Rising temperatures

It’s a bit hot in Melbourne today, actually it’s a very hot 43.3 degrees Celsius at this very moment. We have come down to Melbourne for a few days at the Australian Open tennis tournament and we’re in the middle of a heat wave. We are now sitting in our apartment with the air conditioner keeping us cool while we watch the tennis players do their stuff on court in extreme heat conditions. They are mostly very determined to play on despite the conditions and I don’t know how they do it. I take my hat off to them all.

We walked around the streets today while waiting for our apartment to be ready and that was enough to wear us all out, and there they are playing 3 or more hours of tennis in the extreme heat! We have tickets for tomorrow so we are hoping that the temperature drops and play isn’t disrupted but I fear that tomorrow will be more of the same as the forecast is for 44 degrees with strong winds. I don’t think we will be spending too much time watching play on the outside courts somehow. Expect maybe in the comfort of our apartment. The only difference to watching it at home on tv is that we don’t have air conditioning at home, so this is far more comfortable, except I would like to have my own lounge, but that’s just me being picky.

We have been coming to the tennis in Melbourne for the past 16 years, only missing a few years in all that time. We started this family tradition in 1998 when we decided to take our 3 daughters and our Danish exchange student Sophie on a trip to Melbourne to see the big smoke and to watch some live tennis rather that watching it on the tv at home. We all enjoyed the city and the tennis experience so much that we just kept coming back year after year. We tended to stay in the same accommodation and everyone just accepted that we were away for a few days each January and looked for us on the tv coverage. Over the years we have brought lots of friends and family with us to share in the experience and all have enjoyed the atmosphere of Melbourne and the tennis. We usually only ever buy tickets for one night on centre court, preferring to get day tickets and just wander around catching games and training sessions at will. We would split up and and each go our own way meeting up at various times throughout the day. We still enjoy it all!!

Our first year was thrilling in many ways….our daughters were able to wander around on their own and enjoyed finding and connecting with their tennis heroes at Melbourne Park. Sarah is still proud of her achievement in calling out to an up and coming young star, Lleyton Hewitt, after one of his games on an outside court, and when he went straight over to her and spoke to her first!! she was in her element. Sophie was filmed while watching a game and friends saw her on national tv, so we arranged with the tv channel for a video of the footage to be sent to her as a memento of her trip down under. We still send her postcards from the event each year to remind her. Melanie was in a sporty phase of her life and was mistaken a few times for a tennis player, she was very impressed!! Eliza started her love of Danish, Swedish and Dutch supporters, and in future years would join these fan groups to sing, dance and cheer these players on (whilst wearing her Viking helmet with her face painted half Australian/half Swedish). She fitted in perfectly with her blonde Scandinavian looks and they readily accepted her!

So here we are back in Melbourne, staying in the old accommodation for the first time in many years, and in another heat wave. These are are the hottest temperatures we have seen in a while and I just hope we don’t melt out there!! We have little personal battery operated fans, lots of water, hats, sunscreen and our adventurous spirits so I’m sure we will be fine. I’m not too sure about the players though if this heat keeps up.

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