TOPICS: Corresponding to clouded inbox

WE’VE loved getting your emails in 2012, even the ones that weren’t complimentary.

Like one from reader Matt that read: ‘‘Give up on the awful purple prose, mate.’’

Sound advice, printed off and pinned to our wall.

It followed on nicely from reader Dan’s impassioned: ‘‘How on earth do the editors at the Herald still allow you to have your own section in our paper[?]’’

But seriously, lots of readers’ messages this year have left us misty-eyed. Many of your tips, photos and observations made publication, but even if they didn’t, your effort to get in touch was sincerely appreciated.

There were also a few we didn’t know what to make of and therefore didn’t respond to. We’d like to take this chance to apologise.

We’re somehow on the mailing list of the Citizens Electoral Council, and received emails with subject lines like: ‘‘Defeat Green Fascism’’ and ‘‘Thermonuclear war is Unsurvivable.’’

Pressing matters. Sorry, we should have followed up.

A couple that came from a UK university address got our hearts racing.

‘‘Hi Tim,

‘‘How are you? I am slightly concerned about your dissertation as I have scarcely seen you all term. Can you please give me your full and exact title and a progress report so that I know where you are up to? Do you need any help? Hannah.’’

We replied that we must have received the message in error, and got back: ‘‘Hi Tim. Where is it? Hannah.’’

We hope Tim got it done.

There was no excuse, really, for us ignoring this next one.

‘‘Dear Friend,’’ it read.

‘‘I am God Allah and looking to people for purposes previously explained by the church or mosque i.e. The Resurrection. 

‘‘If you’d like to help get something started, email Me back. You were also noted as a member of the INTL Media. I am looking for an ongoing media relationship in order to report progress on The Resurrection. For example, for starters, I report God Allah is alive and well.

Allah.’’

Sorry, Allah. That sounded pretty important.

The Don’s less than stunning showing

LOOK we know you’re watching the cricket, but here’s something to read during the ads.

It’s about Don Bradman’s trip to Newcastle in 1931, which we mentioned last week. We focused on a women’s match where Bradman captained one team.

Readers have since asked about The Don’s other appearance on that visit, where he captained a Sydney XI at Stockton against a team of locals cheerfully named the Mental Hospital XI.

The first thing we’ll say is that Bradman failed, by his standards. He batted once and made 66.

In a low-scoring affair, the Mental Hospital XI batted first and were ripped out for 44.

Stockton’s Test player Ray Robinson was bowled for nought.

In the visitors’ reply of 178, Bradman and fellow  star Stan McCabe, who made 51, were the only real contributors.

The hosts were bundled out again for 75, wrapping up an easy win for Bradman’s men. The Newcastle Morning Herald mentioned a dance attended by both teams.

‘‘During the evening Don Bradman showed a series of films he had taken on the last English tour of Australia.’’

Slide night with The Don. We don’t envy them that part.

Billy’s break from grazing

ONE of our favourite things about the Hunter is that one minute you’re lining up for coffee among the bricks and pipes of downtown Newcastle and then you hop in a car and, in no time, you’re out of town and winding through fields of impossible green.

And then you might glance out the window, as Herald photographer Simone de Peak does a lot, and see a goat. With one ear. In a bath.

This happy bather was spotted on a property off Raymond Terrace Road, near Millers Forest, just after it had rained.

That does look like fun, though it wouldn’t be easy getting out with hooves.

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