THE    WINNER   GAVE   IT  ALL

     GIVEN YOUR ALL - NOW WHAT ?                  HOME                          Book 10 / Ch 10   Written / Published 16.12 / 19.12.2011

Please note: Chapters are not necessarily in date order. 

Some events in this chapter happened before those

 in Chapter 9, others only in recent days.

 "[The Lord] satisfies your mouth with good things,

  so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's"

(Psalm 103, 5)

 

10.  A remarkable black dog

In chapter 6 I mentioned that Queen Elizabeth II was to visit Australia. When I first heard this news, the thought registered in the back of my mind and bore fruit some weeks later. Her Majesty's visit turned out an amazing event, a celebration for those, who still respect the monarchy. 

The Queen's arrival on October 19th was headline news on every radio and TV station. One aspect of it rather angered me, as it may have other, mature-aged folk. Instead of reporting: "Her Majesty the Queen will arrive in Australia", most reporters added the phrase, "what may be her last visit to Australia." 

The lady may be 85, her mother lived till over 100, if she remains in good health, how dare they deny a *healthy, older person the joys or travelling the world?

Exactly where she was to visit and when was not widely reported, only that a little place called Adelaide was not on the Royal schedule. Now, I'm not a fanatic monarchist, who gets a kick out of a glimpse or a wave from a monarch. 

However, at the last moment, after I had found out the Queen was to be in Melbourne on October 26th, I booked a coach to Melbourne to be arriving the same morning as Her Majesty and her husband, Prince Phillip. They were schedule to be in Melbourne for only 4 hours.

The coach driver had allocated seat No.17 for me (... aha - LION upside down - but that was well before the previous chapter.) I was reminded that in my writing, the marathon autobiography you are reading, I had just completed Book 10, 7. Unloading my small bag and bicycle from the bus I asked the driver: "Where is the best place to see the Queen today?"

She was going to open a new section of the Children's Hospital. I knew I would have a few hours to fill in before any royal waves would be happening*. Since I had my bicycle with me, why not a little ride down memory lane? When I do revisit places I often find further surprises, as if by magic ...

 

*What is happening? You may have noticed two asterisks in above writing healthy and happening? In the space of half an hour about four times I wrote a word, as in the same nanosecond I heard it coming out of the radio. 

It came to me in the night - how these two words match the title of this, my Book 10: healthy happening - Healing in His wings.

- - - - - - -

 

Walk down memory lane on two wheels 1

Looking south along Elizabeth St. Melbourne. Historic Flinders Street Station at the end. Rego... 069.

The parking meter-box [JE AI] was still in the same location opposite the Flight Centre. Two tradesmen's vans seemed to have Da Ninci names, Kingloc, Greg ...

Seven year-old memories kept flooding back.

 <<< For those not bi-lingual, remember HE in German = ER.

 

 <<< My son Jon worked at 1010 Docklands at the time. How I enjoyed he and I riding our bikes together!

On the way back we passed a church. Outside, on the roadside pulpit it read: "Because He lives I can face tomorrow" (Bill Ch.10, Verse 10, ha ha).

 

The gentleman above, Kevin, broke down in his car right outside the steps of St.Paul's Cathedral. He needed not a candle, but a spark. I spent a considerable time talking to him and his wife. In the end my mobile phone came in handy to ring the RACV. Preparations were already under way for Her Majesty to arrive just across the road at Federation Square. She was due within hours.

 

Near the YHA (Youth Hostel) in North Melbourne I took a brief look at two churches, a small Anglican church, St. Mary's. A tour bus - BENSLEY - was parked outside. No doubt it transported a group of school children from a country town to see Her Majesty. Nearby on the roadway I found a shiny, small object on the roadway just outside the driveway to St.Mary's - nail clippers. (More souvenirs from the roadway later.) 

Just up the road the huge facade of St. Mary's Cathedral had been beautifully restored, Work on the rear section of the massive structure was still in progress. An erected sign at St. Mary's calls the church Angel of the Sea. Google Maps named it St. Mary's Star of the Sea. Total restoration cost 10 Million.

