Posted by: jkirkby8712 | June 7, 2011

Sunday, 5 June 2011 – our first weekend of Winter

I must say that it was very difficult to draw upon the resources of ‘will’ power to get out of bed this morning, at 5.30am!!  Cold, dark, and the promise of a very Wintry week ahead of us!  Yet 90 minutes later, as I looked out of the radio studio windows and the view of the skyline of Sunbury, the early morning sunshine created a beautiful warm aspect to the morning – it may not have been so warm outside, despite the  early sun, but certainly the aspect of it, brightened and awakened the day in a very pleasant manner.  Earlier, as I walked up the ramp to the external door,  I was greeted by two ‘very chatty’ magpies sitting on the balcony of the ramp  – now these birds, and others, are fed every Sunday morning, by the two presenters, who follow me on air at 9am!  Obviously, the magpies have not yet learnt to read the clock,  because when my car arrives, they seem to assume that ‘feeding time’ has arrived!!  Mind you, they do realize very quickly that I am the ‘wrong’ human, and not the hand that feeds them, and their greeting is short lived, and with a loud squawk of annoyance, shall we say, and a flutter of wings, they take off, and leave this sole human to his own company. Of course, the local rabbit population don’t even attempt to greet me – well they do, by scattering in all directions upon my arrival in the area each morning! It’s ‘nice’ to be so popular!!!

One of the pieces of music I play each Sunday morning always comes from the vast collection of compositions attributed to the ‘four seasons’, and with today being the first Sunday in Winter, so began 3 months of compositions specifically written for that time of year. As I note year, much of the ‘winter’ music has been written in the Northern Hemisphere, and as a consequence, winter is so often associated with Christmas. The music of winter is therefore quite regularly related to the Christian aspects of the Christmas story, as well as snow, etc  – not the kind of  Winter, we here in the south would be experiencing in December! Be that as it may, I always begin my Winter ‘four seasons’ selections with a piece of music written by the relatively unknown English composer, Harold Darke [lived from 1888 to 1976] simply called ‘In the Bleak Mid Winter’ and which deals with the birth of Christ. Were it not for the words that form part of this composition [and on my recording, is  performed by the Choir and Orchestra of Claire College, Cambridge under the direction of John Rutter who was responsible for some of the music & hymns at the recent Royal wedding in the UK], and you simply took the title and music at face value, this particular piece is a perfect introduction to my ‘seasonal’ music.

After another lengthy walk this morning, which I achieved reasonably early in view of the forbidding weather forecast for later in the day [which in fact did not arrive until this evening], the rest of my Sunday was without major commitment, and subsequently saw quite a bit of time spent on the family history project [ and perhaps even more time spent  ‘recovering’ from two strenuous weekend walks!].

Carlton Football team update  – Round 11 of the 2011 AFL season this weekend – the Blues travelled over to Adelaide to play a late Sunday afternoon game   against Port Adelaide, a team struggling to win games in 2011. There was no ‘free to air’ coverage of this game, I think the first time this year, we have not been televised for all to see. My son, James was watching the game at one of the local pubs on ‘pay TV’, and tried to encourage me to join him, halfway through the match. However, at that point, I was halfway through cooking an evening meal for Susie & myself, and to be honest, at that stage, simply did not feel like venturing out again tonight [those decisions were always spur of the moment ones, when I was younger, but  those days have passed!!]. So for me, it was a radio broadcast tonight – which for the first half, did not seem to be going too well for the Blues, but as the quarter by quarter time scores indicate below, the Carlton team really turned up the heat, and went onto a powerful win. I would make the comment later, to James, that if Carlton were able to put together 4 quarters of the way they played today in the 2nd half, they would be unbeatable. I guess I was suggesting that the first half of football was a poor effort by Carlton, but James disagreed. He would write on Face Book that  ‘I believe they did produce four good quarters on Sunday. I know that the scoreboard doesn’t show it, but Port really threw it up to Carlton in the first half. But Carlton kept fighting, and in the end Port couldn’t keep up the pressure.  I think it was perhaps one of Carlton’s best four quarter performances and while the opposition was a poor side,  they did probably play some of the best footy they have all year. That was my observation anyway!!’   Well now, who am I to argue with my son, who has developed into an even more fanatic Carlton supporter then his father was all those years ago, and as a former player, he can no doubt see more in their performances than I do [that’s my diplomatic response in any case]. The final scores were as follows:

Carlton Blues:          3.3.21          5.7.37            9.11.65              FINAL:  16.15.111

Port Adelaide:          4.2.26          6.4.40            7.7.49                Final:        7.7.49

Meanwhile, from Paris, we learnt that Rafael Nadal overnight, won his 6th French Open title when he defeated [again] Roger Federer over 4 sets – 7/5,7/6,5/7, 6/1 – looks like it was pretty tight up until the end of the 3rd set, when it might have seemed that Roger was making a comeback, but at that stage, Nadal must have really turned only picked up the result via the radio.  Top seed Nadal – who was also champion in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and  2010 – took his overall Paris record to 45 wins against just one defeat. His victory also means he can hold on to his world No.1 spot.  It was the 25-year-old Spaniard’s 17th win over Federer in 25 meetings and fourth in a Roland Garros final.  But unlike their 2008 clash, when Federer managed to win just four games in the most one-sided final in 30 years, Nadal was made to work harder for his sixth Paris title.
On Saturday night, we saw the result I liked –  the Chinese girl who lost the Australian Open final in January to Kim Clysters, scored a victory in the Women’s Final. As the following commentary from Roland-Garros explains:- ‘When Li Na stopped playing tennis in 2002 to study journalism she perhaps never envisaged that she would one day be making headlines all over the world. This afternoon the 29-year-old did just that, becoming the first Chinese player in history to win a Grand Slam singles title when she dispatched defending champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 7-6(0) in the French Open final. The 29-year-old from Wuhan hung up her racquet temporarily because she was languishing around the no.120 mark in the world rankings and wanted a back-up plan in case her tennis didn’t pan out. She enrolled on a journalism course and spent two years away from the tour. Nine years on she is the 2011 French Open champion and describes the victory as a “dream come true”.’

A couple of Aussie wins today in various parts of the world – locally in Adelaide, the Socceroos had a 3-0 win of the New Zealand ‘All Whites’ soccer team in a ‘friendly’ match [though no sporting contest between Australia and New Zealand would normally be regarded as normal!!]. This game was a lead up match to this coming Tuesday night’s match at Melbourne, where Australia will be playing another ‘so-called friendly’ against Croatia, one of the team’s we came up against in last year’s World Cup first round of matches.  While in motor cycle racing, well a wonderful win to Australia’s Casey Stoner who scored his 3rd MotoGP win of the season [out of 5 races] when he won the Catalunya MotoGP today [a course in a region of Spain]. He finished more than 2 seconds ahead of defending world champion, Jorge Lorenzo, who now leads the Australia in the overall championship ladder for 2011, by just 7 points. Stoner is in great form at present. He was the 2007 World Champion.



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