2018! Can you believe it?

They have just released the 1994-5 Cabinet Documents. Now you can tell you are old when they sound like news from about ten minutes ago!

Just ten years ago seems more like seconds back. Fortunately I have my blog as a substitute for memory! I had completely forgotten this:

When you’re over 60 and, well, you know, this makes a change…

23 Jan 2008


… women throwing themselves at you, I mean. Take Ekaterina for example:

Hello Dear!

How are you? I hope that all good for you and you will read my letter with a interest. Ok. I got your e-mail through internet dating agency. I gave my letter to agency and they have told that my letter will be send to man in Australia!!!! I want to arrive to Australia and I have good chance for this. I need only man who can meet me in Australia and probably we can to develop our relations. Ok. My name is Ekaterina. I’m from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia.

My measurements: 32B – 24 – 34, Height: 5 ‘ 2 “, Weight: 115 lbs
Hair: Fair-haired
Eyes: Black
Star Sign: Scorpion

I’m 27 years old. But very soon will be 28 years old. My birthday on October, 29, 1980. I am ready for creation family and want it very much. I cannot find the man in Russia for myself because it very hard in Russia. I want to create family and to live in your country because the government to care about people. I want to live and be sure in the future. In Russia it is not possible to live easy. I want to tell about myself a little. I live in city Yoshkar-Ola. My city is very beautiful. I work as the seller in shop home appliances. I’m cheerful woman who like to go for sports and do all what like are usual peoples.

My history: I’m with my girlfriend were going to go in your country as tourists for search of men for serious relations. But my girlfriend could not go with me. She had problems with your family. But very soon I will receive visa and I do not want to lose a chance to arrive in your country. I will receive visa in 7 days for your country. Now I waiting for reception of my visa.

It will be great if you can meet me and we can to have relations with you. I’m understand that it very strange, but probably it’s desteny for you and me. I understand that you will ask me ” Where did you get my e-mail? ” I’m right??? I got your e-mail through internet dating agency in my city. I gave them my letter and they told me that they will send my letter. And I will be very happy if YOU will answer to me. I will be very happy if you will write me and we will have our meeting very soon. And it is possible we a meeting in 7 days because I can arrive to you.

Please tell to me about yourself a little!
What is your full name?
Your age?

I hope that you will answer to me back… If so I will send my photo to you. I will wait your answer so much… Write to me on e-mail…

I’m leaving the email out because this is between Ekaterina and myself, you know…

What do you mean she wrote to you too? You mean she could be a floozy, to use a very old and politically incorrect word? Never. She chose ME out of all the men in the world… Didn’t she?

I have to admit it all came as a surprise as the only things resembling an internet dating agency that I have ever joined are Facebook, gay.com (non-paying) and Kagoul, though my membership of the last has no doubt elapsed.

I note too that M was on his great South American tour in January 2008. (He heads for S-E Asia in a month’s time.)

M back from Antarctica

15 Jan 2008

He found it a very special place.

He returns to Australia at the end of this month.

Finally from 2008:

My archaeology

09 Jan 2008

That, rather than a clean-up, is what is happening. I have been here in Elizabeth Street Surry Hills since 1992, and I brought quite a bit of unsorted rubbish with me. Some items go back, well, to Noah almost.

  • My first inspection report from Cronulla High School.

Mr W is an enthusiastic and resourceful teacher who is establishing good relationships with his pupils at all levels of the school.

His lessons are thoroughly prepared and informed: he uses a wide range of material and shows enterprise in presenting this material to pupils who respond well.**

Following advice earlier this year he has improved his supervision of pupils’ work, increasing his effectiveness in teaching. The results achieved in recent examinations testify to his successful teaching: the results in Form V History and Third Level groups in English V are especially commendable.

It is recommended that Mr W’s efficiency be determined as meeting the requirements for the award of a Teacher’s Certificate.

— E. Guthrie (Inspector) July 28, 1966

I see I had Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 English and Form 3 History  — That is Years 7-11 English and Year 9 History. No Year 12 as 1967 was the first Year 12 in NSW, and I took that (bottom) Year 11 class through. ** I am sure Eula Guthrie was not suggesting my lessons only worked with “pupils who respond well”! 😉

  • The famous card from the Class of 1986 at SBHS

“The Britannia Rules OK!”  “Best wishes for the future school — I hope you get as good a class as us! — Ben” “Oh for a draft of Vintage — Now you’ve got one! — Chris Jones” “Thanks for some of the funniest English periods we have ever had! — Sincerely, Martyn, Dean & Sam” “Thanks a lot for putting a bit of fun back into school. — Peter Schulze” “Dittoes — Geoff” “Don’t get pregnant!” “Somehow you even made Larkin seem exciting! Good luck for the future. — Craig” “I hope you die! Yours sincerely, Philip Larkin.” “Keep away from Colin the bartender (barmaid?) — Craig Bartlett” “Cribs Rule — The Phantom” “Good luck — Craig McLean (the quiet one)” “Like wow — wipeout. Danke Schon — Tim Knight”

… and a few others. For context, see here, here and here.


