Posted by: jkirkby8712 | April 10, 2012

Sunday 1st April to Thursday, 5th April 2012 – and so we roll into April

And indeed, to a week of beautiful Autumn weather here in Melbourne, Sunbury and surrounds, with temperatures in the mid to high twenties through until Good Friday.  As can be seen below, we have combined a few days into one contribution, something that seems to be getting into a bit of a pattern recently, and here I was in retirement, supposedly having more free time!!……………………………

Sunday, 1st April 2012 –  an afternoon of coffee and conversation

Daylight saving time ended at 2am this morning, which basically meant an extra hour’s sleep – not sure if that actually happened, but I did feel a ‘little’ brighter than usual for my Sunday morning early departure to the radio station.  Now with it also being ‘April Fool’s Day’, I did undertake a quick perusal of the paper to see if anything untoward had been placed in today’s edition  – if it had been, I didn’t see it, which either  means no ‘fool articles’ were included, or I simply wasn’t bright enough to find it!! Certainly I wasn’t so bright at 9am, when the two presenters who follow me on a Sunday morning, commenced their program – three hours of country music, a program they have been doing for a decade. Sandy gravely advised me that they had changed their genre of music – from now on, country music would be replaced by 3 hours of jazz! I personally thought that was a great idea, because I’m one of the few presenters who plays much jazz on the station, but I wondered aloud as to what affect such a drastic change of heart would have on the many years of fans out there to this show – which I think generally gets more phone calls than the rest of us put together!!  It was at that point, that Sandy realised her little ‘April Fool’s Joke’ had gone a little flat  – though not really, because yours truly fell completely into the hole!!  Was she going to make that announcement on air –  I never found out because I didn’t get to listen, but she did mention, it was unlikely, as she was afraid they’d get ‘no’ phone calls this morning!  I should have responded that maybe that would be a good thing –  then she would know what the rest of us feel like every week!!

Meanwhile, by late morning, I was on a train, heading for the city, where I met Heather, down from Ballarat for the day –  a chance I guess for her to relieve some of the stress and trauma of the past few days with the death and funeral of her mother, do a bit of city shopping, and meet this old schoolmate for a coffee and chat – couple of coffees actually,  even a glass of wine out in front of the Speigeltent, where a jazz concert was in progress – from outside, we were still able to enjoy the music we both have a common interest in.

As I’ve mentioned previously, not a normal practice for Bill to converse with one person for too long – usually run out of conversation, or to be honest, wear myself or my voice out. Not so today, and before long, five hours had passed by, and we were both back at Southern Cross Station to catch our respective trains back to Ballarat and Sunbury – the former left about 20 minutes before mine. The trip in earlier his afternoon had been a very crowded and noisy through train from Bendigo, full mostly of football fans going to Edihad Stadium. I was hoping for a quieter return trip, and in fact I missed the main post-football train, as it was a little more peaceful on the return journey, allowed for a bit of reading without major distractions!

Meanwhile, after the completion of Round 1 of the AFL football games today, the Top eight teams see the following situation, although somewhat too early to make anything of that situation, with the two grand finalists teams from last year – Collingwood and Geelong being defeated in the first game.

  1. Sydney Swans…………………………………4……..[207.27]
  2. Adelaide Crows………………………………4……..[201.47]
  3. West Coast Eagles………………………….4………[156.32]
  4. Carlton Blues………………………………….4………[154.32]
  5. Brisbane Lions………………………………..4………[152.56]
  6. Hawthorn Hawks……………………………4………[119.13]
  7. Port Adelaide Power……………………..4………[104.71]
  8. Fremantle Dockers………………………..4………[103.96]

 

 

Monday 2nd April 2012 – surprise visit from a Queensland brother & sister-in-law.

This was the lead story in today’s Financial Review [written by journalist Louise Dodson] – a subject which seems to have dominated our attentions [in the political sense] off and on for 18 months now.

