”

So, despite reading of that man’s abhorrent comments, the weekend finished on a good and encouraging note with the millions around the world marching in protest against him and his outrageous beliefs. Pity it didn’t happen before the election!

Marshall is calling. This weekend he is my priority!

About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016. www.myswansloveaffair.com


  1. Neil Anderson says

    Glad to hear Marshall is starting his rehab although it sounds like a lengthy process.
    After major surgery the patient doesn’t want to hear stories from well-meaning friends and family about their own ops and how they coped. But the common factor is having a wife/husband/partner available for the after-care. Not to be waited on hand and foot but just to be there and available.
    My wife has stepped up for me on two occasions and will do so again in three weeks time after major dental surgery in Geelong. I feel for elderly singles when the nurses ask if there is any one at home after their op and they say no.
    Glad you’ve got the cricket to watch in between nursing duties. As for me, the re-runs of the final’s series is getting me through the long summer.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Jan well you are a busy bunny! Great article. I wish you strength in the nursing duties and am so glad you wrote this piece. As you note there’s a difference between barter and boasting about assault. The marches were inspiring. Enjoy your moments of quiet and keep writing!

  3. jan courtin says

    Good luck, Neil, with your upcoming surgery! And, yes, it is sad to know of the people without help and are dependent on respite care.

    When I read something that triggers a strong response, Yvette, I HAVE to write about it. However, I need to keep in mind that sport needs to be included when writing for the Almanac…and I must tone down my political views!

    Thanks again

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