David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

06 July 2009

The Game goes on

Your correspondent was one of the fortunate 54,444 to have a ticket for yesterday's game at the Docklands Stadium between this AFL season's two undefeated teams: SAINTS v CATS.

Greg Baum on page one of today's Melbourne 'Age' wrote ( here )
"So the match grew by degrees into an epic, worthy of its billing: a tug this way, a wrench that, never quite won by St Kilda, never quite conceded by Geelong".

photo: Sebastian Costanzo, THE AGE

Two minutes before the final siren both sides were on 85 points. A draw seemed possible and with it the consequence that both sides might complete the season undefeated. A mighty mark and a straight kick by Michael Gardiner (above) achieved victory for The Saints.

For those of us above Gate 39 on Level Three it was more besides. By the start of the second quarter a ripple of dire awareness gathered-in our focus upon a real life and death struggle in our midst. Someone had had a heart attack. Already a St. John Ambulance volunteer was providing CPR. This was maintained through the entire second quarter. Five rows of fans were required to leave the area as the various emergency staff came and went. Turn by turn, the CPR relay pushed on beyond the half-time break. Injections of adrenalin and whatever else were given. Very much a split focus as the football continued on the field below while, so close, an impromptu third team fought to save a life. Toward the end of the third quarter a slow slow public procession began. This man, an hour earlier another excited pulse in a cheering crowd, now strapped to a stretcher, much of his clothing stripped away and medical inserts clearly visible, was borne ever so carefully out of that place. (see image below)
The game went on.