Saturday, December 07, 2013

The Jellies in town

Today we had a visit from fellow blogger and Richmond Tigers man Dugald Jellie of Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, and his lovely family Clare, Alistair (Ali) and baby Marcus. I got to know Dugald over the interwebs through the 2013 season, and enjoyed his writing very much. His passionate and thoughtful writing was always supportive, win or lose, and articulated the feelings of the regular folks in the outer. He did not have any special access to the players, and made a point of respecting their privacy, but at the same time he was able to get insights into what makes them tick, and their relationships with one another.

Dugald was actually at Presentation Night #2 but although I thought I covered the room pretty thoroughly, I didn’t track him down. He had long planned this visit to Tasmania with his family, so at last we had a chance to meet. His main purpose in visiting Hobart was catching up with VFL legend Brent Crosswell. 

“Tiger” Crosswell played in nine VFL Grand Finals, winning two each with Carlton and North Melbourne. He was a unique character in footy, quite the intellectual. And he was Dugald’s geography teacher! He suffers from Meniere’s Disease these days, and is quite reclusive. I understand that Dugald had a few ups and downs trying to get a visit organised, but it did finally happen the day before we met, and was a great success. I am sure Dugald will write about it in time.

When they arrived, Ali (who is 3) made a beeline for the boys’ corner, and was very happy there playing with our Marcus and with Michael. We have regular 3-year-old visitors in Finton and Arthur, and still have plenty of cars, trucks, blocks etc that a knee-high person usually enjoys. Marcus Jellie is a very well-adjusted baby, who seemed to spend most of the visit just beaming and chuckling.

Elf made a highly-praised flourless orange cake, and we all got on like a house on fire. Clare works as a historian at Monash Uni where she specialises in Black American history between the wars; the Cotton Club in Harlem and the like. I am very interested in American history. After the bicentennial in 1976 I was completely sick of Paul Revere and George Washington (who popped up in everything from the Brady Bunch to Archie comics) and generally felt like American history was something to avoid. Whereas I am now addicted to a podcast on the Civil War, and one of my favourite authors is Sarah Vowell who writes popular American histories such as Assassination Vacation.

Dugald and I talked about all sorts of things including but not limited to footy. We ran through the footy cards and discussed one of my favourite aspects; the mechanics of taking the photos, which I have rabbited on about enough here.

When it was time to move on to their next engagement, lunch at Snug, we all looked over and Ali was horizontal on the floor, drowsily driving a truck back and forth. When roused he said “But I haven’t played with this car, and this car. And I haven’t played outside!” So we took them out for a bit of a bounce on the trampoline before we waved them goodbye.

Dugald in his TTBB outfit. I love his typography.

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