From Covid to War? All Aboard the Hype Train

I have mentioned several times about one of the things I wanted to do with this blog. It was about my hopes and fears for my son in the future. And an ever uncertain future it seems, if this past couple of years is anything to go by. Most of my “fears” will be no different from those that any other dad (young or old) or mother has for their kids. Although perhaps “fears” is too strong a word.

Right now we are witnessing the media switch from non-stop covid scaremongering to non-stop warmongering. Firstly, let me say that I don’t think for one moment that World War 3 will happen. At least not over the Ukraine situation. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen for some other reason of course. But what? Exactly. We do not and will never know until it’s too late (if it ever happens) so there is really no point in worrying about all that is there?

I do think it is rather convenient that this “crisis” in Ukraine comes at a time when the covid narrative is unravelling. Politicians – many of whom were already under pressure – are beginning to get found out over the scamdemic. But almost miraculously the covid issue is seemingly over in some countries and this new, big threat, is the only news in town.

This cartoon just about sums it up…

In fact when I litned to a radio news broadcast today (one of those on the hour things) there was no mention of covid. None! For the first time since we arrived in Australia. Really! Not that I listen to it every day of course – far from it. I avoid it most days. But still… I suppose we should all welcome the fact that covid is no longer the only story out there. But will the media be any different handling the Ukraine situation? Don’t hold your breath.

Wag The Dog…

After spending much of the past two years hiding behind the sofa from a virus that they cannot even see, some people will understandably think this is the end. THE END! Why wouldn’t they? Tanks and rockets are real and you can see them. And make no mistake the news on TV will show them. Again and again and again… It will play out on your TV set just like that 1997 movie Wag the Dog (which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it).

Not long before I was born there was a political incident known as the “Cuban missile crisis”. Everyone thought the world was on the brink of a new world war back then. Or so we are told. That was all about Russia trying to place nuclear missiles on Cuban soil – only 90km from mainland USA. The Russians backed down in the end. It seems to me that this latest “crisis” is about NATO encroaching (or trying to) right next to Russian soil, but I could be wrong… Anyway, that Cuban thing lasted just over a month before it was resolved.

Covid Vax-Pass Draft?

During World War 2, countries like the UK introduced a thing called ‘conscription’, which basically made it law for young men to join the armed forces and fight in the war. In the 1960s, around the same time as the Cuban missile crisis, America was sending its young men over to fight a war in a country few of them knew anything about and even less could find on a map. Vietnam. The US introduced something called “the draft” – same thing as conscription – to get as many young men as they needed to go and fight in Vietnam.

I wonder how many American could have found Ukraine on a map before all the recent news bulletins? I wonder how many US politicians know exactly where it is? Or those in any other country for that matter….

Is it too soon after the long drawn out wars in the Middle East to expect Americans (and their allies) to join a call to arms? Probably. We shall soon see. But here’s a thought…

Will the unvaccinated be allowed to join the struggle in Ukraine? Will they need a vaccine passport to go anywhere near the place? How many of those Russian troops that have entered Ukraine are “fully vaccinated”? Or have even had the “booster”?? After all we don’t want anyone spreading that covid virus in that part of the world do we? Shoot and blow them up by all means but let’s not risk spreading that cold/ flu-like virus eh….

During the Vietnam war many young Americans fled north to Canada to avoid “the draft”. Will they be able to get in now? Will they need their vaccine passports to enter Trudeau’s pleasure dome? Or will they be stopped because of a truck blockade? All perfectly valid questions, if a little cynical…. I wonder what will happen to any remaining (so called) “covid restrictions”?…

Stuff ’em…

I suppose my message is “don’t let the bastards get you down”. Or to put it a slightly more diplomatic way, that classic old saying: ‘Don’t worry about what you can’t control.’ But I would add a caveat to that. ‘Don’t worry about what you can’t control and don’t get involved‘.

Parkes to Bourke via Nyngan

A slight jump back in time to last January. From Parkes it was off to the outback. Bourke (again). The road to Bourke would be as follows: West from Parkes to Bogan Gate, then north to Nyngan via the small towns of Trundle, Tullamore  and Tottenham (I’ll call them the three “T”s). Then Nyngan to Bourke on the Mitchell Highway.

