Thurs April 16

I arrived home safely & on time on Sunday. A quick shower & I was off to Mass at All SS. Because this trip was very quick, without the usual stopovers in the US, I was very jet-lagged & fell asleep before 7 pm. Then I woke up at 12 midnight! Each day since has been similar, gradually waking later & later. But no sooner had I got home than I was into a project!

For some time I had been unhappy with the shower I had installed in my condo in 2011. In London I experienced a very good shower & decided I would renovate when I got back to St K. An email to our management c/tee resulted in recommendation of a plumbing co. At 9.30 am on Monday I called them. They arrived 2 hours later, complete with tools. Where were my fittings, he asked. I replied that I wanted to explain to him what I wanted, which I did. A quick search on the internet & we were off to Reece’s bathroom supplies, where I found exactly what I was looking for. A visit to another of their stores & we had the new shower & tap.

Back to my place & the work started. I would need a tiler, so he phoned his office – but their tiler has retired. So I searched on the internet, found someone & phoned him. Have you got the tiles, he asked – call me when you have them. Another search on the internet & I found a tile showroom within walking distance. The plumber left at 5 pm, saying he would return at 8 am next morning. And he did! The job was finished at 11 am, with temporary shower for my use. So it was off to the tile co, with large tile in tow. I found a match & ordered them, to be delivered Wed at 8.30 am. And they were! As soon as they arrived I phoned the tiler. He could come today, but I have my SSC Mass & meeting. So he will come tomorrow at 8 am. After he has done his job the plumber will return & attach the new shower. I am amazed & delighted at the prompt & on-time service from these tradesmen.

Mon 20

On Saty night Port Adelaide played Nth Melb here in Melbourne. A gr8 day, a gr8 game & a gr8 victory. The link below is to an article written about the day from a Port fan perspective & includes flattering ref to me as the founder of the PAFC Cheer Squad 50 years ago.

Round 3 – North Melbourne v Port Adelaide: In the name of the father, the son, and the holy goallllllll!

Wed May 6

I came down with a cold last week, & spent 2 days at home to get rid of it. One a/noon I cooked a whole lot of pasta sauce & another a/noon I checked all my travel plans & flights for the rest of the year….useful activities. During the week my shower was finished & I also caught up with friends for meals. Sunday morning i was feeling much better – but was left hoarse after Mass due to high Easter hymns! This didn’t stop me meeting up with footy friends to watch the Port Adel vs Adel Crows game at our hotel. The game was very exciting & I was left even more hoarse. It was commented that since I returned from overseas Port has been winning!

This week I have been visiting friends, incl catching the train to Geelong to see by seminary friend, Fr Tim Gibson. The weather was terrible…..wintry weather is here. Tonight i am off to the opera (Madam Butterfly) & tomorrow a train trip to the outer suburbs to see my old friends Ian & Ros. So life is back to normal 😉

Tues May 19

I am now 68! For my birthday I went up to Brisbane for the weekend. Port Adelaide were playing Brisbane Lions on Sunday………unfortunately we lost. It was the worst game they have played since 2012 & put a dampener on my b/day celebration. I flew back yesterday, enjoying business class as a b/day treat, & at 5 pm the electrician came to install 2 new lights that were long overdue. At 6.30 pm my neighbour took me out for dinner to a local restaurant that was surprisingly full (& noisy) for a Monday.

Today is the SSC Provincial Synod at All SS. This is a new arrangement at a new time of the year. When I was the Provincial Master we were hosted by different Chapters & Synod was held all over the country. All the time I was in SD it was held every year in Sydney in Sep. Hopefully we will have a good attendance & I look forward to seeing my clergy brothers again. Tomorrow I fly to Adelaide. Port Adelaide play on Sunday & as another b/day treat I am going to Yorke Peninsula for their annual Cornish festival. This part of SA was settled by Cornish immigrants in the 19th cent & in recent years they have cashed in on their heritage with the Cornish festival to attract tourists. It certainly has worked with me, given my connection with the Cornish village of Cury.

