A teddy bear in Newcastle

Bring to Bear: This chilled out teddy bear is doing an important job in Newcastle.

Bring to Bear: This chilled out teddy bear is doing an important job in Newcastle.

Topics was strolling along Newcastle foreshore last week, basking in the winter sunshine under a fat blue sky, as the coal ships did their thing.

We were surprised to see a teddy bear out the corner of our eye. 

This teddy was looking very relaxed, lying back on an anchor. It was put there in memory of merchant mariners lost in wartime. The anchor, that is, not the teddy.

As it turns out, the teddy was also doing a very important job.

A note was left with the cuddly toy, saying it was to honour children who suffered sex abuse “within the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

Jehovah’s Witnesses were castigated at the Royal Commission for refusing to accept accusations of sex abuse, unless there were two witnesses. 

Anyway, we won’t get too much into the details of this despicable kind of behaviour. There’s enough of that in the news pages.

But we did think it was kinda nice for someone to use a teddy to recognise victims.

After all, teddy bears are the universal symbol of comfort.

A Shark Joke

This shark mural in Foreshore Park got us thinking about the Supercars event.

This shark mural in Foreshore Park got us thinking about the Supercars event.

From the foreshore, we strolled down towards Nobbys and the East End, winding our way past the fencing and construction work for the Supercars event.

In Foreshore Park, we came across a mural of a great white shark. The mural reminds us of a joke.

Why did the shark go mad? He was tired of feeling like he was swimming in circles.

Eastenders fighting the fight against the Supercars might just relate to that.

That’s Offside

Matildas Lisa De Vanna, Temeka Butt and Sam Kerr celebrate a goal against Brazil.

Matildas Lisa De Vanna, Temeka Butt and Sam Kerr celebrate a goal against Brazil.

We awoke on Sunday morning after a glorious sleep-in and switched on the Insiders program on ABC. Barrie Cassidy and his posse of political journos dissected the leaked phone call between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull. Juicy stuff that.

“What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats?” Trump said, referring to the federal government’s stop the boats policy.

Our PM didn’t miss a beat: “The problem with the boats is that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea”.

Bloody outsourcing, hey?

After the show finished, Offsiders came on. For those who don’t know, the show involves a panel of journos discussing sport.

The panel was having a chat about the Matildas’ brilliant 6-1 win over Brazil at the Tournament of Nations, which ensured they won the round-robin competition.

Anyhow, it was announced a while back that the Matildas will play a match against Brazil at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on September 19.

A few days before this, the Matildas will play Brazil at Pepper Stadium in Penrith.

Offsiders host Gerard Whateley had this to say: “I must say Penrith and Newcastle don’t seem nearly grand enough on the back of what’s been achieved [at the tournament]”.

Goodness gracious me, Gerard. You best not show your mug around these parts any time soon. 

Yes Siree

Topics finds it strange and awkward when retail assistants refer to us as sir.

“Morning, can I help you, sir,” an assistant said to us recently, as we had a browse.

“Why top of the morning to you too, old boy,” we replied, with a tip of our hat and twirl of our cane.

In truth, we were dressed in a pair of chinos and a tracksuit top. How could we possibly be mistaken for an aristocrat. 

Sir is way too formal. Are we wrong?

  • topics@theherald.com.au
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