Saturday, May 25, 2019

This is London Calling

And so the news cry went out in the mid 20th century from the BBC on shortwave radio to its colonies, empires, Commonwealth Countries and Dominion States. For someone who is not keen on music now, I love this The Clash song.

I love radio far more than I like movies and tv. To communicate by voice alone is a wonderful thing. I voraciously consume podcasts from Our ABC and the BBC.

This is an old photo, perhaps 15 years old or more, that I came across god knows where.


The Christ like person at the back is retired ABC Melbourne radio evening presenter Derek Guille, a consummate broadcaster with a great interest in music. 

On the right is sacked ABC Melbourne breakfast presenter Red Symons who was also a glam band former pop star. He was popular and I don't think any regular listener understands why he had to go. Generational change, I suppose.

Red as a member of the band Skyhooks. He had a bad 2018. His twenty plus year old son died from cancer, he was sacked as an ABC presenter and his marriage broke up. 


Attracting a younger demographic and diversity is the only reason I can think of for replacing him, with the replacements being Jacinta Parsons and Sami Shah. It was a very shaky start for them, with Symons' devoted audience missing him terribly. To its credit, ABC management stuck by Sami and Jacinta and while they perhaps don't rate as well as Symons, they seem to be accepted now as ABC presenters. I quite like them but it has taken a while.


Now to the two unmentioned at the front in the first photo. One is ABC Breakfast News TV presenter Virginia Trioli and formerly an ABC Melbourne Drive radio presenter. I first noticed her when she wrote a newspaper column or single story for perhaps The Canberra Times many years ago. The other is Jon Faine, aka El Faino. Faine looked almost decent back then. Now he looks like a mad professor. He is retiring at the end of the year and for something like twenty years he has been presenting the morning show for ABC Melbourne. He is a brilliant broadcaster, a tough interviewer of politicians, not afraid of showing emotion and has a good sense of humour.

He is a hard act to follow, but there is no dispute from anyone that I have heard that Virginia Trioli won't step into his large shoes with aplomb. Good choice, Our ABC, but a word of advice. Three and half hours talking from 8:30 to noon is too long for one presenter five days a week. Perhaps to our local disadvantage but as long as Richard Fidler's Conversation Hour isn't too Sydneycentric, I believe his show goes to the rest of Australia, then I expect we could cope if he was broadcast here.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Bits and falling over

Our refund arrived from Royal Brunei Airlines. We rather wish we had stuck with our booking with them. The Sultan has now put a 20 year moratorium on killing gays. Nice brand new 787 planes and probably fairly empty. R was puzzled as to why the refund money did not go into his bank account in the 3 to 5 workings days. It seems I paid and it went to my account. I am not so rich that I would not notice a couple of thousand dollars in my account. It went to my cancelled credit card. A visit to the bank has sorted it out. Might have been just as quick to do it by phone, but how nice and helpful was the woman at the bank. I rather like the ANZ Bank.

Nice helpful staff number one for the day.

Nice person number two was the lovely nurse at Port Melbourne Medical Centre who removed my biopsy stitches today. It was Mother Day for R so no car for me. I caught the 58 tram and then the 234 bus to Port Melbourne.

In spite of often being offered a seat on a tram, I feel guilty. I don't like standing, but there is no reason why I can't. I am not old enough to take a fall, instead I just fall over, tripped over my work shoes, like dear Jayne did at Our Great Southern Land via FB. Anyway, fell I did and grabbed hold of the chair in my bedroom, which fell down and put a black gouge mark on the wall. I went to Brian's Paint Spot in Windsor by tram to get some touch up paint, only to find it had closed and the building was undergoing renovation. I suppose it was only half an hour out of my day wasted.

I was going to walk 15 minutes to the big green hardware street in Port Melbourne to get some touch up paint. Instead I noticed a paint shop near the medical centre. Ah, this was where we bought mother's kitchen feature wall paper perhaps 15 years ago. The paint shop was as absolutely as helpful as he could be, all for the sale of a $10 tin of paint. There is no record of our paint colour at home in anything he looked at. I chose the what I thought was close. It is yet to be seen. We chatted on and on, and I learnt Brian of Brian's Paint Spot was offered $300,000 for the business by Coles supermarkets who will open a small store there. In about 1998 we took a paint sample to a paint shop in Surrey Hills. It was a green paint and they put it through their colour matching system and we ended up with pink paint. He laughed and knew the paint shop and the owner. He said to bring in a chip of paint and he could match it, using a spectrometer and instinct. He said if I went to the big green hardware shed, they would only do it by spectrometer and it was often wrong. He is looking to retire and has a good business to sell, with loyal locals and a contract for paint supply to Docklands Film Studios. We've alway favoured small paint shops in the past.

