funds raised at our Charity Auction - thanks again to Auction Coordinator Pauline Amphlett and the team,
and too to everyone who is willing to give up their time on Christmas Day to make this all possible.
There are still a couple of spaces available.
If you know of an older person
who might be home alone on Christmas Day
and would rather join the 'Grey Power' people,
contact Kim in confidence right away!
This money was raised from works of art
donated freely by Art School students,
and sold at our Charity Auction in September
to very generous bidders from within our community,
to fund a hardship bursary for students in exceptional need.
Very many thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen,
especially our Charity Auction Coordinator, Pauline Amphlett.
Very many thanks
Afterwards Mitchell Johnson sat quietly alongside a grateful skipper. Ricky Ponting's gratitude would not extend to giving his fast bowler an ashtray. Unlike Harold Larwood, Johnson has not won the Ashes for his captain, at least not yet. Nor, I suspect, does Johnson smoke. But his intervention in Perth means that the Ashes series is not just smouldering; it is ablaze. Boxing Day in Melbourne could be quite an occasion.
Johnson did not say much. His captain did the talking. "Mitch's spell was unbelievable; it was one of the all-time great Ashes spells; amazing for him, brilliant for the team." On Ponting went. "It has transformed him. It has transformed how you [the assembled press] talk about him and how they talk about him in the England dressing room. This will have them thinking seriously about how to play him throughout the rest of the series".
It was Johnson's Friday morning spell which allowed the Australian team to move beyond hope to the expectation of English wickets. The contrast is staggering. Since the second day in Brisbane the Australian attack had contrived to snatch six English wickets for 1137 runs. In Perth they took 20 for 310. Dear old Ovid would never have dared to write of a metamorphosis on that scale.
It is both a triumph and a mystery that Johnson could go from chump to champ in such swift succession. Industrial cleaners are now required to move so much egg from so many faces.
The accepted wisdom from most of the wiseacres was that it is impossible for a failing bowler to rediscover the magic without bowling in a proper match. Nets mean nothing, we were constantly reminded. Well, times move on and players learn to prepare differently.
Ponting ? unsurprisingly ? praised his backroom staff, as well as Johnson himself, for the swift renaissance. One of the virtues of Troy Cooley, the ubiquitous Australia bowling coach, is that he is quite prepared to go beyond his little circle in pursuit of guidance, from Dennis Lillee downwards.
Somehow in Perth Johnson was gliding up to the crease with power to spare. He was never straining; he was balanced at the point of delivery and he knew where the ball was going. But the greatest bonus, with the aid of an accommodating easterly that Friday morning, was that the ball swung, whereupon England's batsmen were dumbfounded.
In Johnson's wake Ryan Harris, the bulldozer, grew in confidence and bowled with increasing menace. Ben Hilfenhaus, though scantily rewarded, could concentrate on "bowling dry" without fretting about the dearth of wickets.
For once Ponting had been proven right. He said that England would find conditions in Perth "alien". Well, there times when the middle order batted like men from Mars. And Australia's decision to play four fast bowlers and no specialist spinner was well and truly vindicated.
However, leaving aside his little finger, the agonising for Ponting and the Australian selectors is not quite over. There is an obvious parallel here with the 2009 Ashes tour of England. At Headingley Australia played four quicks and they drew level in the series as England were steamrollered.
Then the circus moved to the Oval. Instead of playing the conditions and believing the evidence of their own eyes, the Australian think-tank stuck to that dodgy old principle of "never change a winning team". We all know what happened next at the Oval, where the Australians had no specialist spinner to turn to on a surface, which soon developed the consistency and appearance of a stale digestive biscuit.
The Australians will be grateful that the curator at the MCG does not answer to the name of Bill Gordon ? the wizard of Kennington. But Ponting was quick to acknowledge that "conditions will be vastly different in Melbourne". Naturally there is a spinner in their squad, which, logic demanded, had to be Michael Beer. Australia's agonising will be over whether to play him in the final XI on Boxing Day.
Whatever the Australians say, it cannot help them that Beer is a completely unknown quantity at this level. He knows Melbourne because he was born there. No doubt he has played the odd game at the MCG. But now that the Australians are right back in the series, rather than grasping at any stray straw, they must be scratching their heads how it came to pass that they are turning up for the critical game of the campaign with such a greenhorn in tow. Of course, Beer could be the next Bishan Bedi; but he might also prove to be a poor man's Xavier Doherty.
This is another reason why the Australians would love another spicy, seamer-friendly track in Melbourne. The same bowlers, who were blunted with such ease either at Brisbane or Adelaide, hunted like a pack of hungry hyenas in Perth. They were faster, fresher, more purposeful than their English counterparts. They just needed some encouragement from the surface to believe.
Moreover, at the Waca Graeme Swann was neutralised. There was barely a moment when Ponting would have considered bowling his part-time spinner, Steve Smith, and for the first time in ages Andrew Strauss turned to Swann as a last resort. The Australians would love to see enough evidence in Melbourne to justify playing all four quicks. Maybe it all depends if they have dropped in the appropriate pitch.
Ponting has one other tricky decision to make and that revolves around his own fitness. Defiantly, the selectors have not even bothered to name a possible replacement for him. If Ponting is unable to play, Usman Khawaja of New South Wales would be the logical choice since he was in the extended squad announced for Brisbane. He would be another debutant, of course. They might be tempted by a more gnarled Victorian: Cameron White perhaps or, more likely, David Hussey. Imagine England's exasperation. Not another brazen Hussey to deal with.
This may be for the imagination only, because Ponting left us in little doubt that he intends to play in Melbourne.
In bright red trousers, crimson scarf and trademark white beard, Rolf Harris bears a striking resemblance to one Mr S Claus as he arrives at a hotel near his Berkshire home. The eye-catching get-up, sprightly demeanour and Prince Charming kiss on my hand when we meet, send an unambiguous message: Mr Harris - artist, musician and television presenter - is nowhere near ready to step out of the limelight, despite 57 years spent in the entertainment business. In fact, he seems madder for it than ever.