Bogan Gate is a railway junction with a branch line that extends north to the three “T”s Although none of the three “T”s are directly on the Bogan river they will certainly be using it as a source of irrigation for the agriculture that clearly makes up the economy of this area.

One town on this route has found another source of income. Trundle has taken a leaf out of Parkes’ book. Parkes celebrates the undoubted chart topper of the 50s and 60s in Elvis Presley (along with the Beatles of course in the 60s). Trundle has jumped on that bandwagon with the help of (undoubtedly) the top act of the 1970s in ABBA. Yes; Trundle hosts an annual Abba festival in May. Apparently some well known Abba tribute bands go there to play – such as Bjorn Again (yes, I have heard of them). Yet Trundle is so small. Where do the revellers stay? I won’t worry too much about that just yet… If the event goes ahead this year it could be huge as the Swedish quartet have recently reformed and released a new album – their first in 40 years (I think?).

Trundle Hotel. The epicentre of the ABBA festival??

Tullamore Hotel

All three “T”s are quaint, photogenic little towns. Tottenham perhaps the most neat and tidy. It makes a claim of being the centre of New South Wales. Yet just outside the little park where that boast is made sits a road sign telling us that the centre of NSW is actually some 45 km away. Go figure… Well, Tottenham is the nearest town to that epicentre I guess…

Corner shops Tottenham
Tottenham Hotel
The town’s claim is there for all to see…
…but the road sign says different…

Christmas tree was still there…

Nyngan and The Big Bogan

Bogan is not only the name of the large river in this area. In more modern times the word has come to be something of an insult. Or at best a put down. Australians refer to anyone living out in the countryside/outback with (let’s say) not much of a formal education, as Bogans. Ironic really because that is how most (if not all) Australians were perceived to be like in the UK until fairly recently. Interesting how Aussies have developed a bit of a snobby class culture eh? I bet there are many in the UK who may be surprised at that…. But I digress.

It’s kind of like referring to someone as a hillbilly, hick or even redneck in the USA. Also quite similar to calling someone a “chav” in the UK.

Here are the unofficial (I guess – are there any truly “official”?) definitions, judge for yourselves:

Bogan: an uncouth or unsophisticated person regarded as being of low social status.

Chav: a young person of a type characterized by brash and loutish behaviour (usually with connotations of a low social status)

Tourists passing through Nyngan would stop and take photos with the various signs displaying the word “Bogan”. So some bright sparks on the council decided it would be a good idea to build a big statue of a “Bogan” style man in the modern interpretation of the word. That way tourists could have their photo taken with the big Bogan and put their town on the map. A self-effacing way to get their small outback town noticed. And why not? The people of Bogan shire never asked for the name to be used as a modern day insult did they? I think it is a great idea. And here’s the an himself…

The Big Bogan at Nyngan

Nyngan has some great old buildings. It is a small town but there are enough shops and cafes to encourage tourists to stay there for a few days or more. (Although I was just passing through.)

I thought this was another self effacing joke in Nyngan…
But it wasn’t. They really do have an Olympic sized pool.
Old railway station converted into a museum
New Town Hall

Old Town Hall…

I thought this next one might have been some place of historical importance and the name intrigued me. Beancounters House? What could that have been in the past? But nah! It turns out to be just a name the owners came up with for a boutique hotel and café….

The Beancounters House, Nyngan

Nyngan to Bourke

The road between Nyngan and Bourke is part of the B71 – aka the Mitchell Highway. This particular stretch is impossibly straight. Just look it up on google maps! Apart from a couple of kinks in the road at certain roadhouse-type locations this road is perfectly straight for over 200 kms. The road builders had something to follow however. There is (or was) a railway line from Nyngan to Bourke and the road runs right alongside it. The track is still there, visible most of the way. Those Victorian engineers certainly knew how to make a railway line. Not sure what the hell happened since but that’s another story… That’s over 400km of cold hard steel rail just lying there rusting away. Meanwhile the wooden sleepers have all but deteriorated. What a waste of track! In this age of high speed railways this 200km perfectly straight section would have made a perfect test site should Australia decide to join the high speed trains era.

