26. 2C, 7C and more see
The three nights my wife and I spent in Bendigo, Victoria during a weeklong holiday, were as expected filled with codes, observations and what a professional psychiatrist might describe as delusions. Before documenting some of these extra-ordinary experiences in Bendigo allow me a few comments regarding this very question - Is it magic or madness?
Committed Christians, who are on a faith journey with God, would know and quote Verse 8 of Romans 28 regularly: "All things work together ...". My writing has been full of links and connections, as I saw them - working together. Some related to very distant events, while others linked to a what happened only moments or days earlier. Lately, ever increasingly, I see or hear words, at the same second, working together. (This chapter is no different).
Is it not natural that all that happens to us, is linked in some way or another? Why am I condemned for seeing connections? Is it my wild, fun-filled interpretation, which seems to offend? Discussing this with my family over the past few days, I was accused of drawing conclusions - premature conclusions. "You are not exploring the alternatives", is their main argument.
My answer to this: Right from the beginning, in my first book, which I commenced writing approx. 41 months ago, I questioned the alternatives to what I saw. There was only one explanation. I expressed it in one word - co-incidence. That much in life is co-incidental, I fully accepted, but only to a certain point.
The next questions my probing mind was lead to: When does a co-incidence progress from a slightly amusing non-event, to the level where one had to ask: "Hey, not another co-incidence! There must be something behind it all. I must find out what it is". The very thing I get accused of - not thinking it through - is what I actually did to a great extend, and am still doing so every day.
A recent example, which can either be labelled co-incident, or God-incident, is hurricane Larry. The devastating storm resulted in Australians paying around 15 Dollars for a kilogram of bananas since March 2006. (Only late in 06 did the price come down to normal levels - 1.99 per kg).
I had spent much time and energy, campaigning against the introduction of the drug RU 486 into Australia. This ugly drug has one aim, to kill a human life in a woman's womb. When the debate was raging in Australia's Parliament in February 2006, politicians did not listen to pro-life groups. The killer drug got the green light in the normal democratic processes. The feminist lobby claimed a victory.
Within a month Larry wiped out much of Australia's banana (and sugar) crops. It was one of the biggest storms ever to hit Australia. In the centre of the devastation was the town with the postcode 4860. The name was Innisfail, which, during a prayer session, God showed me turns into 'sin in life' with a simple swap of a to e. To kill is to sin, to attack life.
Friends, if you can't see the overwhelming evidence, that an Act of God took place in Australia in 2006, you must explain it away as co-incidental and meaningless.
I am not one to run around shouting, I told you so. I have not sent one email with this message to anyone since the storm. Rather I pray that God will open the minds and hearts of people to see that HE is trying to speak to us. How long before we listen?
- - - - - - -
Christmas 2007 - Diary - Extract of Program for Christmas Concert
The four words above are German: He, birth, Christ, in.
I would have not noticed anything, had I not counted the stars. 1, 3, 9, 16.
The editor believes that my number 1963 is a winning number. (I am writing this in faith, not knowing, if this indeed is the case. The only other alternative? Co-incident!)
Read in a moment, how 1963 emerged magically during a basketball match on 10/1/07.
- - - - - - -
A family member, who obviously is reading my chapters, had been printing off some pages for my wife to read. It was a paper off the internet, which explains, how a professional would cure a person's delusional thinking. This shows how my observations, and subsequent conclusions, are regarded by my close family.
From the beginning of my unusual behaviour, around 1999, my family regarded me as having a mental illness. At the time they had every reason to doubt my sanity. I had acted in a very agitated state; did things I would rather not think about.
Now, seven years later, I no longer act in an agitated way. What I do I do as much as possible discreetly. The worst I could be accused of is perhaps picking up bits of trash, emailing a real estate agent, or visiting a church service, to which I have no connection whatsoever. When I do such harmless acts, it is often the result of my seeing a distant connection and questioning: "This can't be co-incidence. Perhaps I ought to respond in some way?" Then I do.
Those who had followed my thinking pattern from the beginning must agree with me, much data I came across was puzzling, too obvious to dismiss. The volume of these weird links, data, names, numbers increased to a level, where I asked God, if HE really is behind it all. Today I am more convinced than ever that HE is. I stake my life on IT.
