Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 228

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Friday - Tuesday, November 11 - 15 2011 (diary)

Pimpernel in 1959Our student year club Pimpernel held this Saturday their annual reunion at Societeit Minerva (the students club) in Leiden. Six of the 14 still alive attended. It is unlikely that I will ever be again in Holland this time of year to attend one of these, but next year I certainly will see them again at the summer reunion, where most of the 14 usually turn up, accompanied by their wives.

Has President Barack Obama read the Lonely Planet Guide??
He is coming to Australia this week and after addressing the Australian Parliament in Canberra, will fly directly to Darwin and nowhere else ! Needless to say that Sydney, Melbourne and the rest of Australia are jealous like hell.
Darwin is the main military base from which Australian and US troops do joint military exercises on land in the air and on the water, and it is anticipated that even more joint activity will be conducted here in the future with perhaps a permanent US base in Darwin. We will hear on Thursday when the man arrives. Some extra US troops stationed here would certainly do Darwin's economy much good.

We are getting gradually more rain and storms, and had a big one here on Sunday morning with some brief strong gusts of wind. Everything is looking green and fresh. The Mango geese which white feathers at the end of the dry look quite dirty, have all nice white coats again. I also spotted a half dozen or so sheld ducks on our property with sparkling white heads and necks. They look pretty, but, like the Mango geese, are very shy and it is hard to get a good photo of them.

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Wednesday - Sunday, November 16 - 20 2011 (diary)

Jia and Jeroen, October 2011 Busy again this week with teaching bridge on Monday, Friday and Sunday to Beginners and players of various stages of experience. All appear to be progressing well.

In an attempt to upgrade the general quality of play at the Arafura Club I have started a program of monthly bridge sessions. First joining for a meal at the Casuarina Sports and Social Club, then followed by 2 hours of instruction and practice.
Initially only three players had enrolled for the event, but on the Saturday evening twelve players actually arrived, a pleasant surprise. The evening was by all accounts a great success. So I will continue with this project.

I also paid a visit this Sunday to Jeroen, Lisa and young Jia, who is settling well into his newly adopted family. His English is also improving rapidly. We spent a happy afternoon in the pool, playing crocodile, shark and spraying each other liberally with water pistols.

President Barack Obama, on his whirlwind visit to Australia, addressed the Austrian Parliament on Thursday morning, then flew on to Darwin for a 2 hour stopover, to lay a wreath at the WW2 War Memorial and give an informal address to the soldiers based here.

The new "Obama doctrine" (as it was dubbed by some journalists), outlined in his Parliamentary address signals a shift in USA foreign policy, with an increased presence and participation in the Asia Pacific region. A clear acknowledge of a shift of the economic and political power away from Europe and the Atlantic to East Asia, where the powerhouse economies of China, India and Indonesia are growing rapidly.
Darwin and the Northern Territory will be a temporary base for more USA soldiers, increasing from 250 next year to 2,500 in 2015. An increase of joint exercises with Australian forces is also planned. Indonesia too will receive more military assistance in the years ahead.
So we are having the curious situation in the region that several countries are having a friendly business relationship with China, while at the same time enjoying a security arrangement with the USA. As long as everybody keeps his cool this will hopefully ensure a safe and co-operative environment throughout the region.

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