Report from the Antipodes

Am still here in balmy Melbourne where it’s 32° at 8:30pm. The air is cool and the light is just fading… a quiet end to a quiet day. My partner has returned to sunny Brisbane so I’m already missing him, but I’ll join him back home in a few days. In the meantime I still have people lined up to see and warm weather to enjoy.

I’m hoping to go to the cricket tomorrow and enjoy the splendor of the new MCC… Looks like the weather will be just fabulous for Day 3 of this Test. Fabulous stuff. All I have to do is pay my membership again!

I suppose I shouldn’t close before mentioning the passing of Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer, whose tempestuous, but extraordinarily successful career saw the establishment of first class One Day cricket in Australia with World Series Cricket, and whose empire stretched from magazines to broadcast media and even Microsoft. A gambler and high-school dropout, he was a remarkable businessman, (in)famous for his colourful language, and rather well liked for his tendency to tip high and donate large sums to charities that took his fancy. He was well known for swapping sides politically, and has donated to both Liberal and Labor Parties in Australia as he saw fit. In general, however, he seemed more aligned with the political right than the left, much like colleague and media rival, Rupert Murdoch. His personal fortune of more than A$5 billion, and his concerted efforts to minimise paying (or indeed not paying) tax tend to be at odds with the man-of-the-people image, and yet so he is regarded by his peers and his peons alike. Nevertheless, a remarkable man, and one whose passing will certainly be felt in the Australian media. Just quietly though, if I had shares in PBL, I reckon I’d be selling them about now.

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