Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 6, 2012

Tuesday, 6th March 2012 – dreams, floods, politicians and a touch of Charles Dickins!!

As has been the habit lately, I awoke straight from a dream, at 7.38 am, later than usual, but then it had been early morning when I got to bed, after last night’s radio show, so the extra sleep should be useful. This dream, which again as usual, basically disappeared apart from the closing moments as soon as I awoke – involved my late father. From memory, the first time in over 26 years that he has come into my dreams. Initially, it was just taken for granted that he was part of the group I was with at some public function of some sort – in fact, it may have been other people at first, but my dreams seem to change as they go along, and the people involved change during the course of events as well. Anyway, he was there at the end, part of a small group of us, and as the show, function or whatever began to come to an end [by now it was some kind of religious rally or meeting], members of the group began to take their leave, until there was just Dad, myself and a third person, don’t know who that was. But I suddenly got the feeling that Dad and this other person were about to leave also. I put my arm around his shoulders, querying whether he would be around for long this time. Dad replied that yes, he would be ‘down here’ for a few more days – I recall a remark about not having to get up early in the morning for a change, as he had no rushing commitment [that was probably my own thought – no need to rush up this Tuesday morning as I had nothing set planned for the day].  Then suddenly I was alone again, at which point I guess I awoke, and realised I had tears in my eyes, with the realisation that Dad had gone again!

Following on from yesterday’s Press Club address, this morning’s ‘Financial Review’ had a good coverage of the response to that address, in which Treasurer Wayne Swan had attached the rich echelons of our society by claiming they were self-centred and greedy in their wealth generation, with no regard been given to their ‘public’ responsibilities. One article was headed  ‘Swan playing man rather than ball’, and followed with the sentence that ‘Big business is furious with Treasurer Wayne Swan for picking a fight with the ‘billionaire’s club’, but is refusing to wade into a public slanging match with the government’. In another article, the journalist began with the comment that ‘Treasurer Wayne Swan has stepped up his campaign against business leaders, saying they should have a responsibility to the public, not merely to their shareholders and employees’. He says the super-rich have benefited mightily from our society, it’s opportunities and it’s rule of law, and he considers they have social responsibilities and must consider the public good in their actions, naming certain specific individuals in his address. Needless to say, there were some rather strong responses to Swan’s claims, and if some of the rich entrepreneurs he named were not prepared to come out in public defence of themselves, full page advertisements in the national newspapers detailing the achievements and opportunities that  major corporations had created for the broader Australian community spelt out that opposition quite clearly.  One spokesperson for that sector was quoted as saying that ‘HE [Swan] is focusing on the high-worth individuals – but it has an affect on the whole business community when you see that kind of outburst, and it is an outburst. I find it very counter-productive and not very useful to building and rebuilding relationships with business’. On the opposite of views, another said ‘I agree the Treasurer. I hardly think that Twiggy Forrest, Clive Palmer or Gina Rinehart represent business. Personally, I see them as being like lottery winners who confuse their good fortune with skill’.  Interesting point of debate, which will no doubt continue to be pushed by the Deputy PM – also a good tactic to divert attention from the recent leadership problems of the Labor Party.

As for the flood situation, as of last night, nearly 4,000 residents in New South Wales [NSW] are temporarily homeless after a further 1,200 were ordered to evacuate properties in the Riverina region of NSW following the biggest rainfalls in the state in more than 120 years. In Victoria, flooded  roads  have blocked access with many towns partially cut off around the Benalla, Shepparton and Numurkah areas.  I have elderly relatives in that latter town, am wondering how they are faring, as I seem to recall the street they lived in was relatively flat and low lying. And as mentioned yesterday, parts of the NSW city of Wagga Wagga are either isolated and/or other flood waters or threat thereof, as water levels rise.  This seems to becoming an annual somewhere in parts of eastern Australia, since the drought broke a couple of years ago – climate always seems to have different threats to offer regardless of the season, and after 10 years of drought, many communities have suffered, and now are, in ways they could not have imagined three years ago.

There was no rain that I was aware of today  – I got out into the garden for a while this afternoon. Was disappointed to find something I’d not noticed previously – one of my trees beside the garden shed was practically dead apart from a couple of branches. Of particular concern was one large branch which was spread over the roof of the shed, and was partially split, and leaning across the neighbour’s side fence. If and when that branch actually does split in two completely, most of it is going to end in the neighbour’s property. I can only assume they haven’t noticed it either, but obviously, I’m going to have to do something about it, and fairly quickly!!  More money out of the bank!!

In the meantime, I didn’t realise that the second of the ODI Finals cricket matches between Australia and Sri Lanka was played today – maybe a good thing, because after Sunday’s win, the Australians were thrashed to day. This MSN report explains how.

