Posted by: jkirkby8712 | September 16, 2011

Friday, 16 September 2011 – ‘little sister’s’ birthday.

Yes, ‘young’ Jean, who joined me up at Charlton a couple of weekends ago, and at the Neil Street anniversary, the weekend prior to that,  has reached the grand old age of 51 years. I do recall the day she was born [I was 14 years old at the time] –  it was a difficult birth [touch and go for both Mum & baby], but  both survived, and in relating those details to the church Minister [at Neil Street at the time], he was a man with a bit of an unusual nervous mannerism. In moments of ‘stress’ he would laugh, and he was actually up a ladder fixing something on our roof at the time the birth details were been related to him. He began to laugh, and then, I think from memory, fell off the ladder!!  No serious damage done, but the Reverend did stop laughing at that point in time!!.

This date – 16th September – is also the anniversary of my parent’s wedding day, back in 1944.  I’m not sure if they even had a wedding night [think they stayed with his mother] because the Army required him back on duty the next morning, and Mum would see very little of him between then and January 1946, when he was discharged at the end of World War II.

This is my 5th last Friday in full time employment, which I have been at since 1965, with two or three ‘retrenchment’ breaks along the way.  Readers will have got the impression that I have been ‘counting the days’ for quite some time now, and yet at the same time, must admit to a certain degree of apprehension about suddenly being out of the work force, basically for the rest of my life [despite having many things planned to occupy myself with]. Feeling quite weary, in both a mental & physical sense, so the intention is probably a good one, and certainly the outcome of avoiding that daily traffic exercise is something I will be glad to miss.  Obviously, aspects such as  the drop in income, future uncertainty about living arrangements, and to be honest, the thought of future years living alone, do have elements of ‘concern’ attached to them, and it is aspects such as this which add to the touch of apprehension this writer may be currently feeling. But enough of that for now!

Rugby World Cup overnight result from yesterday –   USA 13 defeated Russia 6.  Now that would have been an interesting game to watch!!  Another result that happened during the week, that I omitted to make a note of  –  the Second Cricket Test between Australia and Sri Lanka –  as with the 1st Test, it must be said that Australia dominated for much of the game, but time lost due to rain, etc over the last couple of days, ‘robbed’ the Aussies of a deserved victory, with the Test ending in a Draw, late last week.  Scores were: Australia: 7 wickets  for 411. Sri Lanka: 174 and 6 wickets for 317.

I found an interesting little piece in the National Seniors E-letter last night –  in which it is suggested that some of the most vulnerable members of the community could be left without basic services if Australia suffers another summer of wild weather.  Flooding in both Queensland and Victoria last summer forced the evacuation of aged care and nursing homes in both Victoria and Queensland.  Reports in the media this week suggested some elderly residents were left without easy access to toilets and showers and had to sleep on inflatable beds. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has also briefed Queensland Cabinet for the coming wet season, saying that the state is likely to experience above average rainfall, high bushfire danger and at least four cyclones.   National Seniors Australia CEO Michael O’Neill said more work was needed to ensure that aged care facilities coped as quickly and smoothly as possible in dealing with emergency evacuations.   “We welcome any moves to better protect the elderly,” Mr O’Neill said. “But we need to ensure that that staff in aged care facilities are well trained to carry out evacuations for either the elderly residents or their local communities,” he said.  “The federal government could also help these communities by funding the training of elderly residents who are willing and able to help in emergencies, alongside the local SES personnel and emergency services.  “The elderly are some of the most vulnerable in our society and need to have first priority at times such as these.”  Of course, someone reading this from a place such as Pakistan at present, where thousands are again facing disastrous floods would feel quite cynical about this story, as the kind of services referred to are generally non- existent in their communities unless aid agencies can reach them. That doesn’t negate the difficulties our elderly citizens face in such circumstances, but I do like to put these things into some degree of perspective in terms of some of the disasters faced by less developed nations around the world.

In all honesty, I had a pretty miserable day – mild painkillers didn’t really ease those toothaches, and that tended to leave your scribe a little irritable and generally, well, feeling sorry for myself. Looks like one is going to have to go in search of a dentist next week, last visit was in 2006, and over the years, such visits have been spaced out over almost a decade or more at a time. Have been lucky I guess, that more frequent visits have not been necessary. Anyway, picked up something a little stronger this evening, hoping that would get me through the weekend. Once home, like the rest of the day, didn’t really feel like doing anything, and left Susie to fend for herself as far as a meal was concerned.

Here is an example of big new promises, and hopes of changes for the better – relating to Victoria’s public transport system – new owners, new legislation, new governments – all promise great changes, but in the long run, how often do we come to another election, another government, and find the same criticisms are been thrown around?  Well, let’s see if this can be different. As reported today, Victoria is a step closer to a better coordinated and more integrated  transport system, with legislation to enable the formation of a new Public Transport Development Authority introduced into Parliament this week. Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said with the legislative process now underway, the new authority would be up and running in the first quarter of 2012. “The new authority will be the face of public transport and will be responsible for planning, coordinating and integrating transport services throughout Victoria,” Mr Mulder said. “It will focus on the core business of a good public transport system – trains, trams and buses that run on time, simple and reliable timetables, passenger comfort and timely and accurate passenger information. “For too long Victorian commuters have suffered a system in which services are routinely late or cancelled, passenger information is unreliable and infrastructure is poorly maintained. “We say Victorians deserve better and this new authority will ensure they get what they deserve.” The legislation was introduced into Parliament this week. Yes, all very impressive in theory, before the event – let’s wait and see how things really eventuate over time.

The first of two elimination semi finals for the AFL season this weekend, played tonight at the MCG –  Hawthorn vs the Sydney Swans.  I’ve decided to barrack for the Sydney team tonight [probably the outsiders, as Carlton will be, tomorrow night].  My prediction not off to a good start, and by halftime, the Hawks were dominating the match. A third quarter fight back by the Swans, and if you had just tuned in at that time, you would have thought the game was much closer. However, Hawthorn swung away again the last quarter. Hawthorn will play against Collingwood in one of the Preliminary Finals next weekend.

Quarter by quarter scores:

Hawthorn Hawks:          3.5.23         10.5.65       12.6.72    Final:  19.8.122

Sydney Swans:               0.1.1            4.1.25          9.6.60    Final:   13.8.86

Meanwhile, in the Rugby World Cup update, today’s only match showed up the huge difference between the best, and the others. Host nation New Zealand came up against Japan.  The final one-sided score: New Zealand 83 defeated Japan 7.

Australia took to the wicket on Day 1 of the 3rd Test against Sri Lanka, and didn’t get off to a very good start with both openers out cheaply. However, a good partnership by 2nd test hero Shaun Marsh [81] and Ricky Ponting [48] put Australia in a more reasonable position late on Day 1 at 5 wickets for 209 runs.  By stumps the score had moved to 5 for 235, with another good not out innings by Michael Hussey helping the cause – 63 not out.

Staggered into bed tonight, feeling light headed and drowsy. That stronger painkiller was working more than I wanted it to! .





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