Sherbrooke Forest







These were all taken about a 10 minute drive from where I live on the outskirts of Melbourne on the Sherbrooke Falls Track near Ferny Creek.

Sherbrooke Forest







These were all taken about a 10 minute drive from where I live on the outskirts of Melbourne on the Sherbrooke Falls Track near Ferny Creek.

Sherbrooke Forest







These were all taken about a 10 minute drive from where I live on the outskirts of Melbourne on the Sherbrooke Falls Track near Ferny Creek.

Homecoming

Son number 1 is on a weeks leave from Duntroon as of yesterday. The last two times he was down he stayed with me but spent a fair bit of time at his mothers which was of course “home”. This time home is no longer available to him because it’s occupied by a stranger and he has said that he will be staying with a mate rather than with me. Odd that now the daughters are accepting of my new living arrangements that my sons seem to be struggling with it.

Son number 2 is heading off to Townsville tomorrow with a couple of mates. He’s told me he has work lined up and that for the first few days they’ll be bedding down at a friend of a friends place until they can find one of their own. I’ve also told him that if it doesn’t work out and has to move back here that I have a spare bedroom he can have.

I am sad that both of them are having trouble with the situation and I fully understand that maybe they think in some bizarre way that if they accept it they would be betraying their mum. But I’m the only one who has done that and that can’t be changed. I trust that in time they will come around. At the very least I am hoping that son number 1 will be around for dinner maybe tomorrow night, and I’m sure we’ll at least go to a movie this week, most likely on tightarse Tuesday.

Homecoming

Son number 1 is on a weeks leave from Duntroon as of yesterday. The last two times he was down he stayed with me but spent a fair bit of time at his mothers which was of course “home”. This time home is no longer available to him because it’s occupied by a stranger and he has said that he will be staying with a mate rather than with me. Odd that now the daughters are accepting of my new living arrangements that my sons seem to be struggling with it.

Son number 2 is heading off to Townsville tomorrow with a couple of mates. He’s told me he has work lined up and that for the first few days they’ll be bedding down at a friend of a friends place until they can find one of their own. I’ve also told him that if it doesn’t work out and has to move back here that I have a spare bedroom he can have.

I am sad that both of them are having trouble with the situation and I fully understand that maybe they think in some bizarre way that if they accept it they would be betraying their mum. But I’m the only one who has done that and that can’t be changed. I trust that in time they will come around. At the very least I am hoping that son number 1 will be around for dinner maybe tomorrow night, and I’m sure we’ll at least go to a movie this week, most likely on tightarse Tuesday.

Workless Saturday


Not much work will get done in Melbourne this afternoon, it’s AFL Grand Final day and even if you don’t barrack for either of the teams competing, 90% of the population will be sitting down in front of the TV watching the game.

I barrack for Carlton – the not so mighty blues these days having finished near the bottom of the competition for the last five years. But despite that my club is still one of the most powerful in the competition and we all live in hope that a climb back up to premiership glory won’t be far away.

I had no choice about what team I followed and nor have my kids, my oldest son Luke being given his first footy jumper when he was a day old. But that’s not uncommon, if you’re born, raised in Melbourne or adopt it as your home, you will have a football team to follow. Admittedly, some will be more passionate than others, but an early conversation starter when you meet a stranger is still “Who do you barrack for?” Everyone knows that the person asking the question is talking about footy.

We have a national competition now with teams from all the mainland states involved in the competition but when I was growing up it was a suburban league and my family followed Carlton because that was where they lived. The tribalism has survived the relocation of teams and the intermingling of the barrackers in suburbs way beyond those where the game originated.

Carlton’s home ground used to be Princess Park, it still is used as a training venue but the game and it’s requirements for corporate hospitality overtook that and all of the other suburan grounds that used to be used.

I loved school holidays in winter when I was a kid because it meant that I would spend time staying at my grandparents and on Saturday afternoons my Grandad and cousins and I would head off to Princess Park to watch the game. There weren’t many seats in those days and if you got their a bit late it was pretty hard to see anything when I was still wearing my kids height. We’d spend a bit of time picking beer cans up off the ground and building a platform we could stand on that would give us another 6 inches in height. I remember the smells too – the intermingling of beer and cigarette smoke; the smell of meat pies and tomato sauce which either burnt your tongue when you bit into them or were on the cold side of warm. The sound of the lolly boys calling out – “Drinks, lollies, chocolates, peanuts and potato chips. The winds were cold and the rain sometimes sleeting but that didn’t matter we were there to watch our heroes.

