Monday, April 15, 2013

St Kilda Comes to Canberra

13 April 2013 saw St Kilda Football Club play a game in Canberra for premiership points.  They played against the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Manuka (recently re-named Star Track Oval for sponsorship purposes).

The game was a day-night match - played under lights. A beautiful autumn evening, with no breeze and a temperature of around 24 degrees C.

The game began with the daylight fading and the lights already on.

Ball up to start proceedings
Clint Jones and Toby Greene stare each down at the start of the game.
St Kilda kicked an early goal through Stevie Milne to set a trend for the rest of the game. It was quickly followed by another goal to Nick Riewoldt. The Saints had 5 goals 4 behinds on the scoreboard at quarter time - the Giants did not score at all.

The Giants collected their first goal early in the second quarter, then another.  I thought then that we were going to have a game on our hands.  But the Saints were dominant.  They beat their opponents to the ball and moved it around the ground more thoughtfully.  By half-time, the scoreline was Saints 10.8 to the Giants 5.1.

Half-time scores
The crowd mood was somewhat quiet - seems more were Giants supporters than St Kilda fans. But there were many St Kilda fans.

The scene at half-time.
St Kilda went on to kick 5 more goals in the third quarter and a further six goals in the final quarter.

The final scores.
Some of the Saints players who kicked goals were:

David Armitage - 4 goals (man of the match award)


Stephen Milne - 3 goals

Ahmed Saad - 3 goals
Nick Riewoldt - 3 goals
Beau Maister - 2 goals

Sam Gilbert - 1 goal
After the siren:
Handshakes all round.  Good to see the sportsmanship.

Nathan Wright sees the impact of the Giant's big loss on Toby Greene's face.

 
As the players left the field to recover, the crowd emptied out of Star Track Stadium.  Many headed to Manuka for a meal or a drink. The evening remained balmy.  A good night for all (except the Giants and their fans, but hey, tough luck guys!).  The Saints finally started their winning form.







Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Last Day of Summer

While watching a US television soap/drama (Revenge) the other night, I heard a character say something like "... you'll be gone by the end of summer".

The setting for the show is, I think, the Hamptons, or somewhere on the US north-east coast where the uber-wealthy people spend their holiday time.

I was left wondering - what did the character mean by "the end of summer"?  Summer in the US officially ends on 31 August.  But I was left with the impression that the character was referring to perhaps the end of the holiday season.  I was a touch confused.  I put it down to the (small) cultural divide between Americans and Australians.

But here in Canberra, there is absolutely no doubt about when the end of summer is.  We almost celebrate it with dancing in the cul-de-sacs.  Almost. It's today - the last day of February.  From now on, the sting of the searing sun will steadily weaken.  The stinking hot days and sleep depriving hot nights are all but over.  Of course, Mother Nature may yet taunt us with one or two more 30C degree plus days.  I remember a March day in the mid-eighties where it reached 38C.  But Canberrans rejoice on this day, because tomorrow the best season of the year begins - autumn. 

Today is also a day of note, because it's my youngest son's birthday.  Happy birthday Adam!



A summer sight that we hopefully won't see for a long time to come.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Statues - London and Canberra

While on a visit to Floriade last spring, I snapped this statue.

 

This is the first public statue in Canberra that I can think of (other than a war memorial type statue) that’s appealing for its realism. I really like this statue. But a question kept cropping up in my mind ... ‘who is it meant to be?’ Now, I’m NOT that ignorant that I didn't immediately recognise old Ming, but if you were an international visitor to Canberra, would you know who it was?

This is how London displays their statues (see below). They use pedestals to tell you who the statue represents, and sometimes even a bit about them.  The ACT Government could learn a thing or two from London.




Don't get me wrong - I really like the Ming statue and hope one day that Tuggeranong will be adorned with something of similar style and quality - perhaps a statue of the ACT's own Chris Peters (complete with marble pedestal)?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boris Johnson's Ice Age

The Canberra Times printed an article yesterday written by Boris Johnson (he being the mayor of London).  Johnson wrote how he had stared through his window at a flowerpot and his bashed up barbeque and noticed that the layer of snow he could see outside his London home was getting thicker. He wrote "This is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; I mean snow of a kind that I don't remember from childhood: snow that comes one day, sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more."

