THE NAME ABOVE iL
Autobiography Dieter R. Fischer Book 9
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9, 6)
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9. Why O me O ?
According to weather experts the wet, humid conditions in southern parts of our continent were caused by a huge body of water, which a cyclone had dumped into central Australia earlier in the year. As I write our suburb is having the biggest downpour in years.
The Christmas concert of the Adelaide Liedertafel 1858 was held on Sunday December 5th. It was hot and humid in the chapel of Prince Alfred College on the fringe of Adelaide's CBD. The afternoon brought back memories of my time, when I sang with the German male-voice choir. Good to see these men are still going strong.
A young man sat beside me. He was not German, but his wife was, from Düsseldorf, translated into my special language: Du SS eL DRF + O. I recall a visit to this city on the Rhein, riding my bicycle along the river under a tall tower. My brother lives not very far away near Wuppertal.
Toward the end of the concert it rained steadily. However, since I had packed my GIANT (bicycle) into the back of my Suzuki (motorcar) I did not let the rain stop me using it. I still decided to have some exercise and ride in the direction of the beach, or wherever life was taking me.
It was only days ago since I had completed my third long-distance ride in as many years. (More later in this chapter). I felt fit. My Giant rocketed down the Anzac Highway and, without stopping this time, through the seaside tourist town of Glenelg. I turned by the historic replica of HMS Buffalo and took the cycle path along the shore to West Beach.
I considered continuing further north along the gulf, but decided to turn right to return to my car via Sir Don Bradman Drive. It led me right past the entrance to Adelaide Airport, near the place, where I had once taken a photo of a vehicle registration plate ...414. This number had crystallized using the letters T & N, similar to TEN (Book 7, Chapter 1).
Something inside me said: That's 4 You MR D.
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Had I not chosen to ride via Sir Don Bradman Drive on Sunday Dec. 5th, 2010 I would have missed what I regarded as an amazing TEN co-incident. If there is meaning in it, readers may decide for themselves.
Only a kilometre or so from the airport, near the corner Pearson Street, I noticed a small, shiny cylindrical object on the road. It took a few moments to think as I pedalled on: "This looks like a socket out of a tool set!"
In a nanosecond I remembered that during my recent big bike ride I had picked up a 10 MM socket. Would it not be strange, I thought, if what I spotted now was also was a socket, possibly a size to match?
For this reason I went back to check it out. Indeed, it was a socket. Not only the same kind of tool, but also a 10 MM socket, the same size I had picked up exactly one week earlier, on Sunday morning before church in Bright, Victoria. (Details next chapter).
No coin-incident - two cool tools. (KG loves it).
Found exactly one week apart: 2 10mm sockets.
Left: Bright, Victoria - November 28th, 2010 (details next chapter).
Right: A Stanley, December 5th, Brooklyn Park, Adelaide, South Australia.
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During another November Sunday afternoon (14th), in preparation for my big Victorian bike ride, I was out exercising on my GIANT. With no definite goal in mind I cycled into the city via the O-Bahn bikeway. (Don't you love it - O-Bahn during a chapter about O?)
Continuing in a southerly direction I decided to visit the grave of a German friend, who had passed away rather suddenly in June, not long after his 80th birthday. I had been to his funeral and would have no trouble finding the grave.
On entering the cemetery there was a very visual reminder that it was only three days after Remembrance Day; a sea of small flags above the grave stones in the war-grave section of the cemetery. I had never seen that many flags in one place. I dismounted my bicycle and took a close up photo of the nearest grave and flag:
Out of curiosity, afterwards, I took a closer look, whose name was on the grave I had photographed. The name on the plague said Derek Prance. Applying my simple A I code this name in an instant turned into Derek Prince.
A gentleman with this distinguished name is far from dead. He is bringing life to millions around the world, heading a world-wide radio Ministry, spreading God's word via radio and other media.
At the June funeral I had seen a name on the grave beside that of my friend. I had not been mistaken. The name on the grave beside my friend's was - Henman.
(Back on my bike)
At the junction where Jetty Road (another 'famous' street in my story) and Brighton Roads, Brighton meet the traffic lights, showed red. As I waited and looked up I noticed the words - WHY ME?
The word ME had provided a grand finale in Chapter 7. A cycling trip was on my mind (the one I shall report on in a moment), which would lead me through a place called Omeo. Having also had an amazing O O incident two days after uploading chapter 7, the words WHY ME really captured my attention while waiting at the red traffic light.
A closer look at the Why-me-poster revealed it was an advertisement for a play by the St. Jude Players Inc. They had been playing up, if your pardon the expression, since 1949. (In Why me' a bored housewife and an unemployed neighbour are playing up ...). St. Jude Players present only three plays per year. WHY ME was the final for 2010.