The cheer squads sat behind the goals at opposite ends of the ground. They carried 6 foot long sticks with massive amounts of streamers in club colours taped to their ends that would be waved after our side scored a goal or in an effort to put off the opposition if they were kicking down that end that quarter. These were called floggers and we made a few attempts to make some as well but they were never as large or as colourful as those the Cheer Squad carried. You could always tell who was in the cheer squad because they’d be wearing their duffle coats with countless badges with player names and numbers sewn onto them.

I have been lucky enough to have my side win 8 premierships in my lifetime which is roughly one every seven years, and I have also been lucky enough to see a couple of those live on this last Saturday in September at the MCG [the Melbourne Cricket Ground]. This is one of the great sports arenas of the world and if you live in Melbourne it’s simply called “The G”.

I saw several Grand Finals in a row when I was in High School. My mate David Palmer and I would get up early, catch a train into the ground and hang around the Salvos who would be given tickets that people couldn’t use and then give them to people in exchange for a donation. We got into the ground with standing room tickets for a few years in a row. In 1972 I went home happy when Carlton beat Richmond and in 1973 it was David’s turn when the result was reversed.

When I was in the police force I also saw a couple of Grand Finals in the 80’s when I was on the close personal protection team for the Prime Minister. They were good jobs because once he was inside his Federal Police gaurds stayed with him while we could go off and watch the game. And finally I was able to go to last years game as a guest of one of my works sponsors.

These days Grand Final day is much more of a social event than it was in the 70’s. Back then far more supporters of the participating clubs could get tickets, today 70% of the available tickets go to corporates and members of the AFL and the Melbourne Cricket Club. Still the atmosphere is as good today as it was all those years ago. You can still get a beer and a pie with sauce, but also such eclectic foreign items and pizza and even sushi if you so desire. Thankfully, smoking is now banned inside the ground. Floggers have also been banned but people will still wear their club colours, although I haven’t seen a duffle coat in years.

I’m not lucky enough to be there today but I am sitting in my loungeroom in a comfortable chair and I’ll be barracking for the Victorian club in the game, the Geelong Cats, and hope they absolutely belt those upstarts and relative newcomers form Port Adelaide.

If you want to get a taste of Melbourne and learn a little bit about footy in general and this special day in particular then checkout the three Youtube videos below. The first two were used on TV, “Up there Cazaly” in the 70’s, and “Thats what I like about football” in the 90’s. The final one is by Paul Kelly and whilst not about football does capture some of the essence of Melbourne and that area around “The G”.

Workless Saturday


Not much work will get done in Melbourne this afternoon, it’s AFL Grand Final day and even if you don’t barrack for either of the teams competing, 90% of the population will be sitting down in front of the TV watching the game.

I barrack for Carlton – the not so mighty blues these days having finished near the bottom of the competition for the last five years. But despite that my club is still one of the most powerful in the competition and we all live in hope that a climb back up to premiership glory won’t be far away.

I had no choice about what team I followed and nor have my kids, my oldest son Luke being given his first footy jumper when he was a day old. But that’s not uncommon, if you’re born, raised in Melbourne or adopt it as your home, you will have a football team to follow. Admittedly, some will be more passionate than others, but an early conversation starter when you meet a stranger is still “Who do you barrack for?” Everyone knows that the person asking the question is talking about footy.

We have a national competition now with teams from all the mainland states involved in the competition but when I was growing up it was a suburban league and my family followed Carlton because that was where they lived. The tribalism has survived the relocation of teams and the intermingling of the barrackers in suburbs way beyond those where the game originated.

Carlton’s home ground used to be Princess Park, it still is used as a training venue but the game and it’s requirements for corporate hospitality overtook that and all of the other suburan grounds that used to be used.

I loved school holidays in winter when I was a kid because it meant that I would spend time staying at my grandparents and on Saturday afternoons my Grandad and cousins and I would head off to Princess Park to watch the game. There weren’t many seats in those days and if you got their a bit late it was pretty hard to see anything when I was still wearing my kids height. We’d spend a bit of time picking beer cans up off the ground and building a platform we could stand on that would give us another 6 inches in height. I remember the smells too – the intermingling of beer and cigarette smoke; the smell of meat pies and tomato sauce which either burnt your tongue when you bit into them or were on the cold side of warm. The sound of the lolly boys calling out – “Drinks, lollies, chocolates, peanuts and potato chips. The winds were cold and the rain sometimes sleeting but that didn’t matter we were there to watch our heroes.

