Monday, February 19, 2018

Emulsified high fat offal tube, chips and eggs on the side

Doesn't chlorinated chicken and hormone reared beef sound delightful? We probably eat both in Australia. I don't know about chlorinated chicken, but our livestock are given hormones. I won't go down the road of the joke about hormones. 'Tis enough to write whore moans. (Note to self, add sexism label so at least people who are offended understand the irony, or maybe just poor humour)

From The Guardian.

According to a document outlining the project, mistakenly published online by the IFT, the groups will “hash out an ‘ideal’ US-UK free trade agreement (FTA)” that includes Britain recognising US standards which are widely seen as weaker than those adopted by the EU. Such a move would allow imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef to be sold in the UK for the first time.

It also advocates tearing up the EU’s “precautionary principle”, under which traders have to prove something is safe before it is sold, rather than waiting for it to be proved unsafe.

Yes, the British do complain about European standards being forced on them by the European Union, but Britain needs to be very careful about what it wishes for.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Selections - The goings on down below

Settle down. I mean below The Highrise. Joining in with River for Sunday Selections.

Not too long after we moved here, roads flooded. I remember seeing Melbourne Grammar boys wading and skylarking through the water.

Many years on, last year the same area flooded. I think the drainage has now been properly fixed. Time will tell.

It is reassuring to have the army protecting us and the synagogue, but truth be told, they were on their way to an Australia Day event and felt a hunger for McDonalds.

Cars blocking route 58 trams from turning into Toorak Road is an ongoing problem, or route 50late as I have heard, is an ongoing problem. There is often much furious gonging of the tram bell at such stupid people.

No, the traffic light post did not need holding up. It was the lad who needed holding up. He was very drunk and staggering around.

This one took the cake. The two car lanes to the left go in one direction. Somehow this idiot ended up in the middle of the tram lines in the wrong direction. A tram turned the corner and the van reversed back to let the tram pass and then made a U turn and went off in the correct direction for the road. How the van go there cannot be imagined.

The green domes of Prahran Central feature, formerly known as Moore's Corner Store and Charles Read's Emporium. My maternal great grandparents used to visit the store in the 1920s and 1930s. She in a pony trap with some of her thirteen children on board. He on his own in his motor car. Did they meet up and lunch? I don't know.

We have lift off.

Crepe Myrtles at The Royce. I am not fond of the bright pink variety, but I love the white ones. 

Taxi grief. Evidence of an terrible crash. Ok, I am being melodramatic. Maybe the bumper bar just fell off.

I heard a crunching of gears and a loud noise. I spun around to see a very old car crossing the intersection. R told me I just missed a show. She tried to climb over the fence at the tram stop and fell and the contents of her bag spilled all over the ground. She was so out of it and you may not be able to see it in the photo, but she had a lot of flesh showing. We waited for seven minutes for the tram and she spent the whole time trying to sort out her bag and its spilled contents. I've seen two other people jump this fence, one a bloke who did it successfully, the other, a young lass but not drugged or drunk, and the same thing happened to her, she crashed to the ground and spilled the contents of her bag. I'm not one for jumping the fence.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

La Boheme

I am such an Aussie bloke at times. I say this with no pride. R tells me he mentioned this to me three times and I did not pick up on it. Eventually after he said he refused to tell me again I did some research, and came up with the wrong thing, except he did not know that. He wanted to see La Boheme as an open air performance on the shores of Farm Cove in Sydney. This is surely the location where his English sister was married with the backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge when we were the wedding planners, ever so many years ago.

Wouldn't it have been so nice that on R's birthday in March, I could have presented him with the ticket for an April performance when I am on holidays and say, guess what? We are going to La Boheme in Sydney. Instead he did the booking of the performance, the flights and the single night of accommodation and I said, I will pay for your ticket for you birthday. I am just so also ran and pathetic. That is me.

I think I have been to an opera, perhaps Madame Butterfly, and it made me cry. It was many years ago and I can't really remember. Anyway, our friend in Sydney Victor is joining us to see La Boheme, so what fun! I've no idea what the opera is about and like I now never look at movie trailers, I am not looking up the opera La Boheme. It will be a surprise.

So yes, R booked our air fares and one night of accommodation, along with the tickets for the performance.

I do my share. I have booked us and our Hair Dresser Friend flights to Launceston to see our Dyke Friend, and dog Jack later in April. The day after we return it is HDF's birthday, so we will celebrate her birthday at Mudhole, or is that Mudcrab in Launceston. Mud something. We will stay with our friend for two nights. Originally it was going to be two weeks of touring Tasmania, but medical appointments and family birthdays mean we really have to be home and only go for the weekend.

Oh well, a little taste of Tassie is good, and surely will tempt us back for a longer visit. We loved our visit over a decade ago.

