Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 31, 2011

Tuesday, 29th March 2011 –A night out with old friends, and Ricky calls it quits!!!

Had a very pleasant evening last night – my second Monday out in a row, which of course meant that I missed most of Q & A again last night – well, the TV version anyway, but as it happens, the program is simulcast on the ABC radio at the same time, and just happened to be on air as I was driving home last night. I gathered that most of the questions and discussions were related in some way to the past weekend’s New South Wales election, which of course, as related on Saturday night, saw the biggest electoral defeat that I can recall in my time, that massive defeat to the Labor Party.

Anyway, back to last night. From the office, I drove northeast to the suburb of Heidelberg for a bit of a reunion dinner with a small group of people whom I spent a number of years with during the late 1960s/early ‘70s – I think we called ourselves Wesley Young Adults – associated with the inner city Wesley Methodist Mission/Church – most if not all of us, were people who had come down from country areas to either work or study [I was doing both], and with a church background in most cases [though not all], we tended to meet up at Wesley – in fact most of us eventually met our partners, etc in the group, and through various means, the basic group has kept in contact over the 40+ years since that time. Two of the guys present last night were former housemates of mine  – in those days, all the guys lived in one house, the girls in another, a suburb or two away, and  most of us hitched up at different times with the opposite sex, went out on dates etc, them went back to our respective house or flat, or whatever. No one bothers with that kind of arrangement these days, all much more civilised and mutually convenient nowadays!!  

Now, last night, we had dinner at the Old England Hotel, a rather large establishment [which also has it’s own Art Gallery – pity I didn’t get a chance to have a proper look at that].  Judging by the size and quantity of the various ‘restaurant’ style eating areas, does in fact specialise in meals – rather evident, not just by the prices, but also the quality of the meals. I actually only had one course [very good of me]  – a dish by the name of ‘chicken brei’, very tasty indeed, though I’, not completely sure of everything on that plate, but I enjoyed it anyway –  when our guest of honour asked me what I was eating, I had to say in all honesty., that I wasn’t sure, though I promised to fill her in later, after I noticed someone at the other end of the table was eating the same meal – unlike me, they are sure to know what they were eating!!!

Actually the meal was in honour of a couple down from Sydney for a few days, and that was the other point of the night –  a number of us present  had been involved in a trip up to Townsville, for Christmas 1971, where one of my former house mate,  Don [and eventually, best man at my wedding] had lived before he came down to Melbourne. One of the girls who travelled up with us, took a liking to Don’s brother, whom we all met for the first time on that visit, and he took a liking to her!  Anyway, to cut a long story short as they say, those two got married [as did another couple from that trip  – me!!], and it was they who were visiting Melbourne this week, and had suggested that would like to meet up with some old friends, as well as his brother & sister,  whilst they were here. The visit to Townsville in December 1971 happen to coincide with a cyclone that hit the town –  while many other buildings in Townsville were not so lucky, Don’s mother’s home, where we were staying, somehow survived, though at times we were not sure it would. Unfortunately, a number of people lost their lives that night [it was Christmas Eve] and much damage and flooding occurred in the town, as is prone to happen in cyclones. I’ve written about that experience elsewhere, but might reintroduce it one day, when I having a quiet week!

Interesting to note that most of those present last night had travelled [overseas] on various occasions, and now, generally retired in most cases, planned further trips. I was asked if had  journeyed overseas, or was I planning to.  Probably not was the response – something I should have done in my younger days, it’s probably too late now. Interested in going to Britain, mainly for the history and family connections, and with two major sporting events coming up in next few years  – Olympic Games in London, and Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the temptation is there.  A little fear of long distance flying is not helpful!

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting YM.jpg
captain of the Australian cricket team.  Many have described him as Australia’s best batsman, after Don Bradman. He made his debut in 1995 at the age of 17 years,, and since then,  has played in 152 Test matches [77 of them as Captain].  Test runs scored total 12,363,  scored 39 centuries, took 178 catches [all, Australian records] and had a highest score in a Test match of 257 runs.  He captained Australia in 77 Test matches [which is a world record].  He may still have Test match opportunities, as he is planning to continue as a player in the team [under new  ‘Captain in waiting’, Michael Clarke] while his form last, and he is selected. Writing in the ‘Australian’ newspaper, Ponting said    “Being captain of Australia has not only changed my life, it has also taught me the real significance of values, the true meaning of accountability, a deeper respect for mateship and an overwhelming feeling of national pride and responsibility. It has also taught me to become a teacher, a trusted confidant and a better friend. You develop skills that you never thought you had, ensuring you provide your team with the best possible environment and direction to be successful. You learn to take criticism on board, you learn to give feedback in a way that your players respond to, and you learn to set an example in your everyday performance around the team”.  That last little comment was seemingly occasionally forgotten by Ponting over the last year or so, as his patience and temper were sometimes tested beyond their limits, but we will forgive him for those moments, amongst many glorious ones. Not sure that he has been so popular in India, although personally I would not regard that as being something to be too worried about, even if the rest of the cricket world seems to often bend over backwards not to displease the Indians!!! I guess his biggest disappointment would have been the loss of three out of four Ashes series he played in as captain, though to balance, before this current World Cup, Australia had won the three previous World Cups under  Ponting’s leadership.

I finished my Tuesday with two hours at the radio station – a selection of great old and contemporary show tracks, and including a feature of songs by the great Judy Garland. I was pleased to note that both of the presenters, on prior to, and after my show, actually turned up this week!! Wonderful!

At home, another pest of a virus, hacker, or whatever, attacked my computer hard drive again, and left me wondering what I had lost again – seems like I need Jimmy’s help once more, but will have to wait until the weekend for that assistance. So one is writing this up on the laptop [to which I currently have not connected the internet, wise move probably], and will post my work, at the office first chance I get!

Incidentally, in thinking of cricket, the First Semi Final of the World Cup was played today – a brave effort by New Zealand to break the sub-continent dominance of the finals, but wasn’t could enough in the end – Sri Lanka won a place in this weekend’s Final.  The result of the 1st Semi Final, played at Colombo –  Sri Lanka 5 for 220 defeated New Zealand 217.  They will play the winner of Thursday’s game between India and Pakistan. What a match that will be – pity it wasn’t the final!

Old England Hotel Logo


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