Cricket Team

Flan: How I met cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards

I’m going to talk more in the next little while about making 20/20 cricket a Commonwealth Games sport and thanks to Jupiter’s Casino I’m going to put that question to the great West Indian batsman, Sir Viv Richards in the very near future.

I met Viv Richards when I was a kid thanks to a competition run by the Australian Women’s weekly. I went to a training camp where the newly minted World Series Cricketers taught a few hundred Aussie kids how to play my favourite sport.

I had the finer points of batting shown to me by my favourite batsman ever, Sir Viv.

My bum could have fallen off and it wouldn’t have distracted me from what Viv was saying then and now when he commentates on 20/20 cricket.

My bowling tutor was also my favourite bowler in the world, Michael “Whispering death” Holding. Also, a man whose cricket commentary I have soaked up since like I’m listening to Gandolf.

My wicket-keeping coach at that training camp was Rod Marsh who up until recently was the head of the Australian cricket selection panel.

Old Iron gloves taught me how to drop catches behind the stumps brilliantly. He was the man who lay down on the grenade that was the Hobart cricket Test. I’ll forever admire that bloke for that and if I ever get to interview the champ I’m going to ask him to take the blame for how bad I turned out too.

My teammates in my indoor cricket team would say “what an unholy waste of information that coaching was” I would simply say to that “Well call me Sean Marsh-mellow” but it lit a cricket blaze in me that you’d need a squadron of elvis firefighting helicopters to put out.

As I said, I’m going to ask the great man “Can 20/20 cricket become a brilliant Commonwealth Games Sport and I will faithfully report Sir Viv’s answer on 1029 Hot tomato.

QLD Cows

Flan: Cow corner at Car-rara

You know that feeling when you come up to the giant roundabout near Carrara markets and there’s 28 “carrs” in front of you and traffics at a complete and utter standstill?

I do. I also know how different it feels to look out the passenger window and see the cows that have been there for donkey’s years.

It makes me think that Cows must get the irrits at being talked about in donkeys years but let’s not get bogged down here.

It’s a free country and I don’t blame whoever owns the cows and the land they live on for attempting to do whatever they like with it. I say you can never have enough badminton centres but I’d also like to see the theme park in Katie Perry’s latest film clip built there too. Perhaps reasons why I will never be Mayor.

However, that little bit of country in the city makes me feel different. Happier somehow.

We are heading toward final approval of 1550 apartments on that site, and let me say straight up that if it happens I would love that work to go to Gold Coast tradies who right now have to drive up the M1 chasing the many dollars it takes to feed a family good Aussie beef these days.

However, there is something a bit special about that spot. Cows next to a major arterial.

I live in Mudgeeraba because it gives me that same feeling of country in the city.

EJ was telling me this morning that if this new development gets built small boats must be made available and reserves of food in case of flooding. It sounds like they’re preparing for an evacuation on the scale of Dunkirk.

We are having Gold Coast City Councillor Bob La Cowstra on the show to say why he voted against this development.

I personally think we could develop and preserve space for some cows.

Would it be too weird to have a sculptor create a herd of bronze cows to live on that paddock forever?

If we did, how long would it be before someone painted QLD on them at State of Origin time?

Emily Jade: A letter to my daughter

Dear Millie Valentine,

Happy Birthday baby girl, today you are fabulous 5. I say fabulous because just as you are old enough to go to school, we are having the most fabulous fun.

You have asked me every day for the last six months when you will be turning 5, and as I gave you a monthly and then daily countdown you would ask me if that was a long time. It was to you, but wasn’t to me. Where did this year go?

It seems unfair that just as you and I got into a friendly little groove of hanging out and going shopping, or getting pedicures together, singing loudly in the car to the same songs and wanting to watch the same movies together, you are going to up and leave me and a teacher is going to get the best part of you every day. It’s almost enough to make me want to home school you….ok, not that much, Mummy is looking forward to having afternoon naps again.

This year our family genes truly kicked in. You see both your Granddad’s were somewhat in the entertainment industry. Granddad Phil was an amateur actor and Poppy Jim was a concert promoter and this year you started both.

In the afternoons I’ll find you practicing tricks, making up dance moves, singing into a microphone or getting ready to cook something, and when ready, insist every single human at the house at the time stop and watch with our full attention. You also demand that the performance be filmed for your wider audience, complete with a ‘Hi, I’m Millie and welcome to my show”. Baby girl you have made me a stage mum and I haven’t even pushed you into it, you were born to perform.

In the last 12 months your awareness of the world has increased. Sadly you now know that you probably won’t be marrying Prince George and that Mummy was only kidding, but that’s ok, you are in love with an older man who Mummy approves of, 8-year-old Jayce. Whenever you hear that Jayce’s Mummy is coming to visit, hopeful that he may be coming over too, you spend a good hour in your room preparing. Hair, make-up, some kind of outfit showing off your belly button, your grey cowboy boots, and with nothing actually matching, you swan down the stairs in to greet him. He always graciously says hi while you look at him with eyes full of hope that he appreciates the effort you put in. Your Daddy knows that look well. I do it every time we get ready to go out for date night. It’s what makes a good marriage my darling, always wanting to look and be the best for the one you love, which is why I indulge you when you beg me to help you get ready for Jayce. I hope you still beg me when you are 16, that way I’ll be able to make sure the skirts are not too short, and your tops not see through.

