Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 17, 2010

Friday, 17th December 2010 – Birthdays in the family!

Yes, there were a couple of birthdays in the extended family today. The children’s Mum was having her birthday, think she has got to 59, lol, , and there was a bit of a family celebration at lunchtime on this occasion – changed from the usual evening function because she had a work function to attend this evening.  Which meant I couldn’t get there – 40 kms away at the office, but probably a good idea, because I’m not usually up to coping with a big lunch these days!!

Meanwhile, the first of my various nephews and nieces was born on this date back in 1969  –  ‘young’ Bruce, who has spent most of his life up in Brisbane, with my sister and husband moving up there from Ballarat when he was quite young. From memory, I think that Bruce’s birth was ‘hurried’ along a little by the trauma of  our father’s car accident, which had occurred two days earlier, on the 15th. Unfortunately, Dad never lived to see his first grandchild, and he died from his accident injuries on Christmas  Eve following.

So for myself, it was another rather long tiring day at my workplace  –  I think the end of the year, and another brief break can’t come quick enough for me.  It was quite a pleasant day outside, although as the afternoon proceeded, it seemed to cool a little, and in fact, as I left the city area later on in the afternoon, we had another of those brief rain storms. At least however, the run out from the city on the freeways, etc,  to the Sunbury area, was a lot quicker than last night’s effort!!

Meanwhile, the principal news stories of the day still centred around the refugee boat tragedy of Christmas Island of a couple of days ago, and on that topic,  I shared a couple of brief views on Facebook overnight.    After watching the news coverage last night, I was moved to make a short contribution to that site

“Disturbing viewing of the Christmas Island boat tragedy from yesterday. Desperate measures to escape persecution always mean the possibility of dangerous outcomes, this time the gamble failed for those people”.

Ruth responded   “It is so awful Bill, I’ve been thinking of them such a lot – and when on earth will their families back home find out?”

I followed up with the remarks that   “Looking at some of those scenes tonight, many had their families with them – young children & babies in the water. That’s why I maintain, that you have to be desperate to put your family at that kind of risk – yet our political leaders [both sides] keep pushing the ‘labels’ onto the public about ‘queue jumpers & illegal immigrants’, no emphasise on compassion for these people, as victims, it’s all about the people smugglers, stopping the boats – if we were in their position, with our families, our lives, our culture threatened if we stay where we are, we would take the same options offered if that was the only means of escape – but most of us, in our comfortable safe livestyles, can’t see or accept that [the old it won’t happen to me syndrome, so ignore it, and these ‘cheating freeloaders trying to beat the system’].
Meanwhile, I think I would feel the same kind of trauma and guilt, as many of those Christmas Island residents, who witnessed the drowning of those people, yet could do little to save them, were feeling today. As one said, you felt like you needed to jump off the cliff into the water to help, but reality meant that would bring about your own certain death, with no good result for those in the water already, because of the atrocious conditions.
I do think the questions need to ne asked however as to why the boat in question was allowed to get so close to the island in the first place – much is made about ‘stopping the boats’ but it didn’t happen this time!”

Ruth’s retort to that  by noting that  “I wonder if stopping the boats in that way is realistic – frankly, the sea is big and the coastline of even an island, long- just what are our surveillance resources like anyway? Yes, I agree, these are desparate and terrified people.”     [Ruth and I have long held a special interest and concern for the issues of refugees].

Well now, with a week still to go before Christmas Day actually arrives, I believe I have completed most of my Christmas shopping for the season, and sent out in the mail, the bulk of required Christmas greetings  –  just for a change, I’m not doing all of those activities in the final two days!!!  Organised for a change. Meanwhile, quite a bit of online correspondence of recent times with others like myself, interested in the family history – in fact at present, I’m communicating with 4 or 5 people [whom a few weeks ago, didn’t know] and we are all basically interested in chasing up the same research and family details, even if coming from ‘different directions. I’m continuing to find the whole process both interesting and at times, rather frustrating, as bits of information lead to other queries and doubts about the accuracy of certain records, or in fact, lead us off into another direction!  Of course, all of this activity, and communication, is forming a part of my overall research into the material I’m needing for the book I’m currently drafting on the family history! Whereas a few weeks ago, most of my attention was on the family origins back in Scotland, at present, the main emphasise is on getting the facts right about the first generation here in Australia  – information learned over recent weeks has thrown a new perspective on some of the early family members. All will be revealed at the appropriate time.

In the meantime, Day 2 of the Third Cricket Test continued today, and in an amazing turn of events, we have already seen 23 wickets fall in just the first two days..  Yesterday, Australia at one stage for 5 wickets for 69 runs, after the ‘batsmen’ in the team failed, and left the run scoring up to the middle order batsmen and some of the bowlers. It was a good effort by those players to get the team score up to a reasonably respectable score of 268. Today, England seemed to be cruising along until a great spell of  bowling by the previously out of form Mitchell Johnson, turned the match around,.  England were 0 for 78, when the left-arm bowler  (who finished with bowling figures of 6-38) turned the game on its head with a spell of four wickets for seven runs, a performance that eventually saw the English team bowled out for just  187 runs.  At Stumps on Day 2, Australia in it’s 2nd Innings had moved to 3 for 119, after three of our leading batsmen failed again  – giving the Aussies a lead overall of  200 runs with 7 wickets in hand. This innings will basically determine the outcome of the Series – if England win, or draw the Test [a draw is highly unlikely now], they will retain the Ashes.  To win the Ashes, Australia must win the next three Tests, including this one. For a team out of form, a big call!!

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