Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Great Man

Back in our Missionary days in South Africa, we started corresponding with a couple from Western Australia and have continued to do so since our return to Australia some 8 years ago later this year, but had not met them before.
This changed last week when they came over to Melbourne to watch their son, who lives over here, run in a 24-hour Marathon in Coburg.
Being about 40 kms away across town we are not that familiar with that side of Melbourne, but had heard of the Harold Stevens Athletics Track where the event was being held, before, as back in the early 70’s there was a local controversy there when it came to naming this then new reserve. Some wanted to name it after a former famous Olympic Gold medallist who had done some training there, while others wanted to name it after a local son and member of their club, Coburg harriers. And so in 1971 the local son won out and so it was that the other day my wife and I went to the Harold Stevens Athletic Track, to meet some friends and see their son run in the race for a short time.
While there we had a look in the clubrooms and saw lots of pictures and memorabilia and even some photos of the great man himself. Thus later when one of the competitors, when passing where we were, and looking past us, shouted, Hi Harold”. We were able to ascertain, when looking ourselves, that this was the great man himself.
Now looking at the shambling old man hanging on to his walking frame and gasping for breath, it might seem that I am being sarcastic when I call him the Great man, but considering that he is into his 70’s and has spent half of this year in Hospital at or near death’s door, it showed the man's greatness and dedication to his club, to at least be in the Clubhouse when events are on. I was also touched by how people from the club rushed to help with genuine love and concern for Harold and His wife June Showing.
At this time I decided I should go over and say hello, so went up and spoke to his wife June, who just happens to be one of my cousins, but one I haven’t seen for a few years. (Just thought I should put that in as some sort of public discloser.) Now back to Harold. Even though he cannot do much these days, he has still set himself the task of collecting replica uniforms from the clubs 100 plus years in existence. Yes, he does need help even with that, but still he is helping and contributing to his club, and not resting on his laurels and past achievements as a top runner in his prime.
So yes Harold Stevens is a great man and one worthy of having a ground named after him. But again what about us? We may never have anything named after us, but will we continue to contribute to our community over and over, throughout the years? Or are we just going to be Flashes in the Pan? Maybe doing some thing worthy for a little while and then not able to do anything else because we are too busy living in the past.
Let us learn from this truly great man and just keep on contributing to our community, even if it is a little less than we could last year.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Walking and swimming

Went the other day to see a young man run in a 24-hour marathon and met his main support man, who was a Walker himself, but was only getting back into walking after a long layoff through an ankle Injury, (so was not competing himself that day in the concurrent walking event).
Tell me, what would you have been doing in the meantime if that had happened to you? Sitting back and moaning about it and putting on weight.
Well this young man did put on weight, but intentionally so. For you see, as he could not walk for too long on his ankle, he took up swimming to strengthen it again. And obviously not being one to do things lightly, he set himself the task of swimming the English Channel.
To do this he had to put on the extra weight to give himself some body fat protection against the cold, and also had to find a support team and money etc. But the thing is, that when he found he could not do one thing he loved, he didn’t whinge and complain and sit back and expect sympathy. No! He simply changed his focus, albeit at considerable cost and effort, and set himself a new target. A target that he also met, and he has also since lost that extra weight and is now back easing himself back into His first love of Walking again.
So again what about us when obstacles and set backs present themselves? Do we just give up and sit back and moan and complain?
Or like this young man, do we just adapt and change our focus for a short time, even if it is uncomfortable and costly, and set and meet other objectives, and returning if possible, to our original goals when and if possible later.
Again something to ponder on for today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Walkers & Runners

Recently went to see someone participate in a 24 hour Marathon out at the Harold Stevens Athletics track at Coburg. They actually had 4 separate events happening at the same time. They had men and Ladies groups running and Men and Ladies groups walking around the same course at the same time.
These people supposedly run/walk for fun but are also very competitive. Yet, can still co-operate together. The runner we went to see, had as his main support team, a Walker who had been injured and is only now getting back into walking again, but was not competing here but satisfied to help someone else and a runner and not a fellow walker to compete and to give of his best.
What about us? Are we as prepared to help others when and where we can, or we so competitive that we will not help anyone and especially someone outside of our own discipline?
Just something to think about for Now!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Have you ever created a Neologism?

Some, not so nice people, might argue that some of my spelling attempts might almost qualify as neologisms, but sadly none of my creatively spelt words have ever become neologisms. At least not to my knowledge, that is. So what exactly is a neologism you ask?
Well, according to the Word of the Day for Monday, April 12, 2010, neologism is one of the following: 1. A new word or expression.
2. A new use of a word or expression.
3. The use or creation of new words or expressions.
4. (Psychiatry) An invented, meaningless word used by a person with a psychiatric disorder.
5. (Theology) A new view or interpretation of a scripture.
Usually with the creation of any new word, it takes a while for it to, not so much for it to come into common speak, but also to be accepted as a worthy word acceptable to all, and not just some common vulgar slang expression.
So what neologisms do you use? Note, I didn’t ask what neologisms you invented, but which neologisms do you use?
In other words, do you use new words all the time and thus regularly expand your vocabulary? Or do you still use a minimal vocab, because you are afraid to use new words for fear of sound precocious or pretentious, or even some other reason like fear of spelling it wrong?
Again you and I may never invent or create a neologism, but that should never stop us from using them either. So what say you today? What neologism or new word to you will you introduce into your common vocab now? Over to you for now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

With what do you Interlard your conversations?

Interlard, the Word of the Day for Thursday, April 8, 2010, is almost self-explanatory in its basest meaning. The original sense of the word, now obsolete, was "to place lard or bacon amongst, or to mix, as fat meat with lean." Now, however it means, “to insert between; to mix or mingle; especially, to introduce something foreign or irrelevant into; as, "to interlard a conversation with oaths or allusions."
I was especially taken by the words “to introduce something foreign or irrelevant into” and the example of "to interlard a conversation with oaths or allusions." How many time’s have you experienced a good conversation ruined by the introduction of foreign or irrelevant thoughts and words? And the more so, by totally unnecessary swear words; and oft, even more so, by the inexcusable and offensive to me at least, word, “Umm!”
Of course it is always very easy to pick on the conversation of others isn’t it? Bu but let us also never forget our own conversations too! Yes, how many foreign or irrelevant words, (like oaths or allusions), do we use each day? So let this word of the day become real to us all and if we must interlard our conversations, please let us do it with relevant and meaningful words and not offensive or dumb ones. BFNW

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How well do you honour the past?

Took the following from a friend‘s blog. (She is currently living in Papua New Guinea.)
“Today ******* and I went to Sohano Island, which sits in the Buka Passage, that is the small bit of ocean between Bougainville and Buka Island. There are some war memorials at Sohano and I visited them on your behalf.
The Australian memorial was a bit off the beaten track! It wasn't very far, but the path to it was almost non-existent and we ended up with lots of prickly burrs in our clothes for our effort! The first 3 photos above are of this memorial. I think the words are pretty clear on the first picture, but the second one is a bit harder to see – it says: In memory of the service given by the coast watchers and the loyal natives who assisted them 1939-1945.
The Japanese war memorial was more prominent and we just walked on nice short grass to get to it… You can see it from the sea when you are travelling on a motor boat as it is at the top of a hill at a point on the island.”
I found it interesting and even a little disturbing, to find that one side, (the winning side) neglects their memorials to the dead, while the other (The side that lost) maintains their memorials to the long departed.
All of which made me wonder, with Anzac Day coming up fast this month, if I really truly honour the past, or simply pay it lip service, one or two days a year, and then promptly forget about it the rest of the time? How about you? Are you any better at honouring the Past than me?