The other day we took you to a grown up work function and at it you saw a beautiful lady. You asked me to take you up to her so you could tell her she was beautiful, but you wanted me to go with you in case you were shy. I love this about you, you’ve quickly learnt that giving compliments is a great gift, and totally free, and you love how you feel when someone is delighted with your kind words. So off we went and I thought you were talking about a young lady in a colourful dress with a perfect figure and fantastic hair. As we walked up to her and I told her you wanted to tell her she was beautiful, you loudly said ‘Not her Mummy” and pointed to a lady in her 70’s behind her. “She is so beautiful Mummy, her skin is so soft and her hair so pretty and curly’. I was embarrassed and proud at the same time. Embarrassed at myself that I didn’t see the beauty you saw and proud that I have a little girl that see’s so much more, that you haven’t been tainted by the medias idea that only youth is beautiful. I hope you stay that way and see the beauty in everyone and every thing.

Your new school has taught you to sing Grace before you eat a meal and each and every night you insist we all hold hands, close our eyes, with no peeking, and sing our song loudly thanking him for our food and blessings… I love to hold your little hand in mine and as I sing and totally peek at you of the corner of my eye, I sing with my heart full of love for you. You are all my blessings and more.

Love Mama.

Flan: Ouch and thanks all at the same time…

I just wanted to drop a quick note to somebody on the Gold Coast who’ll remain nameless after she tried to pay me a compliment, but in so doing managed to sledge me beautifully.

For the purpose of the story you need to know that I’ve lost about 20 kilos in the past six months and I look reasonably different these days.

That was then, and this is now!

That was then, and this is now!

A week or so ago I was hosting the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Fundraising Gala at the Sanctuary which I’m delighted to say I have done for quite a few years now.

During one of my breaks a truly elegant woman approached me and said incredibly politely “That was very funny, young man. You are so much better than the bloke who hosted this event last year.”

Ouch and thanks all at the same time.

Attending the launch of Blues on Broadbeach was a joy this week.

I’ve always thought that women kept telling men to express their feelings and that’s why the blues and bourbon were invented.

I’m busting to see Diesel in style at Jupiter’s Casino this Friday, he’s a true guitar genius.


PHOTO: Supplied by Jupiters Gold Coast

Eric Burden and the animals are lending their considerable talents to a festival that will now attract international attention thanks to their presence.

I want to say on behalf of Gold Coasters, welcome to town Eric, to you and all your animals. Don’t listen to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce when he threatens to put your backing band down.

To Eric and the band, I hope you love your time at Blues on Broadbeach and I want you to know that I too wish to live long enough to be a Burden to my family as well.

PHOTO: Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, Gold Coast

PHOTO: Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival, Gold Coast

I’d also like to send a giant thank you to the Gold Coast University Hospital for asking me to MC a truly special day called The Improvers, where various hospital departments compete for extra funding to kick off innovative hospital programmes.

It’s an amazing day, full of inspired and inspiring people who want to improve the standard of care we receive on the Goldie but mostly for the fantastic level of care you gave my wife, Lisa, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  You’re a special bunch of buggers. Good onya!

Many Thanks, Flan.


Flan: Only 2000 Koalas left in the wild?!

I had a brilliant night at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday night.  The occasion was the annual fundraiser for the wildlife hospital foundation.

We travelled by train around the sanctuary under the stars which was stunningly calming then we saw how the wildlife hospital works and a never before attempted night time, free flight bird show which honestly made 300 adults sound like 10 year olds at a sleep over party.

Bird Show

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary | PHOTO: © ChameleonsEye /

My kids love Currumbin Sanctuary with a passion and they love sharing the things they learn there with me.  For example, I did not know that the Koala’s nearest living relative is a wombat.

I reckon a lot of people could relate to the wombats in their own family that they have to financially support at one time or another.

So maybe we can all consider throwing a few bucks the way of the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation.  It will directly help the fight to stave off an unthinkable extinction event.  They reckon there are only between 2000 and 8000 koalas left in the wild.

Koala Hospital

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary | PHOTO: © ChameleonsEye /

Dogs, cats, cars and people claim so many of them.

Dr Bruce Cook spoke about the 2 parts of the animal hospital; one to treat the family of animals at the sanctuary and the other for South East Queensland’s injured wildlife.

The call for emergency medical intervention for injured SEQ wildlife is huge and the staff answer it with highly commendable levels of care.

Since the animal hospital opened it has treated 50,000 animals which on one hand is spectacular but on the other is a huge drain on the wildlife sanctuary’s resources.

Koala Hospital

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary | PHOTO: © ChameleonsEye /

Before I left the house to play MC at the wildlife hospital foundation gala, I asked my boy what he loves so much about the place and he said;

“Riding the train, no, feeding the kangaroos, no, getting close to the koalas, no, the emus and the wallabies are so cute.”

Then he looked at me as seriously as an 8 year old can sometimes get and said;

“Dad, when you get to the Sanctuary, can you tell them to leave it exactly the same.  Except, also get some Monkeys and Lions.”

They could do with a dollar or two.