He concludes "But I observe something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it "warming" is to strain the language".  So Boris consulted learned astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, "...who has very good record of forecasting the weather". Corbyn reckons global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb (the sun). And that 'mood' is one of declining solar sunspot activity known to have coincided once in the past with a severe cold spell on Earth (the Maunder Minimum).

Johnson writes "I am not saying for a second that I am convinced Corbyn is right ... I am only speaking as a layman who observes there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility - however remote - that Corbyn is right". He concludes by writing "I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind".

Well Boris.  I live in Canberra, the capital of Australia.  Here, The Canberra Times (same day) also reports "Canberra heading for January heat record as storms spark fire fears".  The article tells us "Canberra is sweltering through what could be its hottest January on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology".  The average daily maximum temperature in January for Canberra is 27C.  This January so far, our average daily maximum temperature is sitting at 33C, a massive 5 degrees C above average!  Now it's only 24 January today, so we may be lucky to be blessed with some days where the maximum fails to exceed 30C (here's hoping) and lower the average daily maximum somewhat.

Boris - you look out your window and wonder if sunspot activity is leading the world to another Ice Age.  I look out my window and wonder when Canberra's summer will start cooling down to the long term average!

Perhaps an article written with a bit of fun in mind, but it might be sensible, Boris, that you look further than your own backyard to see if your conditions are reflected elsewhere.  And perhaps consult more than one expert (and perhaps not just an astrophysicist). From what I can tell, places like Washington and New York (regular deep freezes most winters) seem to have seen nary a snowflake at all this year.  Perhaps all their snow has gone to London!

So, I wish I was in London right now, enjoying the sight of snow falling rather than than my garden trees scorching under a relentless sun (see my poor Gingko below).

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Red Lion at Marsworth

In a post last year (Marsworth - Visit to an Ancestral Home), I described how my older son and I visited Marsworth in Buckinghamshire (England) and lunched at the Red Lion pub. 
I also mentioned that my ancestor, William Rowland, left his ancestral home of Marsworth early in the 1850s and then migrated to Australia in 1852.  William returned, with his daughter Susan, to visit Marsworth in 1898.  According to his obituary, William "... saw the house in which he was born and the church in which he was baptised".

Extract from William Rowland's Obituary
 
In my previous post, I wondered whether the house in which William was born still survived.  I strongly doubted it, because very few early-1800s buildings remain in Marsworth.  One of the few that does remain is the Red Lion pub.

Well, can you imagine my surprise when I recently came across a court record dating to either 1832 or 1833, in which William's mother and grandmother are both mentioned. In that record, William's mother (Jemima) was living with her mother-in-law (who was Mary Rowland) at the Red Lion. Here is the exact text:


R. v Thomas Page [aged 20], Marsworth, Stealing 4½ crowns belonging to Robert Russell, on 8 Dec. Witnesses: Robert Russell, keeps beer house at Marsworth, and a wharf Joseph Rowland, constable of Marsworth. Jemima Rowland, lives with mother-in-law at Marsworth (Red Lion). Guilty - 4 months hard labour.

Source: From the County of Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions "Epiphany Sessions 1832 [no ref. or date]" [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=008-qs_2-1&cid=1-3-9-3-4#1-3-9-3-4] (accessed 01-Jan-2013).

Folks, if William's mother Jemima was living at the Red Lion with her mother-in-law Mary, then surely her husband (William senior) and her children (including my migrant ancestor William) would have been with her too. Mary, by the way, was a widow in 1832 - her husband John Rowland had died in April 1820 and his occupation (according to his will) was 'victualler' (i.e. the operator or owner of a public house or similar licensed establishment) at Marsworth.

This court record gives me a good degree of confidence in believing that William Rowland (junior) not only lived his very early years at the Red Lion, he was actually born at the Red Lion (born 9 November 1828).  Hey ... perhaps a little bit of a stretch but I'm willing to go with this and confidently say that my son and I also saw and went inside both the house in which William Rowland was born and the church in which he was baptised (All Saints, Marsworth).



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