Daily Archives: December 13, 2008

2008 in review 9: what did I post about in March 2008?

The month finished with Milestone! Visit #200,000. That refers to all the Floating Life blogs covered by Sitemeter. As I start this post the figure is 295,505.

Floating Life

Mardi Gras week-end kicked off this month: For Mardi Gras: a recycle and Seen heading for Mardi Gras. On Saturday I also posted The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, while Sunday brought The only gay in the village….

“I guess it is a good thing when one’s prejudices get worked over and one is left feeling a bit of a fraud. That is one effect watching Compass last night had on me…” So I wrote on 3 March: Humbled, followed by Spiritual predator and Too awful even to name about Israel/Palestine. John Howard has just been elected… on 4 March refers to my reaching 1996 in my reading of Frank Welsh’s Great Southern Land, and How good is your English? that day has become a very popular post. Young film-maker is about SBHS ex-student Rory Pearson, while on 5 March I also wrote English/ESL honoured. “Go to Creating a Community of Writers Using Technology and you will find details of a March 7, 2008 Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.” My English/ESL site was an “exhibit” there. Islam is the theme of the first 6 March entry Some interesting thoughts from people I tend to ignore…; On keeping an open mind on Indigenous Australia policy followed. On 7 March DVDs on a stormy night is a review post, while This just intrigued me on 8 March is about US politics. Chinese Whisper now does Yum Cha was a Sunday lunch post.

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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in 2008 in review, blogging


2008 in review 8: what did I post about in February 2008?

Not as many as January, even though it was a leap year! Again there are some posts here that were originally on Blogspot. My personal highlight was the Apology to the Stolen Generation on 13 February.

Floating Life

1 February was just a stats post. M reappears on 2 February was personally important; otherwise Xin nian kuai le, Lu Kewen and Pick a side, run like mad with it, but don’t pretend you are objective… is a spray about education and the media. I was busy on 3 Feb: On Islam again: preliminary; On the US presidential race; Not intended to be offensive, but sometimes evidence in isolation is no evidence at all… is on Indigenous issues; For Thomas and all those other students out there… is about computers.

On 5 Feb we have Interest rates up – a lot has happened since then; then there is The promised post: inevitably anticlimactic on Islam. That theme continued on 6 February which has six posts! One that is worth mentioning separately is about my bureau: Need to catch up. Next day I posted Sirdan’s Chinese New Year — it was in Hong Kong—and Review catch-up: things read. I am not sorry… but… on 8 February anticipated the big event of the following week, as did I’m with Cathy rather than Keith the following day. Excitement building in Redfern on the 10th continues the theme.

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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in 2008 in review, blogging


2008 in review 7: what did I post about in January 2008?

Yes, I will attempt now to sum up the deathless, and even more not so deathless, posts here. (It may also aid me as I compose my Annual Christmas Letter.)

Floating Life

This blog was quite new in January. Remember the “archives” were imported later on… The link at the title takes you to January 2008.

Everyone has an opinion about Islam… was on 1 January, and is part of an ongoing discourse here where I really have tried to be even-handed in the face of lots of prejudice and bigotry on all sides. It hasn’t been an easy topic to stay sane about. I wrote about Cricket on 2 January, but also on Citizenship and human rights, another issue which attracted much attention over the previous year or so. Sadness in Kenya also comes from that day. 3 January seems to have been a day for religion, but then I must recall that quite a number of the January posts now here were on Blogspot originally, which at this time I was devoting to religious matters; so we have Referenced by The Contemporary Calvinist and Recycle 8: Idle thoughts on New Testament chronology (10 July 2007 on WordPress). M was still in South America: hence 53 tourists rescued in Chile as volcano erupts. Creationism? on 4 January continues the religion theme, while Literary Cricket does not, or maybe it does… It’s one of my better posts. Great test match, but really bad smell on the field… Or was there? the next day is more on that subject. Their 1968 and mine had me in nostalgia mode. What a test match! on the 6th is as you might guess! Where do you think Jesus would be in this? introduces the Camden Islamic school controversy.

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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in 2008 in review, blogging


Photoblog: More Best of 2008 completed

Fifty more choices supplementing the original fifty “best of” set. Again, the thumbnails here take you to the corresponding archive page on the photoblog, where you may choose to see any that take your fancy.




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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in 2008 in review, site news


Such is time… Stream of consciousness, almost…

raleghw Before his head was removed, Sir Walter Ralegh wrote this magnificent lyric:

Even such is time, that takes in trust
    Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust ;
    Who, in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days ;
But from this earth, this grave, this dust
My God shall raise me up, I trust !

So here am I, not in the Tower of London contemplating execution of course, but in a Surry Hills flat contemplating the $1400 Mister Rudd so thoughtfully placed in my bank account yesterday. (Very handy to cover a couple of debts, and maybe to buy a new pair of boots…) I contemplate also that next year is the fiftieth anniversary of my comparatively undistinguished leave-taking from Sydney Boys High – well I did win a History Prize after all, I suppose.

dec11 010 My niece was in contemplative mood a little, I think, in her Christmas letter, which I also received yesterday. Her family has had an eventful year and have done many interesting things, some of them reflecting how The Shire these days reaches out to the world in a way that would have been inconceivable fifty years ago when, as it happens, my niece was born. They are a rather good looking family too, as you may glimpse on the left… The daughter is a promising dancer, I mean seriously promising. Rather proud of them I am, though through circumstances I have seen less of them than I may have done. You may recall we all got together in July when my brother visited from Tasmania.

I can recall having a few “my God! a quarter of a century!” thoughts when I turned 25, and then, as my niece mentions of herself, even greater wonder when I turned 50 – M gave me a magnificent party – and of course this year I went on the pension, which means I am now…

dec11 009 And looking back through my bits and pieces (right) I see how quickly the kids I have taught have grown up and made their ways in the world, some of them with great distinction, or making important contributions of one kind or another – one I mentioned just the other day.

I have every confidence in the young.

Now, what kind of boots will I buy? A good choice will last me at least three years, as the last pair has…

In another age of recession Henry Lawson wrote of an even deeper level of misfortune:

When you wear a cloudy collar and a shirt that isn’t white,
And you cannot sleep for thinking how you’ll reach to-morrow night,
You may be a man of sorrows, and on speaking terms with Care,
And as yet be unacquainted with the Demon of Despair;
For I rather think that nothing heaps the trouble on your mind
Like the knowledge that your trousers badly need a patch behind.

I have noticed when misfortune strikes the hero of the play,
That his clothes are worn and tattered in a most unlikely way;
And the gods applaud and cheer him while he whines and loafs around,
And they never seem to notice that his pants are mostly sound;
But, of course, he cannot help it, for our mirth would mock his care,
If the ceiling of his trousers showed the patches of repair.

I am well stocked with pants…

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Posted by on December 13, 2008 in Australia, generational change, memory, milestones, nostalgia, personal, poets and poetry, reminiscing