Wardrobe clean up #27, I came across this plastic bag from the last time we were Launceston. Prices were chicken feed. We were very amused at the time.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Australia's most wonderful health care

It looked like a shrink wrapped packet of olives, but on closer examination, it was chocolate covered confectionary from Haigh's Chocolates sitting on the fridge shelf. R generously allowed me to take four to work, as some comfort food.

I ate two and the filling of them stuck to my teeth. I thought, these gluey fillings are going to rip out my teeth fillings. I returned two to the packet and told R, I did not really like them, which I didn't, and that I thought they may rip out my fillings.

I went to bed and R stayed up later and ate another couple of his chocolates. The evening of the next day R said I was partly right. They did not rip out his fillings, but took off the top of one of his teeth which was now sharp and cutting into his tongue. The tooth repair, a cap, will be $1000, plus the adjacent tooth showed a crack in an xray, so that will be $2000.

He is now up to $7000 for medical expenses this financial year, and ok, he has had top medical people and the best of care, the best of hospitals and treatments at the time of his choosing, yet isn't the private health insurance premium we pay supposed to cover private health care? It seems not.

Had he have gone as a public patient, it would have all cost him nothing. But nothing timewise would be at a time or date he chose, and nothing was life threatening, just inconvenient and troublesome, so he would have been on a waiting list.  That is not to negate the seriousness of his issues.

I've done both public and private, and three times I was treated pretty well by the public system. It helps if you have a doctor who will speak up for you to the hospital. It is amazing what a phone call from a doctor can achieve. My private experience, with private health insurance, for surgery and a two night stay in hospital left me out of pocket for over $1,000. I may have had to wait for two or more months for the same surgery in a public hospital, and I rather wish I had.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Out after 9pm

Yes, it is rare for us to be out so late at night. Re-reading old diaries found during my wardrobe cleanup, I am amazed at how late we would stay up at times, and I would go to work the next morning at perhaps 6 o'clock.

Ex Sis in Law's husband found a cheap overnight stay in a city hotel and bought it for her as a Christmas present. Middle Niece went along too to share her mother's room and Fire Fighting Nephew and his wife booked the room next door. I thought it would be a nice thing to have a  bottle of bubbles (France tells us we are verboten from calling it champagne) and a platter of nibbles to be delivered to their room on arrival, so I rang the hotel. The bubbles, no problem. I will speak to chef about the platter of nibbles, said hotel staff. He came back on the line and said chef could prepare some pretzels to go with the champagne! Ok, that will have to do.

We met up with them at Arbory for pre dinner drinks. It is the longest bar in the world. That is a drinking bar/cafe, not a counter bar. It is the length of a long train platform, which is what it was, platform 11 at Flinders Street Station, once used by the St Kilda and Port Melbourne trains, that are now light rail/tram routes.

I took this photo as we were leaving. The place, as I have heard R's younger relatives in England say, was heavin'. The women were drinking decanters of Pimms, the sweetness combatted by citrus peel. R had a couple of Asahi beers and I had a couple of g&ts.

We walked across a bridge to Southbank and then a good way along to the Italian restaurant Baci. Both R and my eyes rolled in our heads as we saw the prices but no one else batted an eyelid. Proof #2 that we are old. As Nephew had bought bowls of chips to eat with our earlier drinks, R and I shared an antipasto dish and a garlic focaccia. Goodness, another pontoon bar on the river. Interestingly the chips came with tomato sauce for dipping, ketchup if you like, and a black sauce, from the US, that was very nice. It was thin and very spicy. Black sauce?

I was seated but the others weren't as a 'bicycle rave' went past. Nephew googled it and it happens twice a year. There were lots of music players pumping dreadful music out, but what fun.

From there Nephew found an underground bar, deep in the foundations of Crown Casino. The angled support structures caused some service difficulties but we had a lovely time, with more cocktails. R insisted we pay for dinner, over $300, as I sputtered, ah, umm, well...coming out of your inheritance.  Nephew paid for cocktails at the bar. I had a martini and never before have been asked if I wanted a vodka martini or a gin martini. Gin of course, not shaken. I don't want the gin bruised. It came without an olive! What brand of gin, I was asked? I couldn't remember my favourite gin, Gordons, but I could remember the name of Jah Teh's favourite gin, Bombay Sapphire, so that is what I had. 

We parted company at Queensbridge where the family caught the 58late tram to the north of the city where they were staying and we caught the 58late tram to home. From Facebook, they managed to find a laneway bar on their way back to the hotel and had another drink.

We were in town today to see a mock up of our new train and some brunch and walked along the river. Here are a couple of shots of Arbory, much quieter than when all hundreds of metres of it was packed full of people on Saturday night. 

The Arbory pontoon on the Yarra River. Packed on a Saturday night but empty on a Wednesday morning.

Good to get out and be social on a Saturday night, but the late night meant we did little the next day. Well, a little bit.