I had paid a visit to this place years ago, telling a Priest the sad story of my imprisoned friend. At the time I was shocked to hear, how a fellow priest of his in the US had also been accused of sexual misconduct. For convenience sake his lawyers suggested to plead guilty - plea bargaining - simply to get the matter over with quickly! Shall we call it - fast-fool justice?

 

Continuing north on that gorgeous Wednesday morning, I cycled along the Royal Parade (that's the name of the boulevard - the Queen had not arrived yet) past the Salvation Army Training Centre. After a quick stop at the Brunswick Baptist Church I took a ride around the streets and lanes of this charming, inner northern suburb. I found this most relaxing, no pressing engagements, no deadlines,  just breathing fresh air, pushing the pedals and wondering where my Giant would take me. 

Turning a corner, I suddenly found myself looking at a street sign, a lady's name - Elizabeth. This name had been on mind all morning. It made me take a closer look at the short dead end Street.

I noticed a parked vehicle, registration plate RYE, near letterbox No. 210. Very interesting! I thought. Years ago, during a previous Melbourne excursion, I had heard on the news about a fire in Rye Street, Brunswick. It turned out to be Blyth Street. (Bk 7, Ch.6). 

An interesting fact just popped into my head: I recall the story at Brunswick Baptist Church. It included a pink parker, worn by Allison, the blond bombshell (kind of) of the TV series Vicar of Dibley. The evening before commencing this chapter the same Allison was on a TV Christmas special of the Vicar of Dibley. And did she wear her ... did she? She did? Yes, she did wear her pink parker.

Stop Press: What amazing timing - as I was right here in this chapter Allison, a completely different person, just walked out the door! She comes twice a week to shower my mother-in-law, who is still recovering at our house after her fall.

- - - - - - -

 

Walk down memory lane on two wheels 2

Left: Glen in his electric wheelchair at South Bank entertained the passers-by with his superb singing voice. A young onlooker, part of a group of school students from a Gippsland school (The Lakes?), gives the thumbs up, or whatever his gesture is meant to mean. I doubt, if he enjoyed Glen's rendition of Johnny Cash's Rings of Fire, as much as I did.  

Right: Near the ABC's Melbourne Headquarters: The red scooter's registration plate HM does not stand for 'Her Majesty' (sorry Marike).

Bottom pic: Note the Lion badge. It's a Peugeot. Registration plate RYE. It made sense to me - in Brunswick, Victoria, near 210 ... not far from Bligh Street. 

- - - - - - -

 

My impromptu cycle tour continued through Lygon Street, famous for fashionable Italian restaurants. At the northern end I found a 5 cent coin on the street. As readers would now by now, it's not about the money - its all about location. Retrieving the small silver coin, from the roadway right outside No. 502, was not so easy in the busy morning rush hour traffic.

If I was meant to C it or not, what does it matter? One thing I do know, checking this locality in Streetview for this writing, where I found this coin (or next door) is a large blue letter C on the barrier dividing the Cafe from the roadway. At the time I had not seen it, unlike another 5 cent hotspot in Adelaide some time later). 

             Two five cent hotspots: Adelaide (top) Melbourne (bottom)

Top: Cycling home on an Adelaide suburban road I engaged in my craft - picking up coins. As I put it into my pocket I took a closer look. Aha - it was right outside a business. The blue sign I decoded as - I M 5. (In the background - Christina's Craft; we shall meet a Christine in a moment.)

Bottom: The 5 cent from the roadway in Lygon Street I kept for the diary. The Adelaide coin I must have spent - after all every cent counts at Christmas time.

- - - - - - - 

 

If it would have been in Her Majesty's power to arrange the weather for Wednesday Oct. 26th 11, she would not have managed a better day. (After all my son at the time worked at the Bureau of Meteorology). Crowds had gathered outside the Women and Children's Hospital very early. I leaned my bike against the safety barrier and stood with anticipation in the bright sunshine, as did hundreds of other Melbournians.