This is how it had come about that I attended the play WHY ME 4 days later on Nov. 18th, 10. My ticket allocated seat was No. E 1. The very next day we were booked to leave on the journey, which would lead me to Omeo.
On Friday 12/11, following the writing, rewriting, editing and uploading chapter 8, I felt like going out to unwind. But where to? A thought entered my mind: Would Alan Meyer be speaking at Paradise Community Church that Friday night? He had been the speaker on many occasions, since the church moved its Sunday night meeting to Friday. Mr. Google informed me that Alan was indeed the speaker that night.
It was my first visit to Paradise in probably a year. I purposely arrived late to miss the music. It is mainly aimed at young people, who love it because many grew up with it. My taste in music is totally different. It may be regarded by some as out-dated, but I don't need to apologize for preferring a different genre of music.
The fact is - loud rock music does not lift my Spirit to a level, where I feel God's presence in church. When we first attended Paradise church in 1983, one could sense the Holy Spirit lifting your Spirit as you walked through the front doors. Music is a powerful media. Sadly, my generation has been side-lined in many modern churches, when it comes to worship music.
It so happened I just had taken my seat in the large, almost full auditorium, when Alan started his talk. He indicated that it was the first time in ten weeks that he had been speaker at Paradise. It made me think: I was meant to be here tonight.
Alan preached from John, Chapter 6. He encouraged listeners to strife to finish well, taking Judas Iscariot as an example of one who walked closely to Jesus, but did not finish well.
The next morning, reading the daily reading in Our Daily Bread (a day late, as I often do), I noticed that the text was also from John Chapter 6. The headline on that day's page was MORE THAN LOAVES.
I took no particular notice until I read the headline the next day: SIGNIFICANT.
The word significant in my story linked immediately to Alan Meyer, the speaker in Paradise that Friday night. During my darkest days of turmoil around 2000, while we were attending Clovercrest Baptist Church, I had enrolled in Alan Meyer's course 'Search for Significance'. He was teaching a group of men (via video). At the time it was just what I needed, a reminder of God's immense, unconditional love toward men.
All men want is to feel significant to somebody. Only God can fill this deep yearning for significance. Not money, not fame nor the best effort by No.1 super-woman can take the place, which God wants to occupy in every man's heart !
A thought entered my mind: Maybe the heading MORE THAN LOAVES is Significant? I came up with what could become a slogan to display on South Australia's car registration plates. Considering how the phrase - but there's more - comes up frequently in my writing, how about: SA MORE THAN LOVE ?
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In Chapter 7 I mentioned a flyer by the Victorian Department of Transport. It advertises that specialized car registration plates are available for purchase. I had brought the flyer home and put it in a special place for scanning later. But then I forgot the special place.
Until on 17.11 I saw it stuck on the wall in my office. How silly I felt. Maybe God shut my eyes so that I would not see it, until the date consisted of 1's and a 7. Here it is:
Found in Melbourne near HAY PL: VIC 4 REAL
That Wednesday Nov. 17th another code came. On Channel Nine TV a report was about superstar CHER (whatever she was up to ...?) On the screen in the background I saw the letters OWE. Adding R I saw a name which at the time was prominent in the media: ROWE, the name of the murdered family in Kapunda (see previous. chapter).
There were two main reasons for taking the train from Adelaide to Melbourne on Friday morning 19th, Nov.10. Football team Adelaide United played against Melbourne Heart in Round 16 in the A-League. This time my wife agreed to travel with me; also our friends Geoff and his wife.
It was our first major train trip within Australia. The comfortable train is called The Overland. (This name must have been chosen for travellers to realize, their mode of transport was not to be under water in a submarine, nor up in the air, but over land, ha ha.)
The Overland left Adelaide's Keswick Terminal on time that Friday morning. Much to our good fortune we arrived about 20 minutes early at Spencer Street Station, Melbourne's busy transport hub.
All worked out in perfect timing. While my wife and our friends walked to our accommodation, just around the corner in King Street, I waited for and assembled my companion (the GIANT, which travelled in a box) in a few minutes. The plan was that after our weekend together I was to embark on my third long-distance bike ride in three year. This was the other reason for the Melbourne journey.
The All Seasons Kingsgate Hotel in King Street had been recommended to us by my son. Whilst the location was prefect and the service excellent (they even found a locked room for my GIANT) the TV reception in Room 432 was very limited. We could only view Channel 9 and GEM. My friend Geoff's TV was working OK.
