Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 312

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Thursday 1 - Saturday 31 January, 2015 (diary)

Koki@Mumbul Restaurant, Ubud It has been over six weeks since I wrote something in my Blog. I have been very busy, both with bridge and with trying to get a new venture for the Trailer Boat Club started : a Children Workshops program on boating and fishing basics and awareness.
I am now just back from Bali where I spent a week sorting out hotels and activities for our bridge weekend in Ubud later this year. You can view photos etc. here.

From tomorrow (Feb.1) I also start a new series of Beginners and Intermediate Bridge lessons, two sessions every Sunday, so that will keep me busy. On February 14 the Juniors Workshops will start provided we have sufficient participants.   I will keep updating my Blog but perhaps only just once a month or so.

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Sunday 1 - Saturday 28 February, 2015 (diary)

Bridge Club  Dinner at the Meihua Restaurant, Feb.2015 The days are flying by, full of activities. First up we had a great Chinese/Vietnamese dinner with the Bridge Club at the Meihua Restaurant with 35 players attending. Great meal.
Frankly there is so much more variety in taste and presentation in Asian meals compared to what is on offer in individual countries in Europe. Bali last month was mouth watering and in Australia Darwin has also a great variety of cuisines from around the globe on offer.

At the Trailer Boat Club we have started a 3-pronged approach to bringing boating and fishing related activities back into the Club.
We conducted the first Juniors Workshop on water traffic rules and boating knots which was appreciated by all.
An Adult technical presentation on maintenance and repairs of fishing rods and reels is planned for this week, and already 6 toddles and their mums have enrolled for a Water safety for Toddlers Course (conducted by the Royal Life Savers Organisation) which will start within the next few weeks in the pool of the Trailer Boat Club.

On the Bridge front I have started a new Beginners Course with 8 participants. After their successful completion of the course our Bridge club will have grown to 50 members, and we are looking for more days to play and another venue (probably in Darwin's Northern suburbs) to play in order to give members ever more choices. So we are very busy, but fingers crossed, so far so good.

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Sunday 1 - Tuesday 31 March, 2015 (diary)

DTBC Juniors Workshop, March.2015 I am increasing becoming involved and busy with my duties as a Councillor on the DTBC Committee.
I have formulated and presented a 5-year and 10 to 15-year vision for the club which all Committee members now are munching over.
Without a clear vision of where the club is going, it is going absolutely nowhere, drifting along like a rudderless ship with the only activity being bailing out water and staying afloat.   So hopefully this may change.

The DTBC Juniors Workshop I am organizing is going well with some excellent presentations, notably from the NT Royal Life Savers Organisation. Their presentation on CPR Awareness (mouth to mouth resuscitation) was absolutely outstanding and enjoyed by all present.

DTBC Juniors on the water, March 28, 2015 Australian politics is in limbo.
The Socialist Labour party and the Greens have descended to the level of lies shouting incompetents, hell bent on their own selfish aim to survive. In the process they taking the entire country down with them, which now increasingly is being viewed by the world as a place with considerable sovereign risk, an unreliable place to do business.
To their credit several highly respected Labour leaders from the past are distancing themselves from the present socialist rabble and strongly arguing against their ill conceived nonsense. All the same the general public has no idea what is going on and many appear to accept the lies without questioning.

However when I read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's latest book "Heretic : Why Islam must have a Reformation Now" (just published this March 25, available online) I feel oh so lucky having been born in a free Western country and society. The book is revealing and an honest account of how Islam really should be viewed by us in the West.

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Wednesday 1 - Thursday 30 April, 2015 (diary)

Juniors Workshop - Fly casting demo, April 2015 The month has again flown by. With my new role as Darwin Trailer Boat Councillor I am flat out organising new events and courses.
The Juniors are going well. I have also coordinated an Introductory Course for new Boat owners to be presented by the Volunteer Coast Guard which will commence early June. I have also composed and prepared a Boat Rally through Darwin Harbour has been prepared.
The latter especially gave me great opportunities to put new ideas into practice, so I will be very interested to see how that goes.

The Darwin Trailer Boat Club has well over 2,000 members, however the vast majority have joined to enjoy the occasional meal at the Club, watching the beautiful tropical sunsets, but have little interest in actual boating event.
We therefore plan to start a variety of leisure time activities of a general nature, such as darts, cribbage, regular wine tasting and cooking demonstrations, etc. This should all start when the dry season is over and all the tourists have left, say late September, early October.

Bridge session at the Trailer Boat Club Our Social Bridge Club too is going well, now at the end of its 2nd year. We have 50+ members, most of whom play twice a week.
We have just started another regular session at the BUFF Club, mostly for the Seniors, playing twice a month bridge on a Friday afternoon, preceded by lunch from 1pm.
We now play on six days in the week, giving members plenty of choice when they wish to play.

Our Bali adventure in Ubud is also gradually coming into view> and at present I am in the process of selecting a suitable T-shirt to be printed for this event.

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Friday 1 - Sunday 31 May, 2015 (diary)

Dinner & Bridge at the Free Spirit Resort Life is (or should be) a journey on on several different levels. Almost like tiny particles in quantum mechanics, we travel through time on several roads at the same time. Gradually these roads converge and (we hope) finally end at the same point : a fulfilled, happy human being.

One of the roads I have traveled, and have been very conscious of, even as an 8 year old boy, has been looking for the physical environment I felt most comfortable in, a place where I knew I belonged.
As a child I hated the dark, miserable Dutch winters often dominated by icy cold rain rather than snow, and I cherished the rare sunny summer days when I could walk in shorts and on bare feet with the warmth of the sun on my back. I loved the sight of palm trees in paintings by Raoul Dufy and was fascinated by books with adventure stories set in the Indonesian environment.
So in hindsight it is obvious where I eventually should end up : the tropics. And Darwin is an ideal place to be.

