Yes, once again I am in Brisbane. A belated Christmas come New Year reunion with good friends dating back from our days on posting together in Beijing. A friendship now more than thirty five years old.
One of the main events organised for this gathering was a couple of nights attending the Brisbane International tennis tournament. For some years MT has wanted us to spend time in Melbourne at the Australian Open tournament but this always looked too expensive for some of our Brisbane based friends. Having caucused unsuccessfully about a Melbourne visit MT last year suggested the Brisbane alternative and this was agreed to and organised.
In one of life's ironies MT fell quite ill and was hospitalised last weekend on the eve of our gathering. She has missed out entirely on this visit of which she was the principal architect. She has been discharged from hospital and appears to be on the mend but her doctor vetoed her travel and so she has ended up watching the tennis from home on television instead. At her insistence we've had to describe the colour of the clothes we are wearing so she can pick us out in the crowd scenes. Unsurprisingly she has not seen us on either night.
It was of some little consolation to MT that the seats she booked for us were excellent. Here is the view we had on the first night;
We saw Bernard Tomic play Radek Stepanek. Local 'boy' Tomic won but his performance was not exactly stellar. However the play was very close and the likely outcome looked uncertain until the final points.
RS, who ate sushi purchased at the courts, fell violently ill the next day with food poisoning. Our reunion was starting to look jinxed!
The next night - and with a substitute attendee for the recovering RS - we had these seats. Just a little to the right of where we had sat the previous night and still a very good view.
This time we watched Roger Federer play Tobias Kamke. The quality of play - especially from Federer - was a class above what was on show the earlier night but the match itself was less interesting simply because the tension of wondering who would win was absent. Nonetheless it was a treat to see a champion player performing in the flesh.
None of us purchased sushi for dinner this night.
I'm returning to Sydney tomorrow.