‘Labor’s primary vote has collapsed following passage of the carbon and mining taxes through Parliament, a leadership challenge by Kevin Rudd and a crushing blow to the party in the Queensland election. As the federal government prepares to deliver a crucial budget, The Australian Financial Review’s Nielsen poll also shows that Wayne Swan is trailing his opposition counterpart Joe Hockey as preferred treasurer, especially in Queensland, Mr Swan’s home state. This follows Mr Swan’s high profile attack on mining billionaires Andrew Forrest, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer as he sought to promote the minerals resource rent tax and his essay in ‘The Monthly’, seem by some as evoking class warfare. In the run-up to the May 8 budget, the poll finds that the Coalition is by far regarded as the party best able to handle the economy. The poll will be a major blow to Labor strategists who have been working to refocus attention on the government’s agenda and its ability to manage the economy after Prime Minister Julia Gillard was able to see off decisively the leadership challenge of former foreign minister Kevin Rudd in late February. Labor’s vote has dived 7 percentage points to 27 per cent while support for the Coalition rose three points to 47 per cent, opening up a massive 20-point difference in primary votes. This is very close to the 26 per cent – the worst score for Labor in 40 years of Neilson polls –  seen in July last year just after the government introduced its carbon tax into Parliament. The two-party preferred vote was Coalition 57 per cent, up four points, leading Labor on 43 per cent, down four points, the poll showed. Labor’s primary vote is now a hefty 11 points lower than at the 2010 election’.

Other factors revealed included that Labor was least popular in Queensland [a bit obvious after the recent election there], and that the party has a problem with male voters [is that because the PM is female, I wonder?]. Certainly, government insiders are hoping that with the leadership speculation over for the time being, ‘Ms Gillard  will have clear air to rebuild her personal standing and promote the government’s agenda’. Meanwhile, with the PM having a small lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, Mr Abbott’s personal standing, as Opposition leader is the lowest for some years, and I noticed in another comment in today’s paper, that while the Coalition has the current significant advantage over Labor in the electoral polls, Mr Abbott’s position as leader remains safe. A call for Malcolm Turnbull to re-emerge as leader [as I would personally like to see happen]  is really only likely to raise it’s head, should the government suddenly regain back a dominant position in those polls. As one Letter to the Editor writer noted  in commenting on the lure of trying to attract Turnbull back to the leadership of the Liberals ‘As in the Peter Costello analogy, he just waited too patiently too long, too proud to emulate Paul Keating [and challenge Hawke] by going to the backbench after stubborn John Howard had reached his ten years. It will not be lost on Turnbull that ‘timing is all’.

Putting that aside, the first four days of this week I had put aside to spend a bit of time out in the garden, trying to tidy things up in anticipation of visitors this weekend, and also because the work needed to be done. So that all began this afternoon, after my usual 11am Monday session at the gymnasium, then back home for a bite to eat before tackling that garden which as I’ve noted before has been a little neglected through much of 2011, and since the drought years caused a bit of devastation.

Surprise visitors this afternoon – was having a shower, when I missed a call from brother, Colin  – he and Angela were at the airport, waiting for her mother to arrive on another flight, and with time to spare, were wanting to drop out to Sunbury for an hour.  I managed to ring him back fairly quickly before they had made other arrangements, and invited them to come by!!  They arrived in their hired car just after Susie returned home from wherever she had been for most of the afternoon, which was pleasing, as she joined in the conversation for the next hour.  Colin & Angela were down here for a couple of weeks  – their son Craig and his ‘partner’/girlfriend were expecting a baby to arrive within that time, so the prospective grandparents had decided to come down to be here at the birth. They were going to stay with our old friend, Margaret Bryant down in Carlton.  I mentioned that Robert & Evelyn would be in Melbourne this weekend, and the suggestion of arranging a possible get-together of everyone was raised –  our visitors were keen also to catch up with Mrs Seipolt and Shirley whilst they were down here.  Anyway, a brief but pleasing visit – Colin and Angela were now living and working up in Rockhampton [Queensland], so the possibility of the various siblings and their families getting together these days are opportunities few and far between.

