Fifty tenth of March

After a rather leisurely start to the day spent variously in the extension, the library, the terrace and my office, we headed over to Frensham for the obligatory brunch. Today, the weather being delightful, we sat in the shack at the back. It was perfect.

After brunch, Mirinda set off for one of her two hour walks while I settled down to watch a Frensham XI play some other XI at Hollowdene. Unfortunately, I didn’t note down the two teams or any other details which means I won’t find out who was playing or what happened until someone updates the website. I have found, that the website is only updated straight away for the first division teams.

Still, teams and results aside, there was some great batting (particularly from the Frensham opener, James) and a wonderful caught and bowled by the opposition. Very hard, fast and reflexive.

Meanwhile, I was sat a bench away from one of the Frensham (not) walking wounded. He arrived with his wife who set up a wicker box with two big cushions on top. He then managed to man-handle his right leg onto it.

Throughout the game, various team members came and went and chatted to him about his knee surgery. It sounded horrendous. Even by the fourth telling, it was still horrendous. I was rather glad when the fifth chap said he didn’t want to hear the grizzly details.

Eventually, the knee guy was left alone with a rather serious chap and they talked about shares in a business that the serious chap was thinking of selling. That’s where this post title came from. Being a bench away, their conversation wasn’t always as clear as it could have been. What I overheard and noted down may have not been what was actually said.

In the photo of the Frensham pavilion above, the woman in red, sitting alone on the bench, is the daughter of one of the players. At one point her phone went flat and she had to borrow her dad’s. He was in the outfield and their conversation was very easy to hear. She eventually met a friend and they went to the Holly Bush for a drink.

I have no idea who the girl is in the red chair in the right foreground. She didn’t move for the entire two hours I was there. I can only assume she was related or attached to someone on the field.

The chaps all standing around the clubhouse are, obviously, Frensham players, mostly batsmen, scorers and a greensman – shorts and blue top.

Back at home, I was chained to the kitchen for a bit as I made a loaf of paleo bread then saffron lamb shanks both of which filled the house with delicious cooking smells. Both tasted lovely. Even if I do say so myself.

In the meanwhilst, Mirinda had a long and satisfying Skype session with Amanda.

Today, this happened

In 1877, in the Supreme Court of South Australia, Robert Jackson (30) was charged with obtaining, by false pretences, from Henry Barnes, refreshments and money to the value of £2, another £2 worth of lodgings and food from Henry Hammond and £1 10s from a third man, Thomas Arthur Stewart.

Jackson had originally pleaded not guilty but, hearing the evidence stacking up against him, he decided to change his plea to guilty. The judge deferred the sentencing for later consideration. Which is odd given he pleaded guilty to the offences.

Surely the judge could have saved a lot of time, money and effort by just saying something like “Okay, Mr Jackson, you can now go to prison for [insert statutory time limit here] years and I hope you’ll learn that crime does not pay!” And everyone could have gone home.

More serious was the case of sheep stealing levelled against Thomas Jones, himself a sheep farmer. According to John Reid, sheep farmer of Betaloo, he was down between 1000 and 1100 head of sheep when he mustered his flock in July. That’s a lot of sheep to be missing, if you ask me. I guess he didn’t name them all.

Reid went into great detail with the court, explaining how his branding system worked. Or, rather, systems. He had different brands for different classes of sheep in his flock. The court sat in rapt attention as he told them about clipping the ears of some, dating others either 1874, 1875 or 1876, and branding others with the ‘devil’s claw’. He also detailed how, with lambs not fit for the butcher, the marks were crossed out by subsequent brands.

Following his speech, the judge asked the prisoner for his side of this long and detailed story. Jones claimed that he had no idea how Reid’s sheep came to be part of his equally sizeable flock. He claimed he’d bought a load of new sheep at the Bowman sales. He shrugged. The judge returned his shrug.

The judge threw the case out, declaring Thomas Jones as being not guilty. There’s no mention in the court report from the South Australian Advertiser of Reid’s reaction.

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