2011 retrospective–7 — July

I began July with a rather nice post, if I say so myself: Winking smile

Yesterday I posted some statistics relevant to LBOTE students in selective high schools in NSW.  Ten years ago such stats were my bread and butter, but they were never really just stats. Rather they were and are a whole series of often utterly remarkable people whose lives have intersected with mine over the years. And it’s true: when you become a teacher by your pupils you’ll be taught.

I see that 25% of my Facebook friends are ex-students ranging from the Class of 1974-5 (Trevor K!) to the class of 2004 (Mian!). And here is where I was for most of 1985-2005…

2 July had two posts: Look who’s at the rally along with A Jones and A Anderson… With friends like these… and Sea Cliff Bridge so July was off to rather a good start.

Sirdan came down to The Gong on Sunday 3 July: Sunday lunch at Five Islands Brewing–and other things brewing in The Gong. Our conversation had included the proposed and aborted rail link from the Illawarra to the main southern line, so that post explains all about it. The idea is being looked into again at the moment.

Now what was I on about in They’re coming to take me away…?

The men in the white coats? The black limo with the pine box? Either or both or neither… I do however find myself superannuated – not in the common sense as I am an old age pensioner rather than a self-funded retiree, but in the older sense: “Medieval Latin superannuatus, past participle of superannuari to be too old, from Latin super- + annus year”. In other words “over-yeared”. Oh yes I am, and in a couple of days another birthday –  or so many years since mid- World War II – to make the point.

As a teacher perhaps one becomes keenly aware of the passing of generations. Or as one gets older confused about which generation was when. Now the 21st century school leavers are taking over we poor old sods from the previous century are more and more teetering on the brink, rocking on the perch, floating somewhere in space…

Item: Mr Rabbit (an ex-student) and Thomas (a blogger) are doing a double act at the English Teachers’ Conference in August: “Lend me your Lenovo: Persuasion through the classics and ICT.”  That can’t be right? Aren’t they still in Year Seven?

Item: Mian Wang (2004) turns up in Wollongong and it appears is a full-on health worker down here. Isn’t he still in Grade One?

Item: Korean-born John Shin (class of 2003) turns up last night on Q&A:

July 6 has three entries: July South Sydney Herald: very special which included a tribute to its founder, Trevor Davies; Welcome to Carbon Central about an article in The Guardian about The Gong; Australia’s Got Talent–and more on talent which was not just about my favourite viewing in June/July but went on to introduce you to the ideas of Sir Ken Robinson.

 It’s about light on 7 July os about photography.

On 8 July: Incandescent with rage: 1 and Incandescent with rage: 2–not dimming but refining take off from the previous night’s documentary Leaky Boat and the subsequent Q&A about what happened from 2001 onwards to our refugee policy and what an outrage it really was.

I continued on my birthday with Leaky Boat: the documentary. But I didn’t forget my own birthday.

But I returned to Leaky Boat the following day. I also articulated something important.


I am not an activist. I can count on one hand the demos I have attended in the past two decades, and on two the demos I have ever attended. The romance of the barricades has not been my style and the cynic in me has often written off such activities as mere drama, even self-dramatisation and a way of imagining one is not impotent after all. I don’t think I have ever carried a placard.

But I have worn one

But I can admire activists as well, especially those whose activism is rather more than screaming on street corners or playing tag with police. It is something I am ambivalent about. A matter of style perhaps, because I sure have been known to protest in my way. Last year my journalism was one such way…

I returned to the theme of Leaky Boat a couple of days later.

What I got for my birthday: Self-portrait with new camera.  On 13 July I was transported via Facebook back to SBHS in the 90s and early 2000s. Then of course there was Australia’s Got Talent Final 1 to think about.

Other July posts on this are Australia’s Got Talent Final 2; Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Grand Final; Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Grand Final — my top 5; And the winner is…. That last one is 2 August, but hey!

On 14 July I reported on missing Barnaby Joyce’s visit to The Gong: Amazing scenes in The Gong–and I missed them. That was also a great day. I dined at Diggers with:

[Stewart Holt] Former student, now criminal lawyer and folk singer – and father. Later I played the CD and was quite impressed. The title track is particularly good, about the singer’s grandfather (or great-grandfather) who was born and died pretty much where the Steelers Club stands today.

Had a bit of a photo hit next: Joys this morning has brought and Hellas in Wollongong–latest on the photo blog.

This pretty much continued with Surry Hills Sunday lunch; Playing with the new camera. Later in the month storms provided some great photo posts.

See After the storms; After the storms 2; Old Court House, Wollongong; Promo 🙂; Former fish restaurant transformed and Playing.

19 July I posted Whatever it takes… which began with a foot-in-mouth attack from Tony Abbott but goes on to be a major post on climate change. See also ten days later Spy planes target Wollongong! Global warmist plot exposed! Coming soon on your local Murdoch media!!!

On 20 July One hundred years!

The thing about today which resonates most with me at the moment is realising my mother, had she lived past 1996, would be 100 years old today!


That’s her cross-legged by the pram.

Otherwise, we have winter weather right now. I guess this is not all that surprising. It is winter, and July is our coldest month usually…

Did one of my better archival backtracks on 22 July. Sharing Day on 23 July brings photos, music and other blogs – music especially Steeleye Span. 25 July was Good news only. But then we had Norway.

Winding down now on July 2011: End of month time-warp post–30-31 July, [add year here]

The photo blog image for July: