• Almost caught in slips out the back at Manuka

    Almost caught in slips out the back at Manuka

  • Nan Bak, Robyn Byrne and Narelle Downing

    Nan Bak, Robyn Byrne and Narelle Downing

  • Dee Kaufling and Warren Benson

    Dee Kaufling and Warren Benson

  • Col Alexander, Graham Kelly, John Mackay and Allan Williams

    Col Alexander, Graham Kelly, John Mackay and Allan Williams

  • Bloomin' beautiful...

    Bloomin' beautiful...

  • More Henley Regatta than Manuka Oval for this hat collection

    More Henley Regatta than Manuka Oval for this hat collection

  • Andrew Brown and David Procter

    Andrew Brown and David Procter

  • A day at the cricket.......with Konica Minolta

    A day at the cricket.......with Konica Minolta

  • Stephen Moore, James Service and Mikael Svensson

    Stephen Moore, James Service and Mikael Svensson

  • Mark Delmenico and Kevin Delmenico

    Mark Delmenico and Kevin Delmenico

  • Richard Bance, Jacob Knowles and Jordan Brown

    Richard Bance, Jacob Knowles and Jordan Brown

  • Antonia Taylor and Audrey Gilrain

    Antonia Taylor and Audrey Gilrain

  • Gerard Borjeson, Sam Holden and Len Garlick

    Gerard Borjeson, Sam Holden and Len Garlick

  • Darren Muir and John Quiros

    Darren Muir and John Quiros

  • Wayne Fraser and Stephen Frost

    Wayne Fraser and Stephen Frost

  • Brian Baker and Amandeep Singh

    Brian Baker and Amandeep Singh

  • Josh Mann-Rea and Peter McGrath

    Josh Mann-Rea and Peter McGrath

  • Jacqui Stenhouse and Robyn Byrne

    Jacqui Stenhouse and Robyn Byrne

Its mid January and the biggest dilemma is whether to drag your frame from beach to bush to attend the PM’s XI cricket match that is now an oh so lovely day-night match to make use of the fabulous lights at Manuka oval, and as we discovered annoy the squinters in the hospitality marquees as the sun sets over the members, or remain in situ in a parallel universe that is as close to heaven on earth as we can get.

So it was au revoir Jervis Bay and g’day home. But we do love the PM’s XI as a prelude to the year ahead, a day out with the kids, a meeting of mates, and a game of cricket to boot with memories of the old days when little sheds with little verandahs were where the hoi poloi parked their bums and we scarpered about wishing we could go to the pool instead. That’s how I first met Bob Menzies, but that’s another story.

Konica Minolta are longtime sponsors of this match and their hospitality marquee is an annual get together for local and regional clients, sporting identities, and a strolling crowd of friends who pop in for a cooling libation as ACT State Manager Nanette Bak and her staff host quite the nicest hospitality tent on the oval. And I’m a regular where the camera is not necessarily my entrée but I can’t resist. I wander the oval’s perimeter too, this year finding a happy bunch of kids out the back enjoying a spirited game with a tiny bat and a passing parade of spectators. Then I found a welcoming group of my usual suspects enjoying an environment akin to a Henley Regatta tent with straw boaters to match the red and white décor. Col Alexander played host to this group of CIC guests and yet again I ‘acquired’ one of their hats, this time kindly offered by Stephen Moore, and off I wandered behatted in regatta style to bring Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rae from our tent to their tent to catch up with team mate Moore.

How nice it was. And again thanks to the indefatigable Konica Minolta team who make it such a lovely occasion. Bob Menzies would have loved a libation or two in this company.