Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Here we go again.......

Four years ago I was in Brisbane on the evening before the start of the Ashes. With my drinking buddies on the main strip in the centre of town I bade them an early farewell so excited was I about what was to come the following day. I didn't want to wake up hungover so left proceedings early after just a couple of beers and I pretty much danced my way back to the hostel.

Fast forward to 2010 and the scene has been a familiar one. But that kid on the night before Christmas feeling just wasn't present. Every text I got from the UK asking about my levels of excitement only served to highlight the fact that I wasn't as beside myself with nervous glee as I had been four years previous.

I mentally ticked off the miriad of reasons why this should be, the lack of novelty aspect, the absence of Fe, the mental scars of that 5-0 drubbing and the fact that this is now my fourth tour. All of which made sense but didn't really sit right. Maybe I'll get that flush of joy when I awake I reasoned. But I didn't. In fact my intial thought upon waking was that I could do with a bit more sleep.

I got to the ground early noting the queues that had snaked up the road in 06/07 were noticeably shorter. I set my equipment up in the press box, got a cup of tea and watched the opening ceremony. I felt removed from the action.

And then in the third delivery of the day, the Test and the series, Andrew Strauss cut Ben Hilfenhaus straight to Michael Hussey in the gulley. I was standing in line with both players and couldn't have had a more perfect view. Watching it made me feel physically sick. Now that's more like it.

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