One of those was a petite blond, Jodie, who had brought her gorgeous toddler, Sali, and baby Zane along for their experience of a lifetime. Nearby I also chatted with a gentleman, who explained that he had been the chauffeur for the President ... of the UNCLE BOB Club. (Now it made sense that only minutes earlier I had seen a registration plate BOB 001. (My diary mentions another registration plate - YND 513. It fits into this chapter rather amazingly - read on). The Uncle Bob Club is a fund raising organisation for the benefit of sick and disabled children.

For the Queen of England that Wednesday morning it was also a walk down memory lane. In 1963 she had visited Melbourne and opened the original Women and Children's Hospital. On this trip she was opening a newly built extension to the same.

 

The Queen's Walk down memory lane

The Royal Range Rover on Flemington Road about to enter the Woman's and Children's Hospital.

Her Majesty, dressed in hot pink, is waving for the cameras.

The Queen's vehicle did not have a registration plate of numbers or letters. How disappointing - what's there to play with, to read back to front or to de-code, when all there is -  a crown?

Unlike the tram! (Read on). 

Queen watcher Jodie, left, holding son Zane in her arms, while being filmed by a TV News Crew. Little Sali is looking on. She waited patiently to hand a bunch of flowers to her Majesty.

Her patience paid off. Jodie emailed later that ... the flowers were received gratefully, just the kind the Queen had been wishing and waiting for ... (just kidding). They made it onto the News on two TV channels that night.

I should have asked her, how she knew what colour top to wear for the occasion. She came close to that of the Queen. 

 

After the queen had entered the hospital grounds, disappearing in the underground carpark in a flash, I thought the show was over. But she greeted the waiting crowd on leaving, I found out later. I had decided to relocate to the second hotspot for Queen watching, back to Federation Square.

More eager monarchists, or just curious onlookers, had taken the opportunity to catch a wave, and take a snapshot to mark the occasion. Again, I knew the wait would be a long one. I had time to seek out a good vantage point. Underneath the ornate lamps on Princes Bridge, adjoining Federation Square, seemed just right, a little elevated and room to park my bicycle. As the clock passed midday the crowds grew bigger by the minute. I wondered, as I often do when in Melbourne, would I spot a familiar face, one from Adelaide, perhaps?

 

Melbourne Victoria - St. Kilda Road, October 26th, 2011

                                                                             Photo: tramways-monthly.com

 

Queen Elizabeth leaving the Royal Tram 158 on St.Kilda Road to board her Range Rover for the short trip to Government House.

Note ER on the tram. It stands for Elizabeth Regina. Regina is not her middle name, but indicates she is the reigning queen, unlike her mother was. (For a male reigning king R stands for Rex.)

 

 

A good vantage point for spotting the Royals - Princes Bridge underneath the big lamps. The bridge was named after Prince Edward VII, whose mother was Queen Victoria, his father Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was the Anglo-Saxon connection to the British throne. Watching and waiting I spotted a famous face walking by (Read on).

- - - - - - -

In the carnival like atmosphere that afternoon I got talking to a gentleman, Mark, who also had taken time off work for the occasion. He was originally from Victor Harbor. South Australia. 

Another onlooker happened to stand nearby. She snapped above photo of me and my Giant. It got us talking, while waiting for the ER 158 royal parade to pass. Attractive with dark hair, her name was Christine, who looked more like an 18 year-old teenager than a 30 year-old banking officer. She was on holidays from Duesseldorf, Germany. 

- - - - - - -

 

May I just distract for a moment. The name Christine reminded me. This event of October 2011 is now rather ancient news (and a rather uninteresting subject, according to my wife). 

Here is news that took place exactly 12 hours ago before writing. I was shaking hands with former Adelaide football star Christian Rees, player No.5 for Gold Coast United. The visiting football team from Queensland had just defeated our Adelaide United by 3 goals to nil. But it's not number 125 I am coming to - it's 3 16.

The third goal came with only seconds of play left. What's exiting to me (or boring for those who don't seer it - pun intended) - on the 16th 3 goals were scored. 

But there was one other piece of info: Besides Christian Rees I only shook hands with one other person in the stadium. I recognized his face from years ago, a car park attendant at the Paradise church: John.

