Rugby League took me to South Australia for the first time – to cover Rams v Broncos matches, one a trial in the suburbs, the other a Super League premiership game at Adelaide Oval, in 1997.
The Rams had injured forward, Cameron Blair explaining some of the rules over the public address system as the premiership game unfolded.
The crowd got into it and the quality of play was exemplary.
The next time I was in South Australia was November, 2005 when my wife, Marie and I embarked on a 35 day trip, taking us from Adelaide to Melbourne, via the Great Ocean Road.
To this day, Marie looks back fondly on the trip, but she doesn’t care if we never go to Adelaide again.
She found it a boring city, even though she thoroughly enjoyed a free equestrian event – the Adelaide Horse Trials – in parkland in the heart of the city.
I didn’t mind the place. The orderly layout was to my liking. Perhaps it is something to do with the fact I’m a Virgo.
And the markets – they are to die for. On our first visit we bought asparagus, blue vein cheese, carrots, spuds, tomatoes – all the fresh produce we could get. It was all so much nicer than in Queensland.
There also was a lovely walk in the hills, after catching a suburban train to Belair. On another walk, Marie had a close encounter with a bandicoot, which kindly posed for a photograph. And, of course, we caught the tram to Glenelg Beach.
West End beer certainly wasn”t the best drop I have ever tasted. But beer aside, there are some fine pubs in Adelaide. The Archer was my favorite.
The River Torrens had flooded in Adelaide around the time we were there. (To us, it was more like a creek than a river).
Anyway, with Christmas approaching, a tableau had been set up along the banks over the river. The tableau featured the baby Jesus in the stables theme, but thrown in, for some reason, were the likes of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
I saw that the flood waters had played havoc with the display, as I walked back to the middle of Adelaide from Hindmarsh Stadium, which I had just checked out for the first time. As I prepared to cross a footbridge over the river, a female Channel 7 television reporter and male cameraman raced up to me.
They quickly started an interview, and the conversation went something like this:
She: Isn’t it terrible, the damage to the tableau?
Me: Yes. I suppose so.
She: Yes, even Snow White went down (the river).
Me: I bet that made Grumpy smile.
The cameraman was beside himself with laughter. She didn’t see the humor at all. I wonder if the footage made Channel 7’s Christmas goof tapes?
Photo 1: Adelaide Horse Trials
Photo 2: Glenelg Tram.