THE WINNER GAVE IT ALL GIVEN YOUR ALL - NOW WHAT ? HOME ISBN 0 9577 426 7 3 CHAPTER 23 Written/published 6/5-7/5/09
23. The Kingston job
In our Advertiser Newspaper (Saturday 2/5/09, pp. 32/33) an article on road safety was published. Not only the headline featured the word attitude, the article itself started with just one word ATTITUDE.
My mind's alert level went to 100. Reading the name of the main driving instructor interviewed - Williams - raised my mind's barometer up another 10. But there was more. Under the slogan 'UNDER 90 in 09*' the article mentioned another two driving instructors, who I knew from years ago.
(*Road Safety Campaign slogan - aiming at fewer than 90 road deaths for the year 2009.)
For fun I checked my ex-colleague's details and saw Morse code, sorry more codes. The maiden name of the lady instructor interviewed, in my brain meant D & N heard. This name led me to a phone number. Adding the last six digits took me to the number 679 - almost a run, if we had an 8.
There was an 8. The phone number of the male expert instructor in the article provided it. I knew Alan well. When I was teaching still, we met a few times over coffee, letting out our mutual frustrations, equally hating the ill-conceived, South Australian-born log-book method of driver education.
To discover above numbers I searched the Adelaide Yellow Pages, under City & Country Driving School. Immediately afterwards I went back into the lounge room, the TV in the background. During the sports news, seconds later, I heard the reporter mention a football match between Team A and Team B. He referred to it as a city and country clash.
Such timing incidences are becoming frequent, to the extent my readers may be bored with it. I am still searching for a like-minded brain, who experiences similar oc-incidences.
Here's another: Two days ago I was sorting and placing photographs into a photo albums. I had taken the pictures over the previous few months. As I slid a particular photo into the album, I heard in the background on the ABC's business report, this phrase: "...(whatever) did the trick.
The photo I was inserting was a close up of a registration plate I had taken, simply because it was parked outside No.153 (or perhaps 53) and the personalized plate read TRICK ...
No tricks, but plenty of authentic magic to come; read on.
- - - - - - -
Anyone for a trip to Melbourne?
The final play-off in Australia's A-League 2009 Football competition was held between 30.1 and 28.2. My team Adelaide United, in one of their best seasons, again reached the grand final; again against their arch rivals Melbourne Victory at the fantastic stadium, the Telstra Dome. So why not a trip to Melbourne?
I invited a few people, starting with my wife and sons, then friends, if anybody wanted to take the trip with me. No takers, despite the offer of a free entry ticket (which I had bought, just in case). Maybe they heard about my underwear habits, or knew about my obsession with numbers and thought it was a contagious decease, like swine flu? (What do they now it called now? N1H1 - or is it L1H1? It's either one).
Hey, on editing I just realize - the chapter ends in 1 1. Good won.
Had I had a passenger beside me driving to Melbourne on 27/2 and said at Tintinara: "Hey look, the tripmeter is right on 055.1, that's like the word ISSO", I would get a strange look from my passenger.
If were to stop the car in the middle of nowhere to take a photo of the dashboard, because the numbers mean something, they'd think I'm crazy!
If in Naracoorte we'd go for a stroll and outside the nab (National Australia Bank) I would pick up a small price tag, and get excited because it said $ 15, they'd question my sanity, if I told them I take it and stick it into my diary.
All the above happened. Further east, somewhere in Western Victoria, I pulled over on the road to Hamilton and took a photo of the dash-board. What made me stop was the double-magic, both the tacho-meter 272290, and the tripmeter 227 showed that day's date!
It had only been a month since the Suzuki and I drove to Victoria en route to Tasmania. Travelling through the south-east of South Australia, and through South-Western Victoria, was a nice change. The extent of the drought was evident everywhere. On the day I travelled the bush-fire risk was extreme, ahead of a cool change. The radio reported a fire in a remote location near Mr. Ararat.