Believe this or not - after my little joke here - I looked out the window. My son was being picked up by a friend, who is wearing a soccer shirt - No. 9.

But there was more, a new recruit, making his debut for Adelaide. He was the youngest player ever to play in the A-League. Here are his stats: 

Name:  Teeboy Kamara

DOB: 18-May-1996
PLACE OF BIRTH: Sierra Leone
POSITION: Attacking midfielder
HEIGHT: 169cm
WEIGHT: 70kg                                      (Source: FootballAustralia.com.au)

Of course, Teeboy wore shirt number 24. When the young midfielder came on the field as substitute, the crowd roared. But 2:0 down in football, with 27 minutes left to play, was too much, even for... the boy!

Is all this magic, or is it co-incidental? Friends, I view my magic Da Ninci code, the numbers and other data, in the same way as I do a piece of art work. And what do they say about art? Beauty is in the eye of the Kindergarten teacher.

- - - - - - -

 

(Back to Her Majesty in Melbourne)

As I was waiting on Princes Bridge, watching the throng of people move back and forth, I suddenly looked at a person, whose face I had only seen on a movie and TV screen. The gentleman walked by me so closely, there was little doubt who he was, one of the main characters in The Kings Speech. 

Geoffrey Rush was casually walking north on Princes Bridge as I was standing by my Giant under one of the big lights. Dressed rather normally, he probably was happy just to mingle in the crowd. Only a few weeks earlier he, together with various other eminent Australians, had rubbed shoulders with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

After all, it was he who played the role of the Australian speech therapist in the award winning 2010 movie. And who was it who was being trained in speech therapy? None other than King George VI, the father of the Queen we all came out to greet.

The much anticipate, specially decorated vintage tram finally left Federation Square. Very slowly Prince Phillip and the Queen passed by, giving a wave through the tram's windows. Together with others in the crowd I followed the royal parade along St.Kilda Road, until the tram stopped at the turn-off to Government House. Her Majesty disembarked to cover the rest of the short journey in her Range Rover. (Pic. above) 

The afternoon was well advanced. My son would soon be waking up, having worked night shift. He had asked me to not arrive too early. All worked out well. How I enjoyed it, when he and I later took a ride through Brighton and Sandringham and even further down the lovely shores of Port Phillip Bay.  With a hint of pride, no thankfulness, may I say, I was able to keep up to him on his $ 2500 racer. Unless he slowed for his old man to be considerate? 

On the return journey, according to my diary, I did a little shopping at Coles Brighton. The check-out girl's name was Isobelle (Spanish origin, meaning Elizabeth). The change from the 5 Dollars total was 5 cents. 

My bus back home was not until the evening the next day. This meant more adventures in the big smoke, while my son had to sleep after his nightshift. Still on my Giant, I took off to St.Kilda, took walk up and down Acland Street, resisting the temptation to indulge in any cream cake. Many were smiling through the display windows of the continental bakeries.

Progressing north on Beaconsfield Tce. the horizon was filled with the huge, red / white hull of the Spirit of Tasmania.  It was waiting for her next voyage across Bass Straight. Again, memories came flooding back. From there I rang my friend Richard in Adelaide. He and I had made plans to take a trip on that boat, but never finalized them, (Read on for the place we actually went to). 

So much had taken place over the previous 24 hours, I had to document it. I found a sunny corner in a Cafe, right on the harbour, not far from the Spirit of Tasmania. A film crew was set up nearby. I learned that next door, in a separate room of the Cafe, an episode of Winners and Losers (Channel Seven) was being filmed.

I took well over an hour to document all I had seen and done. Just three example of what I entered:

A dream Mercedes 300 with a back to front registration plate - 566 665 (123 Won or 99) 

How about the slogan by a chain of convenient stores: - Good Call? Now who would live in Goodall Road and not C Goodall?

Right across from where I had assisted Kevin, whose car simply would not start - plenty battery power, but no spark - I noticed a black van, a Coffee company. On its side door I read the address: 50 Sparks Ave.

etc. That morning it took seven pages to write it all.

