Friendly choral practice this morning at the beautiful Parsons Beach (not ON the beach) followed by our monthly concert performance in Minlaton. Great thing was that our numbers are nearly back to full strength after bouts of illness or family bereavement. Everyone hopes for a more placid spell in coming months.
Fun gatherings yesterday - no doubt also across the country - for the annual Melbourne Cup, won by the French-trained Australian-owned horse Americain. The book, The Oxford Companion to Film once described the Melbourne Cup race (which was the subject of some of the earliest documentary film footage circa 1900) as "a famous Australian boat race." Recent decades have seen the newer editions corrected, but it was a nice idea.
B. writes from Tasmania that he and his same-sex partner of 35+ years went to church last Sunday in Gladstone, to which they travelled some considerable distance after press notices about the service. There were only six in the congregation. (I have corrected this from the earlier posted number "only four..."). The Catholic priest, however, who also had travelled a considerable distance to take the service - in the name of trying to gee-up falling attendances in the region (he was NOT from Gladstone, please note) steadfastly refused even to acknowledge my two friends' presence. A difficult act, given the tiny numbers! B.'s comment - there is a wide rift between the systemic homophobia apparent in the Catholic Church from the Pontiff down, and the generally gay-friendly laity. Here is an organisation at war with itself, but not unique in fostering hatred. Read the next paragraph ...
The same blog gives a link to published sources last week for Facebook comments, by a red-neck official of a school board, saying in effect that he applauds suicides by (harassed) gay students and wishes they all would kill themselves. The world is not yet the compassionate place that the great teachers of major religions would hope for.