Posted by: jkirkby8712 | October 20, 2011

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 – the first day of a new life!!

My first day of a ‘new ‘life’ began with an early awakening, no sleep in as everybody was suggesting I would be doing today. Wednesday morning 6.45 am ten minute commitment up at the radio station had to go ahead – but of course with temporarily not having a car, it was a little far to walk at that time of morning, so today’s sports report took place via the ‘talk back’ telephone. I think Ron [Bourke] is the most regular user of that communications means as he has many interviews each Wednesday. Whilst I was on the phone to Ron, received my first request of a Fill In for other radio shows  –  to do Ron’s show next Wednesday morning!!!  An extra early start, as he begins at 6am each week!!! I do expect various requests of this nature from different presenters over the months ahead  –  I’ve previously made the offer, as I think it is important for absent presenters to have their program continued with if at all possible. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like, however I will continue to push for this aspect of the station’s programming.

Susan was driving over towards Phillip Island today, apparently helping a friend move home & belongings. Needless to say, I was a little concerned at her doing a trip of that nature – right through and across the city!  Meanwhile, mid-morning confirmation from Alan Mance Motors that my ‘new’ car [2006 model] was ready and waiting to be picked up – I hoped to be over in Melton between 2 and 3 pm, hopefully getting a lift from Sunbury, with son James.

I must say I have a lot of plans over the next few months!  It was with a little feeling of guilt, that after the early morning phone call to Ron, that I returned to bed for a couple of hours, despite deciding that on Day One I had earned one short lie in!! Just the thought of not having to rush up every morning and join the traffic crush was incentive enough to stop feeling guilty!  While I have offered to be called back to the office for a few hours now and then over the next couple of months, and have access to be able to do some work for the office from here at home, for all intents and purposes, my time is my own.  A great feeling.

It was around 1.30 when my son called around, to drive me over to Melton [via the bank of course – can’t purchase a car without a bank cheque!!!]. I was fairly confident that all would be ready upon my arrival – James was more pessimistic, suggesting I’d probably have to wait for an hour or so!  He was right of course!  The windscreen was being replaced this morning  – but the maintenance people apparently turned up with the wrong size screen  – it would be a couple of hours before the car was ready for me to take delivery!!  Oh well, time for a couple of coffees, etc –  sent James on his way, after he dropped me off in the Melton township, about 1 ½ ki,lometres away. I would walk back to the showrooms later [in the unusually hot Spring afternoon sun, a real taste of summer had suddenly fallen upon us].   Admittedly, I was tempted to give friend Shirley C a ring, see if she was home, and fill in a couple of hours, but as indicated on previous occasions, I’m seldom keen to call in on someone unannounced.  So instead, a copy of the Weekly Times,  and a couple of iced coffees, filled in an hour or so, before I started my casual walk back to the car salesroom. 

Two minutes after I got back to the showrooms, my ‘salesman’ walked in, and said ‘all is ready’!!!  Five minutes later, after handing over my money, etc, and going through various other preliminaries [and apparently missing out on a bunch of flowers –  !!! –  from the woman who had arranged a special external treatment to the car, had for me – she was busy with another customer, and I forgot to wait around for that little tribute], I was on my way. Must say that I wasn’t completely happy with my handling of the manual gear operation in the vehicle during that return trip to Sunbury, something I will have to get used to, an adjustment from the smooth flowing operation I had become used to in the automatic cars I’d been driving over the past three decades. And of course, I drove off without really checking on the air conditioning system, so it was a relatively warm drive home in the hot late afternoon sun, and a lot more traffic on the roads at that time, then I might have hoped for!!

I mentioned the Weekly Times above. Today, saw that publication’s revelation of it’s top 20 greatest country Australians. We have spelt out for you no’s 21 – 100, now for the last grouping.  I was quite curious to see who No. 1 was, but I resisted temptation, and went through  20-2 first, then very quickly realised who I should have guessed would fill that spot.  This is a notorious sporting nation we live in after-all!!  But first  – readers will have to wait, like I did!! Here they are, the Weekly Times [a rural newspaper] 20 Greatest Country Australians.

