Chapter 6              Written / Published  21.9./ 24.9.15              Pics by author, unless indicated

      HOME                    THE  WINNER  GAVE  IT  ALL           Given your all - Now what?

An Australian golfer with a big name keeps making headlines. Winning made his day, and mine. If the letter V stands for victory - news about V W is all but ... 

 Much of the first part of this chapter developed after I had started writing. God comes up with surprises at just the right moments.

In the second half of this chapter we shall visit Southern Germany, where a football player achieved the impossible, just at the right time, of course. We end up in France, just for a brief Sunday afternoon stroll. Numbers and names, as always, cross our paths.

 

 

6.  DIETERS DAY won one.

If any of my chapters can be regarded as divinely timed, this is it! Months of researching, preparation and arranging by the best professional writers could not have produced the same magical timing as I'm about to present here in chapter 6.

All I had planned was to commence this chapter on this day, Sept. 20th, about two weeks after the previous one. (Starting at Book 14 I have written two chapters per month as to complete the 2015 overseas trip sooner.)

September 20th turned out to be a day, which not only I, but another man will mark as a milestone on his journey, Mr. Day*. Australian golfer Jason Day made world headline news once again. Only weeks after winning the US PGA Championship in sensational style, hours before writing this he won the BMW Championship in Lake Forrest, Illinois by 6 strokes.

*I just realized writing this - the same day I had occasion to contact a politician, Mr. Day, in Canberra, totally unrelated! (Details below).

The super star from Queensland has now won world No.1 ranking. And what good timing - 20 under par on the 20th! Considering the previous record of Jason Day I had written about, 22 under par, my numbers brain could not help but wondering, why these numbers? Why 2220? (Read on for further numbers 20 / 22 later that day). 

 

Jason Day, moments after becoming World No. 1 on Sept. 20th 2015. (Pic Fox Sports, off TV screen).

  Should the 27 year-old Australian win the end-of-season tournament in a week's time, his pay-day will break more records - 18 Million Dollars. (Jason and his wife will need that extra money - Ellie is having another baby, ha, ha.)

Note the letter C and the upside-down VV on his hat! And what does 501, top left corner, mean? (Digits 5 / 1 will feature later in the chapter, another timely sporting miracle!)

If Jason can see and realizes that his talent and victories are not only the result of his hard work on the golf course, but God's gift, he is a real winner! God bless you, mate! 

- - - - - - -

That September morning (the 20th) was a glorious, sunny spring day in Adelaide. For the first time in many months, I went on a short bike ride on my Giant before church. I picked up something off the road, not realizing what prominent role it would be playing in the chapter I was about to write: 

 

En route on Cross Keys Road, corner *Exeter Street, I picked up this car badge, which had obviously come off a motor car.

Later that day the letter W (or VV) appeared again in a most unexpected way. (Read on).

<<< VW car badge

*Exeter, has a place in my story in two ways. Firstly, less than three months prior to this chapter I travelled through Exeter in the UK. Secondly, my first online, animated road safety quiz was called: 'The trip to Exeter'. 

Stop Press: On the day of writing, two days after finding above VW badge, the world's media is filled with the crash of VW shares on the US stock market. The enormous drop in such a big company is unprecedented, according to one ABC reporter. (All respect to the executives for admitting their wrong doing and for apologizing sincerely. If only everyone would confess their sin and ask for God's forgiveness ... !) 

 - - - - - - -

On the same day, still on September 20th, a rally took place on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide, promoting traditional marriage. I didn't quite make it for the 2 PM start, but arrived about 2.20 PM. Surprisingly, a gentlemen was also arriving late, just after me. It was the Mr. Ridley I had written about in the previous chapter. I did check, if I had his name correct, since I did not know him personally, and that it was he I had seen at the movie Warroom. I was correct.

I had expected to see Mr. Day at this event, (not the golfer, needless to say - so why am I saying it?) since his political party, Family First, is very much against same-sex marriage. Another political party, obviously, had arranged this event, which made me regret wearing my light blue Family First (FF) T-shirt. I was the only one in the crowd of about 250 wearing one. 