The impossibly straight and abandoned line between Nyngan and Bourke
The sleepers are completely shot but the steel is reusable
The railway lines slightly elevated close to Bourke

That’s 400km worth of old rail track (which would have been well made) – at current scrap metal prices that track would fetch between $5 and $8.5 million. But getting it all out and transported would take a huge effort.

Finally at Bourke. Now the task was to find out whether the outback unsealed roads were open. The aim was to drive along (at least part of) the famous Darling River Run. More to follow….

Film Review – Uncharted

It’s film review time again folks. This time we went to see Uncharted. An action adventure movie apparently based on a video game (hmm..)

Plot

Nathan and Sam Drake are two brothers related to that old sea dog Sir Francis Drake. They live in an orphanage and Sam runs away after being arrested when the two try to steal an old map made by Magellan in the 1500s. The map was the start of a treasure hunt for Magellan’s lost gold. Sam promises to come back for Nathan but only ever keeps in touch with occasional postcards.

Tom Holland plays Nathan, who 15 years later ends up working in a New York bar and making money on the side as a slick pickpocket. He meets and teams up with Victor “Sully” Sullivan – played by Mark Wahlberg. Sully knew Sam and together they steal the diary of Juan Sebastian Elcano who survived Magellan and returned to Europe all those years ago. The crew of Magellan’s expedition hid the gold and the diary is (naturally) full of clues as to finding the whereabouts of the lost gold.

It all hinges on two gold crucifixes which double as keys that seem to open quite a lot. The boys steal one from an auction house and meet up with Chloe (played by Sophia Ali), who has the second “key”, in Barcelona.

Meanwhile a rich and powerful Spanish family headed by Santiago Moncada (played by Antonio Banderas), are hot on their tails with all the usual (and unusual) henchmen – or should that be hench-persons? They too want the two crucifixes to find the lost gold. Nathan, Sully and Chloe solve the clues which take them into the historic heart (and guts) of Barcelona. The two crucifixes unlocking various secret passageways etc… All good stuff.

The trail eventually leads to the Philippines (where Magellan was said to have died) and leads to ever more spectacular action. There are more clues in Nathan’s postcards from his brother and the crucifixes are once again useful in unlocking further information.

Uncharted is an all out action movie that make the most of its budget (which must have been fairly large!). There are plenty of double crosses along the way – no pun intended considering the importance of the two crucifixes. There are also a few surprises that I never saw coming. Enough, in all, to keep the movie running along at pace and have the younger viewers on the edge of their seats. Dani and several other kids around his age were visibly “chimping” at various points in the movie.

Critique

Imagine taking Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark, Nicolas Cage’s National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code, then mixing them in a blender for 30 minutes. Et Voilá! But that does not distract from this being an enjoyable movie. Not at all. It only adds to the fun. Throw in a fair bit of childish humour courtesy of Wahlberg (as he tends to do) and it is as much fun and excitement for adults as for the kids.

The final scenes could be described as another mix of well known movies: Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Goonies meets Peter Pan. As if that’s not enough there is a constant hint of Mission Impossible thrown in for good measure.

For an action/adventure/comic-book story the acting is not that important but generally it was solid throughout.  Holland goes some way to proving that he can survive in Hollywood without the Spiderman suit and Wahlberg does what he has done successfully for some years now.

No spoiler alert to say that there are a couple of those added on scenes that mix in with the final credits to make us believe there will be an Uncharted 2 movie in the near future. And why not? both Holland and Walberg are popular actors right now and there was a chemistry between them that promises more than one sequel.

It’s fair to say that viewers of any age would enjoy this film. I give this movie 4 stars out of 5.  That’s the same score Dani gave it. Roll on the sequel…

Never Heard Bohemian Rhapsody?

The other day my mum sent a youtube link. It was for Dani to see an American teenager’s reaction to hearing Bohemian Rhapsody (by Queen) for the first time ever. Actually he could have been early 20s. Hard to say. But the question I am going to ask must be obvious…

How the hell can he not have heard that song before? Has he been living in a nuclear bunker all his life? Has that kid not watched any music shows on TV as he grew up. Actually there are several such videos on youtube so that kid is not on his own…

There was a recent movie – I think called Bohemian Rhapsody – about Queen. The song must have appeared in several other movies, movie trailers and TV shows over the years too. It is still played and mentioned on radio stations around the globe even 48 years after its release.  Surely he must have seen or heard one of these things?…

Anyway, it reminded me of a post I did a while ago with Dani singing the song in full. I found it (click here for that post) and was amazed that it was from four years ago. Daniel was 4 years old (closer to 5 actually, but hey…). Right at the end of the post I added the voice recording. Wow! that was back in August 2018. So funny then. Even better now because it embarrasses him LOL!

