Posted by: jkirkby8712 | April 16, 2011

Saturday, 16th April 2011 – ohh, for a stresss-free weekend!

After the dramas of the past two weekends, this weekend has begun with a beautiful morning of sunshine, and I am currently ‘enjoying’ [to the degree that I occasionally enjoy it] a cup of coffee, and listening to a 1960’s former vinyl recording of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Russian Easter Festival Overture’ – a wonderful piece of music, but because the recording is one I have transcribed from vinyl to CD, I’m not 100% confident that it will sound right when I play it on the radio tomorrow morning. Often such a ‘self-created’ CD sounds fine when I play it here at home, but on the more sophisticated and precise CD players in the radio studio, things do not always behave as one would hope. A little bit of background noise, one can cope with [hopefully the listeners also], but when the music simply stops mid-track, well, that is not so favourable. When I’m playing such cds, I always have a ‘good’ CD on hand to immediately take over from the rogue version!! Here’s hoping all goes well tomorrow! I actually have two versions of the same overture – a slightly longer one performed by the then [1960s] French National Radio Orchestra conducted by Charles Munch, and the other, by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra of the same period, conducted by Paul Paray. I prefer the former, however it is the most suspect, when it comes to an unexpected breakdown. So to be cautious, I will probably go with the American version.

Meanwhile, not sure where my Susie has gone today – appears to have been to her workplace, although she has said she no longer wishes to return there. Certainly she is not the ‘happy natured girl’ of a few weeks ago,and I feel bad, and concerned,  for her sake. In many respects she is better off I think, when studying or working, and these few days away from the university have possibly not come at the best time.

Last Thursday night, we had a very successful General Meeting of the radio station members and presenters, with one of our best turn ups of participants for some months – it was indeed pleasing to see so many new and ‘old’ members in attendance.  In my view anyway, all present were given every opportunity to have their say on any matters of concern to them, and to raise issues they considered relevant. I generally have found in the various organisations that I have been associated with, that it is usually those members who do not participate in activities, or attend meetings, that make the biggest noise in terms of complaints! Hopefully, this sees the beginning of a new phase of enthusiasm aimed at benefiting the overall future of the station in preference to simply satisfying a few inflated self-egos!!

Blues 2011 Season update: – Carlton has made two changes to the side that went down to Collingwood last week for this week’s big clash against Essendon at the this afternoon. Simon White returns to the side and has been named in the back pocket and he is joined by Lachie Henderson who will play his first AFL game of the season. The two players omitted from the team are Bret Thornton and Matthew Watson.Henderson had an interrupted pre-season after surgery prior to Christmas and he has played the first two VFL matches with the Northern Bullants after missing the majority of the pre-season matches.  Meanwhile, after playing two matches Matthew Watson will be back with the Northern Bullants in the VFL as part of his continuing development. Heath Scotland, who played his 200th AFL game in round one, will play his 150th game for Carlton today.

So it is back to the MCG this weekend for another huge match against another big rival. This time it is Saturday afternoon at the traditional time of 2:10pm against Essendon in Carlton’s second home game of the 2011 season. After a crowd of over 88,000 attended last Friday night’s away game against Collingwood, this is the chance for Carlton supporters to come out in force at this Carlton home game and give the team the support they deserve. Sorry Blues, in my ‘old age’ I will be watching from the comfort of my lounge room, though at the end of the coverage, I might even slip around to our local football ground, to watch the local team, Sunbury Lions, play it’s first game of the Ballarat Football League season – a night match, under lights at our Clarke Oval, as it is called. During this week, Carlton  membership reached 40,000 for the fourth year in a row, and  there is every chance 2011 will be a record membership year for Carlton.  In the meantime, my youngest son and myself will be on ‘opposite sides of the fence’ this afternoon, so to speak – he is the only member of my family who decided at a young age,  ‘not’ to support the Blues  – Adam is a keen Essendon supporter, and certainly as a boy, he had this Carlton supporter ‘reluctantly’, lol, taking him to see ‘his’ team play in preference to mine. Australian democracy extends to my family as well!!  I shall return a little later with an update on today’s game!!

