A Shire native/internet friend, teacher moments, music and Sydney Boys High

This begins with Covid vaccination and Adrian Phoon, who long after I had left lived in his young days in the same street in Caringbah South where I once lived back when I was teaching at Cronulla High.

…the house on Willarong Point. Not that we had a yacht, but there was a boat house at the bottom of the garden where I used to sit and read, and in the water just close to shore swim around with scuba and face mask seeing what was what… We rented the house for a year — house sitting really — and it was probably the most beautiful place we ever lived in The Shire. Oddly, Adrian Phoon hales from somewhere rather close…

Shire Childhood…

Adrian was a blogger a few years back, and that is how we first met. We have subsequently met in real life, when I was living in Surry Hills. Adrian has recently been involved with quite a number of things — see this story from The Guardian for one of them.

So on Facebook two days back Adrian revealed he was now fully vaccinated, after which came a longish congratulatory thread from friends, including me. But there was another point of interest in it for me, which is the first teacher moment:

The “masticate” thing always went well with my teenage students, as I explained Latinate style. I would say my mother encouraged me to masticate thoroughly at least three times a day…. You probably get it….

“Osculate” went down well too…

It did not take long for me to discover what Daniel has been up to. I think it was 1998 when he was in my Year 11 class. I have not seen him since,

This led me to recall my blog post from August 2020 “Facebook — more Sydney High chats and memories.”

Soon after posting those to Facebook I happened upon a brilliant musician in his twenties. I had never heard of him, but listening hooked me. He has toured the USA, Asia (including China), Europe… And I had never heard of him. Not surprising I suppose as at 77 I am not up on the latest music. Anyway, here he is with other musicians in the US just pre-COVID.

Plini. Did the HSC in 2009. My last year (aside from a few later brief gigs such as marking Trial HSC English) was 2005. He was in Year 7 then, and his mother on staff. Now I find articles about him such as: “Perfection is kind of ridiculous” – a [2017] interview with Plini on a Hungarian music site!

Here is a more recent interview:

And a final performance:

Very different styles of music of course. And it does all make me feel rather old — as I will be very conscious of this month, as you will know if you read this blog regularly! (Some do!)