Saturday, February 13, 2010

13 February 2010: Violin

I'm in Melbourne. The one in Australia.

So to break up an unexciting Saturday afternoon alone in a city where I've previously visited for two days and, indeed, previously made curry, I decided to go for a walk along the south bank of the Yarra river and see if there were indeed the promised Botanical Gardens a short distance upriver.

And to further set the scene, I had my Southampton shirt on, given that Saints are playing Pompey (who, by the way, are trading while insolvent, and yet even the High Court doesn't seem to mind - how does THAT work?). And walking along I saw several Liverpool shirts (presumably they're playing as well today). Then under a bridge and towards the gardens and there was a bloke jogging towards me in an Aston Villa shirt.

Jogging slowly. With quite a belly. And a young kid by his side riding a bike slowly, keeping pace, and the two of them talked. And the man had stubble, and grey hair spiked up as if he was twenty and it was the late 1980s.

And as I passed them, I heard him lisping out a relatively high-pitched effeminate English accent. And I realised it was Nigel Kennedy.

OK, so twenty years ago it would have been more cool to say "I saw Nigel Kennedy jogging" but a quick Google reveals he is indeed in town this week playing three concerts and getting the interesting of the local newspapers.

The Botanical Gardens, meanwhile, were quite a disappointment (I mean, they were ok, but no better than the ones at Southampton University and let's face it, Melbourne gets more tourists than the back of the SU building on the Highfield Campus) so I went back to the hotel. Saints-Pompey takes place around midnight here and nobody is televising it live (the company who have the rights, Setanta Australia, are showing it in full at 9.15am tomorrow morning, urgh) so I'll just wait and catch up on the internet in the morning.

Rumour is Saints are going to play 'Summer Afternoon' by The Kinks as the teams run out. Why? First line:

The taxman's taken all my dough...

Mwa ha ha ha. (No, I have no sympathy. They had none for Saints last summer and at least we we didn't flagrantly break insolvency laws).

Postscript: For those who don't keep track of Gloria's Facebook, the news is that we're expecting a new arrival to our family on or around August 17th. Out of first trimester now, so time to tell people. We haven't figured on names yet but we like the idea of names that might make for some fun initials: for example, a girl might be Aribella Renee McRae-Spencer. ARMS. Or if it's a boy, we're probably looking to avoid something like Bartholomew Uriah McRae-Spencer. Hours of fun...

Postpostscript: For those who don't know who Nigel Kennedy is and who can't be bothered to type his name into Google, he's a very good classical violinist who actually hit the mainstream album charts around 20 years ago with his interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons (as opposed to Frankie Valley's Four Seasons). He had trademark spiky hair and a lisp, but was generally regarded as cool, and the everyone liked him because he brought classical music to the attention of everyone, including young people with spiky hair and who supported Aston Villa.

Postpostpostscript: He did look pretty chubby though. I don't think he goes jogging all often, or if he does he prepares for it by eating chips.


Nick Gibbins said...

Congratulations to you both on the offspring generation front!

Rob said...

How about William Ian Nigel Edward Graham Uriah Mcrae Spencer if it's a boy?

Becky said...

Wow, congratulations! Somehow didn't think you guys would leave it long ...

So, what are you doing in Melbourne then, apart from stalking musicians?

And when on earth are you going to join Facebook so I can actully stay in touch with you properly?!