Really nice person number three for the day. I walked to the 109 tram line to get to the city.

Coffee outdoors at a new place in Elizabeth Street I have discovered and the owner greeted me like an old friend. It was my third visit. A plumber had arrived and said to the owner, when I change this live, someone will get wet. I was in the direct line of fire, so I quickly finished my coffee and bolted.

Then another woe last night. The belt loop on my dressing gown came away. One side has come twice and I have sewed it back on but his time it was the other side. My dressing gown is more than ten years old. Time for a new one. Clutching my small but heavy can of paint, I went into Target in town where they had their full range of winter dressing gowns, way too hot for here in the never too cold Highrise.

I couldn't be bothered walking up to Big W at QV, instead I went to the ever reliable Myer and found a light enough dressing gown, albeit at quite a price, but then I have never said to myself, I paid way too much for this item of clothing. I have regretted cheap clothing I have bought. It was an older bloke who served me, and I was at the counter for about 15 minutes while we chatted about retirement, trains, Hawksburn Station, England, walking and cycling, family and many other things. Interesting that both he and the paint bloke asked me retirement.

Really nice person number four for the day.

I was supposed to cook fried rice tonight for dinner, but R picked up on nuances and said we will have take away pizza. So many things went wrong, but so many nice people helped me along the way.

R was really nice person number five today, and even his Mother visit did not sour him today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Lighting our streets

Walt in France mentioned recently about a French village saving money by turning off the street lights late at night until early morning.

It reminded me of a conversation with an older person who told me I was talking rubbish when I said I remember Melbourne's street lights going off late at night. Until about the age of eight, when we stayed with my grandparents, I used to sleep with my grandmother in her bed in her bedroom at the front of the house. While childhood memories can be defective, I was sure the street lights used to go off. If you woke, you could get an idea of the time by the street lights being on or off. So this person I was speaking to said I was wrong and it was some time ago.

But fresh in my mind because of Walt's post, I thought to ask another older person who confirmed what I thought, that the street lights used to go off late at night. He started reminiscing about his childhood and how they had a tv that they had to pay off buy putting money in a slot to watch it and pay for it. They soon worked out how to cheat it and when the money collector came, he said, you don't watch very much tv. I've heard of these pay tvs but never knew anyone who had one and nor have I seen one.

What did surprise me was that Phillip Morris also installed a cigarette vending machine in their house. They must have been good customers, although lads being lads, again they worked out how to cheat the machine. I have not heard of such machines in homes.

But perhaps what the French village of Goudet should consider is the installation of LED street lighting. City of Melbourne has made the change and while no doubt it costs a good sum of capital, the change will eventually pay for itself. From my observations when we were last in Sydney, City of Sydney has also changed to LED street lighting.

I am not aware of any other local council in Melbourne making the change, certainly not City of Port Phillip. CoPP controls one side of our St Kilda Road boulevard and City of Melbourne the other, so on one side we have bright white LED lamps and on the other side the warm orange glow of high pressure sodium street lamps, which really don't light nearly as well as LED lighting, but they were a cheap operational choice at the time.

Bad photo but it gives you the idea.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A new toy

What is this thing called, love? It is a small lead acid battery. Whafor, I hear you ask?


While it hasn't happened for a while, we have at times in the past had someone parking in our tandem car park space so when a remote control was offered to us by the Body Corporate Owners' Corporation at a discounted price including installation, we took up the offer. We've had some terrible verbal interactions with people who have parked in our car parking space. But at least I have never discriminated between sexes, calling out women and men. One bloke threatened to punch me once, but I stood my ground, even though I would have gone down like a sack of spuds. As I said, this was mostly in our early days here. Perhaps word got out, those dudes get nasty if you park in their space.

The only problem now is we can no longer just swing into our car park, but must swing in a bit, reverse and line the car up straight. I gives off a shocking squawking noise if it is interfered with.

I brought the battery up for charging and took a pretty bad video of the bollard in operation. It is controlled by a remote control fob in the car, but we could have chosen to have an app on our phones. As we are now a one car family, the second remote control is put away in our apartment.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Mural

This mural recently appeared in Turner Alley in the city. I love the background but not the female figure. Still, it does lift an otherwise very dull and utilitarian lane.


Later edit: Thanks Cathy. Read about the mural here.