Chapter 6         Written / Published  19.1. /  26.1.15        Pics by author, unless indicated

      HOME                    THE  WINNER GAVE  IT  ALL              Given your all - Now what?


The word WHO came up in a surprise meeting with a young footballer. There are  other football stories in this chapter, involving  (what else?) numbers. The year 2014 ended with a lovely bike ride north of Adelaide. What I saw and linked to events in early 2015 could frighten me, if I was not putting all my trust in WHO:


Bless the Lord O my soul! O Lord my God you are very great; You are clothes with honour and majesty, WHO cover Yourself with light as with a garment, WHO stretch out the heaven like a curtain. He lays the beams of HIS upper chambers in the waters, WHO makes the clouds HIS chariots, WHO walks on the wings of the wind, WHO makes HIS angels spirits, HIS ministers a flame of fire. (Psalm 104, 1-4).


6.  9 C More    

Visiting the historic town of Richmond for only an hour and a half was nowhere near long enough. Had the weather been better we might have chosen to tour Port Arthur instead. This would have meant Richmond was off the itinerary altogether. In the end, however, it was a good choice. Touring Port Arthur would certainly have brought with it a very sad reminder* of what humans are capable of inflicting on fellow humans. 

Considering the amazing discoveries at Richmond - the Coal River, the numbers by the bridge,  the surprise inside St.John's church etc - it all worked together for good.

*In 1996 at Port Arthur a deranged young man, Martin Bryant, killed 35 people in a massacre beyond belief  Some years later journalist Carol Altmann, who featured very early in my autobiography, wrote a book about it: (After Port Arthur, Allen and Unwin 2006).  

It was a dull Saturday afternoon, December 6th, as we drove through Tasmania's midlands. We spent our final night on the island at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Evandale. According to our friendly host Cynthia, who only charged us $ 40 each for two rooms, we were one of the final guests, before a major refurbishment.

Evandale is a historic village on the South Esk River, about 18 km south of Launceston. Many houses are heritage listed and in original condition. A statue in the main street (pic. below) depicts a penny farthing bike. The National Penny Farthing championships are held here every year.

Waiting for my friend Richard on Sunday morning, something I had to do lots, I filled in the time writing some postcards. One was to a friend, Dave, back in Adelaide. Next came a bit of ... call it ESP or whatever. It happens to all of us. No sooner had I written Dear Dave, my mobile phone rang. It was Dave, telling me he was recovering in hospital after a mild stroke.

It was extra weird, because this was the first time in years, if not ever, that Dave rang me. He normally only sent text messages.

Evandale, Tasmania

Above: Statue of Penny Farthing in front of Clarendon Arms Hotel.

<< Sunday Tasmanian

Playing with Fire.


My phone /camera tells me I snapped this photo at 11am.

It must have been the date 7.12, which made me do it. Next at 11.28 am, visiting the famous Evandale Markets, I took the photo below.

Behold The Fire, by Steven D. Salinger. Three weeks later, read about it in the next chapter, there would be a devastating fire - not in Tasmania, but close to home!
In the afternoon, before leaving the island, we took a walk through Launceston's Cataract Gorge. It had been at least 35 years since my family and I visited. The free roaming peacocks were still showing off their magnificent display of feathers.

- - - - - - -

An incident must be mentioned, before returning home. As we disembarked the Spirit of Tasmania I spotted a German registration plate. It was not attached to a car, but a black motor cycle. A young couple from Germany, in black leather jackets, was just preparing their big machine, ready to hit the road in Melbourne. 

We had a brief chat in German, during which they expressed their disappointment in the Australian summer. The dull skies that morning were even worse than Tasmania's. And it was wet. During our 30 seconds conversation I recited the beginning of a poem we learned at school: Herr von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck im Havelland, by Theodor Fontane.

I had long forgotten what the poem was all about. A little googling revealed the sad story of Mr. Ribbeck, who so generously gave away pears. In the second verse he died. In the end, Verse four, a pear tree grew over his grave. Pears once again.

