Melbourne closed and open

Nicholas Quirke was ready to make the most of his return to Melbourne and the exciting plans that lay ahead of him. It was however Australia / Invasion day and once they were out on the streets, it became apparent that the British were not welcome on the streets, particularly when they came across a protest rally which forced Nicholas to be uncharacteristically silent. The mission was to purchase a white shirt and get a haircut but because it was a public holiday, many shops and some roads were closed making it  difficult to navigate. After a breakfast in ‘The European’ They wandered through town to try to find somewhere open for business and got caught up in the Australia Day Parade, which was a colourful and eccentric mix of costume and dance with the vintage bike riders coming out on top. Kim left Nicholas to his own devices and he finally found the desired shirt, though not before being assaulted with words by store assistant Connor, who managed to share 3 generations of his family’s life story and movements around the globe. A big thanks to the customers who broke the monologue or he could be there still. He remarkably found an open Barber’s where he was swiftly coiffed. He was now ready for the evening. He walked home enjoying the sights of the city and the sunshine and once inside felt compelled to sift through the paperwork and detritus he had collected in the last 2 months.  Kim returned and they started to prepare themselves for the big night ahead. They were meeting Peter and Supannah at the Olympic Boulevard entrance to the Rod Laver Stadium to see the Men’s Semi final of the Australian Open  between Roger Federer and Chung. They encountered road closures and got lost though only be 10 minutes late. it was a party of six and they were introduced to Michael and Marty, documentary film makers from San Francisco. As they entered the stadium Nicholas to his annoyance, had his GoPro taken away from him. He felt quite belligerent about the loss of this tool but soon realised, in the quiet of the stadium as the players worked, if all the GoPro were beeping away it would be truly distracting. They watched the Women’s Doubles final and the highlight of the evening to watch Federer in the flesh play.  Rain meant that the ceiling was closed which made the stadium a little hot and sticky, but the atmosphere was electric. This was really going to be a match to enjoy! Half the party wanting Federer to win and the other the new boy Chung. Federer really was amazing to watch but it soon became clear that something was bothering the young Korean. and after 2 sets he pulled out of the tournament with injuries. It was disappointing but nothing could dispel the excitement of being at such an event. He profusely thanked his hosts for their generosity and kindness in providing these tickets. The walk home was easier with Kim finally conceding that Nicholas had a good sense of direction.






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