MONDAY, OCTOBER 12
Bus it to Frankfurt, then Metro to Marianplatz where there is an International Girls Day march in Berger Street. At Kleinmarket a busker belts out a few Elvis songs. Enjoy wine on the deck next to the market. Meet a 75-year-old chap – Meyer is his surname – who shouts us a drink. He had lived in Essex, England at one stage.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13
Walk to River Maine where idiot looking young males are performing urban athletics on the bridge railing. As you do. Next, a dark chap drives straight down the footpath. Again, as you do! Back to Klein market where I buy half a dozen oysters – 30E. I was thinking 5E as in France. I was so shocked, I parted with the money. We have drinks in the nearby square,in freezing cold conditions. “When it is cold in Frankfurt, the women are hot,” says the barmaid. Handy to know. Dinner at Mozart Cafe – just okay. Goulash (me), veal chop (Marie).
There is a book fair in Frankfurt this week, one of the largest in the world, and Salman Rushdie is a guest speaker. Alan Whiticker, from New Holland Publishing, is also there. New Holland published my most recent book ‘Bennett’s Broncos’.
WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY OCTOBER 14-15.
There is snow in the nearby hills, which is unusual at this time of year. Back to Kleinmarket where we queue for frankfurters at Schreiber Stand. Then back to wine deck for a last drink. Chat to an elderly couple, the Fielders.
Margaret Fielder has been to Australia and stayed with friends (the Reigers) in Port Macquarie. Mrs Fielder said she couldn’t live in Australia. She didn’t like the club (RSL/Leagues) lifestyle! Norway and Poland are their favorite places in Europe.
To the airport in plenty of time for our return flight. Watch the NRL grand final highlights on our laptop, and I get chatted by another lounge patron for being too loud. Fair enough. But it was so exciting, watching, for the first time, the Cowboys’ extra time win. At Singapore Airport we pay $100 Singapore for access to Ambassador lounge, but it is not worth it. The one ‘free’ Tiger beer is hot. A few screaming babies (we travel economy on Singapore to Brisbane leg) on plane. One young passenger is watching what looks like porn, while another bloke watches a disgustingly violent film.One of the movies I watched ‘Good Kill’, was a thought provoking look at the use of drones in war.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
At Brisbane Airport we see more obese people than we saw on the entire European trip. Come on Australia, get fit! Marie has a sleep, but I walk to Elixer at Stafford to replenish coffee supplies. There is evidence of big storms. A house, where two sheep dogs would run to greet me, has gone, with a new place to be built in its place. At Hermitage Gardens community garden, the passionfruit vine has gone mad. Watch Murri Carnival rugby league final between South Dingoes and Torres Strait. To Bandits/Brothers club where everyone is getting ready for the Brothers Rugby League Trophy Night. Great to be home.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17/SUNDAY OCTOBER 18
Back into the swing of things. Catch up with youngest son, Lliam; his wife, Channelle and son, Ethan (seven months). Ethan is now waving and is so handsome. Marie goes to Bush Care working bee in Grange Forest. I witness a magpie attack (on a woman and little girl) at Gilbert Road Bridge, Grange.
On the rugby league front, Radio MMM claim there has been an incident between two North Queensland Cowboys players. No names.
Learn that Wayne Bennett is standing for the Australian Test coaching job, vacated by Tim Sheens, who will coach Salford in England.
Also learn of the death of former top New South Wales Country referee, Ron Dobson, 87, a former Murwillumbah Police sergeant, and a real gentleman.