Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 13, 2010

Damp ramblings on a ‘Spring’ Saturday!

Disappointment for all the sporting organisations, and other local outdoor activities planned for  today –  it’s been raining overnight, and was doing so steadily this morning under a heavy overcast sky. I think that since the local cricket season began at the beginning of October, they have only had two days of actual weekend play – Saturdays seem to be the time when it decides to rain!!  I noted a message on Facebook from my son, late morning, advising the members of his cricket team that today’s play was off – though you didn’t did to be a weather forecaster to work that one out.

Also a bit of a disappointment for the radio station this morning – a planned outside broadcast over  a 6 hour period at the premises of a new sponsor, had to be called off at the last moment [in fact after all set up procedures were in place] because of an  as yet undetermined reason, the necessary telephone connection had been withdrawn [rather necessary for an outside broadcast!]. While this was totally out of the control of our small dedicated band of  technical volunteers, it unfortunately was not a good look for the station, and a bit of a blow to the promotional plans for the day of the business venue in question – such plans further disrupted by the weather!!

So while I did have some time planned to be devoted to that station activity, I ended up back home much sooner than anticipated, and with the rain continuing outside, a chance to catch up on some indoor tasks – including a bit of reading. Currently, I’m getting stuck into  John Howard’s recently released biography, a book called  ‘Lazarus Rising’, and while it is quite a lengthy book as might be expected, and I’m less than a 6th of the way through it, I am finding it to be quite a comfortable, and interesting read. I admire his style of writing – dare I say, in my own style, though of a much more professional nature of course!  Over the last year or so, there has been a bit of media attention given to the views of former Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser [1975-1983] and his anguish at the way his beloved Liberal Party of his days has changed –  Howard kind of acknowledges that, soon after Fraser’s ascendancy to the Prime Ministership, late in 1975, when he writes that “Malcolm Fraser and I have had our differences over the years and our relationship became very distant after I became Prime Minister, but I will always be grateful for the opportunity he came me back in December 1975. It was a generous promotion at a critical time’ [p91] [Fraser had appointed the young Howard as Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs in the first Fraser Government].  Two years later, following the 1977 election which saw the Liberals returned with a 48 seat majority [compared with 55 in 1975], there was further advancement for Howard who wrote “Thus, at the age of 38 years and 4 months, I became, unconditionally, Treasurer of the Commonwealth. Again, I had every reason to be grateful to Malcolm Fraser for giving me what was a huge promotion”. [102].  As I read through this biography, I have no doubt that I shall find other little quotations worthy of  mention in these pages!

Just a couple of statistics on the State election, due in November – on November 27, there will be 5,582,232 Victorians able to vote [and unlike some other countries, voting is compulsory] – this number is some 20,000 more than were eligible to vote just a few months ago in the Federal election.  There are 88  Lower House seats, and 40 Upper house positions. In all, a total of 711 candidates, of which some 86 are independents, while the remaining 624 come from the 10 endorsed political parties, the majority from the Labor, and Coalition Party [Liberals and Nationals] – Labor and The Greens have candidates in all seats, while the Coalition are represented as a body in all seats, although the Liberals are only contesting 79 of the Lower House seats. According to the electoral polls, with two weeks to go, the result is ‘up for grabs’, and while Labor is slightly ahead, and probably the favourite,  the Opposition could win government in an alliance with the Greens, which party could in fact end up with the balance of power, similar to the Federal Senate, after June.

I see that international but now ‘infamous’ world champion golfer, Tiger Woods is back in town, competing in Melbourne in the Australian Masters, the event he conquered s a ‘hero’ last year, just before ‘all hell broke loose’ in his personal life. After yesterday’s play, he was well off the pace [9 shots behind the leader, Australia’s Adam Bland], a different player to last year, and with this steady rain all day in Melbourne & district today, I doubt he will get the chance to his improve his positioning before Sunday. In retrospect, as it turned out, the golf did proceed – perhaps the persistence of the rain in that part of Melbourne was not as relentless as here. Whatever, it didn’t do Tiger Woods much good, and at the end of the day, he remained 10 shots behind the Australian leader – in fact a number of the international visitors were placed around the Tiger Woods score of 1 under, while a whole group of Australians ahead of them, meant many chances for an Aussie winner.

Meanwhile, one or two other international sporting contests happening this weekend of interest to us Aussies, none of which I will probably see because of the TV screening times on Free to Air TV. In Rugby Union, the Australian Wallabies come up against the old enemy, England, over at Twickenham [at 1.30am tomorrow morning our time]. The Australian coach, Robbie Deans concedes that the elements are working in favour of the English team, after the Wallabies have suffered several days of training in torrential rain, with more expected during game time, but the team is on a winning streak on this tour, including wins over the All Blacks [New Zealand] and Wales.  I’d love to watch that match, but  think sleep is a higher priority after three bad nights of broken sleep in a row.

Typically, the opposing channel here in Melbourne has decided on a late telecast of the Rugby League Four Nations Final, between the Australian Kangaroos and New Zealand – putting it on after midnight, in direct competition with the other match – totally unnecessary in my view, as there are enough interested viewers here in Victoria who like myself, would like to see a direct telecast in place of some useless Saturday night movie or drama program! Although having said that, I see another newspaper suggests a 7.30 telecast – we will wait and see, if I’m being unnecessarily harsh!!  No I’m not, I think that for the viewers in the northern states – Victorians are not regarded as interested in rugby, we have to wait until midnight!!!

On a different scale of things, Australian Formula 1 racing driver Mark Weber is attempting to win the World Championship this weekend.  He comes to the final race of the Formula 1 season with a genuine chance to win the World Drivers’ Championship; the current point scores show: 1. Fernando Alonso – 238pts;  Mark Webber – 281 pts; and Sebastian Vettel [Weber’s Red Bull ‘team mate] – 231 pts; with Lewis Hamilton – 222 pts. Assuming that Webber comes out of the qualifying rounds in a satisfactory position at the front of the  grid, the potential outcome is well summed up by the ‘Roar website’ writer:-

“With limited opportunities outside pit stops and barring major mishaps, the final laps could well see Vettel, Webber and Alonso racing to the wire.  In that order, and considering the winner receives 25 points, second receives 18 points, and third getting 15 points, neither Red Bull driver would win the WDC. Alonso would go from a double world champion to a triple world champion.  Vettel would have to pull over for his rival Webber to win to ensure a Red Bull victory, surely a decision that would grate. Still, Red Bull have left it to the drivers, and Vettel has teased the media by not saying what he will do – but for him not to pull over would be one of the most arrogant acts ever seen.  In a testament to an incredible season, there are so many tricky permutations and combinations that could see any of the top four come out a winner. Indeed however unlikely, Lewis Hamilton could pinch it from the lot of them should major mishaps occur”.

Once again, to watch this, I’ll have to be watching midnight TV, tomorrow night,  for the deciding race in Abu Dhabi, as Webber attempts to become the first Australian driver since Alan Jones in 1980. Prior to that, our Jack Brabham  won the championship three times, in 14959, 1960 and 1966.

Was I suggesting a couple of days ago that winter had definitely past, and we were moving towards the real Spring/Summer climate?  I don’t think our weather knows what it is doing!  Tonight, it is actually quite cold, after raining all day – in fact still is, and I can see a nice chilly start to my morrow, getting up for the radio! Oh well, at least it won’t be dark!




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