Chapter 10 Written / Published 2.1. /4.1.17 Pics by author, unless indicated
It only occurred to me, as I finished editing the previous chapter (Bk. 15.9) that the time on the P/C showed exactly 9.51 PM. The next day, riding my bicycle 25 kilometers from our house, a parked vehicle included the digits - BK 951. Numbers shall never seize, not in this chapter either.
The predicted storm on the night of the previous upload hit with great force. At one point trees came down at the rate of two per minute; one in our street, a large branch right next door. Our emergency services received 2000 calls for help. Some residents were without power for 4 days. Many power lines needed reconnecting; still do.
Later in the chapter we shall commence a 5000 kilometer road trip across the continent of Australia - the great south land of the Holy Spirit.
10. The Victorian Façade
It so happened, abbreviated ISH, became a catchphrase in chapter eight, published about two months before this chapter. The number 1550, together with the name Elvis, featured at the end. The day after publishing it, on Friday 4.11. (ISH) I was with a friend browsing around a Salvo shop. That's when 1550, totally unplanned, popped up again.
The Salvation Army, the Salvos, price a lot of their merchandise in their second-hand stores ending in 25 cents ($ 4.25, $ 5.25 or $ 6.25 etc.) That day I had bought myself a shirt costing $ 7.25. A friend, a colleague from the German Senior's group, bought a dress. She asked, if I could pay for her purchase until back at our centre. She had bought a dress for $ 8.25.
Receipt: No maths genius required: 7.25 and 8.25 = 15.50
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Less than 24 hours before this writing, it was New Year's Day 2017, another quirky numbers incident took place at a check-out. ISH it was my wife's birthday. We were walking around the Botanic Gardens with her mother, daughter and our 4year-old grandson. As we passed the kiosk Isobel went inside to buy them a drink. I waited outside.
When I looked through the wide, open door, wondering how much longer she will be, I noticed that the young lady at the checkout was about to take the payment. I thought I could lip-read her words: "Six-dollars ninety". I asked Isobel, how much it was. She confirmed $ 6.90 and wondered, why I'm asking.
Conversation like these might happen between a wasteful spender and a scrooge. My wife is not wasteful, neither am I a scrooge. She soon realized, why I had asked how much it was. The numbers matched." The only purchase she had made all that day came to 6.90, on her 69th birthday.
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In the previous few chapters you will find few references to South Australia's A-League football team, Adelaide United (AUFC). This is mainly because I have not been to many matches during this season and, unfortunately, the team is not anywhere near last season's success. They are lingering at the bottom of the ladder.
The amazing achievement of last year, when they succeeded in clawing their way from bottom to top, claiming the championship on May 1, 2016, is almost forgotten. Maybe, it has to do with Number 11? The Reds, as they are called for short, won their first championship in season 11.
Whatever the reason, on November 11 last year (11.11.) AUFC played a home game at Cooper stadium. I almost did not bother attending the match. A thunderstorm that same afternoon promised a wash out. However, the weather cleared to a very warm evening, perfect for enjoying a game of football. Looking back I'm glad I went; so much to write about.
For whatever reason, a few minutes after kick-off, I felt to sit at another place. The noise of the drums and the excited, young fans was getting too much. I moved to the Manton Street grandstand. A spectator in front of me wore an interesting jersey:
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On 7.11 (adds to 9 for slow thinkers) days after publishing chapter 9, an amazing sequence of events took place at the beginning of a TV show. My numbers brain found it so startling, I had to quickly snap a picture with my Samsung. I had sensed something strange was happening, but only at the end, after decoding a nine-letter word, did the message emerge.
That Monday my wife and I were watching, for the first time in many months, a program on SBS called Letters & Numbers. Two contestants are given nine letters, vowels and consonants, with which to create words. In the 30 seconds time limit most achieve six-letter words, sometimes more, sometimes fewer.
