Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 169

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Thursday - Saturday, July 1 - 3 2010 (diary)

July 1 is (Northern) Territory Day, traditionally a "cracker night" when fireworks are set alight. Hundreds of shops sell crackers for just this one day only and fireworks are lit from dusk until (officially) 11 o'clock at night. Over the past few years new regulations have been brought in as to specific times and places when and where the fireworks can be lit and this has definitely resulted in a decrease of the number of accidents.

The first of July also marks the start of the new (2010-11) financial tax year in Australia. Shortly I will receive the forms to fill in and submit my GST (Capital Gains Tax) statement for the past year, which I hope to send away before my departure for Europe.

French movie star Jean Gabin Readingwise I am on a bit of a nostalgia trip at present. I discovered three Inspector Maigret detective novels by Georges Simenon in the Palmerston Library and after going through these found another 8 or 10 in the Darwin City Library in Casuarina.
Simenon was a prolific fiction writer during the early and middle part of the past Century with 400 novels to his name, including 100 Maigret stories. I used to read many of his books and of course all the French Maigret movies, always with Jean Gabin in the title role.
I just love the wonderful atmosphere of Paris from those days and police man Maigret going in and out the numerous small Cafes and Restaurants, consuming considerable quantities of beer, wine, Pernod and Calvados.

Early Saturday morning I watch the World Cup Quarter final Brazil - The Netherlands. Brazil, the World's top rated club are very much the favourites and score a very convincing first goal. But Holland keeps its nerve, continuing their game strategy which in the second half pays off with an equaliser.
After this the Brazilians are losing the plot, panic, have a player red carded and sent off. Holland keeps up the pressure and score a second goal, winning a truly historic victory over the 5 times World Champions. Through to the Semi finals, a wonderful match, well done !!

Almost overnight it seems (as I do my Saturday morning walk around the farm) all Mango trees have sprung into full bloom everywhere. It looks like promising a rich mango harvest in November again.

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Sunday & Monday, July 4 & 5 2010 (diary)

My sponsor child Jose from Brazil This is José from Brazil, he is one of my two sponsor children I have through the World Vision Foundation. It is José's 16th birthday this Sunday (July 4), I have sponsored him for about 10 years.
World Vision sent me a calender at the beginning of this year with my sponsor children's birthdays marked on it as a reminder to me, a great idea. My other sponsor child, Maria from Peru, will have her birthday in two weeks time on July 17.

It has been a weekend with an abundance of top class sport. Wimbleton tennis finals, Quarter finals of the World Cup (Germany beating Argentina with a resounding 4-0) and the Tour de France starting with a prologue in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Late Sunday night I watch Stage 1, when the cyclists are pedalling through the flat countryside of the southern parts of Holland on their way to Brussels.

Holland I suddenly realise as my eyes roam over this so familiar landscape, although my country of birth and where I grew up, has become for me a virtual world. A parallel universe, to which I have returned from time to time as if living in a dream. In exactly one month I shall be there again. I look forward to it very much, but, although I stil feel a strong connection with my Dutch friends, visiting the country feels very unreal to me now.
Strangely enough I don't have this feeling while staying in the Black Forest or the Ahr valley in Germany. I think this is because these are new places I have only recently discovered and therefore are more connected to my present. Interesting!

Mairead gives me a call, she has just returned from Europe and had a wonderful time. We start playing bridge together again in a week's time when she has recovered from her jet lag. Only for two weeks though, for then it will be my turn to jet out to Europe.

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