Chapter 13    Written / Published 7.2. /10.2.17       Pics by author, unless indicated

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The continuation of our trip along the Australian coast (Nov/Dec 16) will need to wait until the next chapter. A day after the previous upload (Chapter 12) a surprise journey took our youngest son and me into the Australian Alps. The number 531 (two days after my birthday) could not fit any better into here.

Son is the key-word in this chapter, which is filled again with crossword magic, a 'talking' tree, links to the previous chapter and very hot, but very timely weather.

God willing, March 1st 17, we shall return to our coastal holiday. 



13.  Riding high

It appears that those reading my chapters, all six of them, are very reluctant to interact with me. Nobody asks questions, nobody offers any praise and, thankfully, no one has in any serious way attacked me. No one in the media has challenged the findings about a possible miscarriage of justice, which I summarized in the previous chapter. I had no feedback, neither in a private email, nor in a public statement (unless I do not know of it). Is there a media blackout in place or what does it all mean?

Do people still think I am a mentally challenged senior, looking for attention or something to fill in my time? Attention would be nice, but only if given respectfully with an honest approach. How I would love to know, if some of the strange links my brain picks up also happen to other people? 

There must be millions of people in the world, who enjoy crossword puzzles, while the TV is playing in the background. Does the following happen to others: A word appears on the page of their crossword, and seconds later this same word is spoken on TV. Or they come across it shortly afterwards in another way?

On Wednesday 1 Feb. 17 this happened exactly as I was still 'working' on the same crossword book, the one where ONO / SON featured in the previous chapter. I purchased this 'Kelter 100-year anniversary edition No.18' in Germany in 2015. 

On page 152 I had just filled in the letters AL, the answer to a film star's first name. Thirty seconds later, maybe a minute, toward the end of TV Channel Nine's Quiz Show 'Hotseat' - what a match?! 

Take a look why I got excited and took a picture off the TV sceen:


Crossword - First name of Pacino: Question seconds later on Millionaire Hotseat: What was the name of Al Pacino's character in the 1972 film 'The Godfather'?

Pic. TV Channel Nine

( Answer B: Sonny is incorrect. Al Pacino played Corleone's third son, Michael.)

Note B: Son. I cropped the picture, because the word Son looked very well placed under 'Godfather'. (But it got even hotter on that TV Quiz, read on!)

- - - - - - -

In a moment we shall return to that little word son, which in my humble opinion is probably the most mellifluous three-letter word in the English language. But first let's look at a very timely discovery, a reference in a magazine, which pointed straight to the previous chapter - the letters L and R. (Remember Garelly, not Gallery? Maybe the owners of that garelly are Kylie and Kyrie?)

The very next day, after publishing the L - R chapter, one of our sons and I undertook a very long car trip - 920 kilometers in 11 hours. When I was passenger I had plenty of time to read the Readers Digest Magazine. That particular day, January 30th (my birthday, which had nothing to do with it) Jon and I worked through the Word Power Quiz of the December 2016 edition.

The words in that edition, on page 127, were chosen because they "appealed to our sense of beauty." The headline was "Like Honey to a Bee". All words were very difficult, their meanings not at all pellucid. (Of course, all readers know this is a mellifluous way of saying 'clear'.) 

On the next page among the answers, I spotted a comment, an additional bit of information to fill up the page. Reading it immediately reminded me of the garelly/gallery the day before: Take a look:


Readers Digest Dec. 2016, P. 128

Text: Cellar Door >>>


Among others, the fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien maintained that the loveliest combination of sounds - with the 'r's and 'l's that people find lyrical - is the phrase cellar door. Try repeating it aloud. It ends with an open 'o' sound, which Edgar Allan Poe called the most "sonorous" of the vowels (sonorous meaning 'full sounding'). 

Who can argue with J.R.R Tolkien or Al Poe? Did you know there once lived a poet, called Mr. Poe? What seems very strange to me, is this poet missing a...? (Just kidding).

Note, both names include the sonorous combination of R and L, as well as O.

Aha, maybe that's why Mr. Tolkien titled his most famous work "LORD of the Cellar Door" (or something similar!)

Here's a question for a quiz night: What do Mr. Tolkien's J.R.R. stand for? (John Ronald Reuel).

- - - - - - -


Now to the most widely discussed, all-encompassing, most often mentioned subject on TV and Radio - the hottest topic of all: the weather.

