Tues May 9

As readers will have noticed, my website has been completely reconstructed. It is now very impressive – beautiful, in fact – thanks to George Dreyer. Unfortunately this meant I could not update my Blog until now. A brief report of the past 3 weeks follows.

After Easter I settled back into life at St Kilda beach. There were friends to contact & see, as well as the usual medical appointments that follow an overseas trip. It was very pleasing that during my 4 months away in the northern winter I never got the flu, & any coughs/sniffles never lasted more than 2 days…….surprising really! Each weekend I have been travelling interstate to see Port Adelaide play in Adelaide & Brisbane, as well in Canberra at Easter. Back in Melbourne I attended the traditional Anzac Day game between Collingwood & Essendon. Thanks to my friend, Jenni, I sat in the MCC members – but it was a disappointing loss. At least Port Adelaide have been winning & playing well πŸ™‚

Now it is countdown to my trip to Shanghai to see Port Adelaide play an historic AFL game there this Sunday. I am one of 5,000 Port supporters going to the game & will meet up with several friends. A weekend of football festivities & an Aussie fair will keep us busy. It is my 5th visit to Shanghai & I am excited about it. I fly out on Thursday & return Tuesday.

Wed 17

I had a wonderful weekend in Shanghai. It was good to catch up with old friends & to see so many Port supporters in Shanghai – we seemed to be all over the city! On Friday I wandered around the French Concession area & on Saturday went out to the stadium. Saturday evening I went to the Vigil Mass at St Peter’s Church, where I have attended before. A large congregation & a choir/band made for an enjoyable Mass. After that I went to the Bund for a get-together of Port people. The view as the sun set was stunning. So to Sunday & the game. I caught the metro at 9.15 am & at the interchange station came across a large number of Port supporters all decked out in Port colours – most of whom had no idea how to get there. So I said, “Follow Me” & instantly was group leader! Arriving at the stadium we headed for the Taste of Australia festival, where there was free wine-tasting & food. Here I caught up with various people, incl old & new Port friends πŸ™‚

Game in Shanghai May 2017- Port supporters taking over Shanghai metro! Game in Shanghai May 2017- Port supporters taking over Shanghai metro!
Game in Shanghai May 2017- Wine Tasting before the game

At the Taste of Australia with Lorraine, whom I have known since 1966 when I started the Cheer Squad. Game in Shanghai May 2017- Wine Tasting before the game

Jiangwan stadium was built in 1935 for pan-Asian games, but has not been used in many years. There are primitive facilities & cement seats. It was a challenge for the AFL, but Port Adelaide did a great job with everything. The weather was warm for the game, which started at 1.15 pm. I was in the cheap seats in the original art-deco stand on the eastern side. Most of the Port supporters were in temporary stands at the southern end or in the 2 hospitality tents. You could not buy food or alcohol in the stadium & I wished I had got a hospitality ticket! Port Adelaide thrashed Gold Coast – but there were glimpses of good play that entertained the locals present.

Game in Shanghai May 2017- Waiting for the game to start Game in Shanghai May 2017- Waiting for the game to start

The scarf shows where my seat was……note the free cushions provided!

Game in Shanghai May 2017- Waiting for the game to start Game in Shanghai May 2017- My seat has the scarf on it.

Next day I went for another walk around the area before going to the airport for my 7.15 pm flight back to Melbourne. I landed at 8.30 am yesterday & the cold weather was a bit of a shock after the heat of Shanghai. Now to celebrate my 70th b/day tomorrow. Today there was a chocolate b/day cake after Mass at All SS & tonight my neighbour, Beata, is taking me out to dinner. Tomorrow I say Mass for my SSC chapter & in the evening have dinner with my close friends, the Dalle-Molle family. On Sunday there is a buffet lunch for 30+ friends at Brunswick Vicarage.
Thursday night Birthday Dinner.
Thursday night Birthday Dinner.
Thursday night Birthday Dinner.
Thursday night Birthday Dinner.
Thursday night Birthday Dinner.
Tues 23

The celebrations for my 70th b/day have been wonderful. I had a lovely dinner with the Dalle-Molle family on Thursday evening – see pics above. Then on Sunday 32 friends crowded into the vicarage at Christ Church, Brunswick, for a sit-down lunch. My friend, Jeni, had worked hard to make it a success – incl Port Adelaide balloons at each table. A wonderful 3 course meal with wine & beer was put together by Jeni, with help from her daughter & a friend. It was superb. After I said a few words of thanks, Bishop Lindsay spoke very kind words about me. It was a lovely day.

Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.
Sunday Birthday Lunch.

Wed 31

Since my b/day celebrations life has been back to normal, with lots of footy before I go back to the US on Monday 5th. Last Thursday I caught the train down to Geelong for the Port Adel vs Geelong game. Before going to the stadium I caught up with my friend from seminary, Tim. It was a great game -except we lost by 4 points – & I enjoyed sitting with lots of Port Adel supporters. On the weekend I went to more footy, incl the Dreamtime game on Saty night, when the AFL celebrates the indigenous community. It was another exciting game, preceded by a fantastic ceremony & watched by a record crowd of 85,000. After Mass at Brunswick on Sunday I returned to the MCG for the C/wood vs Brisbane game. This was not very exciting & I did not stay to the end.

Tomorrow I fly to Adelaide to see Port Adel play at home. This will be my last footy match for 2 months – so they must win! Friday I have lunch with my cousins as we celebrate 3 birthdays in May. I fly back to Melb on Saty. On Sunday I will go to Mass at All Saints, E St K for Pentecost & a special celebration to welcome their new PP, Fr Rene, whom I know. Then on Monday I fly back to SD, where I will spend 6 days before going to Europe for my usual Aussie winter escape.