According to the paper mentioned above, a professional, who does not believe in God, classes as mentally ill, a patient, who thinks they are on a special mission from God. Likewise, a patient claiming they are called by God, chosen for this mission or regards himself as a special creation of God, is classed as suffering from delusions.
I argue that when God is left out of the equation, any atheistic professional attacks the very fundamentals of Christianity.
Of course, one may argue, for a person to become a psychiatric patient, they must have already acted in ways to deserve the title 'patient'. From first hand experience I know this is true.
I had become excited and acted agitated after my wife did not seem to understand what I had discovered: Love comes before Power. I saw a wonderful truth here, a student driver receives the L-licence before the P-licence! In Australia the letters L & P are the most basic symbols pointing to my profession. Subsequently, I claimed, very excitedly, that God was in all of this.
As I have written in detail in my first book, my wife only saw my agitation. She was frightened I was going high, which I had done before. She took steps, which once again made me into a mental patient (Chapter 14, Sand).
The bible is full of men and women, who were called by God for a special mission. Ordinary men and women were singled out by God for big tasks that needed doing. These were ordinary men and woman, whose first reaction often was: "God, do you really mean me? Don't you know that I ...?"
What would today's godless professionals say to Moses, Abraham, Job, Gideon, Esther and not least - Jesus? What tablets would they recommend?
Is not every Christian called to be on a mission for God, to love HIM passionately and to do HIS will? Making God's will our will is a formula for success and happiness. What an insult, classing a person, who feels excited that God chose them to do a specific task, as suffering from delusions and putting them on tablets. This is just what happened to me.
(How ironic - the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced two days before writing this, they are putting off 10 000 staff worldwide).
The very first scripture I took as my calling was Psalm 94 and Verse 16: "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers, who will stand up against the doers of iniquity?" At the time I had not the faintest idea that five days later a man was accused of the most horrible crimes he never committed. I am sure there would be many people, who would like to see me in a mental hospital, because I believe God has called me, at exactly the right time, to expose this great evil.
At first I was merely fighting a Government Department, who stuffed up with an new system of driver licensing. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that seven years later I would not only exposing a bureaucratic blunder by a confused Government official, but striking at the very heart of organised crime and corruption in this State and beyond.
Now I understand, why my 'reward' for finding the road safety blunder was not an official accolade, but prosecution, counselling, tablets and many hours in a mental hospital, where no doubt, many readers still think I ought to be.
Sorry folks, God has the final say in all matters. I was called to stand up for justice - to destroy the works of the evil one. Why God has singled out me, I do not know. The answer may lay in the Da Ninci code: Dieter = He die (on) cross, two-4-Goodall Road, born 30.1.50, wife's maiden name New-on-cross? etc. etc. etc. etc.? If so, God has really chosen a foolish thing to teach a lesson to those who think they are wise.
- - - - - - -
More foolish things from my diary, picked at random:
Letter, found during a walk with the dog.
AFIC - Did somebody see a F? Apart from the obvious - 101 Collins matched 505 Collins - I noted that the date also matched the address, only a 1 left over.
What made me email this company was the unusual share acquisition plan, which the letter presented: Any buyers, taking up the offer, must buy shares in 500, 750, 1000 or 1020 lots.
The 1 & 2 at the end looked odd, it drew attention. I suggested they misprinted 1200.
Now I get it: In a previous chapter I had picked up a Boost carton, and highlighted the 00. Above letter was placed almost at the same spot, where I had found the Boost bit of trash!
I just noted another co-incidence - Later in the chapter you will read again, where two addresses, same street name, make a 1/5 code. TUM again!
TUM means - totally unplanned magic. In reverse it is the German word for courage.
There will be in future, God willing, more about an incident in Gundagai, NSW. Travelling through on 23 Jan 07, while on holidays, I picked up a white piece of paper. It had originated in Tumut NSW, Postcode 2720, 33 kilometres away.
Tumut, starting with the m = courage both ways.
- - - - - - -
The only way I made sense of it all, especially after my first surprise trip to California, was that God can even use a mental illness for HIS purposes. If my seeing, thinking and interpreting sound rather unsound, so be it.
