Yes really! It was something of a surreal day today. J played an early morning Footy match where things finally seem to be coming together; he was awarded "Bear of the Week", yay J! Ok, so they lost but we can't lose sight of the fact that most of his Footy team are made up of fellow French-speaking kids. They play with a lot of heart but it's not exactly in their blood.
What is, or should be, in J's blood on the other hand, is hockey. Ice hockey in case you weren't completely sure. This 18c sunny Melbourne winter afternoon, we joined a group of friends at the Ice House in Melbourne's Docklands. The kids donned ice skates and stumbled, slid, or gripped the boards in abject terror. But from somewhere deep in his genes, J remembered how to skate and flew madly, if not entirely gracefully around the rink for hours.
In between all of this skating, we gathered in the stands of another rink to watch our fellow Canadian and Quebecois Eric play an actual real-life hockey game. He was in awesome form and scored a hat trick as I held a running commentary on the rules of our national game to my French, American, Dutch, Australian, English, and Kiwi mates.
Whilst queuing for J's hotdog with Eric's Australian wife, Kathy, I commented how bizarre it felt to be standing in a hockey arena watching a zambone sweep the ice on one rink and listening to the thud of a body check from the game being played on the other whilst staring out the windows at palm trees knowing I was in Australia. All that was missing was the Tim Horton's kiosk. She laughed and remarked if I really wanted to feel bizarre I should consult the overhead menu and consider the $8.00 poutine. POUTINE....DOWN UNDER!!!! Being something of a purist, I didn't order it but felt mightily at home ; it was, dare I say, the Don Cherry on top!