Later this afternoon –  after a bit of shopping, time to watch from football.  Alas, not a good start for the Blues, just a couple of points in the opening quarter, compared to 3 goals to the Bombers –  before the telecast,  I received a text message from Ian, wishing ‘the Blues luck’ in today’s game. Sad to see two players [for Essendon] go off in the first quarter with knee injuries, which tend to be the most serious injuries suffered by AFL footballers these days.  By halftime, I was feeling a little brighter as my team started to get more into the game, and some of the players who had been down early, began to make their presence felt. At that stage, just 1 goal the difference, and the evenness of the two teams was more evident.  30 minutes later, after getting away to a lead of 8 points, the score at three quarter time saw Essendon one point in front – mores wasted opportunities by the Blues, they should have dominated that quarter but allowed the opposition to get back into the match. With half an hour to go, it’s anyone’s game!………………….then that final quarter, as the lead kept changing constantly.  Six minuites to go, the Blues in front by a point, then, a minute later a goal to Essendon, they are in front by 5 points. An immediate response by my team, with a running goal which puts the Blues back in front by a single point. For the last three minutes, the ball is taken by both teams from one end of the ground to the other, crucial mistakes by Carlton players [as has been happening throughout the match], including a final mistake by the player who had just kicked our final goal – an error that resulted in an opponent scoring a single point  – which, as the game ended a few seconds later, meant the match ended in a draw!!! So after just four rounds of AFL football this year, we have seen three drawn matches – in Australian football, that number of drawn games in an entire season would be rare [unlike soccer, for example]. I guess I should be happy – a draw is preferable to a loss, though really, in view of a number of bad mistakes and missed opportunities, Carlton should consider themselves lucky to have not been beaten!! A pity I had to watch this game on my own!  Final scores, quarter by quarter were:

Carlton Blues:              0.2.2     4.9.33     6.13.49      Final: 11.13.79

Essendon Bombers:    3.2.20  6.3.39   7.8.50 Final:  11.13.70.

To more serious matters, as I come close to completing a book I have been reading, off and on, over past weeks – called ‘Little Daughter’ and written by Burmese girl [of the Karen ethnic group] named Zoya Phan, it is her memoirs of survival as an oppressed member of her society in Burma, her times in the Thai refugee camps, and her eventual escape to the West. During a brief period of ‘relative personal peace’ despite the constant fear of being picked up by Thai police as an illegal immigrant, as she studies at a Bangkok university, Zoya compares the attitudes of other students with those of the Karen students studying with her. She writes:

‘They would turn up at college driving their own cars. They talked about going to expensive restaurants and the cinema and playing golf. They wore trendy designer clothes. Their parents were business people, doctors or diplomats. They had enjoyed freedom and privilege all their lives, whilst we had been in the jungle running from bullets. I wondered why. Why were people so different, just as an accident of their birth? I had been born a Karen, and I had faced  a life of fear, persecution and oppression. By accident of their birth those students had never faced one fraction of the hardship that we Karen had experienced. I had never being around people from such backgrounds before. They complained about the fact that they’d ripped their designer jeans; or their parents wouldn’t buy them the newest mobile phone; or that their car had got bumped on the street. And I thought to myself: “This is nothing. What are you complaining about?

I had been driven out of my homeland and shunted from refugee camp to refugee camp, places where I had nothing, absolutely nothing – not even a future. And here I was among people who seemed to have everything, yet they complained about trivial things. In fact, they seemed unable to appreciate the life of privilege with which they had been blessed. Sometimes they’d skip class or turn up late or they’d miss study deadlines and not even seem to care. I was amazed that people could treat education with such a lack of respect. We OSI scholars had fought so hard to be here. This education, this degree course – this was my dream. But to them, it was just another chapter in their lives. There were so many thousands in the refugee camps who would give anything to have a carefree life of opportunity like theirs. In among the designer clothes, the rounds of golf and the partying, there was never any mention of my country or its suffering. It wasn’t far away. It was just across the border. It was in the newspapers and on the TV news. These students had access to the internet and the global media, and there was no excuse for them not to know. But it was never once a topic of conversation at college.’ [pps. 238-9,: Little Daughter by Zoya Phan: pub 2009]

I have a friend, married to a Thai lady who spends six months of each year living in Thailand. I wonder what their view of the Karen refugees on the borders of their country with Burma has been over the past decade, when the problem was at it’s worst?   I wonder if those refugee camps still exist?  I must ask them about this before they return to Thailand for the Australian winter.

Meanwhile, Susie apparently went to work today, came home for her lunch break, but I was pleased that she was spending part of her weekend in that fashion. I think she had worked yesterday afternoon also, so at this point, she had presumably not ‘quit’, although that was her intention. I’m concerned that she is not eating very well – cooked her a meal tonight, but prior to eating it, she visited her girlfriend who lives nearby. I guess that kind of friendship is her sustenance at the present time, though hopefully the food will be eaten later tonight.  As for ‘my’ intention to go out and have a look at the local football match, decided I was comfortable at home. At our ‘rural’ style football grounds, it is possible to park one’s card around the perimeter of the football ground, and watch from the vehicle. However, I knew from past experience that the available spots to do that, especially for a one-off night match, would be taken quickly,  and I really didn’t feel in the mood to stand around in the cool April night air, though, I might well change my mind, and wander around to see the closing stages of the game!! One can usually stroll into the ground at three quarter time, without paying the admittance price, though I really don’t mind supporting the local competition in that fashion.


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