It made me ask, why no other Family First supporters and none of the three South Australian FF Members of Parliament were present? The next day I wrote to Mr. Day, expressing my disappointment and questioning, if they could not, or would not attend this function.

If the conservative Christian lobby is split, the chances of making an impact and gaining seats in Australia's parliaments is much harder than working together in a united way. Would make sense to me!

 

 Outside Parliament House, Adelaide, September 20th, 2015.

Demonstration for traditional marriage. Speaker David d'Lima, South Australian Director, Family Voice Australia. 

Later an indigenous lady spoke. She made the point that same-sex marriage is an affront to aboriginal people. This raises a good question: Why are White Australians, including our governments, who usually fall over backwards to accommodate and respect the culture and traditions of Aboriginal people, not listening to them now?

 

Below: Mr. Ridley, made a stand for traditional marriage, sitting down.

Banner (close up from above pic.)

Marriage = 1 MAN + 1 WOMAN.

Looking later at the photo on the right I discovered that somebody's head got in the way of the banner. The way V V came out made me think of two things:

One, the VW badge I had picked up that morning, and two, Mr. Abbott, our former Prime Minister, who had lost his job 6 days earlier. Many respect him for not caving in to pressure from the gay-lobby. People respect a leader, who stands on his principles ... ear, ear!

- - - - - - -

The day was not yet over. After the rally had finished, while already in town, I decided to take a short bike ride in the warm spring weather to visit a friend, who I had not seen in months. She lived just south of town, in a leafy suburb of Adelaide. It was during this brief visit that I was amazed again, by the unexpected appearance of that number 2220.

(Did any reader a few moments ago notice that I had arrived at the above rally not at 2pm, but at 2.20? Unplanned NOS magic!) 

A few minutes of talking to my friend, about family and chatting about old times, the phone rang. I could not help overhearing my friend give advise to somebody on the other line. Somebody queried the temperature of the aquarium they had just installed: The question went something like this: "The instruction says it should be 22 degrees, but it's only 20!"

The surprising part was not merely the number 2220 I had overheard. It was the fact that this number links to the place where we first met this person, over three decades ago - Tasmania. (Book 13, Ch. 5).

A quick glance at this chapter refreshed my memory, how numbers had suddenly revealed a code, which in the end made sense.

V V is not a new code. Long ago the letters V V turned into 55 and LV, the consonants of the word LoVe. However, the fact that VV or W suddenly takes the stage here is remarkable, when we look at the previous chapter. The title starts with W... and W. The key witness responsible for the imprisonment of the former magistrate, who said he had never been abused as a child, was Witness W.

- - - - - - -

On the morning of writing these paragraphs, another sign came, which made me think that there is a divine plan being played out. How else do you explain this? The day after the name Day occupied the sports world, and my mind after having written about him, my bible reading that day was this:

Boundless bible reading for Tuesday 22. September 2015:

Text: What do you think the 'day of the Lord' in verse 2 refers to? Sunday, the Rapture, the Resurrection, the second coming of Christ, or the last days before God's final judgement?

 

The above scan is from a booklet called Boundless, the whole world reading. It's the Salvation Army's international challenge to read through each of the 260 chapters of the New Testament together in one year. It started on 1.1.15 with Matthew Ch. 1 and continues, one chapter per day Monday to Friday, through to Revelations 22.

Stop Press: Friends, what happened here, I write it as it was, came in perfect timing, right here, after having written the word Revelations 22. I took a break to eat lunch. I checked the letterbox for mail. Here is what came in the mail: 

 

Remember, in a previous chapter I had made fun of my football team's advertising slogan - Do the NT - not do the Northern Territory, but do the New Testament! Ha, ha!

The glossy brochure invites me to renew my Membership to football team Adelaide United. How could I not do this, and visit the Northern Territory also? Darwin NT is the only capital in Australia I have not yet been to.

I was not going to mention this, but since football came into the script and the following information fits right into a name in this chapter, I will. The new training ground for Adelaide United is at ...

... Ridley Reserve, Elizabeth.

