Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

an archive

Posts Tagged ‘Sirdan

Sirdan’s Sunday lunch

The Empress, E, Sirdan’s neighbour and I had our post-election Sunday lunch today. There was no weeping or gnashing of teeth.


The conversation did get around to a remarkable story that was front page news in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald even with that day’s election dominating: Lesson for the school of hard Knox, concerning the young man above.

IT TAKES a lot of guts at the best of times to stand in front of 1350 fellow students, 150 teachers and 600 parents in the school assembly hall and tell it as it is.

But when it involves accusing some of your year 12 classmates of being cheats, and fingering influential parents for bullying the school authorities into giving prestigious positions to undeserving sons, the effect can be nothing short of sensational.

Especially when the school is the well-respected North Shore institution Knox Grammar, which counts among its alumni the veteran broadcaster John Laws, Macquarie Bank chairman David Clarke, former editor of the satirical Oz magazine Richard Neville, Hugh Jackman and ethicist Simon Longstaff. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Neil

November 25, 2007 at 3:59 pm

Sirdan’s interesting neighbour

I had heard about Sirdan’s neighbour but met him today for the first time, Sunday lunch being at Sirdan’s. He was at one time a contributor to the well-remembered National Times, a paper to be reckoned with in the 70s and 80s. Conversation ranged from the Packers to Neville Wran to Bob Carr, and much else besides, 1970s Wollongong not least. One part of the conversation would have interested The Rabbit, touching as it did on someone The Rabbit once worked for.

Fascinating stuff. Quite a few skeletons rattled…

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Written by Neil

October 28, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Aussie interest, Events, Personal

Tagged with

Racism and racists and The Plonker’s latest foot-in-mouth attack

I have been giving much thought to Jim Belshaw’s post Race and racism in Australia. He is quite right to say that pseudoscientific racism, the kind that was official policy in Nazi Germany and more widely accepted elsewhere in the not too distant past than we now find comfortable to admit, is probably a minority position in Australia. Jim prefers the word “prejudice”, the term “racist” having become a generic term of abuse that shuts down discussion. This is certainly worth considering. I will let Jim explain, but do read all his post:

…By global standards, we live in a remarkably open, pluralist, tolerant, polycultural society. We have transformed ourselves as a country and a people. Yet based on our own reporting of ourselves, an outsider could be forgiven for thinking that this is a place were racial bigotry runs rampant.

Mr Andrews is not known for his ability to handle things in a sensible and tactful fashion. Yet when I look at the facts, the ones who introduced and then followed up the race issue were the media and commentators more broadly. They created the problem.

There are a small number of genuine old style racists in the Australian community who do try to take advantage of this type of event. They did so in Tamworth following the controversy. As happened with Tamworth, they will fail.

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Now there’s a word to look up! It describes this entry perfectly.

Shire nostalgia

On Occasional rambles of a retired teacher, that excellent new blog of mine on Blogspot on the old Floating Life address which more of you should visit, I am about to write* the next in the inspiring teachers series based on Teachers Who Change Lives by Andrew Metcalfe and Ann Game. That took me back to Sutherland fifty-three years ago, and I am sorry to report that memory does tend to fade after all. Odd things stay sharp though.

Forty years ago my mother wrote down some memories of her own — yes, they are on this site now — and I am truly amazed by their detail and by her style. She used under stress to dream about her New England, Braefield, and sometimes about life on the Hawkesbury before that. To her that was back in time about the same as Sutherland is to me. Incredible — to me, that is. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled… Denys will get that one.
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Sirdan’s news

summarydewitwo.jpgAlmost two years ago Sirdan moved to Kensington. Last Sunday I went over there for our Sunday lunch, which we had in a halal Indonesian restaurant — good too — served by some lovely Muslim women in head scarves, like the pic on the right.
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Written by Neil

September 13, 2007 at 9:34 am

Eating the national icon…

kangaroo.gifSirdan and I had roast pork at The Dolphin today; some of the scenery was nice, the pork was good, but the additional cost does not seem justifiable when you compare it with The Shakespeare.

Afterwards we went to Woolies in Riley Street, where the prices are very competitive. And I bought some kanga bangas: yes, kangaroo sausages! Low in cholesterol, high in protein, and more sensible as a meat animal than beef in the Australian environment. Cheap too…
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Written by Neil

August 26, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Aussie interest, Personal, Surry Hills

Tagged with

You could have knocked me over with a feather…

I was just now adding the finishing touches to my Friday Oz Poem #3, to appear as if by magic just after midnight, when I thought I would check Sitemeter to see who had visited lately, and to look at my little collection of WordPress friends who appear in a list at the dashboard behind the scenes here. Sure enough, Thomas has begun his account of the Great Drive, but when I checked The Rabbit to see what he had to say, his blog had gone behind a log-in. Perhaps a result of his new professonal role? Perhaps he is just renovating*… I’ll miss his blog, even if there were moments… So will Sirdan, Aluminium, and a few others who have been reading Mr R for some time. There was some very good writing there, after all, and I have been reading him for years!


I decided to cut the Rabbit links, and the Rabbit tags, here and on the Big Archive since it would be annoying to readers if such links went nowhere. In about an hour I was able to modify the relevant posts, delete most cross-links, delete the occasional post, and do some major surgery in The Big Archive. I have also updated Who’s who accordingly but have kept a link open there, just in case. Some of the surgery on my sites was well overdue now, I think — as an act of friendship really. He’ll know what I mean… I am happy to have done it.

I sincerely hope it isn’t the last we see of The Rabbit, those of us outside his immediate circle that is. This comment on Thomas’s blog suggests he may reopen, in which case I will (if it’s OK by him) note it here. But it may also be he has decided to limit his readership to those concerned.

Take care, Rabbit. 🙂
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Written by Neil

August 23, 2007 at 9:38 pm