Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 16, 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011 – ‘Molly’ Meldrum’s accident, and problems up north!!

Unlike yesterday, I awoke quite early this morning, and, rather than spend another two hours ‘trying’ to get back to sleep, decided to get up and do something useful. Susie was off to work quite early as well, by 7.30. It always was the best time of day, early of a morning, and when I was working, I often took advantage of an early start at the office, or wherever, before the phones and queries, etc, started to come on line. We were in for a rather warmish day, so I also took advantage of the early start to the day, by going for a warm before the heat set in. The walking tracks were fairly quiet at that time of day, basically had things to myself, apart from the bird life of course. Actually, if I’m honest, the walk was a bit of a ‘struggle’ today, and I was rather glad to get back home! A brief period in the front garden  – made a start on trimming some of shrubs along the driveway. I’d prefer to leave them as they were, however Susie feels the branches are scratching her car!!! So a bit of a token effort today, I guess!!

·         At some stage during the day, I heard the disturbing news that TV and show personality, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum had been seriously injured. The reports coming through were that he was  expected to remain in an induced coma until early next week, as doctors wait for the bruising in his brain to stabilise before they can operate on his other injuries. The music industry legend is fighting for his life in intensive care at The Alfred hospital after falling 3m while hanging Christmas decorations at his Melbourne home last night.  This afternoon his brother Brian told reporters that doctors needed to stabilise his head injuries before they could tend to his broken shoulder, fractured clavicle, fractured ribs, pierced lung and fractured vertebrae. “They have him sedated … and he will remain that way until early next week,” he said.  “At the moment we’re taking little steps forward but there’s nothing to say things couldn’t go backwards … in that respect, he is not out of danger, as far as his life goes.”  Molly’s brother said he was “devastated” by the accident but “there’s no point falling in a heap”.  “Ian (Molly) wouldn’t and certainly won’t,” he said.  Brian said his brother would be “totally and utterly blown away” by the flood of support from around the world since news of his accident first broke. I must admit, that while at times, Meldrum was a bit ‘over the top’ in his performances at times, he was nevertheless, an extremely popular character around the show business world here in Australia, and the thought of his not surviving, or at the least, suffering some kind of permanent brain damage, was obviously quite disturbing to a lot of people.  Typical of a lot of comments is this one –  ‘We are saddened to hear that Molly Meldrum is fighting for his life after an accident at his home earlier tonight. This man has offered his heart and soul to Australian music and is an absolute legend of a bloke. Get well mate’.


I spent another 40 minutes up at the radio station, around midday, and also tried a couple of periods of shopping around Sunbury this afternoon, and this evening – both totally unsuccessful, for what I was seeking, in terms of gifts for Christmas, and Shirley’s birthday on Saturday. The latter was the immediate priority, looks like another trip in the morning. The only real purchase I managed to achieve today, was some ink for my printer!!!  I don’t like shopping!!

Meanwhile, north of Australia, our nearest neighbour were having problems, which one hoped would not deteriorate any further than they already had.  As reported through the day, and over the past 24 hours, Papua New Guinea’s government is in crisis, with two men claiming to be the legitimate prime minister in a row that has embroiled the country’s supreme court and governor general.  Veteran leader Sir Michael Somare was reinstated as prime minister by the country’s highest court on Monday after he had been removed and replaced by rival Peter O’Neill while out of the country having medical treatment. O’Neill has refused to give up power despite the court order and the recognition of Somare’s cabinet by the governor general, Sir Michael Ogio. O’Neill’s MPs have continued to pass legislation recognising him as leader.

The battle escalated when MPs backing O’Neill stormed the governor general’s gates a day after the supreme court ruling that Somare’s removal and O’Neill’s election by parliament in August was unconstitutional. “We are unarmed and we’re the legitimate government,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted the MPs as telling police.  Somare said on Wednesday that his cabinet had been sworn in by Ogio, who represents PNG’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II. Somare insisted he did not need to be sworn in himself because the supreme court had already reinstated him as prime minister. “It is regretful that all of government was put on hold but this situation has been diffused by the swearing-in today of my cabinet,” Somare said. The crisis continued on Wednesday, with MPs loyal to O’Neill passing a motion ordering Ogio to swear in O’Neill as prime minister. O’Neill could not be reached for comment but on Tuesday he said he had met with Ogio briefly after the march to the official residence in the capital, Port Moresby.  The supreme court’s 3-2 decision on Monday that ruled O’Neill’s election unconstitutional came after O’Neill’s government passed a series of retroactive laws legalising its decision to dump Somare from office while he was in Singapore recovering from a heart condition.  One of Somare’s first acts when the supreme court ordered his return to power was to reinstate the former police commissioner Fred Yakasa and oust O’Neill’s appointee, Tom Kulunga. Both police chiefs were present at the governor general’s home and held discussions with MPs loyal to O’Neill.  Somare has based himself at the Ela Beach Hotel, where he has set up a cabinet made up mostly of ministers from his previous government.  Somare had been in Singapore for five months between late March and 6 September, when he returned to parliament after three heart operations.  It almost seems like a ‘schoolyard squabble’, and yet wars and revolutions come out of such disputes! When asked by an interviewer on the ABC, this evening,  whether what had happened had damaged the reputation of New Guinea worldwide, Mr O’Neill brushed off the suggestion, indicating that in his ‘naive’ view, no damage had been done. Who is he trying to convince with a statement like that?  Thankfully, at the moment anyway, the Papua New Guinea military forces are insisting that they will stay out of the crisis as a neutral force  – certainly not the way things generally go, in many countries around the world, where such internal situations of this nature, or worse, develop.

