Friday, July 07, 2006

Nationl legend's life and times

The Penguin Hunter Diaries
Australia's National Architect's life began in the Azores in Horta on the island of Fayal when he was born on the 19th of October, 1833. His father, Admiral General Adam Durnford Gordon served in the West Indies where single handed he defeated the dreaded Oonga Boonga tribe's Emporer Walli Bunta before taking up a commission in the Bengal Cavalry sponsored by the East Indies Company. He played on the half forward flank for the Bengals and kicked 5 goals in the premiership match of 1837 many reckon he should have got the best player award that day but it went to Paddy O'Flahrety. Which is why young Lindsay Gordon became a racist and took up horses instead of football.
Durnford Gordon had the daredevil streak that his son exhibited throughout his life, once streaking at Lords during the tea break. Besides his physical talent and combative prowess Durnford was also a talented linguist, sketcher and poet so he took up engineering after finishing his footy career but never managed to achieve his dream of building a bridge because they had all been done. So he became a bridge plagiarist and would cast dedication plaques with his name as the designer and engineer and went around attaching them to bridges all over England. Lindsay's mother, Harriet, was the only child of Robert Gordon the former Governor of Berbice and Demerara in the West Indies and is the first recorded case of in-vitero fertilization. His mother never settled and her life became one of travelling between the capital cities of Europe because they kept changing all the time and she was awfully confused by this and is noted for having a melancholic disposition and prone to outbursts of temper. Probably caused because she got no frequent flyer points with all the travelling even though the airplane was not invented at this time it was not really fair. Which makes me wonder where this idea came from as there were no frequent coach points available at this time either? Once she had an outburst and shot Arch-Duke Ferdinand to feel better and started WW I, but that's another story. These inherited traits of his parents were reflected in Lindsay's exploits and deeds in England that resulted in him being sent to America to find his way home but he forgot to take the blindfold off during the trip and missed his connecting ship ending up lost in Australia.
Gordon arrived in Adelaide on the 14th of November 1853, with letters of introduction to influential members of society he soon joined the SA Mounted Police as a trooper and made his first mention in the local papers of the time when he joined in the quelling of, 'an ugly political riot in Hindley Street and riding at the back of the troop was a young man in hunting pink and breeches' before even being issued a uniform. Ever since then the pinks have been worn by SA police when incognito. But Halloween really pisses them off because every body runs around in pinks and they all get confused and Arch-Duke Ferdinand has already been shot so they have speed cameras to raise money to build a time machine so they can go back and shoot him to feel better.
On the 8th of June 1854 Adam Lindsay Gordon invented Penicillin but no matter how much he or his friends drank it never got them drunk but did clear up all their rashes and so he forgot about it and instead they all concentrated on throwing mouldy cheese at the door to door encyclopedia sales men. A copy of his bust in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey has been recast in bronze and was installed By the Dean of Westminster Abbey in October 2005 but critics have said that as far as busts go it is pretty ugly. It was noted that all Gordon took with him to Penola beside his clothing and nescessities was a copy of Readers Digest abridged version ofMcauley's, Ancient Lays of Rome, which he soon memorised and is an obvious influence in the wording of his poems because so many words are missing from the poems that soon began to come from his pencil while living in the region that is the poetic heartland and soul of Gordon. As a Mounted Trooper in Penola he only made five arrests and his friends went halves in the reward money until it was figured out that they were doing the crimes and getting caught for the reward money and got told off. Gordon soon established a reputation as a 'good man with his fists' and this made him uwelcome in the local china and glassware shops. It was here that he also began to establish his reputation as a very good jockey, horse breaker and trainer. Why no-one knows because racism is still a confusing sport but why complain when we get a public holiday for it. In the last letter he wrote to Charley Walker from Penola in October 1855 he said, ' his bay horse Walker had added fresh laurels to his fame and would astonish the natives yet, tho' some of them little expect it. He hadn't fought much lately except when in a damned bad humour he had taken the local blacksmith clean off his legs twice without even having to use his left hand.' But it is easy to tip a legless man out of a wheelchair when he is busy painting the Smith's black. The Smith's have now gone on to get landrights but Gordon has kept the landlefts. Not far from Penola is Mt Gambier wher the dormant volcano the Bue Lake is the site of his "famous leap" to prove that he was the best horse man around to his peers. Walker went on to be disqualified for running when leading during the 2000 Olympics.
Robe, was the second major Port in SA at the time with the export of yellow things with hinges, wooden seashells and Emu's, was also the disembarkation point for thousands of chinese avoiding the Poll Tax for landing in Victoria so landed in Sth Australia and made their way overland to the Goldfields at Ballarat. Which is a long way to go for a job but ever since the Wall was finished in China a lot of laborers needed jobs. Their Wall is still better looking but ours keeps the rabbits out better if only we could figure out which side they are meant to be on. He rode many winners at the Robe Race Course and it was while recuperating from a broken arm at the Caledonian Inn here that he met his future wife Maggie Park. Who went on to build the home of Collingwood Football Club but Gordon said that she was a crap engineer because there was no bridge. While horse breaking remounts for the Indian Army among his clients, after leaving the Mounted Police, was Edward Stockdale at Lake Hawdon West (later Richmond Park, which became the name of the Bengals his dad's old footy team when they relocated to Australia from the Azores proving that history is cyclical just like a donut) near Robe in 1857 he befriended the remarkable man who was to stimulate his latent interest in literature and poetry. Julian Edmund Tenison Woods was a Catholic priest and scientist and also associate of Mother Mary MacKillop who is considered to be announced as Australia's first Saint in coming years. Although many Carlton supporters are convinced that Alex Jezalenko is going to make a surprising leap and grab the Sainthood.
Lindsay was elected to Parliament in SA on March the 16th in 1865 which was pointless but hell he had been lost for quite a while and he thought that with a bit of luck as a pollie he may get to meet some visiting royalty and shoot one to feel better. Compared to the life of a horsebreaker and jockey politcal life gave him the relative leisure to become a 'gentleman' but he really wanted to be a 'lady' and write his own sketch comedy show and call it 'Little Britain' but the computer said no. With his pursuits of steeplechase racing and literary involvement quite often his dress would get tangled up in the stirrups or drape in the inkwell and get stained. He decided that his dad's streaking had a point and so began a nudist colony which until the 1970's still celebrated Gordon's wisdom at cricket matches around the world. A conscientious but ineffective politician his rambling speeches baffled his more pragmatic colleagues with scattered phrases of Latin and archaic literary prose among them but not half as much as it baffled him, as he was English not Latin but took up his discovery of interest and ability in Archaic and refined it to Architecture where he reached his pinacle of fame.
Moving to Victoria after resigning from parliament brought Gordon into his element and he concentrated on his Archaic. Designing the West Gate Bridge, Myer Music Bowl and Ayers Rock which has had a name change after it was found to be a Landright and not a Landleft and the Smiths used it to win the National Scrabble Championships as Ulluru.

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