  • 20. Lewis Bandt  1910-1987  [Ute Inventor] and Unknown Woman [Ute Inventor]
  • 19.  Marjorie Jackson  1931 –  [Athlete, Governor]
  • 18. Peter Lalor  1827-1889 [Eureka Leader]
  • 17. Grace Munro  1879 – 1964  [C.W.A.’s First President]
  • 16. Henry Lawson  1867 – 1922 [Writer]
  • 15. Robert Menzies  1894 – 1978  [Prime Minister]
  • 14. Edith Cowan  1861 – 1932 [Politician]
  • 13. Banjo Patterson  1864 – 1941  [Writer]
  • 12. GJ Coles  1885- 1977  [Retailer]
  • 11. Hubert Opperman  1904 – 1996  [Cyclist, Politician]
  • 10. Thomas Wills  1835 – 1880  [Australian Rules Inventor]
  • 9.   RM Williams  1908 – 2003  [Bushman, Businessman]
  • 8.  John Curtain   1885 – 1945  [Prime Minister]
  • 7.  Sidney Kidman  1857 – 1935  [Pastoralist]
  • 6.  Ned Kelly  1855 – 1880  [Bushranger]
  • 5.  John Flynn  1880 – 1951 [Flying Doctor Founder]
  • 4.  Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop  1907 – 1993  [Surgeon]
  • 3.  Mary MacKillop  1842 – 1909  [Saint]
  • 2.  John Monash  1865 – 1931  [War Hero, Leader]
  • 1.  DON BRADMAN  1908 – 2001  [CRICKETER]

Now there are some interesting outcomes from the total selection of 100 names that have appeared over the past five weeks, and I will make mention of those factors in a day or so, after I’ve examined the whole list.

In the meantime, a relatively quiet evening for your writer – did have a Family History meeting to go to, but decided to give that a miss this month, as nothing specific had been planned. I was a little disappointed that Susie came home so late tonight from her trip over to the other side of the city  –  had been intending to suggest we bring in some kind of celebratory meal, to acknowledge my first day of retirement this evening, but instead, I cooked a light casual meal for myself, once I discovered she’d not be home for some hours. In fact, whilst working on other things, I listened to a concert from the Melbourne Recital Centre [direct broadcast tonight] featuring the young ‘rebel’ classical pianist, James Rhodes, about whom, quite an interesting interview appeared in this month’s edition of the Limelight magazine, in which he is described as ‘Britain’s bad boy of  piano’ The article begins as follows  –   “James Rhodes doesn’t look, dress or talk like a concert pianist……you’d be forgiven for thinking  he was from an indie rock band. He has slackly trimmed long hair; he wears thick, geek-chic glasses; he flails his tattooed arms when he talks. Only zoom in for a second. The tattoo on his arm reads ‘Ceprecii Paxmahhhob’’. Yes, that’s Sergei Rachmaninov in Cyrillic. And the conversation we’re having isn’t about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s about pianists. Great, dead pianists. With a serving of sex and drugs on the side……And he has a knack for making his musical heroes sound like superstars”

His piano playing is brilliant, and tonight, he has a packed Melbourne Recital Centre audience, many of them never probably being to a classical concert before!! And three of four encores, after playing music by composers such as Marcello, Beethoven, Bach and Chopin.  He talks at length about the music he is playing and the composers responsible for it, in both cases, almost with reverence, and a great deal of respect. What a pity, as I commented on Face Book that his conversations are unable to be completed without the inclusion of various swear words, etc.!!  Oh well, each to his taste!!  As I added in my Face Book responses to Christine, despite everything else, I love his piano playing!!

During October, the Australian Cancer Council  is promoting  the month as Breast Cancer Awareness month, and throughout Victoria, there are various fund raising and promotional functions taking place as a part of  that campaign. Including some activities here in Sunbury. I noticed also a report in the Weekly Times, that the mushroom industry has joined in.  Button mushrooms sold across Australia are being packed in bright pink boxes and packs to attract consumer attention [pink being the promoted colour of the campaign]. Mushroom Growers general manager Greg Seymour said many Australians knew someone affected by breast cancer – 2,680 women died from it each year. Growers see this as another way of helping the community. He said that ‘While mushrooms may be pink for just one month, good health is something we take seriously every day of the year’. Apart from that, published research has apparently indicated that there are potential benefits from mushrooms in preventing breast cancer. Personally, I’d never been aware of that, but apparently, apart from the great taste, mushrooms are virtually fat-free and contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals, which provide nutritional benefits which support the fight against the disease. The Cancer Council’s official Pink Ribbon Day is next Monday.

Susie got home quite late, and obviously the day and the trip across to a little town near Phillip Island,  had taken it’s toll on her  – not far from home, down near the Secondary College, she had ‘thrown up’ as she put it, and came inside, apologising because she was too tired to have a proper look at my car!!  I was simply glad to see her home safely!­




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