An auspicious day


Bull in a China Shot      © PJ Croft 2014, 2019

I couldn’t resist that caption. I have to admit, that photo was taken five years ago on a cruise ship entering Hong Kong, but I haven’t changed a bit. Slimmed down a little, maybe… ? Hah.


The title is there because this is October 29th, auspicious for three things. First, it’s Dad’s birthday – he would have been 97 today. Happy birthday Dad, you’re never forgotten.

Second, it’s 20 years today that I finished work at Channel 7. It was a Friday in 1999 and because it was my day off, I actually finished work the day before, but anyway. It was quite an emotional day. I’d been there 33 years except for a break in 1974 and you can’t help feeling a part of the show. Along with my work colleagues, I put a lot into building and operating that station. I must write about it one day.

The fact is that we, the old guard of the station, are still together although the ranks are thinning a bit. One former employee has made it his life’s work since retiring to collect and web-publish all the photos and memorabilia he can get his hands on, for all the stations, ABW2, TVW7, STW9 and TEN10. He’s branched out into radio stations and cinema, and documenting the old buildings of Perth. Unfortunately, the property developers care nothing for the history and architecture and demolish the old buildings as fast as they can. The result is the concrete, glass, stainless steel, featureless wind-tunnels that we have today. Nearly all the interesting buildings are dust now, but Ken is doing a great job keeping the memories.

The third reason is that on this same day in 1999, I made my first visit to the North Beach Rugby Club. I was invited by another Ch.7 guy who was a member on the promise of a good night, and wow, he was right. I was hooked. For privacy reasons I can’t post the photos I took but it was the start of twelve years of membership and many great memories.

So the 29/10 of each year brings back a lot of memories, all good.


Twenty years retired! Who’d a-thunk it? I’ve had no trouble not working. Whenever I feel the urge to work coming on, I lie down until it passes. That’s from a business card I saw once.

No, I’ve got a million things to do, hundreds of books to read, movies and TV shows to watch, music to listen to to keep me going until that final knock on the door.


One item comes from that awful finding of 39 dead people in the refrigerated truck in England.

In my 1974 bus tour of Europe, our first port of call was Zeebrugge in Belgium, where we camped for the night. Someone, one of the guides I assume, pronounced it Zee-broozje (-zhu) and for years afterwards, that’s how it stuck in my head. Dad picked me up on it when I got back in December ’74, but his pronunciation didn’t stick with me. In fact, until last week, I can not ever remember hearing it pronounced by an authoritative voice.

But now I have. On the news video reports, both the British announcer and a Belgian source said “Zay-broogger”. So that’s settled then. It’s only taken 45 years. Dawg, is it that long?!


I admit I’m addicted to Wish. That’s the Chinese web site which sells cheap little items but they are so useful to me that I trawl it endlessly. Things like this:

This is going to get me going on my model railway at last, I think. I’m itching to start putting some of these things to use. It’s not just electronic bits, there are hundreds of useful things for cars, the house, clothing (for small Asian people) and so on. I’ve sent six orders for up to 25 items each order. The post office is being deluged with tiny parcels from China.


One item I bought is a watch:


It’s similar to this except it has a leather strap. Price? AUD$2.46 plus $2.50 postage.

It arrived yesterday and looks very nice. I set the main time and went to set the small dials. Huh? These buttons are stiff. Then I realised, the small dials are just painted on, they don’t do anything and the buttons are just for show! The date works, though.

Still, for $5 who cares, it looks very nice and no-one would know.


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