Posted by: jkirkby8712 | September 19, 2011

Monday, 19th September, 2011 – Aussies beaten in the rugby [by the Irish!!], and in Tennis, by the Swiss.

Another Monday morning, brilliant early morning sunshine, and Summer like temperatures predicted for today. Followed by a change this evening, with thunderyconditions, high winds, and the odd shower. That all happened actually, after the temperature climbed to around 29 degrees!!

I notice this date has a couple of birthdays – ‘young’ 34 year old nephew up in Brisbane, and also, Bek, the current house mate [former girlfriend] of younger son, Adam [about 6 months younger than Adam]. I sent along my usual round of greetings to all concerned.

One of my ‘pre-occupations’ as will have been ascertained by readers, is family history research. I was reading the Genes Reunited web site last night, and had to be amused by the following little ‘promotional’ blurb………‘Genes Reunited is one of the UK’s most popular family history websites with over 11 million members. Genes Reunited was launched in 2002 as a sister-site to Friends Reunited. Since then it has grown to become one of the UK’s largest family history websites marking a revolution in genealogy by combining historical records with social-networking. Members can build their family tree for free and then discover which ancestors they share with other members. We currently have over 750 million names listed on the site. One new name is added to the site every single second! Whether you are looking to discover your family history, or trying to get in touch with long lost relatives, Genes Reunited can help you. Search over 11 million family trees and 515 million records to find your family. At Genes Reunited you can start your family tree for FREE with our easy to use family tree builder’………………I was amused at the emphasise on ‘For Free’ which is of course far from the truth. I pay a relatively modest annual fee [certainly modest in comparison with the annual fees of organisations such as ‘’] but I still find that whenever I want to discover something beyond a basic fact  –  ‘ahhhh, you need to upgrade your membership’ to go that extra step…………..nothing is ever truly free!!

Meantime, I notice that the Australian actor Guy Pearce has won an Emmy Award for his role in the  miniseries Mildred Pierce.  He was the only Australian nominated for an Emmy and took home the award for outstanding supporting actor in a movie or miniseries.  His co-star Kate Winslet joined him in the winner’s circle as she was awarded best actress in a miniseries.   Mildred Pierce tells the story of a divorced single mother who decides to open a restaurant business.  Pearce is famed for his roles in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The King’s Speech and The Count of Monte Cristo.   Of those three films mentioned, I have only seen The King’s Speech, the other two not really being to my taste! But I’ve seen Guy in other productions, though not this show, for which the award was given.

On ABC TV last night, I watched a rather unusual movie/documentary, titled  ‘Mrs Carey’s Concert’, which tells the story set at  girls’ high school, where music director Karen Carey prepares her young students for a concert at the Opera House. Believing in the transformative power of great music, Carey insists upon a classical repertoire, sets a dauntingly high performance standard and requires the participation of every girl in the school. Mrs Carey inspires many of her girls, but some do not share her passion and are not afraid to say so.
 Her greatest challenge will be firing up the unwilling, and her antagonist is 16-year-old-Iris. Waging open warfare against authority, the charismatic Iris is the focal point of student resistance to Carey’s Opera House ambitions, and the only girl who gets seriously under her skin.
Emily is Carey’s star musician and a different sort of headache – a gifted but troubled teenager on the threshold of a brilliant musical career if only…  Mrs Carey wants Emily to solo in a Bruch violin concerto, but to bring out her best, she needs to keep the girl from going off the rails, and then get inside her head. This proves no easy task, because young Emily has her own distinctive take on everything.
Mrs Carey’s Concert is about music making and coming of age, about talent and courage, compliance and rebellion. About those prepared to open their minds and hearts to what the world has to offer… and those yet to discover the potential within.  The end of this ‘movie’, and particularly the playing of Bruch’s violin concerto, by Emily, and the young orchestra, moved this writer to tears as he watched – not sure why, simply I guess the emotion created by this beautiful music, but played by amateur musicians. As I watched this, I wondered whether it was ‘performed’ as it was, or a bit of play acting – I assumed the former, and the following review from David Stratton [of David and Margaret ‘At the Movies’ fame] confirms the reality of it all.

‘This magnificent documentary begins with a teenage girl, Doretta Balkizas, waiting for her cue to play a violin solo at Sydney’s Opera House. This young girl’s emotion-filled face is the starting point for a film about the work that goes into the staging of an annual concert by students at Sydney’s MLC School under the supervision of Mrs. Carey. As preparations for the 2009 concert take place, much of Mrs. Carey’s attention is focused on Emily Sun, who was born in Australia to Chinese parents who suffered under the Cultural Revolution, and who is to be the soloist for the year. In contrast there is Iris Shi, who leads a group of girls who can’t see the point of the concert and who present a discipline problem for the staff.

