The first part of my mission was completed successfully when the Cats beat Essendon at Docklands tonight. It was a close and tense game up until 3/4 time before Geelong steamrolled home to win by 50 points.
It was a relief considering the time and effort spent in getting there.
I left the volleyball grand final at 11.30; by then it was looking likely that the Busso boys would lose to Albany. I planned to fill the hire car with petrol at the service station near the airport before dropping it off but to my dismay I discovered the petrol station had been replaced by a car park!! A U turn and an urgent search for the nearest petrol ensued, robbing me of precious minutes.
I joined the book-in line with some nervous looks at the screens in the airport. I was there "on time" but having missed a flight I thought I was early enough to get on one other time I was a little anxious.
Once checked in things slowed down, in fact they ground to a halt and we were 10 minutes late getting on board and half an hour late taking off. For some reason we flew on a Jumbo jet rather than the usual inter-state planes. Being a Qantas flight there was food served and in-flight entertainment! That didn't stop us being delayed before landing in Melbourne though as we were bumped back in the queue to accommodate a medical emergency on board another flight.
Picking up the hire car was slow as well, waiting for the customer in front of me whose booking seemed to take an inordinate amount of time. My car is a little black Yaris! The Melbourne traffic was heavy and the roads were wet and I was trying to find a way of getting an etag to cover the toll roads on the way into town, all of which slowed me down. Then came the challenge of finding a park.
The sum total of all these delays was that I didn't get into the stadium until about half way through the first quarter. As I said, it was very close, with Geelong a point up at the first break.
Docklands is a fantastic stadium to watch football at and I enjoyed the atmosphere although being an Essendon home game the Cats fans were heavily out-numbered. I sat next to a Bombers supporter who was one of the most fair-minded and unbiased footy fans I've ever met, none of the typical one-eyed ranting and argument that is so common.
I was tense until about 10 minutes into the last quarter when Geelong began to draw away and the goals started raining.
After the game I enjoyed my trawling, scoring a red and black umbrella which came in very useful in the rain as I walked back to the car, and an Auskick beanie which I'm sure Sport Boy will like.
Next came the challenge of navigating through the suburbs of Melbourne on my way out to Greensborough where I'm staying for a couple of nights at Trevor and Anne's place, Carolyn's brother and his wife, although they actually left this morning for Queensland. My niece Rachel was here to let me in.
My body clock says it's midnight but the clock says 2.00 so I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I can sleep in for the first time in a week and then I'm off to the footy again! The fun has only just begun!