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Annual Rituals

Every year friends of mine have a party on AFL Grand Final day (That’s Australian Rules football, by the way). It starts with a barbecue and then everyone who’s interested crowds into the lounge to watch the footie. I’m not so interested in the footie, so I only watch if it promises to be a particularly good match, and even then I enjoy watching the spectators as much as the game. Though there is something appealing about watching a fast-paced, gladiator style match between teams of fit men dressed in small right shorts and sleeveless tops. Compared with US football, there’s a lot of skin showing.

To get an idea of the game, here’s a video of the greatest moments of last year’s footie season.

But for me, it’s about the company and catching up with old friends — some of whom I only ever see at this party. Kids  are born, kids grow up, people get new jobs or new partners — it’s a bit like an annual stocktake.

And there’s always a big fire. In the daytime it works as a barbecue and in the evening it becomes a place where people gather and make music. As it’s spring here, it can still get pretty chilly at night, so the fire is very welcome. But for me the magic is in staring into the flames and watching the glowing goals. I love a good fire.







Speaking of spring, here is my friends’ spring garden in all its glory.  Isn’t it gorgeous?


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