Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A visit to Clayton

I have strong family connections to Clayton. Many of my maternal forebears owned market gardens in the area, also in South Oakleigh, Moorabbin and quite early, Brighton. Many streets have names from my family, such as Cochran Street in Brighton, as I said to Brighton Antique Dealer after we dropped her home last Saturday after dinner. Oddly, Clayton was also the stamping ground of my step mother's partner, and his family was also well known in the area.

But really that is irrelevant to this post. No market gardens in Clayton now. Just houses, lots of houses, as far as the eye can see. I enticed R to go to Clayton to see the new elevated railway track and new station with the promise of lunch somewhere nice and by golly, we found somewhere nice. I was a little concerned that we would not.

We caught the 58 tram to South Yarra Station and then the limited express train to Clayton. The train skips the MATH stations. In reverse order to our travel to Clayton; Malvern, Armadale, Toorak and Hawksburn. It also skipped one or two other stations that are closed as Skyrail construction goes ahead.

We wandered along Clayton Road looking for somewhere to eat. We came across Caffe(sic) Corso and it was not expensive, the food was nice and the coffee brilliant. Service was friendly but thankfully not over the top. I was interested to note they kept tables outside for only coffee and smoking. In our state, there is no smoking in any eating area, inside or out. Sadly this rule killed one of my favourite outdoor coffee places opposite Melbourne Town Hall, which was wonderful for people watching. I see no conspiracy that Starbucks have taken over half the space. I have noted that a venue at the State Library has outdoor smoking and coffee, and presumably no food is to be eaten there.

The station wasn't quite finished but was clearly very functional. There is little beauty in modern Australian railway stations. It is all about function. 

I am not a fan of elevated roads or train tracks, but they are very practical.

One of the old station buildings is still there. See the final piece below. It may well be the building with the fire.

I found the overhead support poles for train electric wires fascinatingly weird. 

I wrote the below back in 2011. 

I was in the State Library of Victoria researching some stuffs in the card index of The Sun News Pictorial and a couple of things jumped out at me as amusing. This is but one.

7th May, 1958, Mrs Norma Bond, a blonde dancer, stops a runaway truck.

It would almost be worth finding the entry in the newspaper to get the full details on that one.

From a history of the Melbourne suburb of Clayton, as I recall it:

Should you miss your train (at Clayton Station) and have to endure a one hour wait, there is a warm fire in the waiting room. It may not be possible to get too close to the fire though as it is often surrounded by dogs. Gee, they don't even have a loo at stations now, let alone a fire, dogs notwithstanding.

From the same book:

The football match between Clayton and Clyde on Crawfords Paddock erupted into chaos when the players in their new bright red jumpers were charged by a bull. They fought each other to take shelter in the dressing room while ladies lifted their skirts and ran into an nearby market garden.What? They grabbed a carrot and threateningly said 'Don't you come near me you big, bad, bull'?

I became so engrossed in my research for stuffs, I forgot the time and three hours had passed. It was more fun than the internet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Federal Parliamentary Microphones

Let his be recorded in history, from my faliable memory. In the old Parliament House in our Federal capital Canberra, the microphones used to pick up interjections from various members of various parties when a politician was on the floor speaking. This made for very good entertainment at times. This was back in the days when Radio National was dry and dusty and there were gongs during the news and ABC local radio was compelled to carry Parliament (and cricket) on the airwaves. At times the interjections could be very cutting, or just really amusing.

I can't remember the exact timelines now but once the new parliament building opened, it had very directional microphones broadcasting what the politician was saying on the floor of the house, but not the interjections from other politicians. That is, the mikes would only broadcast what the pollie was saying because he or she was talking directly to the microphone. Good idea to keep the public ignorant of what was really happening in theory.

But Houston, we have a problem, the problem being that politicians like to perform when they are speaking in the house, especially during question time. They like to look around. They like to turn their heads to address their speech to a particular member. All this was picked up by the old microphones, but not by the new microphones, so a politician speaking on the floor with head turning etc would keep going off mike and we radio listeners missed what they were saying in a direct speech from the floor to parliament.

I must say, it was a bit of a laugh. Perhaps best described as a feeble play with early technology. A laugh yes, but serious too.

Some 30 years later, it still sticks in my mind and why? It was shocking attempt at censorship of what was happening in Parliament. Unfortunately, even though it was after the ABC reign of the very conservative Sir Talbot Duckmanton, I believe our ABC was complicit in this censored broadcast of parliament.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Of regrets, I have a few

Yes, plenty of regrets, but nothing too major.

