Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 285

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

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Monday - Friday, July 1 - 5 2013 (diary)

Tour de France Yes, the greatest cycling sporting event in the world, the Tour de France, has started again, and here in Australia we have full coverage of the event on SBS television.
It is the second time that an all Australian team, Orica Greenedge, is competing and one of their riders, Simon Gerrans, won the 3rd stage in an exciting finish of this iconic 100th birthday event.
On top of that the Greenedge team won the 25km long Teams time trial in Nice the next day, as a result of which Gerrans now wears the yellow jersey, the 6th Australian in Tour history to do so.
The first three stages were held on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Tour's coverage always highlights the scenery of the route, and I had not realised how beautiful this island is.
A few years ago one of my online Improvisation students was a part-time shepherd on the island of Corsica. He related to me that he was practising my exercises on his clarinet, sitting on top of a Corsican mountain while keeping an eye on his herd of sheep.

July 1 is Northern Territory Day, always celebrated with plenty of fireworks. I usually take little notice of the event, but this time we were playing bridge in the Trailer Boat Club and close to the "cracker night" action. Lots of people were lighting their fire works on the beaches along Fannie bay, producing a very colourful display in the sky, enjoyed by all, including myself with a glass of red wine after the bridge.

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Saturday - Wednesday, July 6 - 10 2013 (diary)

My career as a Coast Guard volunteer did not last long. I aborted it within two weeks, as money was required just about every step of the way : for membership, clothing, text books, various training sessions, exams, certificate fees, etc. etc.
In view of me now more clearly appreciating what they do (and my indifference to it), I have resigned from the whole caboodle. (It also comes across to me as a sort of "Dad's Army".)
I will look out for something more meaningful to contribute my time to, but at present I am also quite busy with my new venture our new bridge club.

The Gold price over the past 40 years Only recently, perhaps after looking at some fashionable jewelry shop windows in Baden Baden last year, have I become conscious of a curious historic reality (if one can call it that).
My parents started our family business Martinshof in the period approaching the end of the Golden era of jewelry when the gold price was still pegged to the US Dollar (at US$35.- an ounce).
But unfortunately for them, they started the business just after WW2 in 1949, when people in Europe were still poor and had to focus on more mundane purchases, slowly improving their living standards.
Martinshof was therefore forced to switch to he wholesale of wedding and eternity rings to survive and flourish.

Several precious large hand crafted creations remained unsold in the business and I was fortunate enough to purchase all of these in 1970 at their then book value (and well before the sudden rise of the gold price), so that they remain in our possessions as important family history icons.

After the Gold price was floated in 1972 it stayed initially relatively low but then suddenly took off in 1980, changing the jewelry world forever. Artist had to change their creations to become much lighter and smaller or use alternative cheaper materials.

Exhibition of silversmith Eric Nunn Last month I attended the opening of the annual silver jewelry exhibition of the hobbyist silversmith Eric Nunn, also a fellow bridge player. Eric has managed to overcome, to some extent, the problem of size by using larger pieces of semi- precious stones in his work.
Eric cuts and polishes all stones himself (mainly in flat shapes) and uses, whenever possible, gem materials found in Australia itself.
For example pink Rhodonite from Tamworth (New South Wales), jet black Jade from Cowell (on the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia), Opals from Coober Pedy (South Australia) and red and pink Agate from Agate Creek in North Queensland.     Well done Eric !!

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