 

Moving on I took a ride along Ross Street into the heart of Melbourne, then along the Yarra River. I have special memories of Como House. Not that I expected anything to see, but one lady occasionally crosses my mind. She appears occasionally in a TV commercial. Her name is Kim. The product is called Mission. (Not sure if that makes her a missionary?)

Before reaching Como House, beside the Yarra, I overtook two joggers. It was around the time, when I had a fixation on the colours red/white/black. These colours made me stop and snap this picture:

 

Favourite spot for Melbourne joggers,

beside the Yarra River, just east of Princes Bridge

What is that black dog doing there, I hear you think?

It was like this: On the evening before leaving Melbourne I took a ride around Albert Park. My wife, mother-in-law and I had stayed near there a few months earlier. I wanted to see, if the strange, white markings on the footpath were still there. They were. (See Ch.4).

Within a hundred metres, perhaps two, in the middle of the (side) road, I noticed something black. It was the soft toy shown above. I kept it as a souvenir.

Later I was thinking, decoding: C A N is all it takes to create:

I LOVE GODS GUIDANCE. (Love it!)

Only after scanning and cutting the picture of the puppy did I notice its colours - a perfect match. Magic just happens - from Kindergarten to old age.

Here's more, for those who think reporting events from six weeks ago is boring, take a look here:

THE SALVAtION ARMY  -  ONE MISSION

Right at this point in my writing I had to get ready and put on my red polo shirt. Within an hour I'd be singing in our Christmas Choir. 

I found the timing again perfect - the red shirt is embroidered as shown above - black and white.

 Stop Press! On editing - black magic!  I counted the black shapes - 10. Why not count the white letters inside ...? 

So what's the ONE Mission? To point all to the ONE, who died for them on a cross - it's that simple! 

- - - - - - -

 

Another world figure made it to Australia in 2011. On Nov. 16th Mister Yes we C A N paid his first visit to our shores. (It had been the Queen's 16th Australia trip). The US President's finally happened, after two scheduled stopovers were previously cancelled. Mr. Obama touched down in only two cities on his brief 27-hour tour down-under, Canberra and Darwin.

Canberra was a must on his itinerary. It's not only Australia's capital, but also because of the first three letters ... But why was Darwin chosen, a provincial town with 127 000 inhabitants, and not Sydney or Melbourne?

Pondering about this I considered two places the 44th US President had visited in other countries. In Germany on June 5th 2009, instead of visiting Berlin, one of Europe's most prominent cities, Mr. Obama decided to go to Dresden. In Ireland in May 2011 he dropped in on Dublin. My YDN brain noticed these cities - Dresden, Dublin now Darwin!

But there was more. My playful brain took it all one level higher. The letters D & N are 4th and 14th letter of the alphabet. In my books this (414) is a remarkable number.

- - - - - - -

 

One other celebrity couple, Royals from Denmark, visited Australia in November 2011. Unfortunately, Adelaide was not in their itinerary either. The closest they came to us was Broken Hill. (No I didn't travel there, nor to Darwin).

On the day when Princess Mary charmed the outback mining town, visiting especially the *RFD (Royal Flying Doctor Service), I had some fun of my own. (Since I promised it to those involved, I will reveal all - see email below).

It all started after sitting down late one evening, after choir practice, to watch TV. Normally, I would have flicked to another channel, but on November 23rd the popular show Spicks and Specks screened for the final time. It had aired on the ABC for 7 years and was now coming to an end, after 277 episodes. I only caught the final few minutes, having missed Geoffrey Rush earlier in the program. 

The final question on the final night tickled my thinking brain. The main show host Adam Hill, read it out rather fast. It included the country of Germany and numbers. Perhaps this is why I was more alert than normally:

"Which 1966 song was on the charts at No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in Holland and No. 28 in Germany? (Answer: The Bee Gee's Spicks and Specks.)  

I saw it [228 won] immediately, but would probably have forgotten all about it, had those numbers not crossed my path again the very next morning.