Let me complete the Verse in Romans 28: "All things work together for good to them that love, to those who are called according to HIS purposes". Maybe the purpose of my mental state, seeing patterns and numbers, is to entertain readers and at the same time confront them with the Good News of Jesus Christ? If along the way a man is released from jail, who should not be there, even better. In three words - method in madness!
This is why the man in jail is so vital in my story. If it was a revelation from God (that he is indeed innocent), perhaps the weird way of uncovering it, does not sound so weird any longer? Perhaps those who never considered the alternative to a meaningless, co-incidental existence, should rethink their belief and start considering: There is a God, who controls all. Intelligent design will not appear to be so dumb after all.
A word of advise to any educated psychiatrist, scientist or journalist: If you want to argue with God, please remember a wise man. He knew God intimately. He went through an unimaginable hell, but never lost faith in HIS God. In the end he stood tall and proclaimed victoriously: "I know that my redeemer lives!"
He also said: "If one wished to contend with HIM, (the God HE knew so well), he could not contend with HIM one time in a thousand. (Job 9, 3).
- - - - - - -
On 11/1/07 on Channel Nine I was listening to a televised address by US President George Bush. Unless my mind was playing tricks, the live broadcast was interrupted by a technical hitch (nice word hitch) for a nanosecond. One word went missing. I saw the funny side and sent an email to Channel Nine News:
Just listened to George Bush's address to us all. Well, your broadcast (on TV) was interrupted. A tiny gap swallowed a word. I think it was the word benefits, which was blank.
It reminded me of Psalm 103, Verse 2 - "... and forget not ALL HIS benefits."
Kind regards from Adelaide.
PS Bit like my friends at Centrelink. They sometimes forget to deliver all benefits!
(Centrelink is the Government agency, which makes welfare payments).
The code Ephe 511 refers to Ephesians 5, 11 - "Don't have anything to do with the works of darkness, but rather expose them."
- - - - - - -
Neighbouring businesses on Sir Don Bradman Drive
SONY, 7C we do it all, DRO 103 -105 Open 7 Days
The large 7C caught my eye driving to the Adelaide Airport. On the way home I stopped and had a closer look. I took this photo in early 2007.
Adelaide - much Da Ninci, few Do C7.
- - - - - - -
The following incidence is one of those, which can only be explained as co-incidental. Except by those on my team, who have read all the magic with number 1963. They will see God at work.
For a few months or longer I had meant to attend a basket ball game of our Adelaide Team, which is playing at NBL (National Basketball League) level. I suggested to a driving instructor friend, who I had seen for the first time in many months, we should attend an NBL match together. His son played basket ball.
Any sceptic, who accuses me of manipulating numbers, will have to admit that this would be hard to do, when it concerns the result of an NBL match.
It was my first time ever at any basketball game. This is why it was a little disappointing that my friend never came. The event took place on 10/1/07. That Wednesday I felt very strongly to go to The Dome, in the suburb of Beverley, where the NBL match was held. Something inside stirred, giving me the impression, something very special was to take place.
A few hours earlier I had for the first time ever googled the US Embassy in Canberra. I had come across their FAQ section, where I noticed that they had copy/pasted a whole section, thus answering two different questions with the same text.
To check if it was indeed identical, I did a word count, which showed that both sections were the same and each contained 190 words. Therefore the number 19 was already in my mind. I emailed the embassy to enquire about something else, and just mentioned this 190 word article in the PS.
I was 1/4 hour or so late for the basketball's 7 PM start. At the gate I had a choice of tickets. There was a cheaper option ($ 16), but for some reason I bought a $ 19 ticket. (The significance about the 190 words online came much later).
I had been to this venue only once before. It was for the funeral service of Bernie Lewis, a famous Adelaide business man. I had seen a number pattern at the time (Found, Chapter 25 ).
The girl in the small, box-type ticket office gave me Row N, seat Number 26. Something rang a bell, the date 10/1 and seat No. 26. (The first draft of this chapter was written on Jan 26th).
Ironically, only the day before attending this first ever basketball match, I had uploaded a chapter, which finished with a humourous photo - "The Complete Basket Case". As far as I was concerned, the timing was totally unplanned.