My plan originally was to stay in a Melbourne Caravan Park. However, since Melbourne is linked via a freeway to the town of Geelong, and I was going to motor back via the Great Ocean Road anyway, I decided to stay in Geelong for both nights.
I had not booked anything, not realizing that accommodation was not so easy to obtain. Nothing to do with the grand-final football, but an event for senior athletes - the Master's Games - were held in Geelong that weekend.
As usual my GIANT (bike) and my GIANT (LORD) were the only companions with me for those few days. The next morning I was exploring the town of Geelong, Australia's largest city, apart from the capitals. Crossing the Barwon River the spiral towers of a cathedral made me check it out.
It turned out it was St. Mary of the Angels! Hey, this is funny...
There were leaflets on a table inside the foyer of St Mary Angles. I took one for the diary. I noticed the address of the church office was 150 Yarra St. A sponsor of St. Mary's Parish (Southern Cross) was listed as 151 Yarra St. Their phone number also ends in the digits 511.
A weird series of links eventuated. Cycling along the foreshore of Corio Bay, the western end of Port Phillip Bay, I noticed a workman on top of another church. Next I looked at the street name - Malone Street. My strange outside-the-box mind saw AM L ONE = 1 50 MA.
Maybe that's my trouble, on two wheels you see so much more than on four. I noticed the offices of two Members of Parliament - Gayle Tierney and David Koch. The co-host of TV's Channel 7's Sunrise has the same name. His name will again crop up later in this chapter, as well as that of another Victorian MP.
Geelong / Victoria
Later that Saturday morning, the day of the A-League football final 09, I took the Suzuki into Melbourne. Being a Saturday, parking was no problem; right by the Yarra River.
I first cycled through the centre of Melbourne to the markets, bought some lunch - salami and bread rolls. Melbourne held so many memories. Many times I felt like taking a walk (ride) down memory lane, but which memory lane should I tackle first?
One place I revisited was the district around Como House, South Yarra. On a previous trip I had eaten a sausage at the Tivoli (note) German Club one rainy Saturday night. Afterwards, I needed to visit this place, Channel Ten, South Yarra. At the time I only noticed River Street as a street to take notice of. (Chapter 6).
This time, on the afternoon of the football finals, I also noticed Tivoli Road, one street east of River Street. I felt a little silly taking a photo of this street sign. The traffic was bumper to bumper along Toorak Road. But I had long stepped over the hurdle of worrying what people think I was doing.
Cycling along Beaconsfield Parade I took a little detour via Port Melbourne. On purpose I cycled via No. 228 R... Street. Much building work was going on in the back of the tiny cottage. It was the rubbish bin outside, which held the codes:
Rubbish bin - full of (golden) junk.
I pedalled down to the Bay, toward St. Kilda and Brighton. On one street corner, a sign read Martin Street village. Sounded interesting. I turned left and found myself in a leafy, upper class neighbourhood, not far from Brighton Beach.
A real estate agent's sign (J.Dixon) had me intrigued. The name Dixon is closely associated with the Peter Liddy case). Hey, it just came, isn't Brighton as well?
I followed the sign and found the address of a very classy house for sale - 27 Foote Street. This was exactly three weeks after 7/2, Black Saturday.
I smiled, when I noticed Foote Street created a junction with Head Street. If the streets were named deliberately, the e in Foote did not make sense. (Am I again using my head too much, putting my foot into none of my business?)
Back toward Melbourne central I remembered that the International Motor Show was being held at that time. In my mind I wondered, where it was held and if I ought to check it out. Minutes later, without any further thought, I stumbled right onto it - a large building, people everywhere, entering and leaving by huge glass doors.
Since it was almost 4 pm, I did not go right in. (Maybe I prepare better next time). In the large corridor area, however, free for all to admire, were a number of lovely vintage and classical cars on display - to be auctioned about 10 days later.
