19 March 2013


I received an email from my mate Bert overnight. It was enlightening and it was brilliant. Berty filled me in on the Robber details - the Bank Robber who was married to one of his crazy aunts. I am not going to repeat the whole story as I gave details in my last article - or perhaps it was the article before. I have lost track of time and motion a bit with the excitement and joy of being back in Oz - and my work load - and the three hour time zone shift - and the sleep deprivation that I am suffering. However catching up with old friends and looking around here is giving me fodder as well. It is my new muse. 

I feel a compelling need to write stuff down.

So Bert confirmed that the Bank Robber and his aunt did indeed win a big lottery. It was a very big one that was more than three million dollars in fact. We don't know how much he robbed from the bank but it would be safe to assume that it was nowhere near that amount. They then invested the money through a very dodgy ex football star. He apparently gave most of their winnings to an even dodgier guy in Hong Kong who then invested all the money in himself and then he ran away.

They never saw him or their money again.

Berty told me that the Bank Robber was electrocuted repairing a faulty washing machine a couple of years later. It was fatal. He was shocked to death. I think that the Bank Robber's life was full of great adventure. I think it was action packed.

Being shocked to death seemed quite an appropriate way for him to go.

Factual stories are so much better than fiction. 

They really are.

Whilst I am writing this at an outdoor cafe at the Shangri La hotel a crazy man has appeared in the vicinity. My hotel is in the Rocks area of Sydney and I am drinking an icy cold chocolate milk shake that has been made from full cream milk. 

It is delicious.

The Rocks area of Sydney is historic and it is also very beautiful. It is the oldest part of the city. White Australian and British history will record The Rocks as being established in 1788 by the English. The English sent their convicts to Australia because their own jails were so overcrowded that they had to store surplus criminals in boats on the river Thames. England was awash with convicts.

It still is.

Many of these poor men and women were incarcerated and then sent to Australia for stealing eggs and chickens. They stole eggs and chickens to feed themselves because they were starving. The English penal and social justice and morality systems were in peril. 

They still are.

The sentence that was given to the English law breakers who were sent to Australia was called 'Deportation'. For many it was considered to be a sentence worse than death. It was considered to be a harsher penalty than execution. It was a long way to be sent from England. It was down under and there was no coming back. They didn't know then that Paradise and a mighty nation was being formed. They had no idea that they were the beginning of it.

The Rocks area was of course inhabited by Australians long before the English arrived. It was inhabited by native Australians. The indigenous Gadigal people had lived there for thousands of years but when the English arrived the Gadigal people were pushed out.




The English have a long history of invasion and occupancy. They called their invasions 'colonization' and they named their occupancies "The Commonwealth". The Commonwealth still exists but it is not what it used to be. The English still however invade the odd country and they try to occupy them. They do it now though with the Americans - and to my great dismay and chagrin the Australians as well.

The Mabo native title legal case in the 1980's in Australia was a landmark. The Supreme Court ruled that an indigenous tribe in Western Australia could claim title for the land that was taken from them. The land that was taken by the descendants of the English settlers.

The Deportees.

The convicts.

The case was petitioned by a man named Eddie Mabo. Native title I think excluded mineral rights and it only applied to one tribe in Western Australia. It does not apply to the Rocks or for the Gadigal people.

The crazy man in the vicinity is a bit unkempt and he looks homeless. He is muttering to himself and he is swatting at invisible things around his head. His eyes are wide but they are empty and he is now walking around in circles. A couple of business women are sitting at a table adjacent to me and they are looking a little alarmed. I think they are French but they could be Belgian. 

I heard them talking.

I don't think that the crazy man is dangerous but I am keeping an eye out anyway. I expect hotel security will come and usher him away any minute. I tried to reassure the French-or-possibly-Belgian business women who are looking alarmed by saying, "Don't be alarmed. I don't think he is dangerous" but I don't think it has reassured them though. 

They still look alarmed.

I am wondering now what is wrong with this poor man. How did he get this way? How did madness overcome him? I am also asking myself what if he is in fact not crazy? Perhaps he can actually see things that we cannot? 

He may even be partially slipping into another dimension.

Don't worry Mum. Don't panic. I know that this is almost definitely not the case. However perhaps we should not always dismiss such possibilities. Maybe we should try and think out of the box every now and then and open up our minds to other options. We should sometimes ponder the impossible.

I don't think it would do anyone any harm.

I would suggest this to the French-or-possibly-Belgian business women who are sitting adjacent to me but I think it would only alarm them even more and I wouldn't want that. 

They seem alarmed enough. 

The French will claim the word 'alarm' derives it's origins from an anglicised version of the term "all alarme' which was a fourteenth century call to arms. It was a call to arms with a bell. I wouldn't argue with the French on this. It seems plausible and I couldn't be bothered arguing with the French. I only know a few French people and none of them are particularly bright. The French that I know are also quite arrogant and sultry and rude and arguing with them wouldn't be much fun.

Here come the security guys now. They are very well dressed in black suits and have walkie talkie things in their hands. They are big strapping lads and they look all business.

I hope they are gentle with the crazy man and I am telling them that now in fact. 

I am saying, "Please be gentle with that guy. He isn't really bothering anyone and I don't think he means any harm". 

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