Sunday, February 19, 2017

I know nothing

When you have been with your partner for 38 years, you would think there wasn't too much you didn't know about them.

We were watching the English tv show Vera last night. The show is set in and around Newcastle in the north of England, where R comes from. The scene was set in a pub.

R: I worked in that hotel. It was at the base of the High Level Bridge.

Me: Fascinating dearest. You've worked in so many places, it is a wonder you can remember.

R: Yes, my brother in law to be and me both worked there as we were saving to go to Butlins (a holiday camp of the most ghastly variety, but this is with hindsight) and of course that was where I met Cat Stevens. The hotel has changed........

Me: Stop! Now! What did you just say?

R: About meeting Cat Stevens?

Me: Yes, you've never told me that before?

R: Thought I had. Cat Stevens was Irish (I didn't know that) The pub was owned by an Irishman and he was a friend of Cat and he came to visit him once at the hotel and we were introduced.

Me: How come you have never told me this?

R: I thought I had. He was only semi famous then.

I used to find Cat Stevens so sexy before he became a weird religious Moslem nutter who agreed with murder of those critical of the prophet Mohammed. I am quite perplexed as to why I did not know R had met Cat Stevens.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jussy goes to Washington

It is hard to believe that two countries with a similar heritage could be so different as Canada and the United States are. Civilising French influence in Canada? I think not, and besides the US had its own French.

Correct me if I am wrong but the eastern side of Canada is kind of French and the western side, kind of British, with what is in the middle a bit of everything. While we only saw some west and central, there is no doubt in my mind that British Columbia is the province to live in......if you can afford it. Toronto is ok too, but oh the extremes of weather.

While I am hardly qualified to comment, that never stops me. Canada felt very calm, organised and civilised to me. The US felt chaotic and just hanging together by a thread. I expect it has been like that for a long time and will continue to be so, yet still remain the most important country in the world.

The leaders of the countries are very different too but hey, they did not come to fisticuffs when Jussy visited Washington. Misplaced perhaps, but I suspect Jussy might have felt a bit sad for Trump and the way his presidency is panning out. I bet Jussy also felt a bit superior.


I was brung up proper like, part of which was to never negatively comment about someone's appearance and generally I don't, but worse than Trump's hair is his mouth, tiny with pursed lips. He almost makes ole bluejaw Nixon look reasonably handsome.

Friday, February 17, 2017

How is your memory?

Did you know there are two hundred and seventy London Tube stations? This very clever group manages to mention every one of them in this 3:09 song.



And don't forget Marie also intends to visit everyone of them and while I was initially doubtful, she has made a very good start, having completed one line and well on her way to completing another. Ealing Broadway was quite an interesting recent exploration.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Visitor

I met our visitor from the country through our blog connection. She had lived in London for years when we first came across each other but was soon moving back to Australia, via a longish holiday in India.

Twice she has hosted us when we have travelled in country Victoria and it was now our turn to reciprocate. With some family she visited Heidi once in Melbourne and she arrived at The Highrise Friday evening, and after a moderate bottle or two glass or two of wine, we ate a nice meal prepared by R. I always worry that people don't sleep well when they stay, but it was not a problem and we all slept well.

After a relaxed Saturday morning breakfast at home, we headed to the National Gallery of Victoria to see a much looked forward to exhibition of the works of David Hockney. While I knew very little about him, I just loved his work.

The entrance to the gallery usually has an large piece of interactive art. This was a small spiral of mirrors. Oddly, the panels that looked like mirrors did not show your reflection and the ones you thought would not, did. I paused to take a photo as the other two went ahead and I briefly lost them. That is I could see them in mirrors but I could not find them.


It is a pity this photo did not come out very well. I just loved his series of 'The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire' series.



Hockney's portrait works are well done, but not of great interest to me. His still lifes of very mundane household objects were interesting.

But what I liked the most is that he was a pioneer of making his art work on an iPad, meaning that how the work was created is recorded and can be played back and many electronic screens displayed the creation of a work. Sorry, this video does not show it very well. The screens even show individual 'brush strokes'.


The finale was in a large room with a large central round seat. Four big screens had been placed around the room and each showed the same four minute film in synchronisation of a short drive through a wood in four different seasons of weather. It was wondrous and of one of the panels had snow and ice.

I have mentioned this water wall at the gallery entrance before and below the photo is a brief video of the wall in action. Kids always want to touch, and some very big kids at that.



Should we lunch in town or go home and drive to Altona Village for lunch? The latter won and we had a nice lunch at the cafe where we previously forgot to pay. I paid our debt, rounded down by a few dollars to $30 in recognition of our honesty. Not too many people would do this, the cafe owner opined. No, they wouldn't. We are fools, but honest fools. A VE Valiant passed by, 1967.


Parked in the street was this old banger, perhaps an Austin.


I forgot to take a hat, but R found one of Little Jo's caps in the boot of the car, so I put that upon my tĂȘte and we walked out along  the pier. This bloke was having a bit of a wobble on his board, obviously not so experienced. I kept the camera on to capture when he fell into the water, but he did not.


We really like Altona Village and Altona Beach and if we were thinking of living in a suburban area, it would be high on our list for consideration......and for an south of the Yarra River person, that is quite an admission.


The soft back David Hockney book was discounted from $50 to $30 at the obligatory gift shop exit. It looks so nice on our coffee table. Alas our visitor took it home with her.


Saturday night we dined at FOMO, a Thai restaurant in town. It was a little noisy but the food is always excellent, as is the service. Bookings were heavy, so we unbooked were put upstairs. Someone's Saturday evening was not panning out so well, having been clamped by the Sheriff. We sensibly use public transport to go to town, so no risk of clamping for us.


Sunday morning I drove our guest to So Cross Station in Spencer Street to catch an 8am replacement rail works bus back home, rather than the train, and then after some breakfast it was off to work for me after a lovely couple of evenings and a day of socialising. It is a good thing to get you out of yourself at times.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day

Is there not a law that Australians have a right to shoot incompetent car drivers dead? Such an action would certainly bring down our population explosion. There should be such an action.. Once home, my mood rose.

"Hello sweetheart, love of my life and my most dearest person in the world. How was your afternoon of alternating between napping and watching tv?"

"Fine". 

"And what romantic dinner have you planned for us?"

"Bangers and mash, and be grateful you are getting that. I serve you carrots, but you are not eating them!"

"Aw, you do really love me. In the name of love, I will try to eat all of my carrot serve tonight". 

Back to my childhood where I would fill my pyjama pockets with cabbage and dispose of it later, I now just chuck carrot out. I don't mind some carrot, just not too much.