Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 69

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Wednesday & Thursday February 11 & 12, 2009 (diary)

Walking trail, Mooloolaba beach Babette is gone to her school in Sydney for a few days. Doug will follow her on Friday to do some work in the school too, then fly out to India for three weeks of marketing. Babette returns home next Monday.

The timber walking trail in the dunes along Mooloolaba beach is being painted this week and closed to the public. The Town council looks well after this track as numerous people use it every day for their exercise walk. Exercise is a well ingrained habit with many Australians.
John Howard, the former Liberal Prime Minister, set an excellent example (during his 12 years of leadership) by having his exercise walk early every morning without fail (even when on business overseas). He was often filmed for TV while on his walks, and most foreign leaders were well aware of this habit of his. "He is a real walker." commented George Bush.

The Federal Liberal Opposition is fuming, and rightly so. They are opposing the proposed 42 billion dollar financial rescue package in its present unsattisfactory form. Now the Labour Government wants to assist the Victorian bush fire victims with money from the rescue package.
This is the most despicable example of moral blackmail in Australian politics I have ever witnessed. The financial crisis and the bush fire are clearly two entirely different and totally unrelated events.
The Liberal Opposition has therefore recommended that special and separate legislation go through Parliament to cover the bush fire victims : the correct way of doing it. The Labour Government however is trying to put pressure on the Opposition, especially the minor parties and independents, with this disgraceful ploy, using the victims from Australia's biggest natural disaster in history as leverage to get the flawed rescue package approved.

Wednesday evening Doug and I watch the Japan - Australia soccer match. It is an important World Cup 2010 qualifying match. After 3 matches Australia is on top of the table with 9 points followed by Japan 2 points behind. The Japanese team have been in training camp fort 5 weeks and their plays shows it, nice fluent and accurate passing.
Most Aussie players on the other hand, just arrived from their various European clubs, are still jet legged and have hardly had time to train together. So a defensive game is planned by Dutch coach Verbeek and well executed by the team. This pays off : a 0-0 draw giving each one point to add to their total in the Asia Pacific Group.

Thursday is overcast with intermitted rain, but I still go for my walk and swim. On my way home, late afternoon I visit a piano student to give him an improvisation lesson. In the evening we have several heavy downpours of rain. Very refreshing and the best protection against potential bush fires.

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Friday February 13, 2009 (diary)

At the Thai Parnit Restaurant, Nambour Last night Doug and I had a pleasant dinner at the Thai Parnit Restaurant in Nambour, before Doug left this morning for Brisbane and then on to Sydney to join Babette there for the weekend.
I am off to a morning's bridge, and after that I drop in at the Maroochydore branch of the Sunshine Coast Libraries. I have finished reading Len Deighton's trilogy Game, Set and Match, but the story continues with three more books : Hook, Line and Sinker. I will get these through the library rather than trying to find copies in second hand bookshops. The Sunshine Coast Libraries have nine branches spread through the Sunshine Coast, plus a Mobile Library which visits a number of smaller villages within the region. They provide an excellent service.

It is raining throughout most of the day, but the surf is lovely warm and the Quiche Lorraine with salad and chips I have for lunch at the Surf Club is quite good.
Back home I feed the dogs Tin Tin and young Nushi. It has taken Tin Tin a long time to get over the loss of his sister Kiku (killed by a poisonous tick a few months ago) and adjust to this new lively female playmate, but he his gradually and very grudgingly succumbing to her undoubted charm.

On the TV evening news I hear that the Labour Government's financial rescue package (after throwing some crumbs to various minor parties) has been approved by Parliament. The Liberals remain strongly opposed and I too believe that it will prove to be a very wasteful, politically aimed and rather ineffective package.
The official death toll of the Victorian bush fires still stands at 181, but more bodies will be found during the clean up operations. Also over 1,800 homes have been destroyed, many more than originally estimated.

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Saturday & Sunday February 14 & 15, 2009 (diary)

Surf rowers event, Mooloolaba Saturday morning it is raining continuously, but when I get to the beach in Mooloolaba it is overcast and mostly dry. The water temperature is still heaven at 26°C. Mooloolaba is hosting a competition event of the Australian Surf Rowers League and clubs from North coast NSW up to Bundaberg and Grafton in Queensland are competing.
I remember how my father used to enjoy these events when on holiday with us in Newcastle (NSW) way back in the mid 70s. With rough seas these can be quite spectacular events, as it was in Newcastle at the time and my Dad took lots of photos.

In the afternoon I phone Irene van Amsterdam (Shirley's mother). Although she misses her daughter very much she is otherwise quite happy. She loves where she lives, right on the Brighton beach front (coastal suburb in Adelaide) and she receives lots of attention and help from many friends. Irene tells me she received two roses today for Valentines Day so at 97 she is still doing very well. I tell her I will come to Adelaide, but probably not until mid March as I am looking after Babette and Doug's two dogs.

Roberta Taylor as 'Inspector Gina Gold' In the evening I fry some bitterballen and watch the British police drama series The Bill. It is quite a moving episode as at the end one of the longest serving and most loved actors Roberta Taylor, playing "Inspector Gina Gold" is retiring from the series.

Sunday morning a sunny day greets me as I wake up. The first after quite a spell of overcast and rainy days. The Insiders TV program on the past week's politics - business - sport has started again this month. Disgust is expressed at the "shoddy" attitude of the Labour Government, tying the Victorian bush fires to the financial rescue package. Worth still, as I find out now, The Government cancelled Question Time in Parliament all week so that the Opposition had no opportunity to question and debate the package, the largest single expenditure item in Australian history.

Cranford TV series In the evening I fry some more bitterballen (the remaining half of a frozen pack) and watch Mad Men, followed by the second episode of the wonderful British TV series Cranford. The series is adapted from three novels by Elisabeth Gaskell (Cranford, Lady Ludlow and Mr.Harrison's Confession) published between 1849 and 1859. I also record this episode so that Babette can watch it when she returns home.

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