Except that while I know an awful little about an awful lot, I am not expert at anything. I could not be interviewed on the radio about any area of expertise.

It is rather good that via the internet, I know an awful lot of experts in various areas. I have forgotten her name, the English woman who was a guest in Australia's coverage of the royal wedding. She knew her Royals back to front, going way back in history.

Even among our friends, our Brother Friends know menswear back to front. Our Hairdresser Friend knows hair cutting and all things associated well. Brighton Antique Dealer knows antiques so well, and recently made a thousands of dollar killing with something she bought cheaply at auction. She gave $500 to each of her children and had plenty left over.

My school teacher Sister knows how to get the best out of 16 year lads.

Ex Sis in Law knows how to bring her children up with love.

R knows how to be a caring and loving person, and he instinctively knows how to cook.

I was once pretty well versed in the Vietnam War, but now, I have forgotten the detail.

I was also once pretty well versed on Sydney's old tram system, but again, I have now forgotten the detail.

I am pretty expert at my job that I have done for 39 years, yet a younger workmate knows way much more about my work now than I do. I feel like an old dinosaur at work now. I am an old dinosaur at work now and treated as thus.

I really wish that I am an expert at something, but alas, I am not. Perhaps I am good at surrounding myself with clever and diverse people who write well and take good photos? Yeah, maybe that is true.

I suppose you have to have a strong interest in something and never let it go.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Selections

Joining with River and others for Sunday Selections. This week it is the usual hodge podge of photos taken here there and everywhere.

This area is within some circular entrance and exit ramps to a road tunnel below. It was once just native plants, but I think these shapes make it much more interesting. The photo was taken from Sturt Street. South Melbourne.

Who likes beige? Not me. This is a vast improvement.

It is cleverly done, by painting black on the horizontal facings and obviously, white on the vertical. Note even the rooftop is getting a black up, as I took the photo.

Oh, it does get hot quickly. 15 minutes and it has reached over 300C/600F.

To make some interest and attractiveness to a new development, someone thought to buy some plants in pots. Pity someone didn't think to water them.

The old building on the other side of Swanston Street was severely mistreated by architects. But I like what was done here.

A little hard to see but there four police cars parked next to the tram. A tweet came to my phone from the tram company; Outbound St Kilda Road services are delayed at Toorak Road due to a disruptive passenger.

The bare topped disruptive passenger was led away by our finest and hopefully charged with disruption.

Pretty flower very protected by spiky leaves.

Friday morning as I was getting ready for work at about 6, there was an almighty crash. It was dark and the camera did a better job than my eyes did at the time. It took me a while to make out, but a truck had tipped on its side, I expect rounding the corner from Toorak Road too fast. Of course some of you overseas people perhaps think the accident happened because everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road. The last of it was being cleaned up when came home for lunch at 11.30. I think they had separated the van part from the cabin and chassis, or maybe it just all fell apart.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Wedding

I did not see it all. I arrived home to see the US Gospel choir. It was lovely and they all looked so smart and beautiful.

The US preacher? Why? In 1800s Australia, we used to have such fire and brimstone preachers, but they disappeared. I wonder why? I felt a bit squirmy in embarrassment as I listened to his rantings. People looked bored and distracted.

Mother Markle looked nice and dignified.

It was the first time I have hear The Markle speak. She sounded to have the exact same accent as the American wife in Downton Abbey. It is not unpleasant, but certainly American. Educated American? I don't know about such things. I rather liked her voice and accent.

I am out on a limb here because of lack of knowledge, but I quite liked the cellist, and the string quartet.

Camilla's hat was striking, probably striking everyone within a metre of her.

Base (insert circumlocution thingy later) animal instincts perhaps, but every time I saw Charles on the screen, my eyes dropped well down below his face. Although he is now old, I can see a certain appeal about him. Camilla always has such a self satisfied grin on her face.

Elton John looked so sad, like he had lost a mate. I don't know what to make of that.

David Beckham looked bored. In his finest horrid Cockney accent, he asked, are they not doing the Lambeth Walk? What a hoot that would have been to see.

Marie in London told us it was a three mile driveway to Windsor castle from the gate, and it was fully lined with people. Wow! For even more Windsor colour and knowledge, take a look at Jackie's post from Toronto post about Windsor. It is great.