This astonishing fly-on-the-wall documentary from Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond is a tribute to teachers and pupils alike. The amazing amount of work that goes into the bi-annual MLC Opera House concert is even more astonishing when you remember that these teenage girls have their regular school studies as well. Everyone’s expected to take part, but the dedicated and talented young musicians have to work extremely hard and overcome misgivings and other difficulties, egged on by their dedicated teachers. Connolly and Raymond obviously had total access, which makes for a rounded and very satisfying film that is both hugely entertaining and incredibly inspirational’

Mrs Carey’s Concert


It was interesting to read some comments by readers afterwards – some affected in a very positive way like I was, or David, above,  while others were quite scathing of the production, such as the self serving nature of the women running the program, the attitude of Mrs Carey, that nothing else on the curriculum mattered, the music comes first, or the fact that a wealthy school such as MLC was promoted rather than the music achievements of a small rural school. It really doesn’t matter how ‘good’ or ‘successful’ as production such as this is, there will always be an element prepared to be negative and attack it’s purpose. One comment was that there was too much emphasise on the classical music being played – well, for heaven’s sake, that is what the whole documentary revolved around, and that could be understand from the initial promos!!

 And now, and one of my blog loves [you hadn’t noticed!!!?],  a few sporting outcomes from the weekend!!  Overnight rugby result from Saturday was not a good one, and for myself,  completed a weekend of supporting the losing teams –  the rugby, as reported in the ‘Guardian’ newspaper revealed that –  

‘From a last-gasp defeat to Australia in 1991 to being dumped in 2007 without ceremony, the World Cup has not always been the happiest of hunting grounds for Ireland. But they put that history of disappointment to rights in Auckland, beating one of the favourites of the title, denying Australia even a losing bonus point. It was all the more remarkable for coming on the back of a run of form that was indifferent at best: four defeats in four international warm-up games and a lacklustre victory over the USA. Suddenly Ireland were back to their swarming, passionate best. Sean O’Brien and Stephen Ferris were immense in the back row.  And yet the real damage was done in an even more unexpected area. Ireland have rarely been scattered at the scrummage, but equally, they do not tend to rip teams to pieces at the set piece. They did here, and a special mention must go the front row of Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross. A special note should also be made of the pincer tackling of Paul O’Connell and Donncha O’Callaghan, the second rows who held up the biggest and strongest of the Australian forwards and forced a scrummage, with the put-in to Ireland. It sounds a forward affair, and so it was, especially when the rain began to fall. There were no tries; just four penalties and a drop goal against two penalties. But there was drama at every turn, with Australia’s attempts to release their running three-quarters running into a brick-wall defence. Or if that was opened up on occasions, by a scrambled defence. Ireland tackled with discipline but also with fury. Tommy Bowe might have sealed the victory with a try in the last minute but he ran out of steam at the end of a 90-yard breakout. It was still a run that ate up the seconds, sending the Wallabies back to their own line, a dispiriting slog for the champions of the Tri Nations.   Ireland’s win shakes up the quarter final composition. Ireland should go through as pool winners; Australia as runners-up. Everything has been shaken up, Ireland the mighty rattle’.

While referring to rugby, let’s have a look at the weekend results in the current World Cup competition, with six matches played since our last report.

Rugby World Cup results for Saturday,  17th  September

Argentine 43 defeated Romania 8

South Africa 49 defeated Fiji 3

Ireland 15 defeated Australia 6

Rugby World Cup results for Sunday, 18th September

Wales 17 defeated Samoa  10

England 41 defeated Georgia 10

France 22 defeated Canada 16

In the Cricket Test, Australia vs Sri Lanka, Day 2 and 3 –  Australia 316, and partway through Day 3, Sri Lanka were  5 for 340. Another test century to Michael Hussey. By Stumps on Day 3 [Sunday] Sri Lanka were 6 for 428, over 100 runs in front with just two days to play. Australia are going to have to play a very aggressive innings to attempt to win this one!

Results from the Davis Cup World Group playoff between Australia and Switzerland on grass courts at Royal Sydney Golf Club. The deciding match was completed Monday after being suspended by darkness Sunday……………………………Switzerland 3, Australia 2

Sunday/Monday Singles

Roger Federer, Switzerland, def. Bernard Tomic, Australia, 6-2, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, def. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3.


Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione, Australia, def. Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (5).


Bernard Tomic, Australia, def. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Roger Federer, Switzerland, def. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-3.

I thought it was a pity that the Australian captain, Pat Rafter, had so vehemently insisted on play being stopped because of bad light last evening – while Lleyton was behind at the time, I felt he was getting back on course, and had more opportunity of saving the match at that point, in preference to coming back this morning. A consequence of that loss means that Australia will remain outside of the top grouping of Davis Cup national teams for at least another 12 months, until 2013. Probably a good outcome in reality – we can’t depend upon Lleyton Hewitt for much longer to pull us through, and apart from young Bernard Tomic, there are not any other ‘top grade’ men players around at present. A position in the top group is probably not justified at present in any case.  My view anyway!!

I’m looking forward to my radio show tonight – have three of great mixed genres of music planned, hopefully there will be a listener or two out there in radio land tuning in with me [says he with faint hearted optimism!!].






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