Welcome To The High Court
Sometimes you see just the shot you want – and you have to put everything else aside for a minute or two. I had just arrived at Richmond station, where I always change to get a direct train to Flinders Street. The announcement informed commuters that the next train to Flinders would be arriving on platform seven in a minute.
So the rush of passengers went lemming-like down the walkway and turned right for platform seven. I turned left instead, heading alone towards platform one. Why? Because I had spotted these flags, advertising the 2009 Australian Open tennis tournament, fluttering above nearby Punt Road.
There’s something else you need to take into account here. It was one of those scorching Melbourne days, with the mercury edging past the three-figure mark.
Me, I hate the heat, but there I was heading away from an air-conditioned train, just to take these photographs.
The wind was whipping in from the north, a cruelly hot wind that brought the embrace of the desert. And no matter where I stood, the wind blew the flags away from me, on a severe angle. Just my luck, I thought. I shot a few frames anyway.
If you look carefully at the bottom of the first image, you'll see clear proof that the flags were flying away from me - the last seven white letters of the words "Melbourne Park" are back-to-front.
Just as I was about to walk away, thinking I would have to come back the next day, the direction must have changed fractionally, or the intensity must have lessened marginally. For a split second, the flags were almost where I wanted them.
By the way, the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the calendar year, can often be a test of spectators’ sartorial skills. It is played in two different sessions each day and it’s not uncommon for fans to start a session wearing shorts and a T-shirt, but to be digging into their bags for a warm jumper before the last point is won and lost.
Just don’t let your spirits flag.
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