Here is that recording:-

It’s quite fun this. He did really well for his age. It could be useful too. I think I can use it to get him to do what i want whenever he has friends over.

I blame the parents….

Back to my main point: How is it possible to avoid a song like Bohemian Rhapsody for the past 20 (or so) years? It’s simple really isn’t it? I blame the parents. How can they allow this kid to grow up and be (seemingly) well educated and not have him listen to such classic songs? It makes no sense to me.

Now all I have to do is stop Dani playing Black Sabbath’s first album repeatedly whenever we are in the car.  It’s starting to get on my nerves now LOL!

My First Protest (Believe it or not…)

There have been plenty of protests around the world since this covid thing kicked off. More so recently. People have had enough. Maybe. Judge for yourselves. But last weekend I felt I had to attend the protest in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. This was not an anti-vaccine protest. It was simply against the mandates and restrictions still being imposed in the name of ‘covid’.

I have never been on any protest like this before. Ever. Although there have been enough times I may have agreed with the protesters’ reasons for doing them. Not sure why. I am just one of those – often, no doubt, the vast majority – who may disagree with what’s going on but just can’t be bothered to go and protest about it.

The big problem with this covid scam is that too many have done nothing. And the scam has now been revealed. Surely, right? It really has gotten out of hand. There are so many countries now dropping all covid related restrictions and yet here in Australia they are still pushing the same old shambolic agenda. Why? I have no idea.

When will these people give up? I fear never is the answer to that question. With a general election just around the corner the idiots (supposedly) in charge now will almost certainly be replaced by a bunch of even bigger idiots, and I think they will be even more covid mental.

The public gets what the public wants
Or is it “The public wants what the public gets“?
Both lines from Going Underground, by The Jam

How many? 

Anyway, There was a good turnout. The organisers/speech-makers on the main stage were claiming 500k. Half a million. I think that was an over-estimate. Meanwhile the media in their ever helpful unbiased manner were saying 10,000. Ten thousand?! F#ck off media! Why do they do that?

Right. I never counted them all (obviously) but I have been to enough football matches in my time to know what a crowd of 50,000+ looks like. Inside a stadium, or on the streets before and after a game.

Taken from behind the main stage…

My immediate ‘guesstimate’ was definitely over 100,000. Maybe as high as 200,000. The problem was that they were never all in the same place. There was a large gathering on the field between the new and old parliament houses but many just marched up to the seat of government, hung around for a while then walked back into the city centre. Others chose the shade of trees on either side of the field. I was one of those who left fairly early. Even then there were still plenty of people making their way up to the protest epicentre on foot and by car (the streets had been reopened to traffic by that point). So as always with these things the organisers and media disagreed widely but the true figure was almost certainly in between.

Police protecting the seat of government
…but apart from this, the police were low-key

It was good to see that the police presence was very low key. Proof that it was genuinely a peaceful protest.  I only saw a handful dotted about the area. Then there was a fairly solid line of police right in front of the parliament building. Clearly the intention was not to allow any protester to enter or get close. Understandable. At least they allowed the protesters to do their thing and go home. Not sure why the same never happened in Sydney and Melbourne a few months ago? Anyway…

The thin blue line

The crowd was a very mixed bag from all sections of the population. Some looked the part of professional protesters while many were just ordinary people (like myself, I would like to think) with families and kids. Lots had their kids with them. It is after all the kids future they are concerned about. Quite rightly. Young, old and every age in between. All walks of life and some just funny…

Moses. His tablet of ‘stone’ reads: “Covid Delta Omicron, Exodus, Let my people leave”

I am glad I went along. At this stage it really is a numbers game. Had there been several million people there it would be hard for any politician to ignore. Sadly there were not that many. Maybe next time eh…

I was quite late but there were many behind me…

I think it is time for people to stand up and be counted now. The future of our children is worth fighting for right? Or at least marching up and down a hill to a government building for… At least when my son is old enough to ask questions about this period in his life he will know that his old dad was on the right side of history. I truly believe that.