It was time to start moving toward the big event at the Etihad Stadium, formerly called Telstra-Dome. Traffic through the inner city, I was back in the car, was rather heavy. Not far from the venue, still in Melbourne Central, I suddenly saw a large crowd, outside a pub. It looked like ... and they were, a large group of Melbourne Victory supporters and their beer-holders.
The street was very narrow, but I would have slowed down anyway. When someone spotted my GO REDS banner in the side window, a few cheers went through the mob. I kept going!
Next I see a young man cross the road. He may have recognized the red sign (or the green machine). I certainly recognized him - the sports commentator for the ABC in Adelaide - John Thompson-Mills. We exchanged a few words, while I had to stop at the traffic lights.
Since I planned to drive back to Geelong after the match, plus the fact I heard on the news that the Westgate Bridge was only partially opened after 9 pm, I drove and parked the Suzuki across the river for easy access to the Geelong Freeway after the match. It worked out perfectly.
It was still over an hour before kick-off, but crowds had already gathered and created an electric atmosphere. Things heated up even more when the hoards of red-clad fans marched from their buses toward the gates, already chanting, cheering and waving banners. Security kept a close watch on both mobs.
I recognized a few faces among Adelaide's red supporters, but was not yet wearing my red United shirt and scarf.
Among a small group of Melbourne supporters the face of a tall, bald-headed man looked familiar. Afterwards it came to me. Unless I'm mistaken, he used to be the head of the Australian IOC (International Olympic Committee). His name is Kevan Gosper.
The grand-final 09 started with a sensation only ten minutes into the game. From where I was I could hardly see what went on. I was glad I carried my transistor radio, so I could follow the live broadcast. Adelaide's Brazilian striker Cristiano received a red card and was sent off.
Adelaide's players were upset, understandably. Normally, the referee should have given out a yellow card, a caution, first.
He and Victory defender Roddy Vargas clashed, both trying to head the ball. Vargas head started bleeding. Later in the week, after lodging a protest, Cristiano was exonerated. It was found that he had not deliberately elbowed Vargas.
Too bad for Adelaide, who battled on with 10 men, after losing their number 10 in the 10th minute. They lost 1:0.
Tom Pondeljak clinched the victory for Victory in the 60th minute.
Clashed heads with Vargas and was sent off.
- - - - - - -
One advantage of having stayed in Geelong was the proximity to the Great Ocean Road. Just to be different I had decided to return via this scenic route. It meant an extra night on the way in Warrnambool. The stop-over was in God's master-plan.
When I woke on Sunday 1/3 in my tent it was slightly raining. This delayed my departure a little, but caused only a little inconvenience. It was about 9.45 am when driving toward Angelsea I decided to stop and check out, what churches there were.
At first the interpretation of Angelsea, Angel see, had not occurred to me. It is just too child-like, isn't it? Only after I had parked my car and read where I had parked, Cameron Street, did I marvel, how my angel, the Holy Spirit, really sees everything and leads me in the paths I walk.
Not far from where I had parked was indeed a church and a service in progress. The arrangements were interesting. The Uniting Church held their services early on Sunday morning, followed by the Baptists at 10.45 AM (from memory), using the same building.
This allowed me time for brief walk around Anglesea, a place I had previously only driven through. In the real estate agent's window, on a TV screen, I suddenly saw the face of a familiar man - Sunrise's male host David Koch. (I think it was a commercial that was played over and over, I could hear no sound).
Right near the church, among the many, many registration numbers that stirred my imagination constantly, one stood out: NX ..414.
I felt really welcome among the small crowd. A couple about my age, Rita and Ray, sat with me. The lady promoting their 50:50 program (can't remember what it was - I hope it wasn't splitting the offering, half each, between preacher and ... just kidding). My diary does point to a mistake the lady made - she said the word 'song' instead of 'speak. But who am I, a stranger, to correct mistakes, especially since her name was OK?
It was almost midday before I again hit the road again. I took a long stop in Lorne and a shorter one in Apollo Bay. Both places brought back fond memories.
