Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 190

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps & other Text series

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Wednesday - Sunday, December 1 - 5 2010 (diary)

With Val and Tony at Hahndorf Adelaide is really a lovely city and I have arrived here at the right time. All the Jacaranda trees are in bloom and numerous Adelaide streets are lined with these magnificent trees, so that a blue blush is present wherever you look. After a few days of bloom some of it is blown off the trees and forms a sprinkling on the roads.

I am having a good time here, catching up with friends from the bridge club I set up back in 1984. It is still going strong with 6-7 tables every week.
There are also lots of great restaurants here and with my host Tony have dinner at several of them including two great Italian restaurants, Tombola in Unley road, Unley and La Tratoria in King Williams road in the city.
It is also good shopping in Adelaide and I can't help buying another pair of T-shirts and some swimming trunks.

My new Skechers walking shoes I am also looking out for some good shoes. Several websites with info on the Camino de Santiago have stressed the necessity to use shoes with flexible soles and ankle support, but I have not been able to find anything remotely suitable in Darwin.
But I do find some good ones here in Ward's Shoe Shop at 184 The Parade, Norwood. Its owner has just returned from a walking holiday in Italy and in a position to advise me well.
He does have the original Hush Puppies of which I still have a pair, but he advises me to take the Sketches, with very flexible soles and good ankle support. I will test them out in the months to come. At the trendy Burnside Shopping Centre I also find a nice pair of dress shoes in black.

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Monday & Tuesday, December 6 & 7 2010 (diary)

With Antien in Kingscote, Kangaroo Island SA It has been 15 years since I went to a Movie theatre, but last night Tony persuaded me to break the drought. And it was worth it, a great French comedy, Copacabana, with the delightful Isabelle Huppert.
It has been even longer, 30 years in fact (since 1980) that I visited Kangaroo Island, but I went over there on Monday to visit Antien who lives in a lovely house in the small hamlet of Penneshaw. We drove to Kingscote together, the main town on the island and had a look at the Art Gallery there where Antien always has some of her pottery on display.

'See no evil, hear no evil, 

speak no evil' by Antien Today (Tuesday) I drove back to Adelaide and packed up my car for my drive tomorrow towards the Sunshine Coast. The weather is not good, much rain and there is extensive flooding in NSW, but I hope to avoid that as well as a huge locust plaque which is moving around in Victoria and Souther NSW.

Before heading towards the bridge club "Bridge with Friends" tonight (which I established way back in 1984), Val King has invited us for dinner. After that a pleasant evening's bridge and farewells to all until we see each other again in one or two years time.

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Wednesday & Thursday, December 8 & 9 2010 (diary)

Parkes and Moree in NSW Wednesday morning I leave Adelaide early, at 5.30AM. It drizzles, then rains intermittently, sometimes heavy, all the way to Mildura, after that dry all the way. I cross the rivers at Hay and Forbes successfully, but do run into a few small locust swarms which splatter the front and windscreen of my car.
Shortly before 6PM I arrive at Parkes, dog tired, and check in at the Best Western Moonraker Motor Inn. The staff is friendly, the ($100) room very large and comfortable and the meal I have excellent. I will certainly keep this place in mind for a next time. I have an early dinner and am sound asleep by 7.30PM.

Up early again on Thursday. The motel serves breakfast from 5AM (an excellent idea for the many early travelers) and I am very tempted but decide against it. I am a little nervous about the road ahead. On the news last night I heard that Dubbo (120km ahead of me) may get flooded. When I arrive there the road is open, although houses in the low lying areas along the river bank are indeed flooded. At the Service station where I tank up the attendant tells me that the road is clear all the way to Brisbane. Wonderful, I can now relax and focus my mind on what lies ahead : Moree and its spa baths, where I arrive just after 11AM.

in the spa bath at Moree, Dec. 2010 I discovered these spas when I first drove through this town in 1989 and have stopped there for a visit every time I have come through Moree since.

Quite a few years back a Japanese consortium wanted to buy the spas and erect a 5 star resort over it, but the local council, much to their credit, knocked their offer back. The council still is very determined to keep the spas open for locals and visitors alike at modest entry fees, and as a pensioner I pay $5.50 today.

The Manager tells me the council now has plans for a major ($6.5 million) renovation starting next month and to be completed sometime mid 2011. I believe this is a great idea, this spa is by far the best in Australia, and with a face lift should become more popular with Australians. Australians with European backgrounds (like myself) as well as quite a few foreigners already come to this place.

By 1PM I am back on the road again and travel the remaining 500km without any trouble, although it takes me a full hour to negotiate through the city of Brisbane. I arrive at ThreePonds on the Sunshine Coast at 8.30PM, after a brief stop for a meal. Babette and Doug arrive back from work shortly after and we spend several hours talking, before retiring to bed.

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Friday - Wednesday, December 10 - 15 2010 (diary)

I don't recall that I have ever before thought something like this, but at present I realise very consciously that this past year has been one of the very best of my entire life. Perhaps this is partly because I have felt no anxiety or uncertainty anymore about how (and where) to live the rest of my life. Those worries have come to rest and I feel at peace with my place in the world and where I am going.
I have met with many of my old friends in Holland and Adelaide, made new acquaintances and friends in Germany and in Darwin which decidedly and noticeably have boosted my friends happiness factor.
Natural salt lake in South Australia
Visiting Antien on Kangaroo Island too last week has reconfirmed the strong and lifelong bond and feelings we have for one another. And my drive from North to South right across the Australian Continent has also been an unforgettable journey.
Mooloolaba Beach Now back at the Sunshine Coast I end this year the way I started it : at Mooloolaba Beach in its exhilarating and refreshing surf. Tuesday morning our Christmas lunch with the Bridge Club I established way back in 1992. Twenty of them turn up and we have a most pleasant morning.

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