There was a reason, why I thought of this poem, which every German of my age knows. The black and white German number plate - letters HVL - revealed that the bike was registered in HAVELLAND. There is a river in Germany called Havel. It's in northern Germany and runs through Berlin and Brandenburg.

When we learned this poem at school, I don't think even our English teacher would have viewed Havelland as Have L land. If there is a spiritual meaning in the poem, it's the cycle of life and death, new life from death. Just like the death of L brought V to all.

A few days later, back in Adelaide, another registration plate caught my eye. I was driving my Suzuki on my way to picking up phone books from the warehouse. In the lane beside me a red registration plate teased me: ROY ALL. I found it so amusing. You see, the storeman working at the warehouse was Mr. ALLRIGHT. (Royal L - all right?)

- - - - - - -

Christmas 2014 was approaching fast. I normally don't send Christmas cards. And if, then I at least write a few personal, meaningful words, not just a signature. But one card I felt I had to send to two people, one of whom is called Virginia. It was not because I knew them, but because of code-word Rowe (which is not their name!)

It was very close to Christmas. I must have rushed the job, because just prior to posting my card I noticed that I had made two mistakes. But I did not correct them.




Yet, how appropriate - the name Virgin (ia) right next to Mary and baby Jesus! Loved it!


My first mistake was

the stamp. It was from

the previous year, the only one I had at the time. 55 cent was insufficient postage. But how well does 55 (LoVe) and Christmas go together!


As I addressed the card, one of those tiny ones I had bought in Preston (Chapter 5), the name Virginia did not quite fit.

The second mistake was the postcode. Scribbling from memory, Adelaide 5000 sounded all right. But it wasn't. Mail addressed to a GPO Box (General Post Office Box) should have postcode 5001.


My weird-wired mind saw the two 5's as SS and created >>> 5000 / 5001 >>> 5051 >>> ISSO. I left it up to Mary, sorry no, the post office, if my little card would still reach its recipients.

- - - - - - -

How co-incidental is this! Totally unbeknown to me I had written in the previous chapter about spelling errors I had found. Twice I had come across the word accommodation, spelled with only one m.

At the time I had not the faintest idea that at the very same time the Readers Digest Magazine of December 2014 had published a leading article, written probably months earlier: 'Why spelling is so hard.' When I first picked up the magazine and saw the title, I was mildly amused. But even more so, after I discovered this:


<<< Readers Digest December 2014


The first in the list of often misspelled words:  accommodate!


On page 93 the magazine ran a brief quiz to test reader's spelling skills. The answers (shown on left) were on page 96.


Note also the final word: weird. (I agree). 

The word weird, most of my readers would also agree, could be use to express the surprises, twists and co-incidences described in my many chapters. But does it means that a mind that is wired differently is ill? I sense that people close to me still think that way.

Looking back at my long journey my motivation early on was to do God's will and to prove my sanity. Now, I know that I don't have to prove a thing! There is a power at work, which does not need any prove; only eyes that see, a mind that is open and a heart that is thankful to the ONE who said: "I am the truth ....". Who HE is, we all know.

Let's rearrange the letters of the word weird. I see ID and WER. Bi-lingual readers know that in German wer means who? On the day I began this chapter, I met a young man (for the first time), whose Christian name could be A WHO?

Riding my bicycle past Ridley Reserve, where I had seen Adelaide United players train before, I noticed one young man in a red shirt. He looked like ...? Getting closer, I recognized him. It was who I thought it was. 


AWER and the author >>>

Awer Mabil, Adelaide's No.17, was only too happy to pose for the photo. He had just returned from Holland, where he was scrutinized for a possible career overseas. The 19 year old Adelaide striker has a great future ahead, that is, if he gives God the glory for his successes. 


On editing I noticed the German colours. His No.17 will feature big time in the next chapter.