Enough…

There are only so many speeches and chants I can endure. In fact really not that many… So after a short stay at the protest epicentre I retired to the town centre for one of these…

Trust me. This really hit the spot

Canberra looks quite a nice place. Not too big but a busy little CBD etc… I spotted a few places for more beer but as I was driving back to Sydney that would not have been a good idea. Next time though…

Spiderman was there… He can’t be accused of being anti-vax. Well, he is not anti-mask eh?

Well Done Canberra. That’s Champion

Here’s one for anyone old enough to remember. Have a look at this little video. This is a scene from Lake Burley in Canberra just outside the city centre. Recognise the music? Does that image ring any bells? Maybe it is just me….

This reminded me of the opening title scenes from a British TV series I used to watch when I was very young. (Apologies to anyone not British nor old enough but then the series may have been aired in other English speaking countries?) If you are around my age and British you should definitely get it…

The music is the theme from The Champions. A series made right at the end of the 1960s. I used to love it. If you are not familiar with it then check it out on youtube or similar (there are complete episodes!). The large fountain in the opening scene to that TV series was the ‘Jet d’Eau‘ in Geneva. I have been to Geneva three times and that bloody fountain was always under repair. Thank you Canberra!

The Next Day…

Meanwhile… Back closer to home I spotted this council “information” sign.

“Use this space at your own risk”? WTF?

Now where do think this was? Outside a hospital full of dying covid patients? Maybe at some industrial waste centre with all kinds of contaminated substances?  Near a Wuhan style virus manufacturing laboratory perhaps? No. It was here…

A council playing field.

On the fence of a fricking football field, where kids and adults go (in large numbers actually) to play, train and generally get/keep fit. In the bright sunshine (most days). Vitamin D used to be a good thing you know, for the body’s natural immune system. In the fresh air. A place for exercise – one of the few things they never banned by the way. There could hardly be a more healthy place to encourage people to go to. For feck sake!!!

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t believe that these people have been deliberately trying to terrify the population? The same people that pay their f@#king wages! Shame on them!

Just remember that. The next time there is a “protest” somewhere near you…

The Waterfall Way

The Waterfall Way stretches from Armidale in the west to Bellingen in the east. Along the B78 highway in the north of NSW – not too far from the Queensland border. There are several national parks along the way and plenty of waterfalls. Here are some of the main ones on a trip from Armidale as far east as Dorrigo.

Bakers Creek Falls

NSW National Parks produce a Waterfall Way pamphlet. It is more about the National Parks in the area but also mentions and show locations of the main waterfalls. Yet there was no mention of the Bakers Creek Falls. About 25km east of Armidale there is one of those brown (tourist attraction) signs for the falls, pointing off the main road, so I thought it must be worth a look. And it was…

Bakers Creek Falls

The creek flows through the Metz Gorge which, oddly, does not appear to be part of any national park.

Wollomombi Falls

About 43km drive east of Armidale there is a turn off for Wollomombi Falls. The falls are in the aptly named Oxley Wild Rivers National Park which extends from south of Armidale eastwards (sort of). The Wollomombi and Chander rivers plunge in to the Wollomombi gorge. The Wollomombi falls are said to be the 2nd highest in NSW.

Wollomombi Falls

The above photo doesn’t really give a sense of scale but trust me the gorge is impressive. The walks in this area take you through the famous Dog Fence. The 5,600km fence that was built along the Queensland/NSW border (and much of South Australian border) to keep dingos out of the NSW farmlands. It was originally known as the ‘dingo fence’ but is now called the ‘Dog’ fence as it is as much for keeping out feral dogs as dingos. Which reminds me I picked up a book about the ‘Dog Fence’ a while back and still need to read it. I wasn’t expecting to see the fence so far south but there it was…

