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Today's quote:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Freude, schöner Götterfunken

 

A patriot is the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Which is what might be the problem with the European Union whose anthem - "Ode to Joy" - is purely instrumental.

Just imagine if everyone mimed their way through "Our home is girt by sea" when the band plays "Advance Australia Fair". Come to think of it, everyone does, right?

Anyway, to promote greater patriotism, the EU is playing with the idea of introducing new lyrics to Friedrich Schiller's old "Ode to Joy".

The distinguished British baritone Robert Bennington is setting a cracking pace but 'ze door is schtill open' for other suggestions.


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I didn't know the Duke was German!

 

He is in "The Sea Chase", a 1955 World War II drama film starring John Wayne and Lana Turner. John Wayne, as Captain Karl Ehrlich, is determined to get his German freighter home during the first few months of the war while being chased by the British and Australian navy.

The brief opening shots of Sydney Harbour (not shown in the above trailer), before they had built the Opera House and even before the much maligned Blues Point Tower dominated the skyline of the North Shore, make this movie worth watching, even if it weren't for the fact that the story is based on the real 1929-built German Norddeutscher Lloyd steamer "Erlangen" which, under Captain Alfred Grams' command, slipped out of New Zealand's Lyttelton Harbour on the very eve of war.

The pursuing British and Australians had the navies that ruled the waves but the Germans had the Duke! Pity it was just in the movies ☺


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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bending the rules at "Riverbend"

 

Went for a quiet paddle when a big launch pulled up along-side me. MARITIME NSW was written all over the boat, and officialdom all over the bearded face on board.

"Are you aware of the new rules?", asked the bearded face in an official voice.

It's difficult to stand to attention in a wobbly canoe, so I meekly replied, "No."

"When boating alone, you're required to wear a Level-50S-or-greater lifejacket at all times. The fine for non-compliance is $500."

That's more than my canoe is worth!

I'd been sitting on my old lifejacket to keep my bum safe from blisters. I tried to put it on but it must've shrunk since I'd last worn it or my waist-line must've done the opposite. Anyway, there's no law against obesity - not yet!


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This Land Australia


Ted Egan's: Cape York: The Vanishing Frontier

 

I've been a fan of Ted Egan's videos ever since 1996 when I did a six-month stint with his brother Bob, a retired policeman, in the Fraud Investigation Unit of ATSIC, a bloated Government body - aren't they all? - that's thankfully no more.

His videos are now on YouTube, so go ahead and pig out on Australiana:


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Friday, October 20, 2017

The real Marigold Hotel

 

Remember "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"? It's one of my favourite movies, so when I saw a DVD in my favourite shop labelled "The Indian Dream Hotel", I immediately thought it was a cheap imitation of the Marigold Hotel but it wasn't.

Instead, it's a documentary - made by the BBC and unashamedly called "The Real Marigold Hotel" - of a group of celebrity pensioners, actor Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, chef Rosemary Shrager, darts champion Bobby George, singer Patti Boulaye OBE, actor Sylvester McCoy, comedian Roy Walker, and ex-news reader Jan Leeming, who head to India to see if they can set up a better, more rewarding retirement there than in the UK.

Even though I don't know any of those celebrities, I can relate to them because back in 2004 I tried to drum up interest in creating a similar group to invest in a similar lifestyle place in the still unspoilt north of Bali - click here. Perhaps I wasn't famous enough because I could never get a sufficient number of famous or infamous people interested in it.

Years later I visited an even better place, a tiny boutique hotel of just four exquisitely built bungalows in the cool hills of northern Bali. I revisited it time and time again, often being the only guest, which may have been the reason why the owners put it up for sale some years later. I again tried to drum up some interest in a buy-out - click here - but again without success.

Perhaps people don't want to have their lives managed by a retired German accountant - see below:

Pity! I already had a name for it and had hired the man to run it for me: "Stalag 13" and Colonel Klink.


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