Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 20, 2011

Wednesday, 19th January2011 – watery notes!!!



The relations [on my wife’s side] who are currently affected by the floods in northern Victoria, are apparently not doing too bad, despite the dramatic affects on many families and businesses. The farm, south of Kerang [which town by tonight was completely cut off and surrounded by water, with all exit/entry roads closed] was pretty wet, with a lot of water on the property. However, Barry had managed to find a slightly higher piece of land to which he had moved his livestock too, while he engaged in a fair amount of drainage and digging works, as he attempted to keep the water away, from presumably the house, and other important features of the property. Meanwhile, his nursing wife, Lois,  was ‘stranded’ in the town of Boort, while his son, was further up the water line in Swan Hill, which hasn’t yet been largely affected by the flood waters. Interestingly, much of the northern/central districts and towns that have been the worst affected by Victoria’s floods, are where the Kirk ancestors established their homes, and coach building businesses in the latter part of the 1800’s, and having visited them all at different times, I am broadly familiar with them.  It is very flat country for the most part, another reason why these places are so susceptible when ‘too much’ water suddenly makes an appearance!  Overall, as of late tonight, there are 62 towns in Victoria which have suffered in some form or other, from  the current flood crisis, covering much of the north central and western regions of the State.

I had to take my lawnmower in for a service today – a bit annoyed to be told it might be a week or two before I could have it back!!  My lawns were already in need of some attention, and I always feel a little guilty when any aspect of the front of my property is looking untidy. Normally, by the middle of January, there would be much in the way of lawn growth to be concerned about, but with our unseasonally wet  summer, growth has been quite persistent!!!

Now from Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under  –  today’s race of 146 kms, between Tailem Bend and Mannum in South Australia, was marred by some bad crashes near the end of the stage, which saw, amongst other riders, the English champion, Mark Cavendish virtually relegated to the rear of the field, overall, and also led to the loss of the lead to yesterday’s winner, Matt Goss. Australian cycling legend, Robbie McEwan now leads the Santos Down Under after finishing second today.  Stage 2 result was – 1. Ben Swift. 2. Robbie McEwan. 3. Graeme Brown. Lance Armstrong came in 42nd, and Stuart O’Grady, in 49th position. McEwan and O’Grady were the two cyclists that my brother brother, scored photographs with on Sunday night, and certainly in respect to McEwan, that photo is growing in value and prestige, as each day goes past.  As mentioned, Robbie McEwan now wears the Leader’s Jersey, followed by Mathew Goss and Ben Swift. O’Grady is 33rd, Lance Armstrong, 60th and Mark Cavendish 130th of the remaining 133 competitors.

Meanwhile, my jinxing of our Australian tennis players continues! Every time I make a point of sitting down to watch one of our Australian players compete in the Australian Open Tennis Championships, they seem to manage to lose! Tonight was no exception.  My favourite Aussie ‘import’ player, was on centre court in a Round 2 match. The following description explains the outcome.  Australian Jelena Dokic’s attempt to again use the Australian Open to regenerate her career fell flat as she tumbled to a straight sets defeat to Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova on Wednesday night. The unseeded Zahlavova Strycova won the second round clash 7-6 (7-3) 6-1, to set up a third round meeting with China’s Li Na, a semi-finalist in Melbourne last year.  Dokic, whose ranking has slumped to No.137, played the sort of tennis in the first set that provided hope she might again defy that lowly status, as she did two years ago, with a surprise run to the quarter-finals. But, after the Czech world No.63 took a see-sawing first set in a tiebreaker, she raced away with the second, completing it in just 24 minutes to ensure there would be no fairytale for the Australian wildcard entrant this time.  It was a bit of a disappointing slump in the second half of the game, though I must admit, I would have been surprised if she had won, in view of her poor form over recent months.  I think Jelena was the only Australian to play in a Singles game today.

Feeling a little frustrated at present. The Taxation Office has asked me to confirm some figures that I’d included [or actually, not included, they claim] on a tax return of 2 years ago. I believe I have done all that was required at the time, however I’m having trouble finding the paperwork that relates to the year in question!! Have all material for years preceding, and last year, but can’t find my copy of the period queried.  Is really annoying, as I am generally very precise in keeping and maintaining records of that sort!!  A hasty search tonight did not reveal what I was looking for – looks like time this weekend is going to have to be allocated to a thorough search!  Other things I would rather be doing!

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