When I took my seat, 12 baskets or so had already been scored by both teams. A little later I found out who Adelaide was playing against, the Taipans from Cairns, North Queensland. There were empty seats around me, so I did not get a chance to have the finer details of the game explained.
Adelaide was leading most of the first half. Soon after, however, the opposition scored well and, apart from one occasion, lead all the way to the end. One player I noticed, a coloured, imported player, scored 8 out of 8 points from inside the ring. I was impressed. (A few seats ahead of me, a young boy wore a shirt with his name on the back - Farley. Going from memory, I think Farley carried No. 8).
Adelaide never caught up with the Taipans. Despite scoring a few baskets in the final seconds, they lost 111: 99. There was that 19 code again. At first did not see the real magic. All I saw was the total number of baskets scored was 210, 12 was the winning margin.
It took me another 24 hours, until I saw the real magic. (Which again proves, I do not look for codes, they just happen). It was the code 19 together with the team's name - Adelaide 36ers, which created 1936. For this to happen in the first ever NBL match (perhaps the last) I attended, I find remarkable.
Regular Reader will know that 1963 has been a number, which popped up time and again in my writing. It started on December 2004, when an earthquake devastated a town in Iran (BAM). At that time I saw the number 963 on a registration plate VNT 963. Psalm 96, Verse 3 is the only place, where 963 makes a scripture.
Later with the additional 1, 963 kept coming up on many occasions, one memorable one being a registration plate attached on an MG Sports car. I had come across it in a strange way.
By the way, as I type my P/C gives the time as 11.19 AM) - (More 1111 magic later in the chapter, read on).
Interestingly, the Adelaide 36ers used to be called the Adelaide City Eagles, before changing their name in 1982. The name 36ers comes from 1836, the year Adelaide was founded.
I had long ago written that God loves sport. HE is interested in sports results. More so, HE is interested in the players, who give HIM pleasure playing the game.
- - - - - - -
Cr. South & Richmond Roads, Mile End.
I had stopped at a red traffic light and looked across toward the petrol station. The words 'move yourself' (on the grey box), the cost of petrol 111.9, the RAA Road Service van with their headquarters right behind, was not the only peculiarity.
I was on my way home from a funeral at the Heysen Chapel, Centennial Park. It was my first funeral in a long time. I took place in the same chapel, where Ben Mitchell had his funeral service (Sand, Chapter 43).
The victim's name on 4/1/07 was Jason, also a casualty of a road crash. (There is a long story leading up to this).
Not shown above is an older vehicle, a green Ford. It was the one, who needed road-side assistance. The colour was very similar to the colour of the coffin at the funeral I had just attended, army green.
I had never seen a green coffin at a funeral before. The song they played at Jason's funeral was Elton John's 'Candle in the Wind'.
- - - - - - -
(Back to the holiday in Victoria Oct. 06)
Bendigo is Victoria's fourth largest city. It was originally called Bendigo's Creek, after a famous English prize fighter, William Bendigo Thompson. For a time the name Sandhurst was used, but in 1891 today's name Bendigo was restored. Bendigo is a famous gold rush town. Many Chinese migrants settled in the area in the mid to late 1900's. They called it simply dae gum san or "Big Gold Mountain". (According to Wikipedia).
During two early morning walks my strange mind made some rather unusual observations. They were many, much in the same pattern as in Melbourne and other places. I will record only the most outstanding, as not to be too boring.
Our Motel was on the fringe of the Bendigo CBD. It was Monday morning October 16th, 2006. I had woken at 5.33 am. Leaving my wife to sleep in I went for a walk downtown. In moments like these I feel as free as a bird. On my way I had plenty of time to admire the beautiful Post Office building, the Law Courts or the grand structure of the Shamrock Hotel.
Opposite the famous Alexandra Fountain Rosiland Park extends up Camp Hill. I walked up, passing under the famous observation tower. Walking on, not thinking of anything particularly, outside the football ground walls my eyes spotted three things, one after another. One, on a bench seat was a Big M drink container; on the second a Jim Beam can and nearby on the ground a square, large rock, the type used as paving stone, about the size of a football.