SBHS Second VIII 1986 — one of the signatories is here, Dean (No 6 from the bow) and also nearer the bow someone Marcel knows…

In 2017 this blog had 14,617 visits, slightly down on last year. The top ten individual posts were:

Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 275 views in 2017
My 1947: Shellharbour 185
Restoration Australia: Keera Vale 160
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 146
Tom Thumb Lagoon 135
Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames” 122
Random Friday memory: 1 – John Mystery, my brother, Illawong 96
Body language, cross-cultural communication, Trump etc… 95
Nobel prize winner’s obituary triggers memories 85
What a treasury of family history! 79


Looking back at 2017 — 1

Here is where my visitors have come from in 2017 to date:

Screenshot (144)

Now for January, avoiding Donald Trump! Mind you, if you insist:

Sorry, but it has been rather hard to avoid Donald Tweet lately, who even after a day or two is turning out to be as bad as, if not worse than, I had imagined. Also, can you see any resemblance? I can…


But I don’t think Donald Tweet smokes, or at least I am not sure he does. Mind you his performances sometimes suggest he might have been smoking something. Take just one example:  Trump Goes to CIA to Attack Media, Lie About Crowd Size, and Suggest Stealing Iraq’s Oil. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

“I love you. I respect you,” said the president, who ten days earlier likened U.S. spies to Nazi Germany for their role in publicizing an intel dossier packed with allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising information on him.

“There is nobody who feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump,” Trump said, speaking before the wall at CIA headquarters engraved with black stars for the officers who died in the agency’s service. “You’re going to get so much backing that you’re going to say, ‘Please don’t give us so much backing.”

The substance of Trump’s speech focused on the fight against what he called “radical Islamic terrorism,” echoing his inaugural line that it be “eradicated off the face of the earth.” While Trump did not offer any details on how he would do that, he hinted at a more aggressive approach in prosecuting the war on terrorism….

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer used his first press statement Saturday to deliver an angry broadside against the media and reports of the inaugural crowd size. “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong,” he said.

Trump claimed between 1 and 1.5 million attended the inauguration; estimates put it closer to 250,000 attendees.

“I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings.”…

God help us if this is the garbage we can expect for four more years! Oh, and as all of us could see with our own eyes on our own TV sets in live coverage a day or so  back:

Personally, January 2017 was when I took delivery of Junior HP:

Baby HP may be moribund, but there is hope…

First off though, I am being a bit spoilt here in Wollongong Library with their free big screen access to the Internet via the NBN’s fibre optic cable! Fast!


That’s a kind of farewell pic of Baby HP: see Computer tragedy (February 2014). And here is another.


Now the news! Yesterday I had a phone call from a Wollongong friend offering to set me up with a new computer! I’ll let you know how it works out! Apparently he is one of a group of Wollongong friends. 🙂

Lunar New Year and HP Junior

And today I paid for JUNIOR HP! Thanks to those WHS friends for their kindness.192772-l-lo

Two selfies plus summary of November


Yesterday afternoon: Nice to be in Illawarra Brewery again after quite a long time. That’s me with a half pint of Apocalypso.

The Tasman Sea, seen through the window, really is choppy today.

No ships in sight.

It’s the first day of summer.


This morning: Illawarra Leagues waiting for coffee. Note the hair!

On this site I averaged the same daily hits as October: 32.  The most viewed posts in November to yesterday were:

Home page / Archives 573 views since 1 November 2017
Gatsby, Huck and another American classic 15
Weird things happening in Oz 15
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 13
Postal survey: almost zero hour 13
POTUS/DOOFUS — no worse, much worse 10
Tangible link to the convict ship “Isabella” and the immigrant ship “Thames” 9
Sydney High memories 8
More from the same-sex marriage survey 8

Another October, and a birthday remembered

So September averaged 34 hits a day on this blog, slightly down. The best day was 7 September with 70 hits. It was this 2013 post responsible for half of those: Nobel prize winner’s obituary triggers memories.

Aside from the home page, the top six posts in September have been:

Nobel prize winner’s obituary triggers memories 43 views in September 2017
Tell us, when will these things happen? 30
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 29
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 24
More from the world of the Postal Survey 21
I’ve had my say… 15

Tomorrow, 3 October, would have been my brother’s 82nd birthday. See Ian Jeffrey Whitfield 3/10/1935 – 5/4/2017.



Just 10 posts in August! There were 36 views a day average. Since 1 August the post viewed posts have been:

Home page / Archives 560 views
Friday Australian poem: #NS6 – Mary Gilmore “Old Botany Bay” 36
Living with the facts of our history 33
The search for the perfect burger 32
Taste of Xi’an Wollongong 28
Poem of the day: W H Auden 26
Tomorrow when the war began… 24
I’m really a conservative…. 18

And from 2009:

East Redfern: M’s orchid 1

On a balcony overlooking South Dowling Street.