Geoff and I freshened up, gulped down a quick drink and, dressed in red, we trotted off looking like Adelaide United football supporters. It was a pleasant 1/2 hour walk along Flinders Street, across Federation Square and along the Yarra River to the recently completed AAMI Stadium. We bought our tickets, no queues, no fuss, and entered the main arena right on 8 PM kick-off time. Amazing timing.
To top off a perfect script Adelaide scored after only 6 minutes of play. Robbie Cornthwaites pulled one of his specialties out of the hat - a powerful header to make it 1:Nil. Flores extended the lead to two in the 71st minute. It was Adelaide's first win in 4 years.
Early the next morning I took a cycle around Melbourne; along the Yarra, across St. Kilda Road up to the Shrine of Remembrance. It was a lovely morning, cool but not cold. No guard was on duty that morning. This time I had no message to create on the pavement. I just enjoyed being alive, breathing the fresh Melbourne air and feeling sorry for Melbourne Heart's football fans.
Back in town I checked out if the Salvation Army in Bourke Street would be having a Sunday Night service. Their house Number is No. 69. I remembered how many years ago I had dropped a letter into the place regarding the Peter Liddy case. It all seemed a distant memory now.
On the surface, it looked like this effort was a failed attempt. But God will have the final say in all things. When it comes to matters pertaining to God we must not judge matters by looking on the surface. God works in mysterious ways.
That Melbourne morning, and the next, I played my role of serious coin collector. I could not help it. I spotted a 5 cent coin right near 69 Bourke Street. Another coin, this time a 20 cent piece, was at the corner of Queen and Lonsdale Streets. There was only one hitch. It was embedded in the bitumen. I earmarked it for retrieval later.
The very next morning, it was a Sunday, there was less traffic. I had also been out bike riding and remembered to collect my coin. To my surprise, I nearly missed it, I got a bonus, a double bonus. Right near the embedded 20 cent coin, which I undug with the small screwdriver I carry, I found a 50 cent coin, a nice clean one.
Not only that - it was a special 50-cent coin. Take a look. You may recognize a word, which featured very prominently during my previous Melbourne trip:
World War 1939 - 1945 Remembrance
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Waiting to be served at the Avis Rent-a-car office I was talking to a young couple from Scotland. They were about to travel the Great Ocean Road, so I passed on some local knowledge. I loved their names - Amy and Jamie.
To my surprise instead of getting the standard, small hire-car we had booked and paid for, I found myself driving away in a bright green, late model Holden Commodore, at no extra charge. I was not used to such luxury and indeed technical sophistication. Picking up my wife and friends I could not open the rear and side door at first. Nobody told me you need to double-click the door-opener! One click opens the driver's door only!
Once aboard our friends and us spent a lovely day around Melbourne. We started by strolling up and down Acland Street, St. Kilda, window shopping, followed by eating take-away lunch under a shady tree in Rosebud, ending with afternoon tea in a popular Cafe in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.
We drove out to nearby Portsea and took a brief look at Cheviot Beach, where on Dec.17, 1967 Australia's Prime Minister Harold Holt decided to go for a swim, despite being warned of the big surf that day. He disappeared without a trace. Much speculation about his fate has circulated ever since. Did he fake his own death and elope with his mistress? Was he kidnapped by the Chinese in a submarine or was he assassinated by the CIA for wanting to withdraw troops from Vietnam?
While the rest stayed in the car I took the wooden steps down onto the sand, expecting to find a memorial plague or something. Instead, three dead birds lay in the sand, right there near the bottom of the steps. A high average, I thought.
On the return drive I saw at least two groups of people gathered on the beaches. People were not dressed for a picnic or swimming. They were attending weddings. What romantic setting, as long as the couples don't built their 'house' on sand!
Passing another beach wedding, I noticed the registration plates of three vehicles, parked together - 124, 124, 272. (OK, it's crazy, but by adding them and squeezing in a 0, the numbers could in theory represent 5020).
In the evening the four tourists from Adelaide visited Williamstown, the historic portside village across the Yarra River. Looking for a place to dine we saw a vacant table in a Restaurant, facing the foreshore. After being seated I learned the name of establishment, and the address where we had seated ourselves in: Attitudes at Nelson Place. Nice name, good address, great food.
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Our friends decided to spend the Sunday on their own before flying back to Adelaide. My wife and I attended church in the Eastern suburbs, where she met some of the people I had had contact with on previous visits. It was a glorious afternoon, bright sunshine, little wind. We spent the afternoon taking a drive into the beautiful Dandenong Ranges and strolled around the quaint tourist villages of Sassafras and Olinda.
