OK, here we are at  de derrière  of 2020 and in truth it’s been the backside of a year.

That’s not what I wanted to say but if I did type what I thought, the editor of this highly acclaimed publication would have to delete it, so I’m staying on the right side of the line.  And while we’re talking about the kind of year it was, hand up all you weirdos who live from week to week on what your horoscope says.  

Honestly now, how many of you read that COVID 19 was going to swoop in and punt us all to the gutter?  Yep, just what I thought.  Nobody saw it coming, not even Nostradamus!  But, if you’re reading this it means you’ve survived the pandemic – so far.  2021 has got to be better!

As far as sport is concerned (and that’s Australia’s Real Kultcha, despite what the so-called educated hippies of the Arts world try to tell you) it’s been a right proper bummer.  Some events were cancelled such as the Tokyo Olympics (but they’ve been re-scheduled for next year) while many went ahead but with no attendees.  That I recall, we didn’t see a full stadium for anything until the third match of the Rugby League State Of Origin and it was great to see some normality finally reappear.  Mind you, the game was a throw back and by that I mean we (The Cockroaches) had lost the first game (in Adelaide) but then roared back to win the second in Sydney and were the favourites heading to Suncorp Stadium on November 18.  The bookies knew what was afoot though and they had  The Canetoads  outsiders at $2.94 while money poured in for  The Cockroaches  (who started at near to $1.43).  It seems we never learn.  When they put the Maroon jersey on  The Canetoads  seem to grow another leg and in front of the first full stadium this year, they belted us  AGAIN.  And that was bad enough but what I couldn’t understand was the attitude of our coach, Brad Fittler.  We’ve won the last couple of series and looked primed to do it again.  But when we didn’t, Brad seemed to be walking around with a  too bad, who cares  look.  Coaches of losing  Cockroach  teams have been fired for less in the past and as far as I’m concerned, his job is on the line!  Winners are grinners but losers hurt.

Something I failed to mention in the last paragraph of my last epistle was the existence of the WBBL.  For those of you who’ve been living under a rock since COVID 19 dropped in, it’s cricket’s Women’s Big Bash League and that was bubbling along at a great rate for several weeks.  Sadly, by the time you read this, it will have finished but The Child Bride and I have been watching it and the games have been amazing.  All right, the field is slightly smaller and the bowling is certainly not as fast as in the men’s game, but the batting (especially Alyssa Healy) made watching worthwhile.  Some of the catches have been as good as in the men’s game and (this really caught my attention) one of the players in one of the teams (so I didn’t take notes – sue me) was a 15-year-old girl.  15 years old!  When did they last (no, I’ll say that again) when did they ever pick a 15-year-old boy to play in the BBL?  Never, that’s when.  And did the young girl do any good?  Did she ever!  She batted, she bowled (took a couple of wickets, that I recall) and at no stage did she look over-awed.  She looked as if she’d been born to be there.  Will the BBL (that’s the men’s comp) ever pick somebody like that?  All together now – NEVER!

The Child Bride and I have also been watching golf on Foxtel for sometime and the matches are coming from all over the world.  Augusta certainly didn’t look the picture it does when The Masters is played earlier in the year.  To switch from a southern USA course that could feature an alligator or a turtle wandering across a fairway to a match on a links course in Ireland or Scotland where there’s a gale blowing and players have 3 or 4 layers of clothing on, is fascinating. 
Of course, it all slips away to nothingness when you stand on the ninth tee at Bulahdelah (as I did t’other day) and can see the local mob of 30 or so kangaroos sitting and lying in the shade of the fifth pine tree on the left oblivious to the fact they’re in grave danger.  Let’s face it; anything forward of where my ball is teed up is possibly living on borrowed time.  I’m quite confident of where I’d like my golf ball to go when I hit it.  However, at this point in my game reality invariably drops in.  How far it will go (can I make good contact), at what trajectory (straight up [“That’ll bring rain!”]along the ground [“That’s a worm burner!”] or even left or right (from experience, everybody in my flight stands well behind me) are matters the Golf God has total control over and he can be a vindictive host.  I don’t think I hit any of the ‘roos last week though they did seem to view me sourly as I passed shortly after!

Talk at you later,

 Hillside Critic

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