Sat 23

I have had 2 nice days on what is called the Copper Coast – from the copper mines discovered in the 19th cent. The festival centers on the 3 main towns which were the centre of the copper mining industry. Wallaroo was the port & this is where I stayed. On Wed when I arrived at Sonbern Lodge motel they were celebrating its 100th b/day. I was invited into the dining room for what was a typical country a/noon tea, complete with Cornish pasties & cream puffs. I then explored the town. When I returned to my room an email was waiting from my cousin, Noelene. I had been spotted taking a pic of the old P.O. by the cousin of her partner, who lives there & who remembered me from my taking my aunt’s funeral 7 years ago!

On Thurs morning I drove to Moonta. This is the largest of the 3 towns & in the 19th cent was the largest town outside Adelaide, with 12,000 residents. It has lovely old buildings & was much busier than Wallaroo, with lots of Cornish festival activities. Because of the festival the Moonta Mines railway was running. Moonta Mines was where the copper mines were, now just a hamlet. However there is lots to see from the copper mining days. The train ride was fascinating & the driver gave us a very interesting historical commentary.

After the train ride I drove to Kadina, which was also bustling with festival activity. Another interesting walk around town & then it was back to Wallaroo. Friday I drove back to Adelaide, calling at various towns on the way. Each had war memorials & historical plaques, so I learnt a lot about the history of this part of SA. Now for a weekend in Adelaide, with footy on Sunday a/noon. We have to win this week!

Thurs 28

I returned to Melbourne on Monday very disappointed after Port Adelaide’s bad loss on Sunday. Not to worry………onward & upward! Yesterday I went to the dentist for some root canal work. I spent 1.5 hours in the chair, had a numb face for the rest of the day & paid an expensive bill! In the evening I went to the opera – Verdi’s Don Carlos. It was 4 hours of grand opera.

Today I am off to the podiatrist for the 1st time, on the recommendation of my Dr. Then to Fitzroy for a/noon tea with a dear friend from St Mark’s, then dinner with others from my time there as Vicar. On Friday I fly to Alice Springs. Port Adelaide are playing Melbourne there on Saturday – an arrangement Melbourne has with the NT government. I have never been to Alice & am looking forward to it. After the w/e there I catch the Ghan to Darwin. This is the famous train that runs from Adelaide-Darwin – another thing on my “to do” list. It is a 24 hour trip. After staying in Darwin I fly down to Adelaide for another footy w/e. By then I hope Port Adel are back to winning!!!!

Sun 31

I have had a nice w/e in Alice Springs. Made really wonderful by Port Adelaide defeating Melbourne yesterday & playing their exciting brand of football that we came to expect last year. Weather has been hot & this made for a different experience at the footy. It was like a country game, with people sitting on the mounds, etc. I had a lucky day – I bumped into a fellow Port supporter I knew from Melbourne, Hailey. She had a spare ticket for a corporate area. I had not bought a ticket & was just going to pay at the gate. Instead I spent the a/noon enjoying the game with free drinks & food until the final siren. I told Hailey it was a good omen……….& it was 🙂

I have also enjoyed exploring the town. This is real Australian desert, with a special beauty. I am excited to be traveling on the Ghan tomorrow. The scenery should be interesting, if mainly desolate. My ticket in gold class includes my own single bed cabin, a day trip when we stop at Katherine on Tuesday & meals in the special dining car. It cost a lot, but will be gold class service!

Tues June 9

The Ghan trip to Darwin was a great experience. The food & drinks (all included) were excellent, as was the excursion to Katherine Gorge. I spent a night in Darwin, then flew to Adelaide to stay with my old friend, David at Port Adelaide. On Saturday I went to Port Adelaide’s home game, which was a good victory, then back to Melbourne on Sunday.

Monday was the Queen’s Birthday holiday & I went to the MCG to see the traditional Collingwood vs Melbourne game. A friend took me as her guest into the MCC members. We had front row seats on the 1st level & went to the Collingwood FC lounge for lunch & a/noon tea. It was a real Melbourne experience & was made all the better by a great game & a C/wood victory. I now have a busy week as I prepare to fly back to SD on Monday 15th.