Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Morning Musings: The Tennis is Over, Time to Get to Work!

January is traditionally a month of downtime in Australia.  Well, it certainly is in our family anyway - and always has been.  I think the heart of this goes back to school days since January is our summer holidays.  After getting through the Christmas/New Year mayhem, January was always the time for relaxing and having fun.  Family holidays by the beach, swimming almost every day at the local pool, spending lots of lazy hours reading.

I think that since we grow up spending our January's like this, it basically becomes part of our culture.  So that despite I'm not at school now (and haven't been for some time!) and I don't even have kids in school yet, I'm still in that holiday mode for most of January.

There are two factors that help cement that holiday mode: the cricket, and the tennis.  It isn't summer until you hear Richie Benaud introducing the cricket on Channel 9, and Bruce McAvaney's tennis commentary on Channel 7.  I have fond memories of camping in the lounge room with Jess and our mum and dad, staying up for those Australian Open midnight finishing matches. And I find nothing more relaxing than flaking out on the couch in the heat of the day watching the cricket - which I just LOVE.  That's actually how I started learning to nap as a teenager (prior to this, I never slept in the day).  The soothing sounds of the cricket, the energy sapping heat and the lulling rythm of the fan became the winning combination for getting my hyper-alert mind to slow down enough for me to relax. 

To me, January means hot weather, swimming, lazy days watching the cricket, and late nights watching the tennis.  This particular January hasn't been all that hot, and I don't get to swim a lot these days since that's a hurculean effort to do with two young kids.  But I have definitely been indulging with the sport watching this year. Consequently I haven't been reading a lot and in general it's been hard to get movitated to do much.

Well, as of last night, the tennis is over.  I have enjoyed some great matches, the least of not being last night's ripper final between Djokovic and Nadal.  Yes, I stayed up until 2am to watch the nearly 6 hours match.  I have to confess I almost went to bed in tears to see Nadal lose after fighting so hard to come back. (And I'm sorry, but did Djokovic really have to carry on, ripping his shirt like that? Seriously, what does he think this is?)

The Aussie cricketers have done us proud again this test series having completely and utterly obliterated the Indians.  What great knocks by Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting.  God willing one day I will get to watch the tennis at the Aussie Open (I have already seen a semi-final at the Sydney International) and it's been a few years since I've gotten to the cricket, so would love to go again soon.  But it's all over for this year, so it's time to get off the couch :)

It seems only appropriate then that Australian Day is celebrated on the 26th of Jan, just near the end of tennis season and right before school starts up again.  It's like the culmination of the summer holiday season and signals the end to the summer fun and resumption of school and work.

You may have noticed that we haven't had a feature author for January, and this holiday mode is the reason for that! Rest assured, we have been doing some work, and we have already lined up several authors who are all keen to be featured here at the Book Review Sisters in the coming months.  The first of these authors will be featured in February.

I hope all our Aussie readers have enjoyed January as much as I have, and are rested and ready to charge ahead into the year!


  1. I agree with you about Jan. We had a cool week but most of Jan has been really hot. I love watching the cricket too not so big on tennis but did watch parts of it. I did watch parts of last nights game and listened on the radio. Not ready for it to be over yet. (at least today is cooler but the house is so hot)

    1. Yeah Jenny, I'm not ready for it to be over either! Glad there's still some cricket to come :) We really have not had a hot summer here, we've only hit 38 degrees once, and that was in November. A couple of 35s in Jan, but that's it. On the plus side, at least we won't get an insane electricity bill!

  2. The past two weeks have been in the 30's and hasn't been below 30 for 2 weeks til today. the past few nights have been hot ones. We did have a cool week. Hopefully the house will cool down by tonight. With School back its normally hot but they get a cool day to start the year (no rain)

  3. Only professional sportspeople are supposed to work hard during January. Isn't that our Australian tradition? Yes, February is time for some serious work.

    1. So true Paula! Actually I've always felt sorry for the cricketers because with the Boxing Day test match they can never have Christmas at home.

      I guess I'm feeling particularly "slack" this January because in my pre-baby days, I used to go straight back to work after Christmas. I liked working in January because it was quiet :) I'd always take my annual leave during more hectic times.

  4. Hi Helen! I love that January is your summer! Here in Texas, we've had some crazy weather this winter -- it really hasn't felt like winter at all.

    One of my manuscripts has an Australian hero, so I'm fascinated by Australia's weather, and popular sports. My character's favorite sport to watch is footy, and he cheers for the Darwin Buffaloes. :-) Did I say that right? LOL!

    1. Hi Gwen, so glad to see you here again :) Funny how your winter hasn't felt like winter, and our summer hasn't really felt like summer!

      Oh how interesting that you have an Australian hero!! I guess I have two questions: which "footy" (we have like 3 popular codes), and who are the Darwin Buffaloes? lol ... They aren't in the premier league of any code since I haven't heard of them. But anyway, feel free to pick mine or Jess' brains any time if you want to check "Aussie stuff" :) Would love to read this character of yours!

      I think you will be interested to read Jess' book review which we'll post tomorrow. The book she reviewed as an Aussie character in it.

    2. Hi Helen! I will def check out Jess's book review tomorrow. :-)

      I didn't know there was three codes for "footy"! I guess I'm trying to say Australian Rules Football -- is "footy" not the word to use? I didn't know if the Darwin Buffaloes were premier league or not -- I picked them because they are an AFL team... LOL! My character is from Katherine in the NT. Does AFL have a premier league team that comes from that area?

      Thanks for letting me pick your brain! I have been wanting Aussie friends to pitch ideas to. In fact, if you're up to reading a rough manuscript, I wouldn't mind sharing it with you and Jess for your feedback, especially on my Aussie character.

      I'd really like to visit Australia, but that just isn't in the budget for me right now. :-(

  5. Hi Gwen,

    This Aussie sounds interesting! :) I'd like to hear more about him. Yes, please feel free to pick our brain regarding anything Aussie.

    Hope the book review tomorrow is helpful for you! :)

    1. Thanks Jess! I appreciate your offer! It means a lot to me, because I want my character to be as authentic as possible. Prepare to be!

      I will check out your book review tomorrow! :-)

  6. Gwendolyn, you said footy right for anyone in the southern states and Northern territory and even Western Australia Australian Rules football or AFL we would call it footy. the other codes are rugby. the Darwin Buffaloes would the the Northern Territory league or the local league. and yes you got Cheer for them right too.
    There isn't a premier team in the AFL competition. but most states have there own leagues which are a minor league.

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