Tuesday, March 14, 2006

And now for the Commonwealth Knitting (and Crocheting) Games

Last Friday I wished I had a camera on my mobile phone so I could show the world what a wonderful city I live in. Melbourne is hosting the Commonwealth Games which is like the Olympics but without any of the major sports powers in attendance. Nonetheless, the Games organisers are convinced this event is bigger than the Sydney Olympics and justification for imposing a Police State.

Not content with annoying the crap out of most Melbournians for running ads suggesting communters avoid public transport during peak hours (hello? Some of us have jobs to hold down), they are preparing for the Games with the level of secrecy and self-importance any tinpot dictator would be proud of. Probably the best example of this was last Friday when they put up huge blue barricades blocking any possible view off the bridge crossing the Yarra near Flinders' Street Station, posted security guards and had signs stating "No Public Viewing. Move On."

I just wished I had a camera to record this moment, so I could post it on the blog along with an appropriate caption. Like, "Melbourne welcomes its visitors" or "Why tourists prefer visiting Sydney, rather than Melbourne".

Today my ride home was delayed twice by the Queen's Baton relay. Initially this was in South Melbourne when our tram was stopped by a cavalry of police on motor cycles, ensuring that the accredited media and poor sod carrying the baton had right of way down the centre of a main transport route at peak hour. I arrived at the city just in time to watch the police block off the trams up Flinders Street, so that the Baton circus could pass up the road, delaying a mere several thousand plebs trying to get home.

But I am refusing to get mad by all these delays. Even if it took me two hours to get home. Because if it wasn't for these delays, I would never have got talking to a lovely old lady who was passing the time crocheting a cushion cover (as one does) in our tram. And I wouldn't have pulled out my knitting and had a lovely 1 1/2 hour conversation debating the merits of wool versus mohair; ribbing versus lace and God Knows What else. She obviously thought she had it all over a young girl like me and was quite startled to discover that I could knit something beyond garter stitch and that even if I was making a scarf, I was no novice. Just by pure luck I had the diagonal rib short-row scarf in my bag, so I was well and truly showing off by the time the tram crawled into Kew.

I knitted a few more rows of Jackie's lace scarf and it is getting better. But I needed something truly brainless to do in front of my Tuesday night TV, so I started Jeff's Dr Who scarf. I am following the pattern on Sarah Bradbry's Mostly Knitting website but have chosen the colours according to the guide on The Dr Who Scarf website. I must say it is very relaxing and even if it is only garter stitch I can see that my knitting has improved no end since I last tried to knit a plain wool garter stitch scarf when I was about 10.

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