MONDAY, AUGUST 3
My lovely wife, Marie turns 65 today. We have lunch at Vintaged in the Hilton Hotel with our daughter, Melanie. Our waiters are in the veteran category – one of Asian descent, the other a black American. The American has fond memories of the 1970s and 80s in Brisbane when long lunches were the go and people enjoyed themselves. “There were never any dramas,” he says wistfully. Stop at Gresham Bar on way home. I have a rye IPA from the Banyo Brewery. I chat to two Canadians at the bar. Evidently, the old Gresham Hotel, was known as ‘the passion pit’. The new Gresham, in a different building, is a barman’s bar. It’s where ‘serious’ barmen go for a drink when they are not working. Dinner at Phob Vietnamese in Fortitude Valley – pork and duck dishes. Earlier in the day I ran into former Brisbane Souths and Broncos prop, Mark Meskell. He reckons scrums in the 1980s only took 15 seconds, from the time they were called to the time the ball came out, or the referee awarded a penalty. These days players take 45 seconds just to set a scrum, and then it is not a contest. Admittedly, there are fewer scrums now, but in the ‘old days’ the scrums were hardly a stoppage, given they took so little time. And there was always something interesting, such as dust-up between rival forwards, brilliant cover defence from the lock, or a real dog fight at the scrum base between two fiery little halves.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5
Watch movie ‘Still Life’. Very good, Morbid, but inspirational.
Channel 7 reporter, Patrick Condren and his family have temporarily moved into our Hermitage Gardens Estate.
Former Test halfback, Tom Raudonikis is interviewed by Peter Sterling on Fox Sports tonight, and, as usual, is very entertaining. He mentions his coaching job at Laidley in the Lockyer Valley. I went out there with a photographer one night to interview Tommy, who had been shown the door by Brisbane Brothers following his part in an altercation at Brisbane’s Edinburgh Castle Hotel.
On the Linked-in network, I am linked with Ikram Butt, the first player of South Asian descent to play rugby for England (in either code) when he is chosen for the 1995 World Cup squad.
Learn of the death of one of the old nuns from Marycrest at Kangaroo Point – Dolores Carroll, aged 101. My father loved talking to the nuns during his time there.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6
‘Christmas in July’ dinner at Murrumba Downs Tavern with Marie’s ‘Playgroup mums’ and their men. The food is very good.
Learn of the death of English actor, George Cole, who played ‘Arfur’ in that great series, Minder. It always gave me a laugh at the end of a tough day.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 7
Canterbury-Bankstown beat the Broncos 18-16 in a thriller at Suncorp Stadium. Say hello to former NSW winger, Steve Turner, now working in Canterbury’s media unit. A group from Goondiwindi enjoy the footy from a corporate box in front of the media centre.
SATURDAY AUGUST 8
Our daughter, Melanie turns 36 today, and goes along to the Power House with her good friend, Cynthia Harris from Boondall, then off to the movies.
Charters Towers thrashed 83-0 by Burdekin in a Townsville Rugby League match. Evidently the Towers had just six fresh men, with reserve graders having to back up. Happens a lot in ‘bush’ football. In 1972, Woodburn were thrashed 150-0 by Kyogle in the Group 1 (Richmond) competition in New South Wales after almost the entire Woodburn reserve grade side had to double up when the first graders failed to show. The story goes, they were on the drink after being paid for work in the sugar cane fields. Koygle’s Peter McKenna scored 78 points himself. And this was back in the day when tries were worth three points, not four.