Evening meal tonight, before eventually heading out to my usual Monday night stint on the radio station for the three hours leading up to midnight.  An enjoyable program as always, although the digestive system seemed to want to play up tonight as it had been for most of the day. Must have been that glass of wine in the city with Heather yesterday, which I  actually wasn’t even able to finish. How things have degenerated in that area!!  The arrival home after midnight saw another hour watching a taped episode of tonight’s ‘Revenge’. I think I noted last week, that I would probably not bother with watching that drama series if I had to watch it in real time, with Channel 7’s seemingly avalanche of constant advertising interruptions! I find it difficult to understand how anyone can regularly enjoy television with that degree of constant and painful disruptions to what one is trying to watch. I try and limit my viewing of the commercial channels to a bare minimum.

 

Tuesday, 3rd April 2012 –  a few hours in the garden, again!

After a slow start, a few hours in the garden again  –  no idea how I could manage five x 8 hours of labor a week, this garden maintenance work, especially when you are coming from so far behind, is damned hard work, but albeit slowly, progress is being made, and I am beginning to like what I see. I have got rid of all of the blackberry bushes, though I know there are still roots in the ground, will just have to control their future growth, day by day. Have not inclined to try and poison the weed while Susie’s cats are still on the property.  Mind you, I gave it all away for the day, mid afternoon, and eventually went into town for an hour or so to break the day up.

Some pleasing items in the post mail today [including a nice little card of thanks from Heather, in appreciation of my ‘support, etc’ over recent weeks during her mother’s  final months with her],  and I was especially pleased to see Tuesday’s local papers actually arrive on a Tuesday!!  I usually end up on the Wednesday morning sports report, not having seen the local papers which I find frustrating and a limitation with my report having to depend on internet and other sources which are generally not so reliable.

I rang Sydney tonight – spoke to Evelyn re their trip here next weekend, and she seemed enthusiastic about the idea of trying to get some of the family together, on the suggested Sunday afternoon.  Later in the night, I received another emailed request from James  – could I read over his latest university assignment some time tomorrow, if I had time!! [I didn’t realise at the time, that would end up another late night ‘reading’ having forgotten at the time that we were due to have the power switched off all day due to electricity works in the area!].

 

Wednesday, 4th April 2012 – thankfully, I don’t need power [of the electricity variety] in the garden

After my usual 6.45am call to the radio station with my brief sports report, I was up and about fairly early, and ended up spending a  large part of the day working outside – last minute efforts to achieve a reasonable outlook of the property for the anticipated visitors on Sunday next. This included an early visit to the local Bunnings  store to purchase a couple of items of garden equipment, and a few small plants to fill in a few gaps out in the front garden.  I’m householder who likes to have a compact garden, shrubs and other plants close together, in preference to the ‘sparse’ desert type look. As a consequence I suppose, some of my plants don’t get as ‘trimmed’ as often as they probably should, as I prefer to allow them to grow as fully as possible. Sometimes, there is a push from others, to attend to that task!

Even if I’d preferred to be working inside, we had the power off all day – from 8am to 6pm, so it was a little limiting to do anything requiring electricity!!  It was not without warning – I think we received advice some weeks ago that the power would be off today because of electricity work and maintenance tasks in the area, I’d simply forgotten about it!!

Apart from a bit of anxiety about the coming weekend’s activities, I’d received another request last night from son, James, to check over his latest university assignment for him – proofread for corrections, etc – he needed that done today ‘if I had time’!  Well, of course, as he sent it to me on the computer, I couldn’t get access to his project until this evening anyway. To be honest, by then, I was not really in the mood, but we got onto it eventually, and was able to eventually send him back my ‘suggested’ corrections or amendments.

I did get the opportunity to have a look at the first night’s events in the World Cycling Championships here in Melbourne [where I would be on Friday night, the first of three nights at that event]. The occasion was being promoted as ‘cycling ashes’ series between Australia and Great Britain, two of the leading cycling nations, but as would be seen, there were a few other players likely to have a say in that as well.