Then the news came through tonight of the death of   British-born author, literary critic and journalist Christopher Hitchens, who has died, aged 62. He died from pneumonia, a complication of the oesophageal cancer he was suffering from, at a Texas hospital.  As part of one of many obituaries suddenly appearing about him, for most of his career, Christopher Hitchens was the left’s biggest journalistic star, writing and broadcasting with wit, style and originality in a period when such qualities were in short supply among those of similar political persuasion. Nobody else spoke with such confidence and passion for what Americans called “liberalism” and Hitchens (regarding “liberal” as too “evasive”) called “socialism”.  His targets were the abusers of power, particularly Henry Kissinger (whom he tried to bring to trial for his role in bombing Cambodia and overthrowing the Allende regime in Chile) and Bill Clinton. He was unrelenting in his support for the Palestinian cause and his excoriation of America’s projections of power in Asia and Latin America. He was a polemicist rather than an analyst or political thinker – his headmaster at the Leys School in Cambridge presciently forecast a future as a pamphleteer – and, like all the best polemicists, brought to his work outstanding skills of reporting and observation.  To these, he added wide reading, not always worn lightly, an extraordinary memory – he seemed, his friend Ian McEwan observed, to enjoy “instant neurological recall” of anything he had ever read or heard – and a vigorous, if sometimes pompous writing style, heavily laden with adjectives, elegantly looping sub-clauses and archaic phrases such as “allow me to inform you”.  The ABC showed part of an interview with Tony Jones [ABC presenter] conducted last November, he spoke of the disappointment of realising he would not live to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of his success. In an earlier interview on the BBC, he reflected on a life that he knew would be cut short: “It does concentrate the mind, of course, to realise that your life is more rationed than you thought it was.”  It is only in the past 12 months or so, that I had been reading some of his articles, and admittedly at times, I found his ‘somewhat socialist’ views, and his very anti- Christian stance not to my liking, and certainly not all agreed with his views. As one comment I saw tonight noted – ‘One man who delivers a terrible insult is banned from television for life, and another man, who does the same thing, has people lining up with invitations and microphones. In case anyone is wondering, Christopher was that second man’..

Not much in the way of good news tonight, is there!!! Came home this evening from my shopping ‘spree’ [bought 3 sheets of wrapping paper!!!], to find Susie gone out somewhere for dinner, presumably, but with ‘someone else’ as her car was still here.  Apart from a phone call to ask me if I’d bought ‘her’ Christmas present yet, 3 hours later, no sign of her  – then the text message –  I won’t be home tonight, Dad!!!  Ohh well, deserted again!!

Now this would be a nice idea, though none of my family would think of it  –  ‘;For friends or loved ones who would love to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra [MSO] live in concert, an MSO gift card is the ideal festive treat. From Ravel’s Bolero to Handel’s Messiah, a gift card allows you to give the gift of any MSO concert in 2012 subject to availability’.  I would have actually liked to have gone to see the MSO tonight – at my favourite concert venue, the Melbourne Recital Centre.  Their performance –  ‘The Messiah’ –  but I decided a couple of days ago that didn’t feel like making another trip into the city this week, nor spending the money, was actually hoping that ABC FM would be broadcasting the performance  – they are, tomorrow night, when I will be out at Shirley’s birthday celebrations!!  I actually get daily emails in my inbox from the various concert venues promoting one concert after another.  Do they think one has nothing else to do, spend one’s time, or money on? The number and variety of ‘specials’ etc  [like any industry] does indicate at times that they are desperate to fill seats.  I must admit, that at the opera last Tuesday night, I was a little disappointed at the number of empty seats up in the balcony area where I was sitting – don’t know what it was like downstairs, but was certainly nowhere near a ‘full house’!!










  1. Hello Bill 🙂

    Thank you for the message on my post.

    Same message back to you, have a lovely Christmas, and a happy new year.


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