Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 279

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Martinshof Story - Happiness - Awareness - Black Forest walks - Camino - Dolmen Tour - Travel

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Thursday - Saturday, April 11 - 20 2013 (diary)

Peace - by Geoff Todd I have not much to report at present. Some thoughts of various nature floating in and out of my head, but it needs some more time to crystallise into a coherent story.

Come to think of it, this also how Michael Morpurgo (author of War Horse and 100 other novels, many for children) described his build-up period for writing a book.
He was being interviewed by Parkinson and also stated in passing that literature is about stimulating (personal) growth (or words to that effect).

I find that a great way of expressing (or even defining) it. When you think of it the experience (through viewing, reading, hearing) of all true art can stimulate personal growth of our mental, emotional or spiritual self.

We are now ever closer to the dry season, or perhaps we are already in it. No rain for the past two weeks, sunny with blue skies, although there are still many cumulus clouds around, increasing in the afternoon. Towards the early morning I throw a light blanket over me on bed, so the nights are getting cooler (but still above 20°C).

I am kept very busy with bridge right now : a beginners lesson on Saturday, intermediate lesson on Sunday, beginners practice on Monday and the start of a new beginners course at the Darwin Trailer Boat Club next Wednesday. So a lot of material and deals to prepare.

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Sunday - Friday, April 21 - 26 2013 (diary)

Inaugural session at the TBBC We had the inaugural bridge session at our new venue, the Trailer Boat Club located right on the Fannie Bay waterfront and next door to my old haunt the Darwin Sailing Club.   We had three tables (12 players) for our first Beginners lesson there, with several more players attending next week.
I have a good feeling about this new venture, the beginners from both my previous course and this one seem to be bonding well together, which is the first requirement for the backbone of a new club. So I keep my fingers crossed and do everything I can to make it a success.

Judging from the first two encounters of the UEFA Champions League Semifinal it appears that German football is strongly in the ascendency, while Spain is in decline.
I have never enjoyed the tick tack possession football of Barcelona (so boring to watch), but it kept them (and Spain) on top for a number of years. Not any more ! Despite having 65% of possession of the ball, they were unambiguously thrashed by Bayern-Münich 4-0.
Real Madrid, which played much more attractive football than Barcelona, fared not much better, beaten 4-1 by a rampant Borussia-Dortmund.
What was the difference ? Individual brilliance of players like Messi, Iniesta, Ronaldo, Benzema, Özil up against tightly knit, relentless, total-team football of the Germans.
Both Spanish clubs will have an almost impossible task to overcome these deficits when they play their return matches at home, so the chance that we will see an all German final in May are considerable.

SBS TV broadcasts these matches live, early in the morning (4.30am) Australian time, so I set my alarm clock for that, then go back to sleep for another hour or so afterwards.
Next year SBS will start broadcasting live Australian A-league matches free to air. At present they can only be watched on pay-TV. That will make a huge difference for the popularity of soccer in Australia, which is getting better and better every year.

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Saturday - Tuesay, April 27 - 30 2013 (diary)

Our new bridge club at the Trailer Boat Club is up and running with its first social bridge session held last Saturday afternoon. Judge for yourself from the photo below, where would you find a more pleasant place to play bridge there here ?

At the Trailer Boat Club, Darwin

I have also started building a new website for our club, which is coming up fine. I will continue to add more photos and bridge quizzes over time.

Weather wise we are now well and truly into the dry season. We had a sprinkling of rain two nights ago, producing just 2mm, bringing the total for the month April to 80mm (just over 3 inches). Now no more rain for the next 3 or 4 months at least I think.
The famous Mindill markets in Darwin and the more local market at Palmerston have also started last week, heralding the dry season.

Many in Australia are counting the days to September 14, when the present Labour Government will hopefully, finally be kick out off office. It surely must be the worst Government Australia has experienced in living memory.
Bungle after bungle after bungle, accompanied by spending, spending and more spending of money they don't have.

The latest drama was revealed on ABC TV's Four Corners program last night (Monday).
Two years ago the Government, in a knee jerk reaction, stopped all live cattle export after a report of animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs. The pain and harm this inflicted on local farmers and the economy is still felt today.
Last night Four Corners revealed that the Governments' own handling of asylum seekers (arriving by boat) is hardly any better than the cattle treatment in Indonesia.
The string of suicides, self-mutilations and traumatized victims in various detention centres is absolutely disgraceful. Poor medical facilities, lack of water, sweltering tropical heat, many cramped in tents, on far off tropical islands (Naru, Manus Island, Christmas island) make living conditions difficult to say the least.

Government consultation with the local governments on the islands is minimal or non existent. Workers employed at the centres must sign a statement swearing to secrecy (or face being sacked), media are not allowed anywhere near the centres. The Government is clearly trying to hide the prevailing conditions in the camps. Despite spending a staggering one million dollars per asylum seeker, it is clearly doing no good at all.
Incompetence does not even come near in describing this.

A doctor (GP), working on Naru for a while, stated this was the first time in his life he had felt ashamed of being an Australian.   There you have it.

Both my (pro German) parents spent time in Dutch concentration camps after WW2 (resp. 18 months and 3 years) as political prisoners, atoning for their political views. As a small 8 year old boy I visited them in several of these post-war concentration camps on a number of occasions. Both from my own observations at the time and my parents' positive statements afterwards, I believe they (as political prisoners) had a far better time of it than the present asylum seekers in these Australian "detention centres".

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