Tarpeena Tales 17

It's generally pretty quiet around Tarpeena on the weekends, more so since the local footy club have been unable to raise a team, but the place was abuzz last weekend as it was our turn to host the Legends Footy game. The legends is a team drawn from the coulda beens and nearly were great players from the past and is played annually against  Nangwarry, our arch rivals and is an  annual event hosted alternately by each town. There are some great traditions associated with the Legends game, not the least that only beer in large long necked bottles can be drunk during and after the game, a throwback to the drinking style of the 70's and 80's when these guys were in their prime. And a chance to even up old scores as the umpires are invariably distracted by the water boys bringing out more beer.

The boys by all accounts were fired up this year and the main training night on Friday at the pub was well attended but Nangwarry put in a bit of extra training on the Saturday and turned up a bit the worse for their extra stint. Just goes to show you shouldn't over train elite athletes. Tarpeena ran out comfortable winners on the scoreboard but the vote of the judges put Nangwarry ahead on the empty long neck count so the whole thing was called a draw. The crowd stayed on for a long time and it was good to see activity on the oval which lies opposite the Keenan mansion.

The legends game reminded me of our own legends game that we uncles played in Fiji when Nuran and I went over for a wedding. It was Uncles versus nephews four a side soccer and I had forgotten how good I used to be at soccer. See I AM  a legend.

I stunned everyone with my skill at trapping the ball with my left foot and passing with my right, not the least myself. Sadiq was in goal, laying his walking stick down as a goal post, and proved that his positioning sense was still there blocking shot after shot and diving full length to tip the ball around his walking stick. Khalik was the consummate defender making the ball his object whether or not there was a nephew between him and the ball. Their cries of anguish fell on deaf ears as there was no ref. and we opened up a handy lead. The nephews decided to get serious and recruited Nabil to mark me , which he did assiduously - clinging on to me wherever I ran which cramped me a bit, and Khalik's wife, Zarina, was placed in goal to free up Shah who was in fact an uncle but somehow ended up on the other side. However I nullified this move a bit when in attempting to pass to Khalik I shot the ball straight into Shah's goolies which disappeared into his stomach in fright. Hard to run with swollen goolies especially when they refuse to come down from your stomach. Nonetheless the nephews youthfulness started to take its toll and our lead was pegged back until, as I for one could hardly stand and Sadiq had removed his stick to use it to stop him from falling over in exhaustion, it was elected that  the next goal would win it. Zaid made a blinding run and I tried to stop him but Nabil got in my way, lucky he got in Zaid's way too and the shot trickled harmlessly to Sadiq. He rolled the ball to Khalik who set off down the field with Shah limping in pursuit and me galloping alongside him calling for the ball. The pass rolled to my left foot and I couldn't do anything ,as Nabil was still running alongside my right foot, except square it across the goal. The ball fell invitingly between Zarina and her husband ( Khalik remember) and caused a quandary as Khalik didn't want to bowl over his wife. However his wife had no such compunction and charged like a Fury out of the goal and belted the ball away. Now one thing that Khalik has is a generous stomach and the ball flew full pelt into his midriff, but this stomach is not some soft thing from drinking loads of beer but a thing toughened up by a diet of chilies and roti and the ball rebounded faster than it came in and through the vacant  goal for a winner. Khalik couldn't get his shirt off quick enough to do a lap of honour we high fived all around and talked loudly about how good we still were and how the young bucks could still learn a thing or two about soccer from us. Zarina was apoplectic and apologetic but could hardly be blamed for such a tortuous twist of fate. Mind you after the warm down and the cool down in the pool I could hardly walk - my groin was sore my hamstring was taut and my calves were cramped. They decided on  a re match for the following day but I announced my immediate retirement and watched them play from the comfort of the balcony. That game never rose to the  heights of our legends game though and better to go out on a high I think.

Another thing that makes a noise in Tarpeena on the weekends is the fierce barracking by Nuran and I whenever our respective  Crows or  Geelong footy teams are playing. The screams of anguish and frustration echo long and hard from the kitchen whenever the players make a mistake or fail to man up or kick a behind, which is the same as making a mistake and the birds fly off in alarm. This weekend was particularly hard on both of us and we shall be glad when the footy season ends and we can go back to our mundane little world free of indigestion  , you can hardly get so worked up over cricket. Unless you barrack for Pakistan.

We had real excitement  on Wednesday when the kids next door but one decided to warm up their mum's mattress with a cigarette lighter. The fire truck screamed into action and the ambulance was called as Mum had smoke inhalation. We are only 100 yards from the fire station and the fire was soon out but there was a big mess. The ambulance failed to start as its battery was flat, it was a Nangwarry ambulance so no wonder, and another was called to ferry Mum to hospital and another was called to start the Nangwarry one so we had a street full of flashing blue and red lights for over an hour. Fun and games. This is the second house on that block to catch alight and I reckon it's a jinxed site .Lucky Mum was Ok and so were the kids and now the whole family have decamped as the house is a bit worse for wear.

Poor old TrixiePoor old Trixie has passed on since I last wrote and is buried in her favourite Pines. Now I wander lonely like a cloud ( someone else has used that line I think) on my morning walks and most times I walk past her grave It seems that lately all I have done is attend funerals. Still the wattle is out in bloom and spring is in the air. The pesky pine pollen that descends like a yellow dust storm all over the South East in August has at last been cleared from the air by some spring showers and we can breathe easier and I don't have to wash the car twice a week. I still do wash it twice a week but I don't have to now. Gotta go to town in a clean car you know.

Nuran has her new toy in the sewing room. A brand new computerised sewing machine. After 23 years with the same one she deserves a bit of luxury and is busy making bibs for babies with the fancy stitching she can use. The bibs have to be redesigned  as babies like to put them over their faces and not their tummies but that presents no problem to her just a challenge. I am getting eyed off for something new to wear I already boast a new set of bike shorts and leggings. I nearly look professional as I speed around Tarpeena on my trusty bike. Well I reckon I speed! And to prove it I got up to 30kmph today.

After two months the hamstrings have eased a bit!