Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 1, 2012

Saturday, 31st December 2011 [Blog 2] – another year passes by!!

For this writer, it was a slow start to the last day of 2011, despite waking at 6am after less than 5 hours sleep. No sign that Susie had returned home – I’d not see her until mid afternoon.  Have to admit to not going anywhere today, not even to the local milk bar. Spent an hour clearing weeds from around the rear side of the house, and continue to be annoyed that my garden bag, due to have been collected before Christmas, was still waiting for that collection. Running out of receptacles in which to place garden refuse in!  Partially for that reason, and the fact that by late morning, the temperature was already in the 30s, that my outside efforts only lasted an hour this morning!! In fact, the maximum temperature today would get to 34 degrees [was still at that level at 7.30pm – typical of New Years Eve over the past few years], and was expected to get quite a deal hotter over the next 2-3 days.

I think this is the first NYE that I have not been on air in one way or another at the radio station. One of our newer presenters, who does a pretty good job at long programs, got in before me this year, and obviously, been keen to encourage others to take extra roles at the station, I was quite content to allow that arrangement to proceed. Which was the reason I was on air last night  – 3 hours and 38 minutes of jazz!!  Hopefully appreciated by jazz fans out there as there are no other specific regular jazz programs on this station. During the course of the evening, exchanged a couple of text messages with old school friend, Heather from Ballarat, who was expressing disappointment that she could not hear my program –  the reception doesn’t get through the hills to Ballarat, about 100kms + to the west. Anyway, it was around 11.45pm when I left the station last night – perhaps a reason why I was feeling rather weary throughout the day.

At the cost of other things, I’m doing a bit of extra reading at the moment, although stopped that for a couple of hours tonight, in order to have a look at the 2011 Edinburg Military Tattoo from Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. Usually enjoy watching that each year when I get the opportunity. I guess it occurred a few months ago – must check with a Scottish friend as to what time of year that actually takes place!  I asked the question, and she replied tonight!!   Lesley wrote: “Its usually August. I havent been for years. Its a great event though…just sometimes hard to get tickets ! x x Hope you have a wonderful New Year and good health, cuz ♥”

Reading through two ‘Christmas gift’ books at present  –  the more serious edition [much slower reading] is Peter Fitzsimons’s ‘TOBRUK’ [a present from Adam] – this going to take some reading, but I’m finding it quite interesting. Tobruk is described as one of the seminal moments in Australian history – the Battle of Tobruk [in north eastern Libya] in 1941, in which more than 15,000 Australian troops, backed by British artillery, fought in excruciating desert heat through eight long months against Adolf Hitler’s formidable Afrika Korps.  While it is a significant part of Australia’s military history, I must admit to not having read a great deal about the campaign. Things like ANZAC and Kokoda tend to ‘get the limelight’ more so than other aspects of such involvement.  Anyway, as indicated, this book will take me a while to read, and no doubt, as I go along, other less demanding volumes will be consumed.

Such as Maeve Binchy’s ‘Treasure’, a collection of over 40 short stories – I’ve never read anything by her before, probably not my normal style of writing, but she is described as one of the world’s best loved story tellers.  Certainly, this collection is easy to read, although I am finding as I did with the Rachel Treasure short stories, that I am searching for more from each of the stories – they are too short for my liking, would like to see most of the tales extended a little, keep going!!  I guess that is the nature of a short story!  Nevertheless, her book makes for some entertaining light reading in conjunction or contrast with Tobruk.

Being New Years Eve, and being home alone, and seeking some kind of entertainment, I ended up watching a ‘performance’ by the  hilarious, insightful and irreverent  English actor Stephen Fry, in a 90 minute ‘Talk-fest’ live at the Sydney Opera House [recorded on the 3rd October], where he was discussing travel, language and the three W’s – Wilde, Waugh and Wodehouse, and everything in between. He was actually quite entertaining, and I enjoyed the program. It ended with a Q & A session between himself and presenter Jennifer Bryne [esteemed journalist and presenter of ABC TV’s First Tuesday Book Club].plus some audience questions..  A writer, actor, comedian, journalist and television presenter, Stephen Fry is perhaps best known for his starring role in the film Wilde and for his popular TV comedy, including A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder, Absolute Power and QI. In more recent years, Fry has presented the successful television series Stephen Fry in America, which saw him visit every one of America’s 50 states, and, on a more personal note, the Emmy Award winning documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which he not only discussed his own experience with bipolar disorder, but also spoke to other celebrities and sufferers about their own highs and lows. Most of these topics were referred to in tonight’s ‘Talkfest’.  Finally, in my search for entertainment, I also watched the ‘final’ episode of ‘Spicks and Specks’ – the iconic music quiz show – which I had never watched before!! Some interesting guests but a bit too noisily fast moving for me!!

·         Earlier this evening, sent off a Face Book message to all and sundry – Happy New Year, etc  – included  a special note for my ‘four kids’ who were all out somewhere tonight celebrating the new year  –  a father’s concern ‘and to ‘my four’ and their friends, enjoy your NYE celebrations, but don’t overdo it, take care!! I’m at home tonight, early start at the radio on New Year’s Day’………………………….and as the end of 2011 fast approaches, I sign off this contribution, rather tamely I guess!! And quietly, although I imagine I am about to hear some local fireworks going off in a few minutes – officially banned of course without a licence, but that kind of thing never stops some people. Hasn’t stopped the official fireworks displays in the city, or if you are in Sydney, on the Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge!!

 

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