Another young African man took our picture. Awer had mentioned that he plays for Perth Glory. After a little research, I think, this person may well have been Youssef Hersi, another A-League star, who is recovering from a hamstring injury. Love his name and date of birth - 20.8.82. All things work together for good.


- - - - - - -

That little word all, the letters 1 & 12,12 in our alphabet, is often registering in my bran, sorry brain, when I hear or see it. 

How about a link from the left [It's] All Good to All Bran on the right?

Codes: Minus r; a to o;  bon >>> good. (French).

My ever caring wife informed me that All Bran keeps you regular. So I tried it. It doesn't seem to work with me. I am behind more than ever in replying to emails, mowing the laws, cleaning the ...!

- - - - - - -

One all-good soccer player will never forget the last day of 2014. New Zealander Tyler Boyd - nice name, on the day after his birthday, was playing in Adelaide's Cooper Stadium for his team Wellington Phoenix. The score was 1:1 until well into the second half. D-boy Boyd (D stands for double) came on only in the 71st minute. This was an all-good decision by the coach. 

Six minutes on the field and, as substitutes often do, Tyler scored a goal. It put the visiting team from across the Tasman, Phoenix Wellington, ahead. But the fairy tale didn't end there. After the 2:1 score my numbers brain kicked in: Would it not be funny, if the score ended 3:1 on the 31st?

Most in the stadium, including myself, about 99.9% of the 10 060 strong crowd, hoped for an equalizer. No such luck! Instead, in the dying moments of the game, in the 92nd minute, Tyler Boyd ruined the New Years Eve party for Adelaide United. He scored a second goal to  bring the result to 3:1 on Dec. 31.

But there was more. During research for this writing I found out Tyler not only scored 3:1 on the 31st of December, he also wore a perfect number on his jersey when he did it - 12.

Photo:      Real champions give God the credit.

<<< Cooper Stadium 31.12.14. Tyler Boyd looks up to heaven. He is giving God the glory for scoring a goal against Adelaide United on 31 Dec. The opening sentence in an interview Tyler gave after the match to the media: "First of all I'd like to thank God almighty." (

More soccer numbers magic:

Full time in the Asia Cup, Jan 9th opening game, Australia : Kuwait.

Photo: ABC TV

<<< AAMI Stadium Melbourne - 9.1.15. No. 4 had opened the score for Kuwait. No.4 (Tim Cahill) kicked the first goal for the socceroos.


But it was the final goal, which made me smile: James Troisi, wearing jersey No.14, landed one in the net for the 1:4 final score. The game ended 1:4. Like Tyler's, his goal came in the 92nd minute.

(More of the Asia Cup and Tim Cahill next chapter.) 

The following would better fit into Chapter 7, but it also fits very well in here: Two days before writing Adelaide United had its biggest victory ever at home -  7:0 against Newcastle Jets. The final goal, a well-placed, bend-it-like-Beckham kick from 30 metres out, was to the credit of midfielder Isaias. It also came in the 92nd minute! 

Attendance at Hindmarsh was 10960, nine hundred (9C) more than in the game against Wellington, mentioned above. Two of my sons, for the first time in years, came to witness this amazing success on 24/1.

 How I wished they'd be with me 24/7

- - - - - - -

Unlike Tasmania, summer in South Australia at the end of 2014 was very pleasant. One Saturday I made use of the fine weather, loaded my Giant into the Suzuki and drove to Auburn, about 1 1/4 hours north of Adelaide. I had been there many times, both with the family or riding the bike.

<<< Meller's Cafe, Auburn. 


Auburn is a lovely, historic village with many heritage listed stone buildings: the Auburn Institute and Town Hall, the court house and police station, the Lutheran Church, just to name a few. Some were built by Joseph Meller, a stonemason. Auburn is known as the home of CJ Dennis*, the poet who wrote the classic 'The sentimental bloke'

    (*Next chapter we'll meet a cyclist, Mr. Dennis)

This time I had not come as a tourist, but as cyclist. Auburn is the start of the popular Riesling Trail, a former railway line, converted to a cycle and walking track. It extends for 24 kilometres through the lovely wine growing region of the Clare.