On impulse, I looked for the place, where the rock had come from. I would have replaced the out of place rock, but there was nowhere to put it. I ignored it all and just walked on. Seconds later in the centre of the street, called View Street, I noticed this item in the middle of the road:
A colourful, yet dirty, oily rag in the middle of the road
Farmer John's trusty tractor always gets the work done.
(The material is actually dark-green in colour, making these the colours of traffic lights).
As if life wanted to tease me, another few seconds later a man in work clothes was riding a bicycle up View Street. He wore clothing in the same colours as those of the rag I had just picked up. My mind now re-considered the three items across the road, the BIG M container, the empty can of Jim Beam and the huge paving rock.
Maybe there was something more to them? I crossed the road again a placed all three together under the nearest light pole. (Now, as I write this, I recall that the logo of our Motel consists of one big letter - M).
Looking around, I also took note of the name of the Motel, near the spot where all this took place - Barkay. My diary speaks of other names - Kings, Nelson, Gault - and adds: But where do you stop?
View of View Street, taken the next day from the Lookout Tower on Camp Hill
View Street runs from left to right, behind the grandstand of Sandhurst Oval. Barkay Motel is right opposite the grandstand.
During the morning Isobel and I visited the Bendigo Woollen Mills. Her mother had given her an order to buy a specific item. The total purchase came to $ 31.60. I was reminded of a scooter, which I had seen parked outside the Woollen Mills carpark (the Administration section, not the retail-shop's carpark) - TO 416, a C above 316.
During an extended walk around Bendigo we browsed the Op-Shop of the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence. I bought five records for $ 3.50; one was by my favourite artist, James Last. In the Museum on View Street, where we spent some considerable time, I saw a painting by Eugene Isabey. How similar to my wife's name Isobel - O, why L? Eugene is another name I will not easily forget.
Hey this is interesting - I just discovered something - the last two paragraphs have a common link in Geelong, Victoria. I recall giving a gentleman called Eugene a lift home, after I had seen the scripture John 3, 16 in large letters outside a church (Found, Chapter 45).
Isobel admired a painting by an artist named Hochmann. Hoch means high in German. My Da Ninci mind saw hi-man. That's how it gets the work done.
(The following writing was commenced on the morning of Jan. 26)
The next morning, Tuesday 17/10/06, we all did again what we love doing. Isobel sleeping in a little longer, Dieter going for an early walk and the sun giving a beautiful soft light after rising in the eastern sky.
Hey, how amazing - As I typed this last sentence a song come out from my P/C. Like I was last evening, I am tuned to Radio 2 CH, 1170 Sydney. The song a male voice is singing right now 7.40 am - Jan 26th, Australia Day): "A little ray of sunshine has come into the world..."
A similar incident, while listening to the same Radio Station, had happened only 12 hours earlier. So I wrote into their feedback form:
Please believe me - what I email here is not made up, it's the truth and absolutely* (the word was spoken on your program as I write - ad for Haberfield...?) magic.
I am writing on Chapter 26 of my book. I only did one paragraph - here it is:
"The next morning, Tuesday 17/10/06, we all did again what we love doing. Isobel sleeping in, Dieter going for a walk and the sun giving a beautiful soft light after rising in the eastern sky."
Seconds after I had typed this last sentence I became aware what the male voice was singing (at 7.40 am - Jan 26th - Australia Day): "A little ray of sunshine has come into the world..."
I think as was last evenings magic, so was this - a power so divine controlling it all. In a moment I am coming to write a part where "2 see" crytallized in my story in Bendigo Vic.
Do I see too much?
(The evening before I had also seen magic, which involved the words: I see).
- - - - - - -
Embarking on another early morning walk on Tuesday 17/10, I didn't have a plan, other than exploring another district to the one the day before. Above the Bendigo houses, in the distance, I could see a roof, which looked like a church. Coming closer, I noticed it was indeed a church. The street was called Myer Street. A sign on the church grounds read: You can trust God (or similar).
On the outside wall of the church was a plaque, a memorial to a man named William Hunter. He had laid the foundation stone of the building. He must have been a champion to be given such an noble task. On of his admirers must have regarded him as divine. This ardent fan decorated the plaque with some unusual graffiti: Here it is:
Graffiti on church wall, Myer Street Bendigo
To the Glory of God. This stone was laid by William Hunter.
