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Sunday, July 13, 2008



The WYD reports keep coming here, Harry. It was on the early news again this morning after a mass that was said to attract tens of thousands of people. Rudd managed ten or fifteen seconds of fame welcoming people to Australia and George Pell also had a few seconds of speech broadcast. There was also a short glimpse of some woman called Rachel Evans (could have the name wrong - it was early) who had won the right to pass out condoms to people. This was followed by shots of Asian pilgrims smiling and refusing the condoms and then mocking of the woman and her condom colleagues by the hosts of the morning news show. All very amusing. :)

I really think people underestimate the coverage of this overseas. If France is anything to go by, it is getting a big run in the media and it is overwhelmingly positive for Australia.

Harry Heidelberg

That's great Dylan it got coverage on French TV. It has been an extraordinary week so far in Sydney. It is such a joy to walk the streets and see people so happy and from so many countries. It is the sheer scale of it all that is quite mind boggling. We are having nice weather and Sydney's legendary organisation of large events is shining once again. This event though is unique. I am enjoying working in the city and being a sort of a fly on the wall of it all. I'd love to be a participant but I'm too bloody old!

On the chador thing.....very interesting. Switzerland has had a recent debate re minarets. Someone wants to call a referendum to ban them. It would not likely pass but under Swiss direct democracy, it is entirely possible the issue could be put to the vote. It is all a moot point as far as the old town centres are concerned anyway as town planning allows really no large new structures to interfere with the old towns. .....also even if it did, property prices would prohibit minaret construction in an old town centre. Its one of those nonsense tabloid arguments but you can imagine it is getting lots of coverage in Switzerland.

I am not sure if I will see the Pope here but the last time I saw the Pope was in Switzerland.....JP2....when he came to Bern.

Trivia..... I was the auditor of the papal visit to Australia in 1995 when I worked for a large accounting firm that did the job for free. It was an eye opener..... everything was so professional.


Talking religion, I just went out to grab a sandwich and saw something I can't remember seeing round these parts before: a woman dressed in the full chador. The last time I remember seeing this was in Amsterdam a few years ago. Funnily enough, the woman was getting out of a car driven by a young girl (I imagine her daughter...) who was dressed in tight jeans a very, VERY tight top. No head scarf but a nice pair of sunnies on her head. :) The girl was North African and not Persian or Pakistani where outfits like that of her mother (?) are more common. I wonder if this is going to be a growing trend in France?


We spent the weekend up in the mountains with my wife's family and grandma (who is 88 and not moving about too well) perched herself in front of the TV Sunday morning to watch Catholic mass on TV. Each week there is a mass screened live from a different place in France (sort of a 'Songs of Praise' in French). This week's mass was live from Canberra where the Archbishop of Paris joined the local bishop and a bunch of pilgrims who were in fine voice. The mass was in French and to my surprise the Australian bishop spoke excellent French! Interspersed with nice shots of Australia and of WYD pilgrims, it was not only a nice mass but a great advertisement for Australia as a destination.

Harry Heidelberg

...hahahha.... well you would say that, wouldn't you? ..... and we know why:-)

you really are *mad*.

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