My 2007: retired and blogging

Still at Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, and retired apart from a bit of tutoring and occasional marking. Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07 has daily posts, as I had by now been blogging for around about six years. You may be interested in my  interview for The Pakistani Spectator (2008).

I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?

There have been some memorable bad moments, but among the more memorable good experiences have been finding out through contacts made on the blog even more about my own family, and meeting up with a colleague I hadn’t seen for thirty years. There have also been so many precious examples of communicating with people from cultures and backgrounds I may have never encountered otherwise…

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?

I don’t think it is all that original really. I will quote a recent reader though, because if he is right I am very happy: I guess I like those that contain true things, that don’t hate or spread hate, that make me smile or make me think...Urbane and measured writing on a broad canvas from a retired Australian teacher. Gentle but uncompromising social commentary.

There are more of my posts at Floating Life: Monthly Archives: September 2007, Monthly Archives: October 2007, Monthly Archives: November 2007 and Monthly Archives: December 2007.

2007 in review: #2 — best pics used here in 2007

29 DEC 2007

1. This one came from Creative Spark, an Oz in Singapore.

2. Forget where I found this:

3. This one came from The Poet:

4. So did this:

5. And this one from April 2007 of Sirdan and I with Lord Malcolm is sad, as he only had a few weeks to live; but check his smile…

Teaching: generational change

27 JAN 2007

The next year or two will see a massive generational change in the teaching service as the Boomers retire or fall off the twig. I began my career way back in 1966, forty-one years ago. Not many teachers with that length of record were still in the service when I started, and once I moved to the Wollongong area in 1970 just about everyone seemed to be a twenty-something. Those days may be about to come round again.

I thought of this today as I was negotiating with a Year 11 boy, just back from the familial holiday visit to China, who wishes to start coaching next week. He is the cousin of Jessie, who was a Year 12 coachee last year. (God, now these coachees have lived their entire lives during the period I have known M!)

The Rabbit begins his teaching career proper on Monday in one of these schools. Good heavens, their Multicultural/ESL Consultant, Carol Marshman, is stationed in Wollongong! These people have been cut back severely in recent years. Where once maybe four consultants in this field covered from just north of Wollongong (The Shire) to the Harbour and west to around Ashfield, now one does that job. I can tell you from experience these consultants were mighty useful, but these days it must be hard for them to have an effect.

Schools in the Campbelltown area vary in their demographics. Be interesting to know more about the issues The Rabbit’s school will present. Perhaps we’ll learn more on his blog one day.

Meanwhile, my thoughts are with him. It can be a tough job, make no mistake, but it also has its rewards.

Perhaps my English and ESL site will be of some use. I note its usage is growing. Interesting too what people look at on the two sites…

My Gateway has gone to cyber-Heaven…

25 JAN 2007

byebye_gatewaySo sad.

Perhaps even The Rabbit will shed a tear.
Yes folks, I went to turn the old beast on yesterday to check how the new layout here might look on an old computer, and it wouldn’t. Turn on, that is. Not at all. Dead as a doornail. Probably the on-off switch, but they designed this model to keep you out, so I guess we have to say it is now for the scrap-heap. Fortunately nothing very vital was on it any more. Anything important had long since been copied to my memory stick and/or transferred to the Toshiba.

But let us remember Mister Neo with affection. See I have been ranting online for SOOO long!, where you get a bonus dose of US poet John O’Hara too.

June 7, 2000

Got the new computer today, and aside from stuffing up my Outlook Express (which I’ve sort of fixed) all is well so far. Anyway, true to what I said above (and this time I’ll make the diary go forwards instead of backwards) I’ll tell a story:


Except I won’t. And yes, I am still using that Gateway!

Well, not any more. That 2000 entry must refer, by the way, to my very first “diary” on Talk City. I was happy if ten people a day read it then. Yesterday on this blog it was 219, my own visits excluded.

Wildlife in Surry Hills

16 JAN 2007

I was, um, bushwalking through the local forest — the one near the Juice and Java Lounge as you see below — when I saw a pair of the most beautiful butterflies.


I watched them for a while, came up and searched the Net, and I am pretty sure this is what I was seeing:


That picture tells you more.

Meanwhile, I just noticed someone arrived here a short time ago after searching for “marxism in mary poppins”. Eh? I wonder what he/she found?

It’s Keating day…

07 JAN 2007


This afternoon is when Lord Malcolm, Sirdan and I are booked to see Keating the Musical at the Belvoir. It seemed unlikely not long ago, as you may have read. It is still not a total cakewalk. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Sad news

Lord Malcolm is not well enough to go.


Those tickets were booked back in November, in hope, but Lord Malcolm can’t actually walk at the moment. Sirdan and I went though, and I have to say it was great. The reviewers gave Keating 10/10 and it really deserves it. Afterwards we went to one of Surry Hills’s more delightful multicultural features: Erciyes Turkish Restaurant. Sirdan had never eaten Turkish before, and so liked it we have vowed we will do it again.

And would you believe it — Delenio and maybe The Rabbit may be interested — who should be in the restaurant but Oscar and his parents, whom I haven’t seen since many a Mine debate many a year ago? In fact, if you want to feel old, well if I want to feel old, just reflect on the facts. 1) Oscar turns 25 this year. 2) All the events portrayed in Keating happened since the time I met M! In the toilets at the Belvoir I said to another geriatric at interval: “Isn’t it terrible? It just seems like yesterday!” He replied, “Yes indeed. Sometimes the past is all you have left to live for!” I knew exactly what he meant.

Keating is sold out to the end of January. A new season is happening in March. If you are in Sydney, don’t miss it.

Extraordinary kindness…

10 JAN 2007

I just received an email from the writer/star of Keating!


I’m sorry to hear that Lord Malcolm couldn’t make it to the show last Sunday. Please let me know if his condition improves enough that he might be interested in going (and that it wouldn’t be too exhausting, volume and commotion etc.) and I’ll scrounge around for tickets – there are generally a couple of house seats each show set aside for emergencies.

Thanks for your words on the show; glad you enjoyed it!

Casey B

If ever I doubt this blogging thing is worthwhile, I’ll just reread this entry. 🙂

RELATED: Malcolm Gordon Gleeson: 1 — 25 May 1957 to 01 June 2007.



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