Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 6, 2011

Sunday 6th November 2011 – a quiet Sunday to reflect on various matters!

I wonder why it is that Saturday nights are always my worst nights for sleeping  –  when I always have an early start committed for the Sunday morning?  Last night was such an occasion, woke up numerous times during the early hours – first occasion, switched on the TV in time to watch the concluding stages of the Four Nations Rugby League from the UK between Australia and England [won by the Aussies 36-20], and then an hour or so later, awake again, this time watched one of those overnight product promotional programs, which pushes the one item for 30 minutes or so. This product was quite interesting – a bench top cooker that could virtually do any style of cooking you wanted, in the one pot, saving cooking and cleaning times etc – all sounded very good, priced at just under $200 plus another $30 postage, which seemed to be the only way you could purchase. I decided that something like that would suit my needs perfectly, and would keep my eyes open in the stores here, for anything similar.

Anyway, as for the sleeping, eventually gave any attempts to go back to sleep away – at 5am, got up, and watched a rather interesting though at times confusing speech on ABC 24 taken from recent ‘Festival of Dangerous Ideas’ held at the Sydney Opera House. Later on in the day, I switched the TV on to that channel again, and found  some further highlights from that Festival, this time, a debate about the morality of the media. A number of speakers were participating, including Bob Brown, leader of the Greens Party, who I found to be  the least believable and the most obviously biased in the arguments he was putting up. As far as he was concerned, if one section of the media was immoral in it’s practices [eg the Murdoch regime] that automatically placed all sections of the media in the same ‘boat’!! Typically one sided view of this now powerful politician, whom one has to hope doesn’t achieve too much more of that power. I feel he and his Party could be dangerous for Australia’s future such is the often ‘extreme’ nature of some of their policies.

Eventually,. I headed out to the radio station  –  classical music on air from 6.30am until 9.00 am. The rest of the day – a warm day with the threat all day of  storms and rain –  I spent at home alone. Didn’t know when to expect Susan back [from Bendigo where I now knew she had gone yesterday] as she had indicated she’d not be home for the evening meal  – yippee, a bit of voluntary information!!

I’m currently in the process of a major clean –up, the present task to sort and/or discard the many magazines of different varieties I have on hand. As with books, these are not the kind of possessions I can easily get rid of, and I’m actually in a bit of a quandary, as to just what I should discard, and what to retain. I guess they represent  a picture of the kind of aspects of life that I have been interested in, or have in the past, taken an interest or involvement in. Not that I am likely to read any of them again, but to my mind, it seems an inappropriate action to throw them out!  But like everything else, they take up space, something I’m beginning to run out of, and which it is highly likely in the future, there will even be less of should I downsize my living arrangements. As the great Shakespeare character said ‘to be, or not to be’!!.   I am getting rid of my accounting magazines, the bulk of which contents have never been of much practical use in respect to the accounting work roles I’ve undertaken over the years. But their ongoing receipt was a part of the rather steep annual subscription one paid every year to remain a member of the professional organisation. Mind you, there were always still topics of interest in each edition but with my pending ‘resignation’ from the CPA, I want to really put that part of my life well and truly in the past – I guess you could say I have ‘tired’ of accounting and finance, except where it is now going to personally affect this writer.  Anyway, to get back to what I started, I’m presently surrounded by stacks of magazines, etc, on all manner of subjects. Perhaps a local library or hospital might be interested in them, for waiting rooms etc, although in general, I doubt that many of the topics would offer any real degree of broad interest to the average ‘waiting’ reader!!

Late yesterday, Adam sent me a message re his day at the cricket  –  I’d not been able to get over to see his game yesterday, the first day of a two day match played over 2 weekends – he was playing in a town called Wallan, located on the old highway between Melbourne and Sydney, and as drive of about 40 minutes from here. I do recall driving Adam over to the ground for cricket matches some years ago before he had a driving licence, and that usually meant being present for the whole afternoon’s play, unless he was able to arrange a lift home with one of his older teammates. Anyway, last night’s message was to let me know, that his team [Sunbury’s senior team] had batted today, and completed a score of one wicket for 147 runs, a great effort. Unfortunately, the one wicket out was that of Adam – he opened the Innings, and managed to score a total of 18 runs, which I imagine was probably part of a reasonably decent opening partnership. A pity I’d not seen him batting this time. At the finish of the first day’s play,  the opposition were 2 for 20, a good position for Sunbury to be in.

