|Chapter 8 Written / Published 24.2. / 28.2.15 Pics by author, unless indicated|
Some readers may be pleased that the soccer season is nearing its end. However, some goals scored recently, both on an international level and in our A-League, were by big, big names.
Maybe my travels inspire a reader or two to visit some places I went to? During a recent trip to our State's beautiful South Coast I felt I was being stalked. It was rather harmless, though. Don't be deterred.
It's surprising what kind of news goes around the world, using global, social media. Even trivial matters, like the colour of a dress, manage to grab the spotlight. The mind boggles.
Nanna, Son & Rose
Did I not have a Ten-Dollar note in my wallet? I was thinking to myself, checking how much cash I was carrying with me. Where did that banknote go? I was sure that among all the cards, papers and banknotes in my wallet there should be a 10er. The reason I looked was to decide, if I should pay for lunch in cash, or use the EFTPOS card later in the day, when all were going out for lunch at a local hotel.
All, in this case, was a group of caravan travellers from church, who were enjoying a weekend away on South Australia's South Coast. Most were retired couples staying in their own vans, while I had cycled to the event and carried my tent and luggage on my Giant bicycle.
Despite the extreme weather (Adelaide's forecast was for 40 C degrees) I had tackled the challenge to ride the 80 kilometers from Stirling to Middleton, halfway between Goowla and Victor Harbor. To abandon plans and stay home, because of the heat, was a real temptation. Looking back, I was glad I didn't. The ride through the Adelaide Hills in the cool of the morning, was one of the most pleasant I did in recent times.
The date the next morning, when I was looking for my ten Dollar note in my tent, was 22.2. At the time the date meant very little, besides being a reminder that my friend Geoff's favourite number was 2. Only the next day, when one number ten after another appeared, as if scripted by somebody, did I see a strange connection to number ten and what I had discovered in Chapter 5. (Read on.)
The mystery about the missing ten Dollar note was solved, when I found a receipt for $ 3. I recalled how at the hardware store I had paid with a 10 Dollar note and received $ 7 change What followed next surprised me:
But there was a further interesting link on my early morning bike ride along South Australia's South Coast. As if history was repeating itself, once again, it was a Garage Sale sign that did it. Having the number ten on my mind, how could I not notice 10 Swan Street?
But that was not the end of the number-ten-shows that day. Our small group, a dozen or so, went to church together in a nearby town. We all sat in the back two rows and enjoyed the small brass band, the singing and a solo by a young man on his trumpet. How nice to see a new generation learning brass instruments. The ten Dollar note I had found went into the offering bag.
Another name registered immediately after I heard it - Isobel. An elderly lady, wearing black and white, was brave enough to respond to the invitation by the leader for anyone to give a testimony. Her name was Isobel. She mentioned how here life had been difficult since her husband had left her, but with the Lord's help she again can rejoice ... (or words to that effect).
For a moment it sounded as if her husband had just run away. A moment later it became clear, as I understood it, that her husband had died. That day was was the tenth year anniversary, or close it, since the sad event. The leader at the front thanked the lady for her contribution. Doing so he said: "Thank you, Is." I use the same name often, when addressing my wife Isobel. (And all know what IS backwards in Italian means!)
The group of happy campers had booked a table in a hotel near our Caravan Park. Less than an hour after the church service ended, we all arrived in the crowded dining room, trying to find out which table we were allocated. To my surprise, I was gob smacked, ours was table number ten!
The final number ten magic came in the evening that same day, still 22.2:
Later in the evening I was shopping for food in Victor Harbor, surprised that the large supermarket was still open. As I passed the frozen section it so happened that chocolate coated ice creams were on special. They came in a ten-pack. Why not? After paying for my ice cream (and salami) I made sure to wrap my purchases well, hoping the ice creams would not melt before arriving back in Middleton.
I must have covered the ten kilometers back to the caravan park in record time. The group was still sitting around their caravans, when I rolled up with my purchases strapped to the back. As if scripted somebody called out, still only jokingly: "Did you bring us that ice cream?"
"Yes, I did," I replied. They thought I was carrying on the joke, until I unpacked the individually wrapped ice creams and I passed them around. They were thankfully still in solid form. As a final number 10 show, it so happened that there were exactly ten campers still there sitting and talking. The rest had either left of gone for a walk.
So where does the link between this 10 and Chapter 5 come in? Riding home the next day I figured out: Multiply 222 by 10 and we arrive at 2220. Did not this number make a big splash in Chapter 5, numbers dancing in and around the 5? They always added to 2220.
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Numbers 10 and 5 are a perfect introduction to this chapter's football segment. Readers who are not interested in sports, please forgive that football is again taking to the stage. (Please be reminded here that the abbreviation for numbers is NOS - turned around 180 degrees, it becomes SON.
Here is a picture of a very happy SON. Let's pick up his story at the end of a major international football match:
The name of the one, who made the game come alive again, bringing back hope, if only for a few minutes was non other than Heung Min Son, wearing No.7.
That afternoon (Feb 15,15) I felt again that numbers were stalking me. Firstly, it was 1 and 7. Player number 7 (Sanchez) scored the first goal right at the 10th minute. (I happened to look at the clock seconds later. The digits showed 10.04).
But why did I take above picture of three Adelaide United substitutes warming up on the sideline? During the week prior to the above match I chatted briefly with just these three young men. I happen to cycle past their training ground most Mondays on my way home from my regular table tennis afternoon.
Another reason I took above photo were (what else?) numbers. During another Aha moment it came to me - the above subs are (from right to left) No.14 (Cameon Watson), No.16 (Goodwin) and the player featured recently, No.17 Awer Mabil. The date fitted right in - the 15th.
