For as much as distance separates people, footy brings them back together coupled with the occasion of an 80 years young birthday and one has good reason to travel.
My family and I live in Broome in Australia’s North West in the remote Kimberley, we share a love for where we live with where we come from, or more to the point the people and entities from where we once called home.
Family, friends and the Collingwood footy club in far off Melbourne.
2017 has been bigger than most, three epic trips to Melbourne have been completed this year a lazy 25,000km traversed, Christmas (2016) January 2017, Easter, Anzac Day at the MCG,
an 80th birthday party and two other games squeezed in, not to mention a trip to Victoria Park with the kids to see where mum and dad got married.
All these occasions bring people together. People who have known each other for a long time yet have not seen each other in ages, who start talking like they saw each other only last weekend.
The footy and Collingwood footy club for me is a 40 plus year relationship, it allows me to catch up with a very special friend who I have been going to Collingwood games with for near on 30 years, Collingwood is the thread that binds us together, no matter what directions our lives take.
Now my 7 year old son shares my love of game and club and his sister is not shy either.
This year as a direct result of my father- in- law’s very special achievement of turning 80 years young the corresponding party saw my brother- in- law in town from America, so I took him to the footy Collingwood vs North Melbourne. Another not only introduced to the Australian game but inducted into the Collingwood family. It was a shame Collingwood’s American Pie Mason Cox was not playing that night.
Collingwood lost the first two games we attended this year, but the beauty of footy is there’s always next week and the beauty of kids is they always put things into perspective.
Essendon on Anzac Day was an event, education, experience, occasion and an eye opener for a kid from the Kimberley. Although it would have been nice to win the experience was a win just the same.
St.Kilda the next week. Well never mind, to fully understand the winning feeling you have to lose a couple, that’s how I explained it to a 7 year old.
It was third time lucky against North Melbourne, a win at last. Seeing my sons face, alight with joy I’m sure my parents remember the face well only 40 years earlier. As he sang the club song, my brother in law, caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment it’s the simple yet beautiful thing about footy.
When you live remotely like we do going back to the same place multiple times a year is a draining and expensive undertaking, however it’s not questioned or thought much about, as the relationships and bonds with people and experiences far outweigh the cost.
Thanks to all family and friends for making our Melbourne trips enjoyable this year and to the Collingwood Footy Club for just being there and giving us a thrill with a win. See ya next year
Side By Side.
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