The cheer squads sat behind the goals at opposite ends of the ground. They carried 6 foot long sticks with massive amounts of streamers in club colours taped to their ends that would be waved after our side scored a goal or in an effort to put off the opposition if they were kicking down that end that quarter. These were called floggers and we made a few attempts to make some as well but they were never as large or as colourful as those the Cheer Squad carried. You could always tell who was in the cheer squad because they’d be wearing their duffle coats with countless badges with player names and numbers sewn onto them.

I have been lucky enough to have my side win 8 premierships in my lifetime which is roughly one every seven years, and I have also been lucky enough to see a couple of those live on this last Saturday in September at the MCG [the Melbourne Cricket Ground]. This is one of the great sports arenas of the world and if you live in Melbourne it’s simply called “The G”.

I saw several Grand Finals in a row when I was in High School. My mate David Palmer and I would get up early, catch a train into the ground and hang around the Salvos who would be given tickets that people couldn’t use and then give them to people in exchange for a donation. We got into the ground with standing room tickets for a few years in a row. In 1972 I went home happy when Carlton beat Richmond and in 1973 it was David’s turn when the result was reversed.

When I was in the police force I also saw a couple of Grand Finals in the 80’s when I was on the close personal protection team for the Prime Minister. They were good jobs because once he was inside his Federal Police gaurds stayed with him while we could go off and watch the game. And finally I was able to go to last years game as a guest of one of my works sponsors.

These days Grand Final day is much more of a social event than it was in the 70’s. Back then far more supporters of the participating clubs could get tickets, today 70% of the available tickets go to corporates and members of the AFL and the Melbourne Cricket Club. Still the atmosphere is as good today as it was all those years ago. You can still get a beer and a pie with sauce, but also such eclectic foreign items and pizza and even sushi if you so desire. Thankfully, smoking is now banned inside the ground. Floggers have also been banned but people will still wear their club colours, although I haven’t seen a duffle coat in years.

I’m not lucky enough to be there today but I am sitting in my loungeroom in a comfortable chair and I’ll be barracking for the Victorian club in the game, the Geelong Cats, and hope they absolutely belt those upstarts and relative newcomers form Port Adelaide.

If you want to get a taste of Melbourne and learn a little bit about footy in general and this special day in particular then checkout the three Youtube videos below. The first two were used on TV, “Up there Cazaly” in the 70’s, and “Thats what I like about football” in the 90’s. The final one is by Paul Kelly and whilst not about football does capture some of the essence of Melbourne and that area around “The G”.

Workless Saturday


Not much work will get done in Melbourne this afternoon, it’s AFL Grand Final day and even if you don’t barrack for either of the teams competing, 90% of the population will be sitting down in front of the TV watching the game.

I barrack for Carlton – the not so mighty blues these days having finished near the bottom of the competition for the last five years. But despite that my club is still one of the most powerful in the competition and we all live in hope that a climb back up to premiership glory won’t be far away.

I had no choice about what team I followed and nor have my kids, my oldest son Luke being given his first footy jumper when he was a day old. But that’s not uncommon, if you’re born, raised in Melbourne or adopt it as your home, you will have a football team to follow. Admittedly, some will be more passionate than others, but an early conversation starter when you meet a stranger is still “Who do you barrack for?” Everyone knows that the person asking the question is talking about footy.

We have a national competition now with teams from all the mainland states involved in the competition but when I was growing up it was a suburban league and my family followed Carlton because that was where they lived. The tribalism has survived the relocation of teams and the intermingling of the barrackers in suburbs way beyond those where the game originated.

Carlton’s home ground used to be Princess Park, it still is used as a training venue but the game and it’s requirements for corporate hospitality overtook that and all of the other suburan grounds that used to be used.

I loved school holidays in winter when I was a kid because it meant that I would spend time staying at my grandparents and on Saturday afternoons my Grandad and cousins and I would head off to Princess Park to watch the game. There weren’t many seats in those days and if you got their a bit late it was pretty hard to see anything when I was still wearing my kids height. We’d spend a bit of time picking beer cans up off the ground and building a platform we could stand on that would give us another 6 inches in height. I remember the smells too – the intermingling of beer and cigarette smoke; the smell of meat pies and tomato sauce which either burnt your tongue when you bit into them or were on the cold side of warm. The sound of the lolly boys calling out – “Drinks, lollies, chocolates, peanuts and potato chips. The winds were cold and the rain sometimes sleeting but that didn’t matter we were there to watch our heroes.