One incident later in the afternoon registered a first-ever in my life. We had parked our hire-car in the same street, where I had found a two-hour space on my previous trip. At the time, parked beside me had been registration No. 444. This time I had parked beside ... 316, but taken little notice until thinking about it later.
After strolling around Southbank and Federation Square, back near our vehicle, a young man approached me, if I could do him a favour. Could he use my mobile telephone to phone a friend. He wanted him to know he was ready to be picked up. Since his phone had no credit left, he asked us passers-by for this favour.
I had never been asked this before and was reluctant to hand over my mobile phone to this stranger. Instead, I suggested I send his friend a text message.
The requested message was: 'Tosh is waiting".
My wife stood beside me as I carefully pressed the keypad. She overheard it all. However, how would she have responded, had I revealed what my back-to-front brain later read into it? The name Tosh backward reads Shot ... Shot is waiting?
Hey, a thought just came: Isn't Tosh the abbreviation for McIntosh? Mc and in would match 316 ! Love it, but not Tosh backwards).
My lady Isobel looks down on busy Federation Square.
Finally, on Monday morning 22/11/10 the time had come to get on my bike. Our friends had flown back to Adelaide. My wife was sitting on a bus, enduring, sorry enjoying, 11 hours of ...
Well, sitting on a bus all day may not sound enjoyable to everyone. Still, she certainly would not have wanted to join me for nine days, pushing a bicycle loaded with tent, sleeping gear and clothing etc. almost 1000 kilometers in extreme heat and freezing cold, over a mountain road, rising to 1821 meters at the highest point!
I only left the Kingsgate Hotel at around 10.45 am. The weather was fine, warm and sunny as I slowly pedalled my way to Port Melbourne and south on the cycle path beside Port Philip Bay. I continued on that track at a very relaxing pace as far south as it would lead. Somewhere south of Mordialloc I turned inland to Cranbourne to pick up the South Gippsland Highway.
My destination that first day was the Caravan Park on the foreshore near the town of Lang Lang. I had to backtrack slightly, but it was the only facility for camping available. I had a chuckle about the fact - the park had only the barest of facilities, no shop, no camp kitchen, not even a refrigerator. But, what a surprise, there was piped music in the shower/toilet block!
Near Lang Lang I stopped to take this photo, which to ardent readers should not need an explanation:
Available near Lang Lang, Vic. - HAY $ 7
(If HAY 7 does not register, see Book 5, Chapter 27).
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Near Lang Lang I turned off the M 420 to continue on the A 440, taking a brief stop at Loch and Korumburra. Eating my lunch a gentleman started talking to me. He asked, if I was going to take the Great Southern Rail Trail. I had not even heard of that option. I'm glad he told me. The track, built on a disused railway line, turned out to be an experience. The scenery was spectacular. No steep gradients, no traffic, just a quiet lane amidst lush farmland and native forests.
It was worth riding the extra few kilometres. Following this longer route on the Rail Trail took me through the cute village of Fish Creek. It's southerly location made it the most southerly part of mainland Australia I had ever been to. The weather had become increasingly hot. The gentlemen who told me about the Rail Trail said, he heard on the news that Gippsland was the hottest part of Australia that morning.
Arriving in the late afternoon at a small place called Toora, I changed plans. I decided to stay there overnight, rather than struggling on to Yarrum. The Toora Tourist Park was of a high standard, well equipped and featured even an an indoor heated pool. It was a good decision to stay there. Luckily, I made it to the supermarket before closing. I was their last customer for that day.
After a very hot night in my tent I was packed and gone at around 8.30 am. The road turned gradually northeast toward my next stop, a town with a funny 4 letter name - Sale. There were many names along my way. You don't need a Da Ninci brain to register Bennison, only a son called Ben. How about Seaspray on tourist route 96? Loved it.
A place name Giffard West made it into my diary. Not only because it only takes a F / L swap to make it the name of our Prime Minister. The only building at Giffard West was a hall. Attached on the side was a big rain water tank. It was a welcome sight. I needed water urgently.
A few kilometers back, at a place called Woodside, the owner of a business refused my request to refill my water bottle with tank water. He suggested I buy bottled water, which he was selling. Call me a scrooge, but if I were to pay $ 3 for a bottle of water every time I needed a drink on a sweltering hot day, my water bill would be higher than my food bill.
At the hall at Stradbroke I was again looking for water, in vain. I noticed something else. In that remote location a vehicle was parked on its own, registration plate Q..N 042. There was that 42 again, which had occupied my mind ever since Cranbourne. A nearby trailer, parked right on the roadside, had registration NID 305.
Apart from the heat and lack of water that day I may have eaten the wrong food, and possibly not enough. It was a struggle to reach Sale. En route I did what I can't remember ever doing. I stopped on the side of the road and just rested on the grass. I am sure I dozed off for much of the 45 minutes I was there.