At the last minute I decided to make a detour via Mintaro, and ride the Riesling Trial on the return. Despite the more hilly sections, which were becoming more of a challenge, Mintaro, I knew, would be worth the effort.

A few minutes into the ride I could not help spotting a name on a farm gate. At first I drove past, but my mind connected a few dots, which reminded me of things I had recently written about. I turned back and took a photograph:

          M ELLA >>>

Three things came::

Firstly, I had just written about the letter M. Secondly, a recent visitor was Ella (Chapter 3) and how could I not read backwards - ALL?


But friends, just as I write this, a day after my wife and I had been to funeral, amazing thoughts emerged. The name of the 50 year-old deceased person starts with M and ends in ELLA. How spooky! What does it all mean or is it all meaningless, pure co-incidence? 

The little town of Mintaro would have to be one of the best kept secrets in Australia. If a place can be called a gem - Mintaro is it! Two things come to mind, when this place is mentioned: One, Martindale Hall, the grand old Victorian mansion, which featured in the 1975 movie 'Picnic on Hanging Rock. The second is slate, the stone, which has been continuously mined since 1854 and kept the village on the map.


Mintaro was the first

entire town in South

Australia to be heritage listed.


Visiting this village of approx. 225 population, you notice that slate was used extensively, in buildings, fences, chimneys, paving etc.


<<< Note the huge slate table top in the hotel court yard.


Walking through the village and taking photographs felt like stepping back in time. Mintaro, 128 km from Adelaide, is part of the Clare Valley wine region.


Below: Ness Street, Clare.

The mural is of Clare's fire brigade, ca.1900.


Note the shop next door. (Magic in Chapter 7.)


Climbing over two hills on the Mintaro to Seven Hills road made me realize, how few hills I have ridden lately. But with it came great views over South Australia's mid north toward the Flinders Ranges. At Seven Hills I joined the Riesling Trail for a pleasant final few kilometers into Clare. 

The Clare Hotel held memories from 20 years ago. As leader of a home fellowship I had borrowed a bus and arranged an excursion, where we toured the region and enjoyed a delicious roast at that Hotel. There were almost no spare seat in the bistro, as I ate my Schnitzel, sitting on table No.2. 

Before mounting my bike again, I took a walk through the main street, taking a few photos. I had noticed the large mural of the Clare fire brigade for the first time. I snapped the picture shown above. Little did I know that hidden within the picture were two letters, which a few weeks later would surface at a very appropriate time. The letters (not readable in above picture) are A C. (More in Chapter 7, including a link to M___ELLA.)

- - - - - - -

Many times I see things on TV (and everywhere) and immediately find a link to my code. Let me give you two examples, which I documented with a photo off the television screen. 

Leading up to Christmas I was watching a Channel Nine quiz show, Millionaire Hotseat. On two occasions, the answer D, out of four possible answers, took my interest:


<<< Henry Ford famously said: "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is ...? Correct answer is in the name Ford - For D. The word black easily reads as L Back!


<<< Which of these is a simple maths game, developed in less that a week in 2014?


Correct answer D: 2048.

Codes? 2 x 48 = 96 or 2+48 = 50, the letter L.

There's more: As I typed the correct answer for the second question, two extra thoughts came:

Firstly, a few hours before this writing, I finished my regular bus run after Sunday church. For the first time I looked at our almost brand new church bus and took in the registration plate: ..248.

Secondly, the answer C: World of Goo, looked for a moment like Word of GOD; L and O are the letters responsible. If L then is 50, attach the O which = 500. Simple maths and Romans numerals lead us from C to D.

Real alert readers, long term followers, would have guessed the other reason, why I responded to the number 2048, making a song and dance about it?

Let's apply very simple maths: 2 + 48 = 50, 2 x 48 = 96 - Postcode 5096.

WHO lives there.


Chapter 7