The cheer squads sat behind the goals at opposite ends of the ground. They carried 6 foot long sticks with massive amounts of streamers in club colours taped to their ends that would be waved after our side scored a goal or in an effort to put off the opposition if they were kicking down that end that quarter. These were called floggers and we made a few attempts to make some as well but they were never as large or as colourful as those the Cheer Squad carried. You could always tell who was in the cheer squad because they’d be wearing their duffle coats with countless badges with player names and numbers sewn onto them.

I have been lucky enough to have my side win 8 premierships in my lifetime which is roughly one every seven years, and I have also been lucky enough to see a couple of those live on this last Saturday in September at the MCG [the Melbourne Cricket Ground]. This is one of the great sports arenas of the world and if you live in Melbourne it’s simply called “The G”.

I saw several Grand Finals in a row when I was in High School. My mate David Palmer and I would get up early, catch a train into the ground and hang around the Salvos who would be given tickets that people couldn’t use and then give them to people in exchange for a donation. We got into the ground with standing room tickets for a few years in a row. In 1972 I went home happy when Carlton beat Richmond and in 1973 it was David’s turn when the result was reversed.

When I was in the police force I also saw a couple of Grand Finals in the 80’s when I was on the close personal protection team for the Prime Minister. They were good jobs because once he was inside his Federal Police gaurds stayed with him while we could go off and watch the game. And finally I was able to go to last years game as a guest of one of my works sponsors.

These days Grand Final day is much more of a social event than it was in the 70’s. Back then far more supporters of the participating clubs could get tickets, today 70% of the available tickets go to corporates and members of the AFL and the Melbourne Cricket Club. Still the atmosphere is as good today as it was all those years ago. You can still get a beer and a pie with sauce, but also such eclectic foreign items and pizza and even sushi if you so desire. Thankfully, smoking is now banned inside the ground. Floggers have also been banned but people will still wear their club colours, although I haven’t seen a duffle coat in years.

I’m not lucky enough to be there today but I am sitting in my loungeroom in a comfortable chair and I’ll be barracking for the Victorian club in the game, the Geelong Cats, and hope they absolutely belt those upstarts and relative newcomers form Port Adelaide.

If you want to get a taste of Melbourne and learn a little bit about footy in general and this special day in particular then checkout the three Youtube videos below. The first two were used on TV, “Up there Cazaly” in the 70’s, and “Thats what I like about football” in the 90’s. The final one is by Paul Kelly and whilst not about football does capture some of the essence of Melbourne and that area around “The G”.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxM8XB61ZvU”>

Of Fog


My friend walksfarwoman at Kissing the Dogwood has written a wonderful post about a person from her past and in the comments mentions that the memory came flooding back when she saw an advert for a forthcoming program. It’s often the way that memories do come seemingly unprompted and reading that post triggered some for me too.

My mate Fog lived around the corner from me in Box Hill South on the Golf Club Estate. We went to different Primary schools but the same high school and in the early teen years I would call us acquaintances rather than mates. I don’t know when that changed but at some stage we began to circulate in the same circle of friends and started to socialize outside school.

Fog was a corruption of his name – Geoff spelt backwards, which although was actually FFeog got shortened very quickly to just Fog. And he was anything but foggy, he was one of the brightest persons I have ever met, with a keen wit but an underlying ageness about him that in retrospect made him way older than his years.

Fog introduced me to music. His bedroom had the best stereo system I had ever heard to that stage and we spent many a day sitting in arm chairs listening to the Eagles, Genesis and Yes to name a few. I well remember the excitement of listening to Rick Wakeman’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and later Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. There were days listening to Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Focus, ELO and Supertramp.

Every Sunday night Fog would turn up at my place after dinner and we’d sit and watch a Sunday night movie on the telly. This would happen without fail and continued really until I got tied up with a girlfriend who was to become my wife.

Fog had terrible eyesight and a bad back. I wrote about my first bushwalk here, where his back became an issue for us, but far more of a long term issue for him. [That’s him leaning on the car door in the photo above.] I remember talking about the future at times with him and he stated very early on that he would not have children because he didn’t want to pass on his bad genes to the future of humanity. Can you imagine making that sort of decision in your late teens, it staggered me at the time but it was easy to write it off because that was just Fog. He could say those sorts of things, mean them and you knew that it was likely that he would follow through on it.

At some stage in High School he took to wearing a grey dustcoat and a peaked “CAT” hat. In those days baseball type caps weren’t common in Australia but Fog wore his everywhere.