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As I write the world's social media seems to have nothing more important to think about than the colour of a dress, which was posted online. Let's hope there won't be a civil war between those, who think that dress is gold and white or those whose eyes pick it out at blue and white. Are there not more important issue to address than the colours of a dress?
A scribble in my diary mentions the strange colour combination of three TV star's wardrobe. It happened the day after my previous upload, which includes a picture of a tennis star. The colours of that picture, from the same newspaper as above, happened to match the clothing of those TV celebrities on TV. Take a look and judge, if I'm colour blind as well as .... (insert whatever you like).
Breakfast TV 28.1.15
The tennis picture brings me to another incident, where the dilemma of 'co-incident or not' raised a question mark. I am not alone, no doubt, when at the beginning of each year thoughts fly months ahead, wondering if any major travels will take place that year. A few factors pointed to the possibility that in 2015 I could be visiting Europe again for various reasons.
Firstly, my older brother, who lives on his own, is battling a major illness. He would appreciate a visit. Secondly, there is a major event happening in London midyear - the 150 year anniversary of the Salvation Army. Besides this I had just reached pension age, meaning fewer work commitments, more chance getting away - being free indeed!
It didn't mean I was suddenly any richer or able to travel abroad whenever, but I knew, if it was in God's will that I should undertake long distance travel in 2015 - only three years after a major overseas jaunt (nice word jaunt) - HE would open doors and provide.
On Saturday 7/2 I was laying in bed early in the morning, thinking these kind of thoughts. God seems to be closest early in the morning, when the Spirit is fresh, ready to face, or should I write enjoy, another day. Everyday with God is an adventure, even in the midst of a battles and trials.
As I was switching on the transistor radio to listen to our Christian station, I was half thinking, half praying: What if I will hear something, which could be a sign that I will travel to Europe later in the year? First up, on Vision Radio on 1611 AM, the sports news came on: "Australia and Germany are facing each other in the Federation Cup Tennis tournament in Stuttgart today ..." Wow, I thought. The first sentence on the radio included the city, right near my hometown - Stuttgart.
What came next, friends, is nothing short of ... (insert whatever). I am still coming to terms with what happened next, days before this writing, two weeks after the above Stuttgart incident.
Without identifying the person, or going into all the details, a person came to our house and said, he'd like to visit Europe later in the year. Did I wanted to join him? He is prepared to pay for my trip and there was no urgency in paying back the money!
Who works wonders like this?
On my birthday, at the end of January, the name Stuttgart once again crossed my path, literally. For the first time in years I visited the annual Schuetzenfest, the event where Germans in Lederhosen and feathered hats indulge in too much beer and sausages and regret it the morning after.
My Friend Dave and I were enjoying a Kransky (sausage) and a soft drink in the open beer tent. Suddenly I spotted a passer-by, who took my attention with his Stuttgart shirt:
Schuetzenfest, Rymill Park, Adelaide 30.1.15
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I had hoped to be able to leave politics out of this chapter. However, besides the colour of a dress and contaminated frozen berries, Australia is preoccupied with the leadership of our Prime Minister, Mr. Abbott. Two weeks before this writing the Liberal Party had clearly decided by a margin of 61 - 39 (nice numbers, I see!) to not vote for replacing the party leadership. As I write, the media again is stirring up the masses with talk of replacing Mr. Abbott.
Why can't the media accept the result and let Mr. Abbott get on with doing his job? Especially the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), who I would love to see prosecuted for 'high treason', is almost obsessed, so it seems, with the issue. They would like to install their favourite, multi-millionaire Malcolm Turnbull, as new Prime Minister.
The task of independent journalists, as I always understood their role, is to report what is happening, not stirring up Members of Parliament against each other, or against their leader. Our publicly funded ABC, from what I have observed as regular ABC viewer and listener, seems to be on a mission to knock Mr. Abbott from power. Viewers are not being informed, they are being brainwashed with money they themselves provide through their taxes!
The ABC has reason to be angry with Mr. Abbott. He is after all responsible for the rigorous budget cuts to their organisation. Now is pay-back time! The other reason I think the ABC does not endorse Mr. Abbott - he is a Catholic, a Christian believer, who has clearly spoken out against changes to the Marriage Act.
Mr. Turnbull, however, despite being a member of a Liberal Conservative Party, has stated that he would vote in favour of gay marriage. Anything to grab power. Moral values are negotiable in the political arena.
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To end this chapter I'd like to quote the screenwriter of the movie The Imitation Game' Graham Moore, who won an Oscar for his work. Before I do, just two little snippets, all which happened on Jan. 29th, 15, when my wife and I went to see this great film.
Diary 29.1.15 - The imitation game
After a movie, so I had been told, it is polite to stay and wait for the acknowledgements to scroll down the screen. My wife wanted to move, but I refrained. I read all the names of the people involved in producing the movie. One name stood out - Collinson.
Why did I take note? A young couple from Victoria, at the beginning of 2015, took over the leadership of our church. Their surname is Collinson.
But there was another name, which registered that night in the theatre. It appeared on the screen during a preview for another movie. The name was Daniel Brühl, the movie Women in Gold. The reason I took note was simple:
The very next day I tried to solve a crossword puzzle. Readers were given a clue in a picture, distorted on purpose. I had no idea, whose picture it was, but the name BRUEHL fitted in. The actor was Daniel Brühl:
After pasting I noticed the letters NAANN. (Weird again.)
On the TV screen, as the Oscars presentation was shown, a brief speech by Graham Moore, won the heart of the world. His comment, referring to the hero in his screenplay Alan Turing, encouraged all who think differently, who feel weird or misunderstood:
Thank God for ONE, who understands the thoughts of the weird, who knows the deepest longing of the creative, who sees into the darkest corner of the wicked. And yet - HE still, loves each of us with a love that is beyond human understanding.
How weird is HE !!!