- - - - - - -

Just here, totally unplanned, the third song started playing in the CD I inserted a few minutes ago: How well the title fits here: "Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king..." 

...sung by the Perth Fortress Songsters, the recording is 3.16 minutes long. (I just noticed the misprint on this CD cover Forstress.)

On editing: I was tempted to change the lyrics - Soon ... we are going to see the queen...! The suburb, where Ridley Reserve is, was named after HM The Queen.  

- - - - - - -

Whenever this Day of the Lord comes, whatever it brings, there is no stress to those who believe; who live in faith and love, who have the hope of salvation (1 Thess. 5:8). To others, those who continue to reject God's offer of salvation, that day will bring judgement:

 "For when they say "Peace and Safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape." (1. Thess. 5:3). 

Friends, this is not my opinion or commentary, this is God's Word; not to alarm readers, but to encourage all (1. Thess.5, 11). There are boundless verses in the New Testament to give the world hope, the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let me translate another verse in this chapter from my German Bible:

"For God did not call us that we should fall under HIS judgement, but that we should be saved through our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ died for us that we should obtain life with HIM." (1. Thess. 5: 9,10).

Are you ready for life, for that Day?

- - - - - - -

 

Before we travel back to May 2015 and to Europe, an oddity that crossed my mind made me smile. During a break from writing this chapter, on 22. September 15 in the evening, I surfed TV Channels. On came the SBS TV quiz show Letters and Numbers, which was just starting.

The rules are very simple: Contestants pick 9 random letters, a mixture of vowels and consonants. They then have 30 seconds to arrange the letters to create the longest word possible. (The show also has segments, using numbers and a maths challenge, hence Letters and Numbers).

I had not watched this program for many months, possibly a year or even longer. That's why I was especially surprised at the result that time. Luckily, my Samsung phone/camera was handy to capture this picture off the TV screen:

SBS TV Quiz Letters and Numbers - 22.9.2015

Each of the two contestants came up with a six letter word (can't recall which). The referee overseeing the game created the above 7-letter word - TARDIER. None of the three saw what I saw - DIETERS.

(Note ...EL and ...ANT on the hostess' elbow. Read on for an EL and ANT).

- - - - - - -

 

(Back to Europe, May 2015)

From Berlin it was another early morning departure by train; 7.06 am on May 27th 2015, to be precise. Unlike the rush in Prague, my son Jon and I were relaxed, riding our laden bicycles into central Berlin from our hotel near the Messe (Exhibition Centre). Traffic in big cities never bothered me. Berlin's wide streets allowed plenty of space for riders and drivers. At 6.00 am there was not much traffic on the road; plus, Germany has become very bike-friendly.

We were lucky to have a compartment to ourselves for much of the way. Jon even accepted my invitation to play a game of chess during the almost 1000 km rail journey. After he beat me twice I switched to reading and later chatting with a fellow passenger. The middle-aged, bearded gentleman was also a bike rider, en route to start a trip through the Alps. When he mentioned about his adventure of a lifetime, a 210-day trek by bicycle to Iran from northern Germany, it made my excursions look like afternoon strolls.

Our train arrived right on time mid-afternoon in Stuttgart, the heartland of the southern German region called Schwaben (Schwabia). Nine minutes was just enough time to switch from the Berlin Intercity to a Regional Express train. It took us to Esslingen, the historic, picturesque town, just 13 kilometers away; my place of birth. For three nights we stayed in an apartment in the old part of town, very close to where I had stayed three years earlier with my friends Willy and Andrea.

Middle Beutau, Esslingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 

My friends live in a district dominated by cobble-stoned lanes, and restored apartments; two minutes walking distance from the historic Market Square. As previously we enjoyed their hospitality and great company as tour guides.

View across Esslingen's Old City

Note the arrow: I spent ten wonderful years of my youth in this 13th century tower, when we moved there from Oberesslingen (Upper Esslingen). I was aged ten then. (1960 -1969). The sand stone walls on three sides are 2 metres (6 feet) thick.  

