It’s Cup Day, which means it’s a public holiday here in Victoria. As such, it was a quiet day, with no classes or anything. For us, we took it as an opportunity to do some shopping before our big move down to Tasmania. There’s some furniture that we need to take with us – a new bed for Annabelle, and a new change table, so we headed down to Ikea to get some new furniture. We also got a couple of things for now – a new chair for Annabelle to eat dinner at our little coffee table, and some Christmas decorations to liven up our place for the last month or so.
We also had a baby shower for one of the Cadets, which was a lot of fun.
It’s kind of an odd feeling being in Melbourne on Cup Day. When I was back in Perth, Cup Day isn’t a public Holiday, so the general thing is a lunch, and watch the race, then back to work. But today, I didn’t even watch the race – and to be honest, I’m kind of glad about that. I like sport, and will happily sit down and watch anything. But racing is something that is so dominated by betting that the race is almost just an excuse. Today, it was expected that $140 million would be bet on the Melbourne Cup. To put that in comparison, it’s 9 years worth of Good Friday Appeal’s, and Perth’s Telethon this year passed $150 million raised in its 46 year history – though based on this year’s result, it would take 7 years to match what was expected to be bet on this one day.
The idea that we have a day off because of a day of so much betting and gambling just doesn’t sit right with me, mostly because I know the damage that can be done by those who are addicted to gambling. And the problem is that it doesn’t just affect the one person, but it often affects their family and friends as well. It puts a lot of stress on others, and can force people out of house and home, break up relationships, and more.
So while in Victoria, we are enforced to have the public holiday, you won’t be finding me celebrating the race – and next year you’ll probably find me working through it.