My work that day was to pick-up clients at their homes in a small bus, and conducting a tour through the Adelaide Hills to Callington. My first client to be picked up had the surname - Hill. But again, this common name did not yet surprise greatly. Gradually, however, as other addresses on my list made me think, I felt like King George VI - lost for words: Take a look:

 

Pick-up 1: Hill

Pick-up 2/3: Ruth Ct. - (See Truth)

Pick-up 4:  Un.28/12 -    228 Won

etc

etc 

 

On the day Broken Hill and the RFD was to receive their Royal visitor I emailed the ABC with what I had found: 

 

Date: 25. Nov. 11

Subject: Two Hills - happy and sad

Hi all

There are two hills I am writing about - a happy one and a sad one. The happy one is in NSW, because of a royal visit. The sad one, but not broken one, is Adam. He asked his final question on Spicks and Specks Wednesday night.

I happened to get home from choir practice, finish dinner just at the right time to sit and watch the final few questions of the 7-year show. Adam was hiding it well, but he must have been sad.

The final final question happened to include numbers - 1, 2 and 28 (the latter referring to Germany). My numbers brain picked this up and thought; Aha - 228 Won.

But more came the next morning. Picking up a list of clients (to take out on a bus tour for the first time) the first person was surname Hill. It came immediately after I had seen another pick up address 28/12 (scan attached)*.

I could go on with many other data - such as No. 50 lives right by busstop 51 -it really ISSO - but all will be revealed in my next chapter of my ongoing auto-bio.

Kind regards from another Hill - Para Hills/South Australia

Dieter R. Fischer

PS   I missed Sir Jeffrey Rush on Spicks and Specks, but - not in Melbourne. I was standing on Princes Bridge, waiting to wave to the Queen ...

* (Please note: I may have forgotten to attach the scan. Also in the PS I misspelled Geoffrey, plus I'm not sure if the gentleman really is a Sir.)

- - - - - - -

 

As reward for delivering over 5000 Yellow Pages phonebooks during November, my friend Richard and I kept talking about a short trip away. We thought about it, discussed the pros and cons of Tasmania versus somewhere else. Somewhere else won. Since he had not been to Port Lincoln in 40 years and I had never been there at all - Port Lincoln was it.

We had been friends for 25 years, from the time our children played together. Both of us love driving long distances. Going by what I knew, the drive to the Eyre Peninsula town would be almost as long as driving to Melbourne. I had done the Victoria trip many times. I was confident, my most reliable, slowly ageing Suzuki Wagon R+ would take us just as easily a day's drive in the opposite direction. I noted that in its 14-year lifespan the vehicle had covered over 314 000 kilometers. (Take note!) 

On the first night in Port Lincoln we had a (kind of) touch of Tasmania - dining at the Grand Tasman Hotel on Tasman Terrace. The setting was superb, overlooking Boston Bay. The plate our meal was served on was gigantic, the schnitzel even bigger. 

The American sounding names, Boston, Lincoln have no connection to the present USA. (The road parallel to Tasman Tce. is called Washington Street). Lincoln was the home town of explorer Matthew Flinders, who discovered and named Port Lincoln. One of his officers was called Coffin. He gave a nearby town the name Coffin Bay. A very pretty spot, we also paid a visit to.

 

Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln is one of South Australia's gems. Visitors can do all kinds of watersport,

yachting, scuba diving, game fishing even shark cage diving.

 

A bronze statue is 

situated on Tasman Tce (where this picture was taken) of Makyba Diva, the only horse to win the Melbourne Cup three years in a row. (See Bk.4, Ch. 17, you'll also find a photo of the above mentioned parking meter in Melbourne).

- - - - - - -

Left: Port Lincoln National Park is situated on the southern tip of Eyre Peninsula. It's rugged coastline is one awesome stretch of pristine beaches and  rocky outcrops above clear, blue waters. 

 

 

The park is only a twenty minute drive from Port Lincoln; entry is by permit only ($ 30). We never saw another visitor in the three hours we spent there exploring, taking photographs and ...

 

... digging the Suzuki out of this sandbank. (The best position when in trouble - on your knees, then use your hands to work the sand.)