The fairytale building on the bottom left is the Old Town Hall, first mentioned in 1430. It is the city's most popular tourist attraction. Visitors gather to see the astronomical clock perform the famous Glockenspiel five time each day.

 

Our visit to Esslingen was planned for an event on May 28th. It was my older brother Gerhard's birthday. For some months he had been battling cancer, undergoing chemo-therapy. Besides a friendly neighbour couple my brother has few connections for support, which is his choice. Since our mother died 12 years ago he lived on his own. The latest news is good. The cancer is in remission. God answers prayer, even when the person prayed for does not believe it.

Post celebration photo, Esslingen May 28th, 2015.

From left: My niece Charlotte, Gerhard, Jon (behind), myself DF, our oldest brother Roland and his wife Ingrid. It was a superb, warm evening as we sat in an outside restaurant, celebrating the occasion.

 

Watching the television one evening in Germany a picture came up, which made me think. (Details escaped my mind). I saw a code and took a picture with my Samsung. On the screen appeared a text, which sounded like this German proverb: Eine Schwalbe macht noch keinen Sommen. Literally it means: One swallow doesn't yet make (or mean) summer. (Nice word swallow - wow around all.)

The interpretation, as I understand, is a word of caution after an early success. An early positive sign of something, does not mean the rest will be so.

A second glance revealed a slight change in the first two words: Letters E and L went missing.

The new word Schwabe describes a male citizen of Schwabia, as the region in Southern Germany is known. Therefore, the word eine (feminine) had to change to the masculine ein.

 

German proverb, slightly changed, on TV screen:

Text: Ein Schwabe macht noch keinen Sommer. Translated: One swallow* doesn't yet make summer. 

Code = E L = HE (Spanish). 

(*Correction: This word should be 'Swabian'.)

Another German proverb comes to mind: Das kommt mir Spanish vor. Translated: "Sounds like Spanish to me." 

- - - - - - -

 

One Schwabian may not be able to 'make summer', but we are known for working hard (schaffa, schaffa), building things and tinkering (basteln). Add a little genius to these qualities and what do you get? The inventor of the first internal combustion engine - Gottlieb Daimler. His patent, together with fellow inventors Maybach and Benz, led to the development of the motor car as we know it. 

Our hosts Willy and Andrea took Jon and I for an excursion to the birthplace of Gottlieb Daimler (nice name - Love God, surname ends in ... imler). The son of a baker was born in the town of Schorndorf, 25 kilometers from Esslingen, in the Rems Valley.

 

Timbered houses in Schorndorf, Schwabia, Germany. 

Third house from the left is the place where Gottlieb Daimler was born in 1834. Today it is a museum (free entry) as well as a conference centre, owned by  the Daimler Benz company.

 

<<< Hands-on Jon at the Daimler Museum.

There are numerous personal items of the inventor, as well as replicas of his patents on show.

This free museum must not be confused with the Daimler Benz Museum in Cannstatt, which is much bigger.

<<< Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim.

 

Another excursion led me and my friend Eric to another museum (as alluded to two chapters ago.) It must be the most comprehensive and best exhibition for everything transport.

 

From old motor cars, among them a Hitler Mercedes and a Vauxhall Viva, identical to the one we once owned, to aeroplanes and all types of military vehicles imaginable - are all on display.

 

Visitors can climb into and walk around inside a real Concord Supersonic aircraft as well as the Russian equivalent (Tupolev TU-144), which was especially transported from Moscow.

 

On the left, the largest wheel in the world, verified by the Guinness Book of Records. The diameter 4.5 meters. (Not a free museum, but a must visit!)

Above: The football stadium of Bundesliga Club Hoffenheim can be clearly seen from the Sinsheim Museum.

 

STOP PRESS! Readers may recall how in Chapter 4 I had written about a record, which was broken in the above stadium at that time? The team playing was Bayern Munich. 

As I wrote these paragraphs here,  Radio SWR 4 Stuttgart, which I had tuned into online, reported an amazing achievement, only hours ago, by another Bayern Munich star, No. 9 forward Robert Lewandowski.

