Friday, 6 February 2009

The Second Coming

Word is that Robbie ‘walks on water’ Fowler has signed for the North Queensland Fury. This means I’ll get to see him play again, so that’s definitely a game I’ll be going to watch, and it might spice things up a bit in the A-League.

Him Outdoors and I have been following the Wellington Phoenix for the past two seasons – having bought season tickets to support them. They have recently lost their two best players, Shane Smeltz and Glen Moss which is a big blow and suggests they might be struggling even more next season.

When Dad told me the news, he suggested that I might have a dilemma in whom to support. I’m not sure where he got that from – there’s simply no question – just as there’s only one Robbie ‘walks on water’ Fowler.

He is a legend and one of my favourite ever Liverpool players. His playing days alongside the likes of McManaman, Redknapp and Owen are such stuff as dreams are made on. Not least because of this against Arsenal, which was nice.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Toast to Friendship

This morning I was sitting on the bus coming into work. As usual I had my nose in a book; The Cellist of Sarajevo as it happens. It’s a good book but I was imagining the destruction of a city that you knew well from birth and how it must feel to race across the streets to avoid sniper fire. How could this possibly feel normal? I read the following passage which made me reflect:

“It seems impossible to remember what things were like. And he suspects this is what the men on the hills want most. They would, of course, like to kill them all but, if they can’t, they would like to make them forget how they used to be, how civilised people act. He wonders how long it will take before they succeed.”

As I was thinking about this, I gazed out of the window and was confronted by a large toast image on the side of an art gallery. Maurice Bennett designed this Pasifika-themed toast piece
to reflect the strong Pacific culture of Newtown. It was installed on the side of the Suite Gallery to coincide with the Six degrees of Separation exhibition.

I really like Maurice Bennett’s toast art
– it’s amusing and creative and accessible, which are fine things to be found in artworks. The man also owns supermarkets and makes beer – good beer. I tasted some at the Beervana beer festival and enjoyed it immensely.

I recently read an article about Mr Bennett who has lived with leukaemia
since being diagnosed with the disease in 2000. He still leads an active and inspiring life, and is quoted as saying, “Life revolves around friendship. It's not about seeing every place in the world, it's about enjoying what you've got.” This sounds glib until you think about his situation.

Juxtaposed with the terrible things I was reading about in Bosnia, it was humbling to think I could look out of the window and see a work of art that made me smile. I have a good life. I need to remind myself of that occasionally when I get stressed by work, family, or social commitments. It does revolve around friendship (and I’m including my family in that) and in that respect I move in a pretty special orbit. So thank you to all of you who make it special, and here endeth today’s lesson.