Day One Finals of the World Indoor Cycling Championships from Melbourne

Men’s Team Pursuit Final:

Gold: Great Britain

Silver: Australia [Glenn O’Shea, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn]

Bronze: New Zealand

Women’s Team Sprint Final:

Gold: Germany

Silver: Australia [Anna Meares, Kaarie McCulloch]

Bronze: China

Mens Scratch 15 Km Final:

Gold: Ben Swift – Great Britain

Silver: Nolan Hoffman – Rep South Africa [a brilliant finish from well back, almost got there]

Bronze: Wim Stroetinga [Netherlands]

Mens Team Sprint Final:

GOLD: AUSTRALIA [Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland, Matthew Glaettzer], a surprise victory after Great Britain and the other finalist were disqualified, allowing Australia into the final].

Silver: France

Bronze: New Zealand

 

Thursday, 5th April 2012  – my football team in action!!

Looking at the above date, I realised it was nephew, Alwyn’s 18th birthday today  – Saturday week was apparently his official party date, to which I would put in an appearance during the ‘quieter’ part of the occasion!   Anyway, being Thursday, it was an hour at the gymnasium 9am – 10 am.   Then, back home for a gruelling 6 hours into the late afternoon,  working on the front garden, and mowing the front lawns, etc, plated some new smallish plants, and transferred two other plants.  It was still quite warm, weather wise, so by the end of the afternoon, this ‘old writer’ was beginning to feel rather exhausted, and had basically decided I’d done enough before Easter  –  the place would have to be judged as it was!

I should have gone to the radio committee meeting tonight, but just once in a while something else takes precedence over a volunteer role  – another Carlton football match on a Thursday night! Well, I sent in my monthly finance report to the Station Manager, so I was there in spirit!

After a few big days of baking and retailing at Bakers Delight this week [hot cross buns, etc for Easter], that organisation was having a pre-Easter ‘party’ tonight – three of mine involved, all of whom were wisely leaving their cars behind – which necessitated Bill undertaking what is now a ‘rare’ taxi service [before the football began] –  with Susie on board, it was over to Goonawarra to collect Jodie [former employee of Bakers Delight, her role now taken over by Susie on a part time basis] and then drive back into Sunbury to one of the restaurants near the Cinema complex. The arrangement was that I would collect Susie later on, she didn’t really want to be there too long, but as I advised her, that would not be until ‘after’ the football match!!! Agreed! Meanwhile, Adam [the baker] found his own way as usual.  My immediate duties over with, I was straight back home.

Meanwhile, for a Blues’ supporter, it was a rather enjoyable dose of TV viewing. The report from the Club, summarises the game up in Brisbane   – two unforgettable Eddie Betts’ marks have highlighted Carlton’s crushing 91-point win over the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Thursday night.  Betts put on a show few of the 25,920 spectators on hand will forget as he soared for a mark of the year contender over James Polkinghorne in the second quarter, and matched it with an equally spectacular effort in the third. After the Lions led by two points at the first change, the Blues flexed their premiership muscles to kick 18 of the final 21 goals of the match to storm to a 23.16 (154) to 9.9 (63) victory. While Betts was turning heads and dropping jaws, midfielders Marc Murphy and [captain] Chris Judd were running rings around the Lions’ engine room with virtuoso performances.  Quarter by quarter scores were as follows:-

Brisbane Lions:      6.1.37            7.6.48                7.7.49             Final:      9.9.63

Carlton Blues:        5.5.35            10.9.69              16.10.106       FINAL:  23.16.154

Well now, I waited for about an hour after the game finished, to wait and hear  if I was required to go out again and collect Susan from her work function The message was ‘not needed’, so I went to bed!  Sure enough, a further message  – could you come and get me please Dad!!  Close to midnight by now.  Down to the ‘Blues Plus café where the team had finished their night  –  Bill’s taxi service had three passengers – Susie, Adam, and another girl who worked with them

Day Two Finals of the World Indoor Cycling Championships from Melbourne

Womens Team Pursuit Final

Gold: Great Britain

Silver: Australia [Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hopkins, Josephine Tomic]

Bronze: Canada

Mens Kilometre Time Trial Final

Gold: Stefan Nimke [Germany]

Silver: Michael D’Almeida [France]

Bronze: Simon Van Velthooven [New Zealand]

Womens Points Race 25 km Final

Gold: Anastasia Chulkova [Russia]

Silver: Jasmin Glacsser [Canada]

Bronze: Caroline Ryan [Ireland]

 

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