Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday Quickie

Yesterday morning I read Marie's post about her resuming what we would probably call hiking after a break because of a foot problem. In the afternoon I finished a book by Bill Bryson called Notes on a Small Island in which I came across this sentence about British hikers:

I learned that there are, in fact, two kinds of walking in Britain, namely the everyday kind that gets you to the pub and, all weing well, back home again, and the more earnest type that involves stout boots, Ordnance Survey maps in plastic pouches, rucksacks with sandwiches and flasks of tea, and in its terminal phase, the wearing of khaki shorts in inappropriate weather. 



No, I am sure Marie would not be seen wearing khaki shorts.

Friday, December 09, 2016

A Montreal Slide

I did not want to drive over Mount Hotham when we were on our recent road trip, the main reason being I have never driven in snow and I know it can be extremely risky. I have learnt of this extreme risk from You Tube videos. Here is the latest one that has been uploaded, from Montreal in early December this year. A snow plough is what is needed and one was called but as you can see at the end of the 1:52 clip, the snow plough did not help the situation one little bit.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Russ Hinzes' Love Child

It has been suggested that the Leader of the Country National Party and our Deputy Prime Minister is a heart attack waiting to happen. Barnaby Joyce is a crazy man, just not quite as crazy as Bob Katter who started his own party. Funny, I have not heard of Katter of late. I expect Katter is lost in the face of our delightful Senator Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party.

Our ABC gave Hanson a good run on Friday night. I can tell you as per the tv show 730, there are no environmental problems with the Great Barrier Reef. Pauline and those who live by Great Barrier Reef tourism told me so via our ABC. I thought it wasn't a great programme as there did not seem to be a direct rebuttal against Hanson's and the those with a vested interest propaganda. Scientific evidence is what I like. I am much more inclined to believe scientists who study the Great Barrier Reef.

This is Barnaby Joyce, who threatened to shoot the illegal immigrants into Australia, that is Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo. Depp made a crack about Joyce being a fat old politician before he most humbly apologised to our courts for his dogs' transgression. Well, Mr Depp. Joyce might be a fat old politician but have you looked at your own waistline of late? Depp, your arrogance knows no bounds and have spoilt my nice memories of you when you were but a youth.


Queensland does have a history of corpulent and unhealthy politicians, thinking of  QLD Minister for Police and Horse Racing, Russ Hinze, who died at 72 before he could be tried for corruption, where he would no doubt have been found guilty. Queensland was not alone in being a corrupt state in Australia, but I venture it was the worst, (with NSW nipping at its heels in the corruption stakes) especially under Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen who ruled the state with as system of gerrymander that kept him in office from 1968 to 1987. As I recall, our ABC tv brought about the downfall of Petersen and Hinze with a couple of excellent 4 Corners investigations, one in particular called The Moonlight State. I watched them at the time and I was shocked. 


No intention to tar Hinzes' grandaughter with any brush, but Kristy is quite well known by some celebrity followers. But not to me until very recently.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The tv chef

Generally I dislike tv chefs and none more than the execrable Australian Pete Evans and the French born Manu Feildel. Nor do I find their plastic like visages and glittering white teeth at all attractive.

Just the other day Jamie Oliver was being interviewed on ABC Radio Melbourne and I remarked to R, I really want to to dislike Jamie Oliver, but he does talk sense.

Among all the tv chefs, and he is not what you would describe as a hot young bloke. Rick Stein is restrained and without pretence, he explores food of the world without preconceptions. He primarily talks about food but he does a good bit of eating and at times a little cooking. Good lord, will he be able to find anything good about food in Albania next week? Later: Yes he did, terrific seafood.



Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Vale The Greyhound

Now just hang on here. Yes, it is efficient to build population density in the inner suburbs, but how far should it go? Our inner suburban roads are already so congested and our public transport is overwhelmed with numbers of passengers. St Kilda already has the a pocket of the most densely populated area of Melbourne.

A demolition permit has been issued for the Greyhound Hotel in St Kilda. Seldom am I so shocked. How could this happen? Tens of thousands of dollars has been spent on this hotel in the last few years, if not hundreds of thousands.

I have great memories of the Greyhound. It went from being a grungy hotel to a hotel that crossed borders and catered for gays in one area, live bands in another and local drinkers too. We went there many times, with friends and with R's relatives when they visited from overseas. I had an interesting conversation with a local gay entrepreneur while at the urinal and found R's missing pot of beer when he became stressed. With our friend Carlos, we sat cross legged on the floor watching a drag performance like we were Sunday school children.

The Greyhound was forced to soundproof itself as ghastly blocks of flats were built around it. Haha, buy a place and then complain about the noise from the pub next door to where you have bought.

I don't know much about The Greyhound now, but just this year we were there, at the wake for James/Jasmin. We were treated well with fine finger food put on for us at no cost, obviously coming from the profits from the drinks we bought. I am sure we passed by recently one Saturday night and saw a queue on the street to enter the pub.

I don't blame the owners for not refusing a good offer. I don't really blame the council or the very evil Vcat for the issuing of a demolition permit for The Greyhound. It is all quite legal and the building has no great architectural merit. Yet it has an intangible quality and adds to the immediate area.Some Sometimes I just don't have the word skills to express things as I would like, and this is one such occasion.

This is my photo and make it bigger by clicking on it and seeing the ghastly block of flats built next door.


This is an artist's impression published in The Age of what will be built there, and we all know about artists' impressions. It is monstrous and surely won't be approved. Well, the council may not approve it but the developer will appeal to VCAT who will give it a great big tick. VCAT consistently goes against local councils and residents over developer projects. VCAT is a disgrace.


VCAT stands for Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.