The irony: Should we have taken this car or not? We were on the way to Cape Carnot. 

 

Text (of tourist brochure): The most south-westerly tip of Eyre Peninsula, named by Nicholas Baudin, who followed Flinders to this area. A magnificent spray is seen to rise to this Cape, named after a general and statesman and mathematician of the Napoleonic era. The oldest rock in SA, approx. 2643 million years aged. Discovered 1876.

 

 

Don't you love it - approx. 2643 000 000 years old? Was it possible in 1876 to date the age of ancient rocks at all? (Richard and I collected a small sample - we'll check it out and proof them wrong!) 

 

'Discovered 1876' may mean the Cape itself was discovered then. But it was in 1802 when French Explorer Baudin and the Englishman Flinders sailed in these waters. Later the two explorers would actually meet near Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide. Hence the name - Encounter Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

Sometime after we had checked into our accommodation at Port Lincoln, I noticed the street address - 24. We had, totally unplanned, booked a place where the name and address came to

 1024 = 4 to the power of 5.

 

These two digits, totally unplanned, would appear again, rather magically, right near Bay 10 to create an even more amazing result. (Read on). 

 

Because of the big meal, and having driven in the car for exactly 655 kilometers, I needed some exercise. I was glad I had made a last minute decision to take along the Giant. Pedalling at a leisurely pace along Tasman Terrace I noticed a tennis ball on the ground near the roundabout. Tennis starts with 10. Silly, but this little link made me turn and pick up the tennis ball.

Written on it were two words in large letters: SCHOOL PROPERTY. Hmm! I thought, since I have nowhere particular to cycle to, why not take the school property back to where it belongs. So into my pocket the ball went, and off I cycled to look for a property that looked like a school.

In a town the size of Port Lincoln (approx. 13000 people in 06) it didn't take long to find a school, any school. I tossed the tennis ball over the fence and moved on. I almost missed it in the fading daylight: a steel frame with some writing on it - WANNAN OVAL. 

A familiar feeling, a questioning came over me: Was I meant to be here, to see AN WON sign? The next morning, during a glorious early morning ride around Boston Bay, I made a point of taking this photo:

 

WANNAN OVAL, Port Lincoln

Just as I was about to snap the sign, a jogger came by. I asked, if he minded [taking] a photo. He promptly stood there and posed for the camera. Why not? Why not somebody else in the picture, not always you? Jarrod told me he jogs 12 kilometres before work - another winner! 

 

Richard and I easily could have spent another few days at the pretty Boston Bay town. Driving away from Port Lincoln, after only two nights there, I recall seeing an ambulance some distance ahead of us. It was along the same highway we had come from. (Amazing - again, totally unplanned - this road is Highway B 100 - in Book 10, Ch.10!)

We caught up with the ambulance about eight kilometers from Port Lincoln, as we passed through North Shields. Now, much closer in front of us, I could read the ambulance's number - 162. (Their registration plates usually match a larger number on their side windows). At that moment I noticed to our right was the Wheatsheaf Hotel. Suddenly my brain connected the dots.

Wondering where the ambulance, which was not in emergency mode, was going to, I thought: Perhaps it will turn off soon? So it did. Seconds after I had this thought, the vehicle turned right into Port Lincoln Airport.

So what about this brief encounter with the ambulance that took my mind? Which dots did I connect?

A man who lives in North Street had been drinking at the Wheatsheaf Hotel and got into serious trouble. His case led to a rare Royal Commission, held on the first floor at 26 Flinders Street. (Book 4, Chapter 15).

Later that morning Richard and I stopped for morning tea and took a walk around Tumby Bay, another pretty, little holiday spot on the Spencer Gulf. Both of us recognized a name outside a shop front, which was actually a church. Their pastor used to be a leader at Paradise Community Church. 

On the next corner was a more historic looking stone church. It's tower looked like it had been planned, but was never built. The front door stood open. Richard was more reluctant to just barge in. I hold the belief that a church should be the most accessible place for any passer-by. 

I sat quietly in the back seat. A lady was just reading the prayer. There's something about traditional church interiors; They evoke instant awe and reverence for the divine. Of course it's people, they are the fabric of any church. 