My diary does not recall how contestants scored that night, only that the judge, an absolute master in letter juggling, came up with an ace, a nine-letter word. Take a look:
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Coming back to the freak number 11 on 11.11, earlier in the chapter, I must write about a sequence of events, which took place, while riding past the Salisbury Baptist Church one evening. It started with a thought, which of course is impossible to prove or show with a picture. My mind was still chewing over events of 11 November as I was thinking: "How amazing, what power there is in Number ONE!"
Next I noticed how the road surface had just been renewed. A cyclist notices such things. At that same time a vehicle passed by, registration plate 210. It was a company vehicle. I could only catch one word of its name, written on the side - Options. (Minutes later at the traffic lights I spotted a curious, personalized rego plate, consisting of two words, NO REGO.)
In moments like these my curious, oxygen-flooded mind wonders about the name of the street, where it's all happening. A second later, still riding near the Salisbury Baptist Church, I passed the street sign:
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Answer to SIRUELPON - REPULSION
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Rewinding the clock six weeks finally takes us to the beginning of an extended road trip across our continent and along Australia's beautiful East Coast. My mother-in-law had finally decided she needed to live in a aged-care facility. This move brought a lot of work for my wife. She worked tirelessly for weeks to arrange matters and to clean out her mother's small apartment, where she had lived for twenty years.
In mid November we loaded the Hyundai to embark on our first extended trip as a couple in decades. My wife really deserved it. After a long, uneventful 900 kilometer journey we arrived in the historic town of Yackandandah, Victoria. Readers may remember this town, the one that holds a world record for the longest line of bunting.
We stayed two nights in a comfortable motel right in the main street of Yackandandah. There was plenty of time to browse the antique shops right outside our doorstep. One in particular was stocked to overflowing; old crockery, toys, books, gadgets, even a vintage cinema film projector. One might have thought it was a museum.
Surely, we were not the only 'just looking people' of our generation, who admired an item with an astronomical price tag, who asked: "My mother had one of these? What happened to it?"
Inside this large, old antique store I met the owner, Ralph. As we got talking, he said he only just reopened his store. He had been in hospital for cancer treatment. After paying for my small purchase I said: "I will remember you in my prayers."
Another customer must have heard me say it. She said, as I passed her on the way out: "We all have been praying for Ralph". It made my day!
Since we had a full day in the district, a visit to the surrounding, historic townships was a must. Described as the Australia's finest historic gold-mining town, nearby Beechworth, 21 kilometers away, was our first stop. The local bakery, which has branches all over Victoria, is almost as famous as its most notorious prisoner, Ned Kelly.
In the 1870s the bushranger was imprisoned here, and later some of his gang members. Next to the historic courthouse tourists can visit the Ned Kelly Vault, a museum with many artifacts and memorabilia from that era.
Before reluctantly leaving this lovely place to visit other surrounding villages, we drove around the back streets of Beechworth, just in case we missed something. We nearly did miss something remarkable. On a street corner I spotted a brown street sign - Hospital Façade. Whatever was that all about?
We turned into the direction of the sign and arrived at an interesting place - a stone structure, which could be described as a ruin. A closer look revealed that it had been a hospital.
Readers, please excuse my cynical thoughts: Some years ago I was unsuccessful in even gaining one Dollar in support for my road safety initiatives. Not that one could ever measure it, but perhaps my ideas and inventions could have contributed to keeping some motorists out of hospital? To be spending over 3/4 Million Dollars to create excitement about a place nobody really ever wants to go to, I find astonishing.
The worst thing about the impressive structure in above photo is this: At present, early 2017, it's just a façade. The building is empty. Originally it was meant to open in January 2016, but the mega project experienced problem after problem. There is still no date set for an opening.
Friends, how exciting to think that a world is waiting, where no hospitals are required; a place where there is no death, no mourning, no crying, no pain (Rev. 21, 4).
How could anyone refuse the call to be there, forever?