The facilities at Sale were excellent, a well equipped kitchen and common room. I paid less than at the place without refrigerator. There was only one thing missing; otherwise Sale Caravan Park is perfect: no piped music in the shower / toilet block!
(Above information from Senate Hansard 24/11/10 Page 59 - PDF page 72). http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/dailys/ds241110.pdf
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The reason I did not travel the shortest route from Melbourne to Sale, which would have been via the Princes Highway, I had cycled this section before in the mid 1990s. Why not enlarge your cycled network? Another reason was the letter O. (More in next chapter).
Leaving Sale after a really good night's sleep I left the caravan park pedalling east on the Princes Highway. After only a few moments on the road things happened; unplanned, but as real as 50 + 20 = 70! I had spotted a shiny round object, which looked like a 20 cent coin. I turned my bike around to check. It was a 20 cent coin, which lay on the roadway outside the Catholic church.
Barely 300 metres further on, this was truly peculiar, right in my path as I overtook a parked vehicle, lay a 50 cent coin. At the time I did not think of the parallel, how I had also found a 20 and 50 cent coin at the same time.
Still, I sensed something was brewing. The place where I had picked up the 50 cent coin was outside a business called WEIR. I wheeled my bike across the road and took this photo:
Princes Highway SALE, Victoria
But there was more. As I leaned my laden bicycle against a signpost to take the above photo, I noticed something silver on the ground. It looked like a packet of drugs. I picked it up to take a look. Indeed, it was a packet of tablets, some still inside the foil.
Of course, I had no idea what they were, and no intention of keeping them. But as decoration for the pages in my diary I peeled off this part:
AVANZA SolTab 45 MG
The midday stop on that hot day was in Bairnsdale. I had arrived just after midday after having covered 68 kilometres on this flat section of the Princes Highway. I ate my lunch on a table on the wide, green median strip on the main road.
It seemed a pity to be passing town after town and not stop longer to explore a little further. But cycling 6 - 8 hours a day, plus shopping, feeding yourself, unpacking, pitching the tent, packing up again leaves little time to play tourist.
However, just as I was about to leave town I spent some time at Bairnsdale. I'm glad I did. I found a little gem. The door of a large, red brick church stood wide open. The tall, imposing red-brick structure was St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Sitting inside one could not help but admire the magnificent murals throughout the sanctuary, even on the ceiling. It reminded me of the churches in Bavaria, extravagantly decorated in baroque architecture.
On the walls were pictures of scenes of Jesus in a variety of settings. I figured these were the 14 stations of the cross, which Roman Catholics identified during Jesus' last hours on earth. To create a sacred atmosphere the singing of monks quietly filled the sanctuary. For a moment I thought it originated from an adjacent hall. Then I realized it was piped music. Yes, there is a place for piped music!
I wanted to have a closer look at each of the Stations of the cross. I started on the front left hand side, viewing each framed piece of art. The creators of these masterpieces must have understood what it cost Jesus to walk the path of shame, pain and utter loneliness.
A name at the sixth station was one not mentioned in the bible - Veronica. She is said to have wiped the face of Jesus on the way to Calvary. He left an image of his face on her veil, which came to be known as "Veronica's Veil." She was honoured in St. Peter's Church in Rome as early as the 8th century. Nice name Veronica.
After viewing Station 7 I had to cross to the other side of the church at the back, to look at the remaining pictures. As I did, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something green on the floor. When I saw it was the shape of a heart I knew it was for the diary. I kept the little gem. A silver heart in September, a green one in November.
Found: Green heart - St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Bairnsdale
After having viewed all 14 stations of the cross I found myself at the right hand side on the front of St. Mary's. On the wall near a side door was a plague. It was in appreciation to the person, who donated the Advent Wheel, whatever that honour entails. The names were Patrick and Elie Fischer.
Then I remembered. That morning on leaving Sale, I briefly was riding my bicycle on the footpath. A school girl was walking in my way, unable to see me coming. Her mother called out: "Watch out, Elly!"
Outside Bairnsdale the signs indicated I was now travelling on the Great Alpine Highway. At the time I did not know I had crossed the Mitchell River, which flows into Lake King.
Learning this fact now stirs my mind. There is a connection, way back in my writing, to the name Mitchell. But more so in Book 7, Chapter 19 I had discovered a town called Lake King. I had visualized the postcodes of Kinglake and Lake King. Somehow, the number O had crystallized...
My destination the next day was the place, the town whose name consists of me, surrounded by two O - Omeo.
Beyond that a mountain was waiting to be conquered.