27 September 2006
After what I was told was a particularly mild winter in Melbourne, spring arrived early, and in September we had a day when the temperature topped 30 degrees - the warmest September day in Melbourne ever! A few days later strong winds arrived and that brought the first of the dreaded bush fires - almost a month ahead of schedule, not boding well for the season - summer only officially starts on 1 December! Well the fires were not the only flare-up! Al Gore made a fleeting visit here to promote his film - the "Inconvenient Truth", and used the opportunity to point out that Australia together with the US are the only developed countries that have not signed the Kyoto Protocol. A few denying voices were still to be heard, that we were experiencing normal weather fluctuations, - but thankfully those voices are becoming less in number and less vocal - I think the facts are now beoynd argument!
However the fluctuations are also noteworthy: less than a week later the temperatures swung around from heat to wintery cold. Inland fruit growing areas experiencing frost, and destroying a large percentage of the stone fruit crops. Markedly higher prices are being predicted for fruit this season, coming close on the winter season when bananas were costing the up to $15 (equivalent of R80) per kilo due to shortages caused by cyclone Larry in March / April of this year.
Every September marks the finals in the two football codes which are predominant in Australia - these are the AFL (Australian Football League (Aussie rules)) and the NRL (National Rugby League). Traditionally Melbourne, with 9 of the 16 teams is the home of AFL, while Sydney is the main home of NRL. Melbourne has one NRL team, and Sydney has three or four! Well as luck would have it, not one Melbourne AFL team made it into the AFL Grand Final, which will be held in Melbourne (according to tradition) between the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles this weekend. In the NRL code, not one Sydney team made it into the Grand Final, which will be played between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos, on the same weekend in Sydney, as that code's tradition dictates.
Well the airlines are smiling! Because team supporters of the AFL teams are making their way to Melbourne, and the other supporters of the NRL are making their way to Sydney; I for one cancelled a trip to Sydney, because getting back was too much of a challenge, and even though some tickets were still available, their prices were becoming ridiculous, for all but the mad footy fans! (Pic shows 95000 fans packing the MCG during the match on ANZAC day earlier this year.)
After the Melbourne Diary being silent for a number of months, I hope that I have found a mechanism (blog method) that will be agreeable to most. My criteria are that, once I master it, I will be able to post entries which can have a look and feel, similar to my original newsletters. The blog should also be simple html, in order to facilitate it being viewed by most of the recipients, including those behind corporate firewalls!
Viva Melbourne Diary Viva!