The striker struck as if by magic. He scored 5 goals in 9 minutes!

Scoring this many goals in such a short time, at top professional level, has commentators going crazy. The end result: 

VFL Wolfsburg 1 : 5 FC Lewandowski*.

(Aha, his goal scoring started in the 51st minute - makes sense!)

(*Lewandowski is also the name of one of five detectives, responsible for the prosecution of former magistrate Peter Liddy.) 

- - - - - - -

 

The plan was to leave Esslingen on May 30th and travel to friends in the Black Forest. Unfortunately, it was raining that Saturday morning, so we changed plans. We continued our travels not by bicycle, but by train. We changed our destination to Freudenstadt, a place that holds fond memories from my youth. Our arrangements went smoothly. The Baden-Wuerttemberg ticket, unlimited travel inside the state for both 28 Euro. We also had purchased tickets for our bikes, which later we found out we didn't need. (Some trains you do, others you don't is confusing!) 

Jon had found online a superb hotel on the outskirts of Freudenstadt. Hotel Hohenried offered a large, indoor swimming pool, which we enjoyed all by ourselves for 1/2 hour after arriving. Being off-season the tariff was very reasonable (80 Euro) for 4-star luxury for two people, including breakfast.

I found it almost spooky that at this hotel we were allocated Room Number 26. The very first room, after arriving in Germany three weeks earlier, had also allocated us Room 26. Both places have similar names: Hohenried - Hanrieder.

Just now, writing this, something even more spooky emerged. Just for fun I played my game eliminating doubled-up letters. The result? HE in English, HE in German and in between ... ?!

Had it not been raining that Saturday morning ...?

 

 

Freudenstadt, city of joy!

The Marktplatz (Market Square) is the largest in Germany. The Evangelical Church, shown above, is built on the south-western corner of the square and has two naves, at right angles. This was to separate men and women during services, while the preacher could still keep an eye on his flock. (That's if Mr.Google isn't telling fibs?) 

During our brief tour of the church I got talking to a lady. It so happened that she used to work with my friend Wolfgang, an evangelical lay preacher and close friend of mine four decades earlier.

 

The next day - May 31st 2015, note the date - we had another change of plans. This time it was not the weather, but a special offer, courtesy of Black Forest Tourism, which opened up a new possibility. As a special promotion our hotel issued us with a pass for free travel, anywhere on the public transport network in Baden Wuerttemberg, just for that one day. The opportunity was too good to let go, so we took the train from Freudenstadt to Kehl, on the Rhein river.

On the train I spotted interesting numbers, which I needed to document with my camera. Inside the train carriage, which we travelled on for over an hour, the date and time was also displayed. Take a look:

 

Left: Our carriage number 530, plus the ticket machine number 1, happened to be the digits for that day's date May 31.

Right: But I would not have taken a photo, had I not taken special notice of the date displayed inside the train. I purposely waited for 10.51, before taking the picture. The digits can be arranged to - 3015, 2015, 1015.

 

From the Kehl train station it was only a few kilometers, across the Rhein bridge, into France's 7th largest city. Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament. The place may not be as romantic and famous as Paris, but it is just as beautiful. The entire historic city centre is World Heritage listed.

Jon had never been there. He was positively surprised and impressed with the architecture, the canals and the imposing 144m high cathedral, which dates back to 1015. For me, of course, it was also a walk down memory lane. (Bk.6, Ch.10).

 

Strasbourg, France

The arrow indicates the place, where 8 years earlier I had photographed the '1639' house by the canal.

 

<<< Place Gutenberg,

Strasbourg, France.

 

Enjoying the sunshine that Sunday afternoon, sitting on a bench on the square near the Cathedral, I noticed this sign:

 

RESTAURANT. (ANT failed to shine).

 

Only a little later, as we were leaving the square, did I see the name Fischer. It's the brand of beer served. The place is called Au Gutenberg. 

Gutenberg sounds like good mountain. Next chapter, God willing we shall visit majestic mountains in Switzerland, plus a gorgeous, lakeside village called Gunten. 

 

Chapter 7

Index