The Dog Fence at Wollombombi gorge

Ebor Falls

The Ebor Falls are more or less half way between Armidale and Dorrigo. This is the southerly end of the Guy Fawkes River National Park. An odd name for a river and national park eh? – especially if you are British. Guy Fawkes was the man who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament (aka The Gunpowder Plot) in London way back in November 5th, 1605. November 5th has long been celebrated in the UK as Guy Fawkes Day with bonfires and fireworks. The river is named after Guy Fawkes Day because a bloke called Major Edward Parke made camp on the river on Guy Fawkes Day, 5th November 1845. So he named it the Guy Fawkes River. The national park name was a natural follow on…

The falls at Ebor are perhaps the most photogenic on this route. There are the upper falls which spread out in a veil type formation. These tend to be the waterfall you most see in publications on the Waterfall Way. The lower falls – just a short run downstream –  is a single narrow and more powerful fall, plunging some 50 metres.

The Ebor valley
What is that crossing the falls? Zoom in for a closer look…
An eight year old boy dong a death defying wire walk across the upper falls.
Ebor Upper Falls

Ebor lower falls
The money shot! Upper and Lower Falls together

Dangar and Dangars

There are two falls with almost identical names. Yet both sit at opposite ends of the Waterfall Way. The Dangars gorge is close to Armidale at the western end of the Waterfall Way. The impressive gorge is the setting for the Dangars fall (aka Dangarsleigh Falls). A single fast flowing fall that drops some 130 metres into the bottom of the valley.

Dangars Falls
Dangars Gorge
Dangars Gorge
For scale you can see people on the viewing platform near the top of the falls.

Here too, on the walks around the canyon you pass through the famous Dog Fence.

The Dog Fence at Dangars Falls

Dangar Falls

The Dangar falls (no “s“) are just outside the small town of Dorrigo at the eastern end of the Waterfall Way. Not as tall as the Dangars but certainly wider so just as impressive. Easy to reach and the little town of Dorrigo is a pleasant spot to have a break and maybe have something to eat. A little further east is the Dorrigo National Park which is home to the Crystal Falls waterfall. We had already visited that area on another road-trip – see here.

Dangar Falls just outside the village of Dorrigo

For a sense of scale a tourist or two can be seen bottom left (more or less) swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls.

The Bradman Museum, Bowral NSW

The Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame – Bowral

We saw this place some time ago on a quick visit to Bowral, but it was closed and I vowed we would return. This place is a tribute to the great Donald Bradman and to great cricketers in general. Plus there is a lot about the history of the sport and the equipment used to play it.

Now, I am not a huge cricket fan although I used to follow it a little. No doubt many of you reading this right now will know hardly anything about cricket except that it is a strangely English game where it is possible to play for five days only for the match to end in a draw. Yes, indeed that can and does happen (quite often actually) but that’s not to say there is no action. None of that really matters because anyone who knows anything about cricket knows that Donald Bradman was the man.

Statue of the great Donald Bradman between the museum and cricket pitch

Bradman was born in Cootamundra but his parents relocated to Bowral (which is right next to his mother’s home town of Mittagong) when he was only two and a half years old. He later played for the local Bowral team. Then at aged 19 he made his first class cricket debut for NSW.  He soon got his chance to play for his country in 1928 in the second test match against England. But his first two innings were poor. He scored just 18 and 1 while England won the game comfortably. The selectors dropped him for the next test match. Fortunately they reinstated him for the third test where Bradman scored 79 and 112 to become the youngest player to make a Test century. The rest, as they say, is history…

A cricket bat from 1750. Not too dissimilar from the modern bat.

Scoring a test match century is a really big thing in cricket. There have been many scored by lots of players but it still remains a massive achievement. Bradman’s test match average score was over 99. AVERAGE!! Scoring just shy of 7,000 runs (6,996) in 80 innings.

 That truly is some feat by the man who was affectionately called “The Don”. But to appreciate just how good he was, read on…

Just How Great Was Bradman?

Batting average records are usually subject to a minimum qualification of 20 innings played or completed. Otherwise we would be talking more about a man called Andy Ganteaume, a Trinidadian keeper-batsman, who scored 112 in his one and only test innings. Heard of him before? No, me neither….

