If you believe in ghosts or any fantasy, then my father is dancing on his grave at the moment. His beloved football team, The Magpies have reached the grand final after beating the top team by six goals. Now, of course I mean real football; Australian Rules Footy. Where there is none of this protective gear. And players play four quarters of 100 minutes, and don’t come off the field every 10 minutes.
They move like sprinters, kick like Rockettes and fly into the air like ballet stars reaching for the ball. Years ago, I sat in the miserable cold at a large stadium waiting for my dad to leave the Magpies’ club rooms. They’d just lost the final by one point in the last minute of the game. It was a silent ride home.
The devastation of the loss etched on his face. I have my Magpies scarf with me now. And visitors who come on to our veranda, wonder at a large ceramic magpie attached to a post. The ice hockey and grid iron will have to wait. I’m already biting my nails. (Update: they lost).