Wednesday, October 27

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Happy boxing day! I hope you had a wonderful Boxing Day Eve, or for those of you in time zones where it is still Boxing Day Eve, enjoy. For those of you who find this time of year more difficult than joyous, I wish you patience and peace.

The good news from Melbourne is that despite a year that most of us will gladly erase from memory, there is a Test Match in this city that seemed impossible just a few weeks ago. Now it’s here, and what’s more, it’s happening on a clear, sunny day under a blue sky. The thermometer is rising to 30 after a cool day on the 25th and a couple of winter days before. Who can predict Melbourne, but who can resist when Melbourne smiles?

I’m on the train to Jolimont, where the mighty MCG rises from the parks like a crashed spaceship. Attendance is restricted to a third of capacity on the G, but the train is filling up as we pass station after station. People are ready. The shorts are on. Tough off-duty tradies in outer suburban stations now drink Emma & Tom shakes instead of half a liter of energy drink, you may be interested to know. It’s a different feeling in 2020.

Ready for that? I’ve been ready all year.

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