Bradman played not just more than 20 innings of test match cricket but 80; with an average score of 99.94. For every other cricketer a career batting average over 50 is exceptional. Even more amazing is that only 4 other players have averages over 60. This really is an incredible statistic. The fact that Bradman’s average is so far above that of any other cricketer has led some to argue that, statistically at least, he was the greatest athlete in any sport. That argument is hard to counter.

According to statisticians, to match Bradman’s achievement a baseball batter would need a career batting average of .392 (whatever that means), while a basketball player would need to score an average of 43 points per game over their career. (Note: For context Michael Jordan’s points scoring average was just over 30.)

He scored over 100 runs (aka a century) on 29 occasions in his 80 innings test career. The next fastest player to reach 29 test match centuries was the great Indian batsman, Sachin Tendulkar. But he required nearly twice as long (148 innings) to do it. Bradman scored 12 Test double hundreds (double centuries) and this remains the most achieved by any Test batsman. Again for comparison, the next highest total of Test double centuries is by Sri Lankan, Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 11 in 223 innings (almost three times as many innings as Bradman!).

Bradman started his test match career almost 100 years ago, back in the late 1920s. Which means that he probably smoked a few cigarettes and drank a couple of pints of beer before going out to bat – as sportsmen tended to do in those days. Well, at least we like to think they did….  But all joking aside, Bradman truly was the supreme batsman. When someone asks you just how great Donald Bradman was, your answer should be; ‘very great, in fact awesome!’

Here’s to “The Don”,  1908 – 2001.

Entrance costs: $25 per adult and $15 per child.

Painting of the best cricketer that ever live.
The Ashes Urn. Well, a replica
Two Cricket World cups won by Australia.
Bats signed by the Australian and opposition test sides.

There were plenty of these signed bats from different years. It’s a great place for any cricket enthusiast. The Bradman Oval sits adjacent to the museum so we caught a bit of a game too…

There was even a game on at the Bradman Oval
Live cricket at the Bradman Oval

Six Years Old Today (This Blog)

February 5th 2016. That is the date of the first post on this blog. That was exactly six years ago, today.

Here is a link to that first post: Click here. I have just read it again (for the first time in a long while) and there is nothing I disagree with nor would I have done anything else if I was somehow transported back in time. We may be living the other side of the world now – and God knows a lot has happened worldwide since we arrived here – but  overall, what was true then, is true now. Time is always the enemy. Dani is now 8 years old and in a few months I will be 58.

Daniel has grown from a toddler into an eight year old (going on 16) schoolboy. He reads, he writes and of course knows how to operate the computer/iPad (or any similar device come to that).

He is a smart-arse, he is cocky and can be hard work at times. But he is still very funny with a great sense of humour. We laugh at the same things and love lots of the same daft, funny movies. He even tells me jokes now and again. His musical tastes are emerging and are getting similar to my own – and no; I am not forcing him to listen to things. That said I am getting a little bit sick of hearing Black Sabbath’s first album if I am honest – hahahaa. (I know. It’s an odd one to get into so young eh? Still better that than most of the crap around now.)

We have great times on little road trips together and I think he enjoys them as much as I do. Although I can sense when he prefers to be with kids his own age, he still likes to do things with his old dad. That will probably not last much longer. I am well aware of that.

I am no longer always his best mate, at least when he has alternatives. But he is still mine. And apart from the odd times when I want to strangle him he is great company.

I no longer worry about things like his education or what he will do when he leaves school. You know; college, work etc… Not because I don’t care but because I think he will know enough by then and will make the right choices himself. We actually talk about it sometimes so he is already doing that thing of looking way ahead and asking about jobs and university etc… – but only in passing. He is obviously still a little kid. He always will be to me I guess.

What does bother me however is the world he will grow up in. How things might be when he is an adult. But when has that ever been any different for any parent? So I guess that’s not worth worrying over either, is it? (So let’s not!)

Six years on and my son is still not really interested in reading any of the blog posts. He occasionally shows interest but it hardly lasts more than a few seconds. But I still keep writing. About things we do together, about things he does and about all kinds of crap that is going on around us whether here in Australia or back in Europe. One day he will start reading it and when he does he will no doubt read it from start to finish. Well, at least that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s what keeps me writing…

So here’s to the seventh year of the blog… Cheers everyone and thanks for reading. Oh, and please feel free to pass it on.