On the morning of starting this chapter (No. 13/15) the TV screen screamed these four figures right into my face. Knowing that within hours I was going to write this chapter, I was well aware that it will include a torturous bike ride on road C (100) 531. For a NOS lover this was impossible to not notice.

I took a picture off the TV screen:


Adelaide's forecast temp. on 7/2/17 - Min.15, Max. 31

Next day the 'fun' continued: Adelaide sweltered in one of it's hottest day in years. On 8.2 (4+4.2) the maximum reached 42.4 deg. C.

Renmark (min.temp.13) marked chapter 13 in spectacular fashion. (Max on 9.2. - 47.1 deg.C. That's hot!)

Below: Our weather station under the rear verandah 9.2.17, 3 pm

<<< On the day I write - 9.2.17, family history is being made.Today's temperature is again a sizzling 42 deg. It's the day our oldest son turns 42! (Perhaps it's a special present from his brother, the meteorologist in charge of the weather at the bureau? (Anyone see Kon?)


We're not quite finished with son. As mentioned, the Hotseat on Channel Nine on 1.2.17 was again heating up. Beside the Al Pacino picture earlier in this chapter, I took another shot during the same TV show. I had seen something earlier that afternoon, which suddenly fired up the connections in my brain. The surprising letters I photgraphed on the TV screen were AUM. They were part of the word 'Tannenbaum'. Baum in German means tree.


Our Daily Bread - Bible reading, Tuesday January 31:

The letters AUM started this whole thought process, literally on a road surface. (Details below).


Quiz question next day 1.2.17: >>> "The German word "tannenbaum" is associated with which fest...? 

The answer is again B: Christ...


How well does this match above answer B: Son!

<<< The talking tree. if somebody knew that the next day my path was to cross the word tannenbaum ...! 

Note the reference to one of the oldest poems in English literature: "The Dream of the Rood".   


I shall never forget that Wednesday 1.2.17. On the invitation of my son, the meteorologist, he and I were riding our bicycles in the Victorian Alps. Being super fit, he had conquered Mt. Buffalo (1723 m) and Mt. Hotham (1861 m) in one day, 24 hours earlier. At the time I battled a headwind, riding through the beautiful Ovens Valley to Myrtleford, 30 km downstream from Bright, where we stayed at.


<<< My workhorse

... on the rail trail to Myrtleford. For this trip I had a loan of Jon's other racing bike.

In the background, if my geography is correct, the peak of Mount Buffalo, covered in clouds.


I had real doubts about the plan Jon suggested for that tannenbaum Wednesday: Would my 67 year-old legs last for 30 kilometers to Falls Creek, elevation 1500 m? For Jon it would be the third climb in two days, which he wanted to cross off his must-do list. I had not done any serious climbing since Switzerland in 2015. 

Falls Creek in winter is a Mecca for winter sports. In summer Victoria's high country attracts walkers, campers and fitness fanatics, who enjoy the beauty of the national park surrounding the village.

Jon gave me plenty of head start. I took the car and bike to Mount Beauty. Mr. Superfit rode all the way from Bright, via the Tawonga Gap, an eight kilometer climb, to Mount Beauty and up to Falls Creek. He overtook me along that road.

Name well deserved - Mount Beauty from Sullivan's lookout


When I parked the Hyundai under a shady tree in Mount Beauty I had no idea what strange vehicle would be parked nearby on my return. (Read on). Mounting the Spezialized I had a fair idea what to expect after the towns main roundabout - four kilometers solid uphill, then about 12 kilometers undulation to Bogong village, before a further 16 kilometers skyward.

My son's modern gizmo gave us elevation, gradient etc etc. It may have been better not to know, how steep and long the uphill battle would be. It was mind over matter. I was determined to succeed - one pedal at a time.

About half an hour into the ride the incident happened, which triggered my 'tannenbaum' photo, shown earlier. Like you, the reader, I find it difficult to make sense of it, but easy to describe exactly what happened: As I was grinding my way up the winding forest road a vehicle passed by. Out of habit I read the three letters (and numbers) of its registration plate: The letters were AUM.


Next came this: AUM   >>>

On the road surface a black substance, possibly bitumen, created something very similar to the letters AUM. (Hey! It just came, as I typed. Turn this picture upside down and you will read the letters WA - the AUM vehicle held WA registration plates. 

