DIARY OF A RETIRED RUGBY LEAGUE WRITER
WEEK 50 2016
MONDAY, DECEMBER 12
Buy seven ‘Superior’ lilly pillys from Berrigan Road Nursery, Mudgeeraba, to provide a natural privacy screen at the back of our town house, given there is always the prospect of the council removing the lovely trees currently at the back of our fence. At Brothers Leagues, I catch up with former jockey, ‘Billy’, who is having an ale with former barmaid, Linda, who now works in gaming at Albany Creek Tavern. Billy always shouts when he backs a winner. Our daughter-in-law, Emma sees cricket great, Shane Warne in Tedder Avenue, Main Beach. ‘Warnie’ is staying at former teammate, Ian Healy’s place, evidently.
In Manchester, England, my league journo mates, Martin Richards, Richard Bott and Terry Holmes catch up for a few Christmas reds.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13
Coffee with former Carcassonne rugby league coach, Laurent Garnier at Morningside. Laurent says one of the French clubs, Palau Broncos, has had a late start to training because gypsies camped on their ground. A prominent banker helps fund Palau. Former Australian forward, Rodney Howe is back on the Catalans Dragons’ staff, after a stint with Bezier rugby union. Also catch up with former Australian centre, Tony Currie, who tells me his son, Liam has an Irish passport. Drinks tonight with former ‘Courier-Mail’ colleague, Paul Malone at new Wilston village bar. Another former ‘Courier’ colleague, Ben Dorries has taken a redundancy, after 18 years at Queensland Newspapers.
No more ‘Turner Classic Movies’ on Foxtel. Evidently, they had shown the same movies so many times, it was time to move on.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
Roy Masters has written a story in The Sydney Morning Herald – about Jamie Dowling attempting suicide. Jamie is the grandson of former Queensland State of Origin hooker, John Dowling – one of my former Murwillumbah Brothers’ teammates – and has been playing for Burleigh Bears in the Intrust Super Cup, after a stint with Gold Coast Titans. I text my good mate, Greg Grainger, who is married to John Dowling’s sister, Maree. Greg had no idea things were that bad with Jamie. In my dealings with Jamie, as a journalist, he was always polite and respectful.
Depressing news from France that the Rugby League Federation has recorded a loss of 204,000 Euros.
Television commentator, and former Test cricketer, Greg Matthews says he has never seen a bald Pakistani cricketer. Greg is as well known for his ‘Advanced Hair Studio’ TV ads., as he is for his cricket.
Marie and I watch movie, ‘Churchill’s Secret’. Very good. On my list of ‘things to do’, is a visit to the Churchill family, home, Chartwell in Kent.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18
ABC’S ‘Macca’ interviews ‘old Ron’, a former Ipswich train driver, who has just returned from cherry picking ‘down south’. What a character.
Teenage boys on pushbikes text on their mobiles as they go by. No doubt they will do the same when they are licensed to drive cars.
Hail storm hits in the afternoon. Watch chilling movie, Zero Dark 30, about the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden.
Photo: Laurent Garnier and his two sons.