How unusual - The name Jesus Christ in graffiti. The symbol on the other side looks like a big M, with a faint similarity to the 'Basket-case' logo.
The previous morning, a Big M had taken my attention - Yes, of course, now I get it - there was a stone involved as well, plus a can J im B ea M.
Has my imagination, my L L L I T gone over the top again?
Seconds after I had taken above photo a well dressed man, quite unexpectedly, walked from beside the church and crossed Myer Street. He either did not see me or ignored me completely. There was nobody else anywhere at this early hour of the morning.
I continued my walk toward the shopping centre. In the distance a bridge looked inviting. I headed in that direction. The railway station was just beyond. How differently to my native Esslingen, Germany. At 7.20 am, on a working day, thousands of people would be pushing their way through the gates and onto the platforms to catch a train to work. In Bendigo there were about as many passengers as trains - 4.
The four train carriages of the V-line, all parked on the same platform, took my attention. Each had a clearly visible number, starting with 1111 on the first one, the second one had 1211 ... Was I meant to see (C =100) something here? I believed so, because there was also 100 difference between the third and fourth carriage. I had a pen with me, but nothing to write on, so I collected two dried leaves off the ground and used it as notepaper:
From my diary - 17/10/06:
The numbers on the green leaf were part of the church's phone numbers. I saw 3500 (5016 - 1516).
The numbers on the brown leaf are of those of the V-Line train carriages:
1111 - 1211 - 1132 - 1232. There are 10 x 1, 4 x 2, 2 x 3 = 24).
Was there meant to be also a hint at 486? The total comes to 4686. Now that I saw this, I am reminded, immediately after walking to the railway station, I walked to the Shopping Centre. In the carpark a workman was cleaning some kind of machine. His van's registration No. 684.
Was I meant 2 C it? I did, and if it's madness, I still love it, love HIM, who showed me.
What amazing timing, again - last evening and on the morning of writing (Australia Day 26/1/07) I was in contact with Sydney Radio Station 2 C H - 2 C IT!
< 79 >The road we travelled from Melbourne to Bendigo, is called Calder Highway A79.
Walking down Mitchell Street, in the main shopping precinct, I saw a green piece of paper on the ground. Believe me, I am not eager to examine every bit of paper lying on the road, looking for codes. (This is what my family thinks I do). However, when something stirs inside me, prompting me, to do something, it usually wins over my human desire to act rationally and to ignore it.
In this instance, I first walked past the green paper, when my mind stirred. I started praying: "Lord, is there something You want me to see here?" I was rather specific in my request. "If I see car rego 202 or 505 in the next few moments, then I know I ought to go back and pick up the green paper. (I do this regularly, when doubts plaque my spirit).
I walked on and turned left on the corner by the Alexandra Fountain. At the same moment a work van, registration number ... 202, Hot Bake in large letters on the side, turned the corner and stopped right near me. I immediately turned back and walked 100 metres or so to fetch the green paper. On the way I passed a clothing store - VIXEN DEE. I had noticed their slogan before - Clothes to die for.
So what important message was on the green paper? Sell your house, clear out to California? Go straight to jail, don't collect $ 200? To an ordinary mind, nothing was on the green paper. But I saw plenty, even a connection to the clothing store.
Ordinary people collect stamps, some coins and others antique guns. Why be ordinary, why not collect trash picked up off the roadway?
Here is the green paper I added to my odd collection:
Cheerful Giving - Abundant Life Christian Fellowship.
The address on the leaflet (not shown) is 113-123 'Son can see' Street, Golden Square, Bendigo, 3555.
It did not take my brain long to see the connection - VI X (EN) is not exactly 106 in Roman numerals, but separately they make 10 & 06.
On final editing this came to me: The EN fits in perfectly with DEE (DN). If Sherlock Holmes had discovered this, he'd say to his off-sider: "Elementary, Watson"!
Here is totally unrelated numbers co-incidence: Hours before writing this, I overheard numbers on the radio. The power-ball draw the night before (25/1) were: 7, 13, 15, 26, 27.
Take from these above Genesis scripture numbers, deduct the numbers in the headline of this chapter. It only leaves (Genesis) 4.