The weather had not totally cleared after the morning rain, but it was not unpleasant. For an Adelaidian, who knows the grass must be greener anywhere, outside his parched city, the detour via the the south of Victoria was worth it. On the bike I could have feasted my eyes even more on the lush green meadows.
The Twelve Apostles, near Port Campbell.
Around 6 PM I rolled into Warrnambool, quite a large town and holiday centre, especially during the summer months. The weather had cleared nicely, making tenting a pleasure. There was enough time for a cycle. I obtained a local free map at the caravan park office and followed the bike path around the bay, to what was marked Granny's Grave (see map below).
Back among houses I followed my instincts to find my way back to town. I certainly had no knowledge of this district, yet my inquisitive mind went on it's own journey of discovery.
Across the Hopkins River bridge I noticed a large FOR SALE sign. It featured a property for sale at No. 11 B... Rd. I recalled the number 11 only, because it cropped up again minutes later. Read on.
To my right I saw an Aged Care facility by the name Lyndoch. Right opposite, I spotted a street name Florence Street. (I had not long before uploaded the chapter of the dead rainbird, near Florence Street, Blair Athol).
Cycling on, another street name shook my active brain even more - Altmann. How could I ever forget that name? It was the name of the journalist I had sat next to at Peter Liddy's sentencing, way back in 2001. This road had the same spelling, even the extra n.
How could I not turn into this street? I cycled along Altmann Street, thinking - was there something in the numbers, perhaps? So I looked at the numbers on the letterboxes. Sure enough, something didn't add up. After number 9 I expected to see number 11, but it was 13. The number was clearly attached to the letterbox.
That's strange, no number 11, remembering the house for sale at No. 11 B.... Street. I turned my bike around to double check. Clearly, there was no No. 11. A few people were sitting on the balcony of number 9. They must have seen me doing a circle or two on my Giant. To not cause any undue worry in their quiet neighbourhood I called out: "Where is No. 11?
A female voice from the balcony shouted back: "11 is next door!"
Well, I was not blind, the letterbox next door was clearly marked 13. It came to me - the date was 1/3. But I didn't want to start any letterbox-numbers war, so I just moved on, still wondering ...
Extract from free tourist map of Warrnambool, Victoria.
Tourist spot 15 in the map is Proudfoots Boathouse. Cycling along the riverside I saw the plague, which marked the restoration of the historic boatshed. It was unveiled on 2.2.2005. The plague does not call it Proudfoots Boathouse, but Lyndoch Boat House.
The person, inscribed on the plague, who opened the restored boatshed, was the Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Bob Cameron MP. This same politician's name had been constantly in the news in the aftermath of the February 7th bushfires. He was now Emergency Services Minister.
It was getting dark as I pedalled into the main business district of the town. To my left was the Uniting Church. On my right, what surprise, I recognized the name above an office building: John Vogels MP.
He was the gentleman I had emailed (as well as other MP's) regarding the new Victorian abortion laws. Now that I had stumbled into his territory I went to this office the next morning. The receptionist confirmed, during my thirty-second flying visit, that the gentleman had voted against the new legislation.
"Good", I said, and left.
The name Vogel in German means bird. I was reminded of what I had done during my lunch stop in Lorne earlier that day. For months I had promised to send my brother in law in the US a letter. I had put it off and put it off, until that afternoon in Lorne. The post office was open. I had bought a postcard and a few knick-knacks and mailed them off to ... Mr. Byrd in Alabama, USA.
Why i ... see these things and write about them shows ... Ich habe einen Vogel (literary translated - I love having fun!)
Without breakfast early the next morning I went to work. No, not yet back in Adelaide, but in my odd- job as travelling magic maker. That morning the task was, dropping off four gospel tracts. I carried some with me. The title page read: Anyone for Tennis?
