WEEK 27 2015
TUESDAY, JUNE 30
To cinema to see ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, set in my favorite South of England county, Dorset, where I spent time touring ahead of covering the 1982 Kangaroo rugby league tour for ‘The Telegraph’ (Brisbane).
To Breakfast Creek Hotel tonight for a function to celebrate the on-going success of our youngest son, Lliam’s solar energy business, Supply Partners. Run into player-manager, Col Davis, one of the good guys of that profession. He has been to the Confraternity Schoolboy Carnival at Yeppoon, in his home territory. Our oldest son, Damien’s school, Beenleigh High, has been contesting the Country Cup at Maroochydore.
Evidently Radio TAB referred to me, while commenting on a story in The Courier-Mail. ‘Ricketts wouldn’t write headlines like that,” one of the announcers reportedly said. Of course, in all my time as a journalist, I didn’t write one headline. That was the job of sub-editors. Sometimes I would field calls from irate readers bagging a story, and I would ask what was their problem? “Just the headline’ was often the reply. With my name under the headline, it was hard to convince readers it was not my work.
FRIDAY JULY 3
Coffee, tea and pies at Woombye Bakery, before driving to the Blackall Range for a bush walk at Kondalilla National Park. The walk below the falls is closed – rock fall – and no doubt will be for ages, given the history of National Parks in Queensland. Not the fault of the rangers. It is the government and their false economies, given National Parks attract so many tourists. A lady is walking her pet greyhound in the National Park. I mean, seriously. We have a verbal shot at her, but she is so ignorant, our words are wasted.
To Bishop Park tonight for British Armed Forces v Queensland Universities rugby league match. The Brits, who are a bit cocky, lead 18-4, before losing 22-18. Thanks to Universities official, Trad McLean, I dine with the teams afterwards, and there is great camaraderie. The Armed Forces players come from all parts of Britain, but the lads I speak to are from the north – Wigan, Lancaster and Sheffield to be exact. The Universities five eighth is Jesse Domic, son of former Brisbane Bronco, Sid Domic who played seven seasons in the UK. Trad accompanies the Brits to the city and uses his influence to get them into the Victory Hotel after security raised concerns.
SATURDAY, JULY 4
On the way back from buying coffee beans at Elixer, I watch part of an under-18 Aussie rules match – v Morningside – at Wilston’s ground, and the skill level is high. After lunch, Marie and I walk around West End, buying various goods from Mick’s Nuts, before drinks at ‘Brisbane Brewing’ where ex-St Laurence’s students are having their annual get-together. My two youngest brothers, Andrew and Stewart were students at the South Brisbane school back in the late 1970s, early 1980s. These blokes are all aged 49-50. Also in the bar is Damien Roach, who is more of a league tragic than me, and is often seen in a Welsh league jersey.
Learn today there are plans for 44 town houses on the current site of Brothers/Bandits Leagues Club at Grange.
SUNDAY, JULY 5
I have a tick in the right side from bush walk. This morning on Macca on the ABC they talk about a lady with Lymes Disease (from a tick), who needs expensive treatment in Germany!!
Watch ‘Songs of Praise’ on ABC with Scots town, Largo featured. Marie and I (free) camped there in 1978 in our Dutch Army Kombi Van. The next day the motor seized in the old girl (the Kombi I mean) at Leuchars, after a courageous trip around Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Holland) as well as extensive travel in England. To our rescue came a Balmullo based former Grenadier Guard, who specialised in VWs. He took our Kombi for parts, and sold us a VW bug for 35 pounds. It belonged to a female St Andrews’ Uni student, who had had a prang and could not afford the repair bills. We drove the bug all over Scotland, Wales and England before selling it for 35 pounds in London prior to our trip back to Australia.