It didn't take great skills to add a B to create BAUM, German for tree. Pity, the vehicle had gone, before I even get hold of my camera; but wait ...!

As I approached the half-way mark of my uphill ride, near the turn-off to Bogong village, I saw more and had to get off and take a picture. Because the earlier AUM registration plate included the digits 1 3 5 it all seemed to link together. The road from Mount Beauty to Falls Creek is Route C531.


Left to Bogong, straight ahead - C531 up to the Creek.

Note the defaced sign. The word liberty appeared in neat lettering, not graffiti. 

Nearby Mount Bogong is the highest in Victoria, 1986 m.


The thirty kilometers from Mount Beauty to Falls Creek took me just under three hours. Jon had reached the summit and backtracked, riding the final few kilometers with me. I needed the moral support. Traffic was surprisingly light, the cafe at Falls Creek almost empty.

There was no signs anywhere to indicate that the very next day some of the best cyclists in the world  (Froome, Chaves, Gerran) were racing in a major event. The 2017 Jayco Sun Herald Tour was to hold their first stage, ending with a hill-climb finish at Falls Creek.


The latest: An Adelaide boy won!  Damian Howson not only won that first stage to Falls Creek, he finished first overall. (Pity, Jon had to return to work, otherwise we may have witnessed Howson's triumph).

How weird is this: Googling the name Howson revealed a professional football player named Howson - first name Jonathan, like that of our super-fit son, my riding companion that day.


Below: Winner of the Son Herald Tour, D. Howson ... (Just kidding)

...and below the runner up: Jonathan

Above: Jon on his Giant a day earlier, climbing the highest of the alpine roads in Victoria, near the top of Mount Hotham. Part of the 26 kilometer climb from Harrietville can be seen in the background. 

The ride back to the car at Mount Beauty was a breeze. (Wouldn't cycling be a pleasure, not, if it were all downhill?) Jon continued back to Bright. He didn't even bother stopping for a drink at the car. Had he done so, I would have had a lot of explanation to do, why I was taking a photo of a vehicle parked nearby. It had WA registration plates.


WA registered Toyota >>>

A few hours earlier this four-wheel drive vehicle had passed me, just out of Mt. Beauty. A few minutes later the same vehicle passed from the opposite direction.

Call me paranoid, crazy or simply creative - AUM needs a B to make it into tree in German; and 135 are the digits of the road I had just travelled.





In the previous chapter I alluded to an animal making a timely appearance. I'm sure there are many animal stories around, which sound much more exciting than what I'm about to document.

I believe that the God who created all things is in charge of all things, including the animal kingdom. In Matt.10, 29 we read that God cares, if a sparrow falls to the ground. (On the day before writing, caused by the extreme heat possibly, a sparrow lay dead in our backyard. God saw it, when it fell.)

This is one of the most comforting thoughts in God's Word: If God cares about an insignificant animal, how much more does HE care for HIS most glorious creation, each and every human on earth!

In the early days of my long, strange journey this thought had sustained me. I trusted God in everything. Real faith is to believe, even when you don't understand; trust when you can't see and act, despite your fears.

When I reflect on the days, at the turn of the millennium, when I did not have the strength to pull a weed in our garden, God saw me through it all. Where would I be today without HIM?

The little animal story took place on Friday, January 27th, 17. The animal was a dog. The way our paths crossed could not have been in more perfect timing:

We had not had a dog in years. For a week, however, at the end of January, we looked after our daughter's Staffordsshire Terrier. They had moved to Darwin, the dog was to follow a few days later.

At my voluntary work, for the first time ever (if I recall correctly) a staff member had given me a box of goods to donate to the Salvation Army store. After arriving home that Friday, I carried the open box from my Suzuki to our front door; keys in one hand, while juggling the box in the other.

I can't recall what came first - me seeing what was at the top of the box, or the dog whimpering behind the gate? It all went so fast, it took only a second. As I passed by the gate, hearing the whimpering dog, I'd said: "Yes, I'll take you for a walk in a minute."

The same second I noticed what I was carrying in my hand, right at the top of the box - this wall plaque:

...did someone say walk

 - - - - - - -

Do you know that you can know that you have eternal life? Yes, anyone who truly believes in the son, God's son Jesus, has eternal life. It's that simple.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

1. John 5, 13.

Walk with Jesus, the SON. Let HIM lead.


Chapter 14