|Chapter 6 Written / Published 19.1. / 26.1.15 Pics by author, unless indicated|
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).
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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:
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.
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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.
More soccer numbers magic:
Full time in the Asia Cup, Jan 9th opening game, Australia : Kuwait.
(More of the Asia Cup and Tim Cahill next chapter.)
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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.
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:
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.
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.)
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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:
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.