It's time to unwind today with a few Ashes links. 12 days in Perth, the world's most remote city, was enough for me and just by walking around Melbourne, I have already encountered its vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere. And the "G" looks imposing too. Shane Warne's mentor Terry Jenner reckons Ian Bell will be the leg-spinner's 700th victim there: the Warwickshire man may have turned a corner in his Test career but Jenner's quote is enough to send any batsman over the edge, especially on Warne's home turf.
Okay, let's forget Warne for a moment. It's Monty Mania time at the MCG in some circles. Geoff McClure's piece in The Age gives readers the usual 20 things no one knew about Monty while he says that England's cult hero will be given a roaring reception from the Bays.
If you want to know who Phil DeFreitas dressed up as at England's Christmas party back in the days then you can listen to the latest Ashes podcast that I've done for Nobok Sports. Elsewhere, if you want to find out about Beefy's 51st birthday bash then Ted Corbett's recent Ashes Diary is up at Sportstar, while Andrew Flintoff's lbw dismissal is re-enacted by the excellent Ashes Blog - a pivotal moment on the last day, ending any hopes England harboured of winning on day five.