‘Tillakaratne Dilshan flayed a match-winning century as Sri Lanka downed Australia by eight wickets on Tuesday night to level the tri-series finals. Dilshan’s superb 106 ensured Sri Lanka achieved their 272 run target with 34 balls to spare in the second final at Adelaide Oval. The Lankans cruised to 2-274 from 44.2 overs in reply to Australia’s 6-271 which featured tons to Michael Clarke and David Warner. Both nations now have a win each and Thursday’s Adelaide decider in the three-match series will be held amid fitness concerns over Clarke. The Australian captain limped the through the latter stages of his sterling 117 from 91 balls, hobbled by left hamstring tightness.  Clarke fielded until the 38th over of the emphatic Lankan run chase before leaving for treatment – he has a history of back-related hamstring injuries and only returned from a right hamstring strain last Sunday. Clarke’s century and an even 100 by Warner underpinned an Australian total aided by six dropped catches by the tourists. But Lankan linchpins Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene (80 from 76 balls) made light work in the third highest successful one-day run chase on Adelaide Oval. The duo plundered a 179-run opening partnership from just 165 balls as Sri Lanka defeated Australia for the fourth time in six clashes this series. Dilshan and Jayawardene rattled Australia’s bowlers after Brett Lee set an off-tone with three wides in a nine-ball opening over. Jayawardene escaped when caught behind off a Clint McKay no ball in the next over and Australia never recovered before a 15,309-strong crowd. Dilshan’s good fortune included being given not out on 77 edging to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade from Shane Watson’s bowling. The 35-year-old capitalised to post his ton from 110 deliveries, while evergreen Kumar Sangakkara mopped up with 53 not out. Earlier, Clarke and Warner – who passed a pre-game fitness test on his injured groin – used stealth rather than strength to build their 184-run partnership. But a waning Clarke, frequently flexing his back and unable to push his running between wickets, launched an audacious late flurry. The skipper struck four sixes and reached his ton from only 81 balls – beating Warner to the milestone. Warner, following his 163 in Sunday’s first final in Brisbane, belied his powerhouse reputation and struck just four fours and one six in logging a century from 138 balls’.

So that result leads us into a decider 3rd game, in the 3 match series, to again be played in Adelaide, this Thursday. Perhaps I should try and remember it is on this time.

Good thing I’m writing, and not talking. Last night on the radio, my voice kept fading, with the feel of a slight infection or something in the front. Tonight, that voice is almost non-existent, but thankfully, nobody has rung me on the phone, and though Susie is home, there is not generally a great volume of conversation between us, so I don’t have to use it much. I’m wondering if tomorrow morning’s phone call through to the radio talkback, with my sports report is going to be very successful?  We will just have to wait & see!

It was the first program for the year of the ABC Book Club, and with the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickins’ death being recognised this year [or was it his birth?], one book of discussion tonight was what probably his greatest novel ‘Great Expectations’ [although my schooldays text was David Copperfield]. One of the panel guests was the star of  a show which is currently performing in Australia called ‘Dickins’ Women’, a rather large lady, whose name I have forgotten!!  Anyway, here is a little excerpt from Chapter One, part of which that lady read aloud tonight, with much enthusiasm and force.

‘Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark fl at wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond, was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.

“Hold your noise!” cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. “Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!”
A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.
“O! Don’t cut my throat, sir,” I pleaded in terror. “Pray don’t do it, sir.”
“Tell us your name!” said the man. “Quick!”
“Pip, sir.”
“Once more,” said the man, staring at me. “Give it mouth!”
“Pip. Pip, sir!”
“Show us where you live,” said the man. “Pint out the place!”
I pointed to where our village lay, on the flat in-shore among the alder-trees and pollards, a mile or more from the church.
The man, after looking at me for a moment, turned me upside down and emptied my pockets. There was nothing in them but a piece of bread. When the church came to itself—for he was so sudden and strong that he made it go head over heels before me, and I saw the steeple under my feet—when the church came to itself, I say, I was seated on a high tombstone, trembling, while he ate the bread ravenously.
“You young dog,” said the man, licking his lips, “what fat cheeks you ha’ got.”
I believe they were fat, though I was at that time undersized for my years, and not strong.
“Darn Me if I couldn’t eat ’em,” said the man, with a threatening shake of his head, “and if I han’t half a mind to’t!”
I earnestly expressed my hope that he wouldn’t, and held tighter to the tombstone on which he had put me; partly, to keep myself upon it; partly, to keep myself from crying.
“Now then, lookee here!” said the man. “Where’s your mother?”
“There, sir!” said I.
He started, made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder.
“There, sir!” I timidly explained. “Also Georgiana. That’s my mother.”
“Oh!” said he, coming back. “And is that your father alonger your mother?”
“Yes, sir,” said I, “him too; late of this parish.”

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