Richard and I had walked into St. Margaret's Anglican Church. There were 5 other worshippers inside. The wooden display board on the front gave Psalm 103 as the reading. After the prayer another parishioner read it out. I marvelled, because the digits 3 1 5 had been on my mind during this trip.

At the time of the blessing Richard and I made a quiet exit. Walking across the car park, I could not help seeing a registration plate - WAN, as if .... But more than that - the number that went with it - L + 747. Maybe the ambulance was turning into the airport for a reason?

It took until well after noon, driving north-east along the Spencer Gulf, to reach Whyalla, where we stopped for lunch. At Port Augusta the mid-afternoon heat, it was 37 deg.C, was a little much for the Suzuki. We let her cool down and topped up her radiator with coolant.

The rest of the drive was a smooth, short hop over the lower foothills of the Southern Flinders Rangers to Melrose. This pretty little town is nestled right at the base of Mount Remarkable. 

For those wanting to know more, another traveller has wonderful pictures and descriptions of this and other places: Website: http://www.brolgahealingjourneys.com/?p=966  (Nice name - healing journeys).

I had been to Melrose many times before (Bk.3, Ch.31). Despite many thoughts of climbing the remarkable mountain, until now I had never managed to do so. The suggested time to climb it was 5 hours. I knew I could do it in less, applying my  5 / 3 code ( in three hours). 

On the evening of our arrival it was far too late to undertake such a long bush walk. The next morning we had to be leaving by 10AM or so, because Richard had work commitments. This meant the mountain would remain on the bucket list again. But there was one option - climb the mountain early in the morning, before departure. That's just how it worked out, perfectly. 

It would have been worth it to just rise for the spectacular sunrise, a magnificent red eastern sky. (Things we miss, while we are sleeping?) My footwear could have been stronger, otherwise I had a superb three hours, panoramic views, amazing scenery, lovely fauna. At the 4.2 km (?) mark some rubbish appeared to have been dumped. Later I found out it was what remained of the fuselage of a light plane that had crashed on the mountain 12 years earlier. Three people had lost their lives. 

Looking at the data of this brief excursion I found, as expected, a few surprises. 

Mt. Mount Remarkable is 960 m high. You see, totally unplanned, the date I finally managed this climb happened on 8.12 (=96 or 10+10). 

Having to watch my time that morning, I did so carefully. I left the tennis club, where the trail starts, at exactly 6 AM and arrived back at 9. AM.

But more remarkable were the numbers 315, the one mentioned earlier. Turing the calendar back three days, before leaving Adelaide I had noticed the odometer reading in my Suzuki. It was over 314 600. A brief thought entered my mind, knowing we'd travel at least 600 or 700 kilometers to our destination. Was it a premonition, a subconscious wish or what was it? I find it hard to describe: I wondered where on this trip we'd be when the reading showed 315 315. (Regular readers know they are the digits of my birthday). 

On the way to Port Lincoln I almost forgot about this. And to even think of manipulating such things, which could be done, if one wanted to, only brings disappointment. I knew, if there was anything at all to be experienced, HE was in control of it, I was just a servant.

Travelling south-west down the Spencer Gulf we needed fuel. A sign into Arno Bay indicated that fuel was available. It wasn't. A highly pregnant lady at the Arno Bay garage told us, we'd have to go to Port Neill, 35 km further south. "The general store there has a pump, but they close at 5 PM." Thankfully, there was ample time, but it meant another slight detour. How annoying! Or was it?

My first feelings of excitement, IT may really happen, came when a road sign indicated 50 kilometers to Port Lincoln. I did a few basic sums and ... it really looked that we could be arriving at our destination right on target!

We were only a few meters from the driveway to BAY 10. I was probably watching the odometer more than the road. It showed 315 314 with only meters to go. Then, just as we stopped, right outside our Apartment building, the last digit on the dash moved from 4 to 5. It now read 315 315. 

When HE came - the SON turned the world upside down.

Now - NOS turn the world upside down.

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Chapter 11

Index