We went to different universities but unlike some of our other mates we continued to live at home. Still it was around that time that we started to drift a little apart I think. We were moving in different circles of friends, he was making firmer friends amongst his uni mates than I was and I was in a relationship with my future wife and as sometimes happens, the mateships can often begin to take a backseat to love.

Fog went to Nepal when in his early twenties and I remember he came back around 3 stone lighter than when he left after a bad bout of dysentery. I remember him proudly telling me that he had buried his old dust coat in a glacier at Everest Base Camp – not something anyone would probably admit to in these more enlightened days.

Fog was a groomsman at my wedding in 1982 and when my first son was born in 1984 and the burdens and excitement of fatherhood began to encroach on my free time, Fog and I drifted apart. We didn’t see a lot of each other over the next few years. Fog continued to work at the same institution at which he studied and moved into a house around the corner from work. He began to drink heavily and his bad back meant that he did little exercise and as a result his weight ballooned. He called the front bar of his local pub his loungeroom.

In 1997 I was at work one day and got a call from another mate who told me that Fog had been found dead in his house, having had a stroke and dying alone on the cold tiles of his bathroom floor. He was 39 and I still miss those early days. When I hear Supertramp or Genesis these days those good times come flooding back.

Of Fog


My friend walksfarwoman at Kissing the Dogwood has written a wonderful post about a person from her past and in the comments mentions that the memory came flooding back when she saw an advert for a forthcoming program. It’s often the way that memories do come seemingly unprompted and reading that post triggered some for me too.

My mate Fog lived around the corner from me in Box Hill South on the Golf Club Estate. We went to different Primary schools but the same high school and in the early teen years I would call us acquaintances rather than mates. I don’t know when that changed but at some stage we began to circulate in the same circle of friends and started to socialize outside school.

Fog was a corruption of his name – Geoff spelt backwards, which although was actually FFeog got shortened very quickly to just Fog. And he was anything but foggy, he was one of the brightest persons I have ever met, with a keen wit but an underlying ageness about him that in retrospect made him way older than his years.

Fog introduced me to music. His bedroom had the best stereo system I had ever heard to that stage and we spent many a day sitting in arm chairs listening to the Eagles, Genesis and Yes to name a few. I well remember the excitement of listening to Rick Wakeman’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and later Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. There were days listening to Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Focus, ELO and Supertramp.

Every Sunday night Fog would turn up at my place after dinner and we’d sit and watch a Sunday night movie on the telly. This would happen without fail and continued really until I got tied up with a girlfriend who was to become my wife.

Fog had terrible eyesight and a bad back. I wrote about my first bushwalk here, where his back became an issue for us, but far more of a long term issue for him. [That’s him leaning on the car door in the photo above.] I remember talking about the future at times with him and he stated very early on that he would not have children because he didn’t want to pass on his bad genes to the future of humanity. Can you imagine making that sort of decision in your late teens, it staggered me at the time but it was easy to write it off because that was just Fog. He could say those sorts of things, mean them and you knew that it was likely that he would follow through on it.

At some stage in High School he took to wearing a grey dustcoat and a peaked “CAT” hat. In those days baseball type caps weren’t common in Australia but Fog wore his everywhere.

We went to different universities but unlike some of our other mates we continued to live at home. Still it was around that time that we started to drift a little apart I think. We were moving in different circles of friends, he was making firmer friends amongst his uni mates than I was and I was in a relationship with my future wife and as sometimes happens, the mateships can often begin to take a backseat to love.

Fog went to Nepal when in his early twenties and I remember he came back around 3 stone lighter than when he left after a bad bout of dysentery. I remember him proudly telling me that he had buried his old dust coat in a glacier at Everest Base Camp – not something anyone would probably admit to in these more enlightened days.

Fog was a groomsman at my wedding in 1982 and when my first son was born in 1984 and the burdens and excitement of fatherhood began to encroach on my free time, Fog and I drifted apart. We didn’t see a lot of each other over the next few years. Fog continued to work at the same institution at which he studied and moved into a house around the corner from work. He began to drink heavily and his bad back meant that he did little exercise and as a result his weight ballooned. He called the front bar of his local pub his loungeroom.

In 1997 I was at work one day and got a call from another mate who told me that Fog had been found dead in his house, having had a stroke and dying alone on the cold tiles of his bathroom floor. He was 39 and I still miss those early days. When I hear Supertramp or Genesis these days those good times come flooding back.

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