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Monday 1 June - Wednesday 15 July, 2015 (diary)

Bowls and Bridge  at the Darwin Bowls Club My thoughts these past weeks have been much occupied by my activities for the bridge club, at a few times having as many as 6 days with bridge events to run.
I also co-ordinated a 6 weeks introductory course on Trailer Boating which took a fair bit of time recording the materials presented on paper and CD. Five of the lectures were conducted by members of the Volunteer Coast Guard, one (on tides and tidal streams) was conducted by myself.   We will repeat the course early next year.

Although there are over 2,000 members in the Trailer Boat Club, the vast majority of them appear to have no interest in anything creative and I am rapidly starting to lose interest in the club, for I simply don't like wasting my time. I am a Councillor on the Committee in charge for a 2 year term, but that will definitely be the end as far as my involvement is concerned.
Bridge  at the Darwin Bowls Club
Our Social Bridge club members on the other hand form a stark and happy contrast and I am most pleased with that. I put lots of energy in running the events and coming up with new ideas and weekly lessons on a range of bridge topics which are always well attended.
Because of the parking problem at the Trailer Boat Club during the Tourist season we have shifted our regular Wednesday evening sessions to the Darwin Bowls Club which is a lovely old time venue with a wonderful atmosphere. We all enjoy playing bridge there.
Two upcoming social events for the bridge club are first another High Tea at Burnett House, which was so very successful last year.
Then in September our 3-day bridge event in Ubud the undisputed cultural hearts of Bali. Some 20 players will attend and I am getting a special embroidered polo shirt made up for the event.

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Thursday 16 July - Saturday 26 September, 2015 (diary)

High Tea at Burnett House, Darwin In August we had our (now annual) High Tea & Bridge in the gardens of historic precinct Burnett House. The afternoon was much enjoyed by all, with plenty of bubbly being consumed.

And yes, our Bridge Club did go to Ubud in Bali (Sept.11-4) and had a terrific time there, while much social bonding took place. Unfortunately I was not there myself. My Dutch passport expires in January 2016, and although an Indonesian Visa is valid for 30 days only, one's passport must cover at least the following 6 months.

So I stayed at home, maintaining contact by email, and enjoying the photos they sent me every day. The weekend started with me shouting everyone cocktails at Bar & Restaurant Koki@Mumbul, which you see the gang enjoying on the photo below.
Cocktails at Koki@Mumbul, Ubud, Bali

I am already planning a Bridge stay in Ubud for next year, possibly complemented by a further joint stay on the island perhaps in the up-market beach location of Sanur, we will see.
A number of our bridge club members however can't or won't come to Bali, for medical or other reasons.   So next year we will organise two overnight events, one of them being in the vicinity of Darwin itself.

Map of Tumbling Waters I checked out some possibilities yesterday (Sept.25) and was much impressed by the Tumbling Waters Holiday Park, just 60 km out of town. It has been voted "Nicest Park in the top End" by the Lonely Planet Guides.
I was accompanied on the trip by another bridge club member (Philippa, left front on above photo), to have a critical female perspective on our assessments and we both liked the park very much.

Here are some early photos of the park. We will probably go there for an overnight stay next April or early May, while Ubud will be on our social program or August, September or October 2016.
My Grandmother used to say "Do not delay until tomorrow, what you can do today."
So I am in the process of composing our 2016 social program right now.

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Sunday 27 September - Thursday 31 December, 2015 (diary)

We are approaching the end of the year. It is December 19 as I write this. In less than two weeks time, on December 31, it will be exactly 50 years since I, Antien and 2 year old daughter Babette, arrived in Australia.
It still rates as one of the best decisions I ever made in my life and I am sure Antien and Babette feel the same.

Mind you then (in 1965), Australia was still mildly Conservative under the Menzies Government, and it felt very much like a spiritual home to me. Although I have never voted in my life I have always been a Conservative by nature, something in my DNA, or perhaps my common sense.

Now the situation in Australia has changed considerably. Although again under an (at least in name) Conservative government of sorts it is wall to wall left of centre politics on schools, universities, TV and printed media throughout Australia. In universities free speech and intelligent debate is being squashed whenever it does not comply to left of center "group think".   The Australian Newspaper being a rare exception, with quality journalists providing a balanced and facts based view of National and world politics.

A similar situation prevails in most other Developed world countries. When historians look back on this first half of the 21nd century they may well give it the sub-title "When dummies ruled the world".
Developed World leaders have become "followers" in order to appease the amplified dummy voices of the social media and be voted in again at the next election.
Bridge Club Christmas party, December 12, 2015 Enough of politics.
I personally have had a very good year. In good health, no problems to worry about and a fulfilling life. I try, at least in a small way, to make a positive contribution to the people around me and indeed around the world.
At the beginning of this month I closed my online Music education shop and now provide all my music courses for free. It has been an ambition of mine for a long time and I feel very good about it.

In Darwin I have been active in both the Darwin Trailer Boat Club (DTBC) and our Social Bridge Club.
The DTBC has over 2,000 members, who on the whole don't seem to be interested in anything related to boating (or anything less). But we keep trying and provide next year once again an interesting boating program and two courses for juniors and adults.
In stark contrast our Social Bridge club, now with around 50 members (and growing) is greatly interested in anything to do with bridge and all social events are always well attended. It is a great joy for me to run this club and grow it into an intelligent and strong cohesive social entity.

Lastly I have purchased a new keyboard recently, a Korg PA900, a modern upgraded version of the PA 1X I purchased 10 years ago. It is much improved with great natural sounds of the various musical instruments. So I have started playing again a bit more frequently, although I have no intention of doing any gigs!

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