I decided it was high time to get over my Bah Humbug attitude towards the Games.
So the Soup family, with the interstate parents in tow, (oh by the way, I got my visiting mum to cut my hair, thereby postponing the evil day when I attempt to do it myself for another couple of months, thought you’d be interested to know) set off into town to participate. Not in any of the sporting events, mind. No, we went along to the river precinct to partake of the festival atmosphere and mix with the hoi polloi. Yeah, we went to the free stuff.
Besides, everyone had told us we shouldn’t miss the fish.
Behold. The Fish.
Just for my dear PILL.
There is a fish on the river for each of the countries participating in the Commonwealth Games. Seventy-one of them, all in a fishy procession heading up the Yarra to the MCG. When night falls, on the hour every hour the fish indulge in a kind of sound and light show, featuring, um, sound, and light, and spraying water, all to music. It’s astonishing, and quite lovely. The fish change colour and water jets dance to Under the Milky Way Tonight by The Church; a beautiful song that featured strongly in the Opening Ceremony, which othershave blogged about far better than I can so I will not repeat here. Unfortunately all the pictures I took of the fish performance were duds. Too dark and blurry. Suffice to say The Fish are an enchanting experience. Go see The Fish if you haven’t already.
We saw many other wondrous things.
The circus was permanently full every time we passed, so we settled for the comedians, jugglers, cricketers on stilts …
… and being stalked by dinosaurs.
Bagpipes and drummers did their thing, sending picnicking families into a spin as they realised their picnic rugs were right in the path of the oncoming men in skirts …
… Son #3 indulged in a little air guitar when a band appeared onstage …
…and the velvety night gradually crept over us.
Melbourne put on beautiful balmy weather, as it has done for the entire two weeks of the Games, and the mood in the city was abuzz.
But the best came last.
Doing their entrancing, mesmerising thing, as only they can.
At night, up on their huge bendy poles, swaying and dancing against the black sky.
We watched open mouthed for nearly an hour as they swayed, bent, twirled, flirted and danced to an eclectic soundtrack. The wind rippled the women’s long dresses and their hair flew as they lunged and wheeled gracefully across the sky.
At the end I realised I had momentarily lost Son #2. I spotted him nearby and, calling, I stretched my arm out across three people to grasp his hand. He did the same, but just as our hands were about to meet, he slowly arched his arm back over his head and back to mine again in a joyful giggling echo of the dancers who had swayed and reached and touched and swayed again. It was a magic moment.
It was a magic night.
(PS. No one got the location right in my Where Am I Competition, however Jorth was the closest with her guess of Cumberland River. We were actually a little further along the Great Ocean Road at Wye River. A couple of hours drive out of Melbourne.)