Monday, December 11, 2017

It will happen to you and me

There have been the deaths of a couple of people this week past who I feel are worth noting. One was Rosemary Margan, our commercial tv Channel 9 weather presenter back in the 70s and 80s...... or maybe that was the 60s and 70s. She wrote on a glass or perspex screen in front of her the temperatures around Australia from behind the screen, so writing numbers backwards. Or so I thought. It turns out the magic of television just flipped the image.

I last remember Rosemary advertising products in the ads before movies. She was classy and likeable. (PS Tarn off does actually work as Rosemary described, but who knows what it does to your fine silver?)

If she did not bring down Harold MacMillan's Tory government, the ever so glamorous Christine Keeler came pretty close to doing so in the 1960s. She was, how should I say it, a hostess, and a comforter to foreign diplomats. It seems it did not bring her wealth or long term glamour. She should have been the blackmailer and had a Derek to do her shopping.

Bye bye Rosemary and Christine.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The 1930s

It was quite a while ago when we visited an exhibition at The Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square. We enjoyed the thirty or so minutes we spent looking at an eclectic collection.

This is classic Sydney photo taken at Kings Cross, from memory by the brilliant Max Dupain, at the corner of Darlinghurst Road and William Street.

R and myself looked at each other and snap. Dame M, our late friend. Glamorous, bored, jaded and always with a drink. The only thing missing is the cigarette.

I don't know why, but I really liked this painting.

Classic old radios, taken in darkness, so not great photos. If you want to see a gorgeous radio, have a look at one of the ones we saw at MOMA in New York.

I love old travel posters.

The trouble with posting photos long after you have taken them is that you forget what they are about. I don't have a clue about this one.

This looks like....maybe.....

Not so long ago I showed you reflections from windows at Federation Square. See here and here. These are the windows looking out.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Please Mr President

The ever so brilliant English tv show Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister had an episode where the biggest threat to a politician's career was to appointed Minister for Northern Ireland. 'Please Prime Minister, not Minister for Northern Ireland. Give me the Ministry for Health or Transport, but not Northern Ireland'.  It was something like that.

I wonder if diplomats in Israel are feeling a bit like being appointed Minister for Northern Ireland. The American embassy in Israel is in the very civilised, open and embracing seaside city of Tel Aviv. For some reason beyond my understanding, Trumpet wants the American embassy to relocate to Jerusalem. It seems like he may have his way. Are American diplomats in Israel pleading, 'Please Mr President, not Jerusalem. Anywhere but there'. From my understanding, I should think so.

So why does Trumpet want the embassy in Jerusalem and not Tel Aviv? As I suspected, he doesn't really give a toss, but here is the reason. I don't vouch for the accuracy of this, but you can bet it is payback for some benefit Trumpet has received. Israel needs to be careful which dog is sleeps with and what sort of fleas it may pick up. If Trumpet has been consistent in anything, it has been his inconsistency. From one media source, which I forgot to note down

Trump has long championed the causes of those on the hard-right of Israeli politics.
Not least because they have supported him. Take Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson - a passionate supporter of radical Jewish settler groups in Jerusalem.

Friday, December 08, 2017

The end of the world

Someone named Tess made a comment on an old post and  provided a link to a short clip from the 1959 movie, On the Beach, starring Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck.

It was set in Australia and most of the filming took place in Melbourne and the very outer suburbs of Frankston and Berwick, and on Phillip Island. I haven't seen the film and I was delighted to watch the short clip Tess referred me to. Gardner and Peck stroll down Swanston Street, and getting in the way of everyone. There is Mother's favourite place to dine in the city, the Classic Restaurant, which I thought was Classic Cafe. She took we children there many times after shopping for afternoon tea before catching a train home.

Ava dashes across Flinders Street to the station, which hasn't changed a huge deal on the outside. Its new paint job is currently being slowly revealed. The ever so modern blue Harris train (filled with asbestos) is in the station but I did not think the sound of the whistle (horn?) was correct and after some hunting online, it was not the sound such a train used to make. Some people may remember the other shops seen in Swanston Street, but given it was 1959, maybe not many. The clip is 2:32.

On the Beach was a nuclear fallout movie, quite challenging for its time. I think the world was dying from nuclear fallout. Ava was quoted as saying Melbourne was a good city to make a film about the end of the world, but that is quite untrue. I remember Neil Jillett as a columnist at The Age and an arts reviewer. Wikipedia tells me he submitted the quote in inverted commas and a sub editor dropped the inverted commas. Of course Sydneysiders do like to perpetuate the lie that it was a direct quote from Ava.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The cut of the cloth

Twice in England we visited the cheap store Primark, and I noticed something. The clothing seemed to be of a similar price to what we pay in Australia, but it was of higher quality. The fabrics were thicker, the sewing better, the buttons more firmly attached. I was quite impressed by Primark, perhaps equivalent to our Big W or Target. Primark's clothes seemed to mostly come from Bangladesh, whereas most of ours comes from China.

Australia's cheap clothing seems more like what is available in the US, except it is even cheaper in the US. I bought a shirt in Macy's department store in New York. It was a nice shirt but the fabric was so thin and already the buttons were loose. By the time the discounted shirt received a coupon discount as well, not that we had a coupon, and the discount that staff could give, I was almost paid to take the shirt. I rather liked Macys.

Department store clothing retail is difficult in Australia. The UK origin Topshop Australia is in receivership. I think world wide Oroton has ceased trading. Ladies, save your Glomesh purses. They may be worth something one day. UK Spanish owned Zara is surviving, as is the Swedish giant H&M.

And we have a new entrant in Melbourne, one remembered well by R when he was but a lad, Debenhams. We called in for a look see, and we were so impressed with the clothing we saw. It was like nothing we had seen in Melbourne before, and not terribly expensive. I saw a shirt I really wanted (several actually), but we were going to see a movie and I did not want to have to carry the shirt, so I did not buy it, and I am trying to resist going back there again.