MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2
Watch build-up to Super Bowl. Pop singer ruins anthem. So Australia is not the only country where that happens.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3
Walk to Keith Payne Park, Stafford, named after Vietnam War hero. The lawn area is a disgrace, and not befitting the brave men honoured on the wall of honour – VC winners from all our campaigns, except Afghanistan. Tonight I watch TV specials on Berlin, Post World War II, and Abba, their really early days. Marie orders lovely balsamic vinegar from Yass before heading to Lismore to catch up with family, via a swim at Rainbow Bay, and fish and chips at Chinderah.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4
Witness bike path rage today with walker chastising cyclist for not ringing his bell. “How many times do you want to hear it, dickhead,” says the cyclist as he disappears into the distance. I walk around New Farm this afternoon and bump into former Courier-Mail colleague, Andrew Dawson, who now works at Quest Newspapers. The grandson of former Valleys’ rugby league president, Tom Dooley cycles by as I chat to ‘Dawso’. Dinner (duck tacos) at Newstead Brewery. Cabbie home is from Afghanistan (via Malaysia). A nice bloke and a good driver.
Learn today of the death of former Best Bets editor, Peter Lucas (a real character going by his radio guest spots) and actor, Norman Yemm (from Homicide television series).
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6
Get up early to watch Super League season opener between Widnes and Wigan, a real thriller, finishing in a draw, even though Widnes (my team) had winger, Patrick Ah Van sent off early. It was an encouraging start to the season for Widnes coach, Denis Betts, the former Wigan and Auckland Warriors star who was keen to get Widnes fans ‘on-side’. Also watch a little of rugby union match between Toulon (France) and Sharks (South Africa).
Southport Tigers Rugby League celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. I played against them in under-18s and first grade in the period 1968-74 when they were known as Gold Coast Tigers. Future international, Steve Rogers played in their 1972 premiership winning side. Another Tigers product was controversial businessman/politician, Clive Palmer, who was a lightning fast winger – believe it not.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7
Watch Catalans v St Helens Super League clash – a game that goes forever because of injuries. Former Australian Test centre, Willie Tonga (Catalans) is knocked out making the first tackle of the game.
Marie and I drive to Mount Mee. Afternoon tea at Birches disappointing – a tea bag, not leaf tea! Tail gated down the mountain by girl in a ute. Watch Charity Shield tonight with Souths retaining the trophy courtesy of drawn result.
Learn of the death of Graham Herring, former Canterbury-Bankstown forward who was captain-coach of Forster-Tuncurry in 1975, the year I played in the same competition with Wingham Tigers.