Meanwhile, I’m scanning through what will probably be my second last copy of ‘INTHEBLACK’ which is the monthly publication put out by CPA Australia –  yes, there are topics of interest in it, but as suggested above, with my resignation from the CPA at the end of 2011, I will discontinue with the magazine itself also, simply too many other areas of life I want to allocate my time to from hereon in. Many of the articles are about people in the industry, and the achievements they have made, and the positions that they have ended up – the kind of bios my son was looking for a couple of years ago when he wanted books about successful people!! Similar stories and bios appear in a monthly supplement magazine called ‘The Deal’ under the publication of the ‘Australian’ newspaper. These days, a high number of such stories involve women, such as one I’ve just read in ‘INTHEBLACK’ about Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, originally born in Dundee, Scotland, and since 1999, being the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Very interesting storyline!

An organisation that I support [in a very modest way] is ‘Frontier Services’, which I have referred on these pages on previous occasions. During 2012, it will be celebrating the work that has been done over the past 100 years to support the people of remote Australia. Those celebrations will reach a climax on the 26 September with a special commemoration  at the Dallas Brooks Centre in Melbourne,  recognising 100 years since the establishment of the Australian Inland Mission. It was on the 26th September, 1912, that the Rev John Flynn presented a proposal to the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which resulted in the establishment of the Australian Inland Mission. Flynn’s vision for a ‘mantle of safety’ – enabled by the resolution of the Assembly on that day – created a network of pastoral care and social services for the people of outback Australia. In 1977, when the Uniting Church was established, the inland missions of the Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist Churches were combined and given the name ‘Frontier Services’ – the name Flynn himself used to describe the work. Today, Frontier Services is still providing the services and support people need in remote Australia. A Commemorative Book is also to be produced, and it is planned that the people in that book will demonstrate two luminous qualities that characterise the people of the outback and the staff members of Frontier Services who have walked beside them for a hundred years – resilience and compassion.

A reminder of Frontier Services’ work –  it is the major provider of aged care, health and community services, and pastoral support to people in remote Australia. The organisation’s staff deliver a range of services including residential and in-home aged care; remote nursing and health clinics; assistance to isolated families, including childcare and early childhood education; migrant settlement assistance; student accommodation; provision of short term volunteers to assist families in need; and, pastoral support.  Many of these services take the place of non-existent or inadequate government support, and as a Not For Profit, it relies entirely on donations and the sale of small items such as especially printed Christmas cards, etc.

Meanwhile, I notice that Queensland is celebrating it’s second annual Grandparents Day today, launched last year, and aimed at providing an opportunity for grandchildren, children and the community in general, to thank grandparents for their love and support. As far as I’m aware, Queensland is the only state where this occurs, in Australia. An interesting innovation, I just hope it’s not just another excuse for yet a further ‘commercial’ grab  at sentimentality and the developed need for additional gift giving, etc! At this stage I’ve heard no mention of the idea spreading outside of the northern state.

Late tonight,  I was listening to a piece of music which brings back a few memories – an orchestral version of the theme music to ‘Blue Hills’. Now Blue Hills was a midday radio serial on the ABC, which while I seldom heard it, was listened to religiously by my mother .  The famous opening signature tune was taken from a short orchestral piece called Pastorale by the British composer Ronald Hanmer, who, until he moved to Australia in 1975,  had no idea that his work had been used by the ABC and had become so famous in Australia (although few Australians could have identified its composer). He later re-worked this short piece into a longer orchestral work titled Blue Hills Rhapsody, which he recorded with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, who were in fact playing it tonight. The play, Blue Hills,  was written by Gwen Meredith, and was about the lives of families in a typical Australian country town called Tanimbla. “Blue Hills” itself was the residence of the town’s doctor.  It was broadcast by the  ABC  for 27 years, from 28 February 1949 to 30 September 1976. It ran for a total of 5,795 episodes, and was at one time the world’s longest-running radio serial. Each episode lasted  just 15 minutes.  I imagine that when it ended, would have been a sad day for my mother!  The playwright, Gwen Meredith, died in 2006, at the age of 98.

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