Gra Nomad Wanderings

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Always great to get the family together, all 24 of us. Here are the four descendants of Jack and Willie. Ages ranged from over 70 down to 20 days old. Yeah, there were two new bubs at the gathering, Nina McLaughlin (6 months) and Billie Keast (20 days). Welcome aboard!

 Quite a bit of potential on display. Just keep watching the ball Bren.

 The Coop shows his natural style. Too bad they didn't play him yesterday!

 A menacing sight for sure, especially on a dodgey track. The three stumps at the bowler's end look a bit big in this photo.

 Haydos taught this kid to sweep apparently. Not bad L.J.

And of course we ate Chinese didn't we? Good to have CR join us finally! Welcome aboard.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I’ll give you the good news and the bad news.
Summer in Australia means cricket, tennis, beaches and HEAT! Sadly it also means BUSHFIRE THREATS.

 Each January I volunteer at the NSW Tennis Open in Sydney. This year it’s called the APIA INTERNATIONAL. I was on FIELD OF PLAY. I get to put the balls out, the towels, the ice and the drinks. I also get to hold the umbrella over the players when they have their break between games. It’s good fun. I get to see the players and the games up close and personal. As a volunteer, I don’t get paid, but am supplied with a couple of shirts, a hat and lunch every day. Generally I do a 4.5 hour shift and can usually manage to get breaks when needed.

This year, I got to hold the umbrella over the number one seed, John Isner from USA. He is one tall player at 6' 9" (206 cm). Even Australian Bernard Tomic is only 6'5" (196 cm). [Yes, you guessed it, that's our Lleyton Hewitt above. All photos in this post were taken by bro Bill a couple of years ago.]
Isner is #13 while Tomic is #64 in the world. Tomic has been a bit of a bad boy last year but seems to have got things together this year and has had wins over Matosevic (Aust), Mayer (Germ), Nieminen (Fin) and Seppi (Italy). Tomic plays Anderson (RSA) in final today. After beating the number 3 and 5 seeds, he really should walk through the unseeded Kevin Anderson, but then, tennis is a funny game. Good luck in Melbourne at the Australian Open, Bernie. 
Thanks for the photos, Bill. 

Note it says MEDIBANK on the back wall - they were the sponsors that year. 
Info on the bushfires later. We're hoping the Sussex Inlet area will be safe. Firies have done a great job so far.