And also April’s past – or close to. I’ve now had so many blogging Aprils! Here is what I mean…
Compare this series from 2009
16 December: Blogging the Noughties: 1 – 2000. 17 December: Blogging the Noughties: 2 — 2001 18 December: Blogging the Noughties: 3 — 2002; Blogging the Noughties: 4 — 2002 –2004: memorable visuals. 19 December: Blogging the Noughties: 5 — 2003; Blogging the Noughties: 6 — 2004.
20 December: Blogging the Noughties: 7 — 2004; Blogging the Noughties: 8 — 2005; Blogging the Noughties: 9 — 2006. 21 December: Blogging the Noughties: 10 — 2007; Blogging the Noughties: 11 — 2008; Blogging the Noughties 12.
I’ve just finished Hell Week (as the Quitnetters call it), having made a determination that this cigarette quit will hold. I did run from July 1998 to just on New Year 1999 almost ciggieless, and for a couple of extended periods in 1999 and 2000. I suppose I have in total smoked over the last year half of what I would have. However, I now know I cannot be a moderate smoker, so it has to stop. My advice to anyone out there: if you don’t, don’t start! It’s an evil drug really. I, poor fool, started in my 30s, as an alternative, I think, to strangling children: teachers may know what I mean.
So yes, I am thinking of M. Right now he would be thinking of whether the Karakoram Highway will open when it should in two days time so he can proceed back to Shanghai via Xinjiang…
Such a shame I didn’t carry on with that quit back then! Still, so far so good. And M is off again in a couple of days, this time to the USA.
The media attention given to Sydney Boys High from April 2002, to its current cultural mix, and to selective schools generally, conflated a number of separate but interdependent issues. Much heat was generated in the process and I found myself quoted in several news stories, principally in The Sydney Morning Herald. These are extracts from material published at that time on my school (now English/ESL) pages, then on Tripod, where it was continually revised until 2004. There can be no guarantee that links to other sites still work, though most of them do.
GUIDE: After the introduction you will find –
- Principal’s response 12 April 2002.
- Some personal reflections. On coaching, cultural sensitivity, and such matters.
- Sydney Morning Herald article by Gerard Noonan 6 April 2002.
- Letters in the SBHS OBU’s newsletter which triggered the story.
- John Goddard’s letters.
- Letter from a parent of Chinese background.
- Letter from K C Lee, an ex-student.
- Letters to the press.
- Email from a parent.
- Further press coverage — second Gerard Noonan article.
- Jennifer Hewett article with comments: SMH Anzac Day 2002.
- Email from Chinese ex-student and some final thoughts on racism.
… Is this really nine years ago now? The links there don’t open in new windows…
Captain Cook Hotel
There are times when Surry Hills is just delightful, and this afternoon has been such a time. I met Lord Malcolm at the Captain Cook, having not been there for quite a while, and yes the food leaves The Shakespeare for dead. My $7 steak (280g) came with mushroom sauce (featuring real mushrooms), mash, and generous vegetables perfectly steamed. Great.
Artist Andy and a friend joined us. Since the Captain Cook is also a gallery and encourages patrons to draw on the tablecloths, a fine artistic time was had during lunch. Lord Malcolm’s Graham Kennedy face looked remarkably like Tony Blair.
Walking home afterwards — I didn’t go on to The Oxford — I came upon a beautiful little part of Surry Hills I had never seen before behind the back streets near Arthur Street. It led me to Cafe Niki, which of course I know as the coffee shop nearest the Mine.
Speaking of the Mine: adding Google Site Search has made such a difference to the utility of my site! Check it out.
The break in continuity has to do with something called Diary-X – no longer with us.
My past catches up
Got this email.
I was a former student of yours at Sydney Boys High. Perhaps you still remember my name. I certainly remember most of the stories you told us in English class, e.g. the fellow you met as a child named ‘Rear Admiral Sir Leighton Bracegirdle’. I also remember your recital of Caedmon’s hymn with proper old English pronunciation.
To cut a long story short, I am now working as a Computer Systems Engineer in the city and I am still in the office. I decided to do what I do whenever I am bored – an unclaimed money search.
Do you by any chance have ‘Thomas’ as a middle name? If so, the NSW Office of State Revenue has $76.80 of your money. Even if it’s not you, it should mean something that I thought of you when thinking of people to look up.
Indeed it does; but my middle name is not Thomas. Thanks, V.L. This sort of thing happens from time to time.
Photographing Lord Malcolm
Lord M wanted some pictures of him with Sirdan and myself, so Sirdan brought his camera and after lunch we went to the hospice. Lord M is pretty much the bionic man these days and can’t get out of bed much, but two nurses helped us wheel his bed to a spot with a nice background view and we took two sets of pics, one lot on Sirdan’s camera and the other lot for Lord M to look at on his mobile phone, along with some he took a couple of weeks back at the Chinese Garden.
I was afraid the photos might look a bit, um… Lord M has been more photogenic than he is right now. But they are actually rather nice. I’m glad we did it.
More nostalgia. In my boyish imagination…
… I had a bit of a thing for men in tights, or shirtless, as indeed did many in the 1950s. Whether there was an extra significance in my case I leave entirely up to you. I have met some who never seem to have recovered…
Yes, The Phantom. That’s a whole blog on the subject.
And Robin of Batman and fame I truly identified with, so much so that I once convinced one little boy that Iwas Robin! I must have been about 10 at the time.
I don’t now what he and Batman are up to here; perhaps the source tells us. There are some very remarkable images there.