Above behaviour, seeing something and having fun with it, did in no way affect my normal life. After returning to the Motel I again was the ordinary husband, visiting Bendigo on as short holiday with my wife. I was a little cautious, however, to not show off my loot from the mornings excursions. It may be misunderstood.
The rest of the day we played the average tourist, taking a leisurely drive through the countryside. Maldon and Castlemaine were two places I had fond memories of, from earlier holidays. At the time, taking our young children for a ride on the bicycle or a swim in the pool was the kind of amusement that gave us pleasure. (The coded-green-trash-paper fun developed much later).
Like many regions in Australia, the district in Central Victoria around Bendigo was suffering visibly from the ongoing drought. It was disturbing to see the 'evergreen' leaves of native gum trees turning brown for lack of water. As soon as we reached the outskirts of Maldon, the trees seemed a deeper green and more prolific.
Maldon is a gem of a town. It was first settled after explorer Mitchell travelled through the area in 1836. Maldon was proclaimed Australia's first notable town, whatever that means. The main street consists of historic heritage, shops and buildings, which look as if they had not changed in a hundred years.
Arriving in the small town, we parked the Suzuki in a convenient, shaded spot. It happened to be right outside the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, which became our first place of exploration. The few minutes of peace and quiet, in the sacred atmosphere of this historic sanctuary, were refreshing.
On the front near the altar was a large bible. It was open to Psalm 90. I turned the pages and left it open at Psalm 22. On the way out a little magic; without having known this I picked up their weekly news sheet. The reading that week, or part thereof, had been Psalm 22, Verse 1-15. (This passage is regarded as a prophesy of Jesus' struggle before his imminent death). My dairy adds: Love it!
While indulging in a cream bun, bought at the ancient, original bakery shop, I noticed a commercial station wagon parked nearby. It was that of a sign-writer, registration No. 050. The phone number on the van also contained much Da Ninci. In a quite moment, trying to hide my secret deed from my wife, I left 15 cents on the ground outside the driver's door.
Spending money, without my wife's approval, must be done in secret. She certainly would not see that the 15 cents, together with the van's registration number, could represent 1550. If the sign-writer would know any of this, I do not know, but who would knock back 15 free cents?
Another challenge was waiting for me, parked toward the other end of town. Two vehicles had the registration plate ...891; only the letters were different. One vehicle had IDY, the other THV. It took a while of sightseeing with my wife ("... of course I am listening to every word you say, Darling ...") before I cracked the code - THY ID V.
I remembered that morning's V-Line trains. Not that I suspected a connection, but it was nice to be reminded twice in one day that I had chosen to be on the V-side, the side of the victor, the winner who gave it all.
The M Logo of the McIvor Motor Inn & Lotus Convention Centre
Writing that we walked through the Botanic Gardens, boiled the kettle for a coffee and ran out of gas in the bottle, would be boring. What we did all that during our next stop in Castlemaine, a regional centre, where we had spent a week's holiday when the children were only toddlers.
Strolling through the Botanic Gardens, near a toilet block a sign had me puzzled: SING ALTERNATE WATER SOURCE. Thinking long and hard I came to the (wrong) conclusion that the word sing ought to have been seek: Do not use this water, but look for (seek) another source!
When I put the word seek next to sing and exchanged the k with the s I arrived at sees king. In times like these I wished my mind would not see and seek answers. An email from home later, from the Castlemaine City Council, gave a viable explanation. A group of school children may have peeled off the letter U, which left the word sing, instead of using.
What a relief! (It proves that there are rational explanations for some puzzling situations; blame the clever children of Castlemaine).
The rest of the afternoon took us to Heathcote, via Redesdale. We tried unsuccessfully to find a winery in Redesdale, despite following directions and looking for 9 kilometres (each way) for the sign to the property. Isobel would have loved the gardens, which we were told was to host an Open Garden Day in November 06. We continued to Heathcote and spent some time walking along the main street.
In the white building on the right we bought a bottle of wine, Lewisroad 05 Shiraz Viognier, as a gift for my son Ben.
Isobel chose the gift and where to buy it. She also chose the place where we had dinner that evening. Without ever realizing, by doing so, she created the code 1115 (Read on).