I dropped one each into Altmann Streets letterboxes No. 9 and 13. Since 11 was missing I cycled out to a for sale sign for 11 B Road and left one there (the one further up the hill). The fourth one went to the real estate agent. I couldn't resist, since their address was 717 R..... Street.
Writing this chapter I fully grasped the connections. It can't all be co-incidence. Read it at the end.
En route, riding past the Fletcher Jones Factory I noticed a lone car parked, registration plate ... 272. A sign on the side of the building said ALL NATIONS (a church). I couldn't just move on without taking a look.
The front door was open. I cycled inside the big warehouse, which actually wasn't the church, but an Arts Centre. (The church premises were upstairs). A young lady working in a room off to the side chatted with me for a while. Hers must have been the car outside, rego ... 272. She had a nice name too, Mandy.
For some reflection I spent some time at the Botanic Gardens, which I recalled as most attractive from a previous stay at Warrnambool. It was really worthwhile, I picked up two 5 cent coins.
Beautiful Warrnambool, western gateway to the Great Ocean Road.
Top: Lone Pelican on Hopkins River.
As happened in Devonport a month earlier I had problems with the key to the toilets. Two key problems in caravan parks, within 5 weeks of each other, presents, statistically speaking, a rather high average.
I packed up without breakfast, instead stopped and ate it at Koroit, a lovely town above Tower Hill's Volcanic Crater. Less than twenty kilometres down the road was the gem of Australia's coastal towns, with a name to match it's quaintness - Port Fairy. It's one of those places, where stopping is a must and a crime not to.
An hour certainly wasn't long enough to take it all in, the ancient stone building, the quaint shops in the wide main street, plus the registration plates of the parked cars outside.
The Moyne River runs right into the town, providing a lovely maritime atmosphere, with fishing boats and leisure craft moored on the landing.
During a stop and walk around Portland an old, white-haired man sat on the footpath, leaning against a shop front. He looked so uncomfortable on the stone, but seemed as happy and content. He had reason to be. On his lap sat a little girl, not older than 3, blond hair, blue eyes enjoying grand-pa's affection. Her name was Gina. Now if my Giant wasn't so masculine I'd call her Gina, like Gina Loll... (forget it).
When I arrived at Kingston* the shops had already closed.
Workmen's trucks were lined up outside the main Hotel/Motel by be waterfront. I recalled vaguely, how during a previous trip I noticed some cars, all white, but one lone silver Merc. among them. It made sufficient impression to report it in Book 4, Chapter 33.
This time the Kingston job got done. The fleet of parked trucks made me think, was there something in the registration plates? The one parked at the front was 500 (=D as in Decode this).
All 6 added up to 2777 (805, 404, 73, 935, 60 and 500). This was three weeks after the February 7 bushfires. (27 plus 2 7's).
Am I allowed to praise the power,who inspired this? If so, the town of Kingston is famous in Australia for it's main tourist attraction - the Giant Lobster. Deducting the s in Lobster, leaves:
Lob (German for Praise)
er (German for HE)
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One final sign that perhaps I was being read and/or shadowed, which in today's technological age would not be hard to do, I saw as I drove through Meningie, a town beside Lake Albert, about 2/12 hours from home.
The price of fuel, if a service station is closed, normally is indicted in 0, or nothing at all. Never before had I seen the digits 1 1 outside a petrol station.
Had I turned back with a passenger, so close to home, to just take a photo of - nothing plus 1 1 - it would have brought on World War 3. But this is what I did.
Meningie, South Australia
- - - - - - -
To conclude this chapter let's return to Warrnambool. The name on the Real Estate sign for No. 11 B... Road, was Elders. In German the name Altmann literally translates as old man.
The Bible in the Book of Revelations speaks of Elders. An Elder is usually a mature, experienced person, even though in today's churches Elders may be middle aged or younger.
The number of Elders the Apostle John saw in his Revelations on the island of Patmos was 24:
Wasn't the missing street Altmann Ave located on grid U 24 on the tourist map?
It all makes sense:
The 1 1 message is simple - God won.