That Tuesday evening, our last night before returning home, we walked around Bendigo, trying to find a place to dine. It took us a while; not for lack* of choice, but our indecision.
*Within 2 seconds of typing this, I heard the word lack on Radio 2 CH - 12.32 PM 26/1/07.
I was not going to bother them with this, but less than a minute later I heard a wrong announcement, concerning the A-League football finals. The newsreader said, the match between Adelaide and Melbourne will be played tomorrow. I briefly emailed that it is actually schedule for the day after, on Sunday 28th. (I know I have tickets, can't wait).
After strolling for a while in the warm Bendigo evening, we found a restaurant with an outside dining area. It was right opposite the huge Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral, the largest in Victoria, outside Melbourne. (Their website informs that it's insured for 49 Million Dollars). Since Isobel chose the venue, she was content. When it came to dining out, her preference was of uttermost importance for a successful evening.
We had a lovely meal and a chat with the Restaurant's owner. At one time he lived and ran a business in Adelaide. Before we left the gentleman passed me his business card. Until then I had only noted the Restaurant's name EMPOLI, it included a MP & LI. (Don't those letters go well together? Sorry I take that back). When I read the address, 101 High Street, Bendigo, something in my mind clicked.
The address, where we had bought the bottle of wine that afternoon, Isobel's choice, was 105 High Street, Heathcote. High (111) 5 won again.
On the third morning of our Bendigo visit I was tempted to go for another walk. But packing up took priority. Surprisingly early, we were on the road by 8.20 AM. After 1/2 hour or so, driving through the cute little village of Inglewood, made me want to stop and just take a brisk walk for 20 minutes. (With Isobel at my side, there would have been no green slip pick-ups).
But we moved on, continuing north-west along the A 79. At a place called Wycheproof (I'm glad I don't have to pronounce it) a little surprise was waiting for us. I had known of a racing car driver, recently deceased, called the King of the Mountain. The mountain was the Bathurst Circuit, where this king had won the 1000 kilometre car race 9 times. (No 1/9 code intended).
At this little town on the Calder Highway, 140 kilometres from Melbourne, a different King of the Mountain is crowned every year - whoever wins the annual potato-bag running race is it. (See pictures below).
Driving through the town on the wide main road, was at first confusing. The railway line runs right in the middle of this wide street, called appropriately, The Broadway. It was named by an American-born Chemist, who lived in the town in the 1880's.
A young girl on a bicycle came up and talked to us. I asked, why she was not in school? It was because the Royal Show was held that day, a Wednesday. Had we not hundreds of kilometres to travel that day, it would have been nice to spent an hour and have some fun amongst the locals.
Situated 140 kilometres northwest of Bendigo on the A 79, this small town of 800 people holds an annual King of the Mountain potato-bag running race. The weight contestants carry on their shoulders up the mountain is 63.5 kg.
Mount Wycheproof, the smallest, registered mountain in the world, is only 43 metres high. (Who on earth keeps such a register?)
It was strange, as if the big C (100) wanted to make a final appearance, while we were taking above photos a vehicle, registration No ... 535 drove up. The driver only stopped for a few seconds, then drove away again.
If the mountain were 43.5 m high, the numbers would have made perfect sense. But what's .5 metres between friends, unless you are carrying a huge bag potatoes up a hill?
Before driving home, while I had the opportunity, I had hoped to make brief visit at Murray Bridge. The young lady relative of Peter Liddy, the one who had many months ago contacted me, worked in this town. I had never met her face to face. My suggestion to find and meet her, was strongly rebuked by my wife.
Her reluctance to co-operate, even to just sacrifice 1/2 hour, so I could do a simple task, highlighted the huge chasm that existed between us in this one area. I don't know, which of the two was harder, the constant struggle to gain a listening ear with the authorities, or the battle to gain respect from my family, doing what I am doing?
My diary says: "It leaves me angry and helpless. Isobel just does not believe me, despite having read Chapters 11-15 of Realm." (There is that number again).
We arrived home at 6.20 PM. In the sink was a huge stack of dishes. I can imagine our two young men at home had other things on their minds, or they could not agree on whose turn it was.
It must have been Isobel's turn. She did them without murmuring. Life was back to normal.