Friday, April 29, 2005

Out to a bar, almost

It is a couple years now since we have been to a gay venue, excepting NYE. Last Saturday we decided to go to Pink at the Newmarket Hotel in Inkerman St. Beforehand we met friends at 7.30 at the 80 year old Dame M's St Kilda mansion and from there it would be just a walk down the hill to the venue.

That was the intention but it was not to be. At 12.30, quite drunk and with jaws aching from laughing so much, we staggered out of Dame M's and into a cab home. Five hours of just sitting and chatting and laughing and it seemed like half an hour. Sometimes I feel very priveleged to have the friends I have, but also fearful as they won't all be around forever. Still, enjoy it while we can.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Recreation

No, not mine, but the name of the health club in High St, Armadale. It has been there a long time. It used to have ground level parking underneath and I swam in the pool there a couple of times in the early eighties. Later it was owned partly by Ranald McDonald, one time editor of The Age and later an ABC radio broadcaster. It went broke then as did he, but he had plenty of resources to fall back on.

It was redeveloped into something suitable for the inhabitants of Malvern and now must be very 'nice'.

I don't actually know it is very nice but I figure it must be as the four wheel drives clamour for a park outside the door. It does amuse me how the drivers of said vehicles must get a park space nearby. Horror of horrors, maybe they would have to walk to the gym. 'Dahling, the only walking I do is on a walking machine under the supervision of my trainer' .


While we are pressured to work out at a gym and have great bodies, can I suggest, go out and walk. Walk lots, look, see, learn, observe. It will keep you fit enough and keep your brain fit as well. Don't forget to stop for a refreshment break along the way.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A couple of pigs

Yesterday I went to the post office to send the jacket onto Sydney that our o/s visitors had accidentally left at our place. In fact as we walked out of place to take them to their transport, we were discussing leaving things behind when on holidays. Duh!

A man standing behind me in the post office queue burped loudly in my ear and I was enveloped in a fetid aroma. Pig.

A very handsome sailor boy crossed near me in Bourke St. His uniform was perfect as were his dark looks. It was his day, Anzac Day and he was representing our country in public. From between his lips he ejected a stream of saliva and phlegm onto the ground nearby. Pig.

Maybe I am old fashioned, but spitting in public disgusts me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bikes

R says, ****ing bicyles should be banned. Our views are framed by our experiences. They annoy him because in the quiet little street where we live, there are a lot of cyclists passing. I have learnt that if there is a cyclist on the left of you, you can turn left, so long as they don't have to brake and avoid you. Otherwise, just slow down, slot in behind them and let them go first.

R's view is also framed by an encounter with a very nice looking guy who called out 'careful' just before he almost ploughed into us as we walked along the Southbank. R got a serious fright as did I once when I walked around a corner into a main street and was nearly cleaned up by a cyclist at high speed on a busy footpath.

They were bad boys and need to be severly spanked. I do appreciate that cyclists put up with a lot from motorists, but it isn't right that they can pose such a threat to pedestrians on shared paths.

I don't cycle now, but I have in the past and may in the future.

What really alarms me is when I am on a shared footpath and a bike comes up behind me and goes past at a fair speed. Maybe there is some possum shit on the path in front of me and I will step to the side just as the bike is about to go past. Bang. Sometimes you can hear them coming, but not always. I don't expect them to ride along ringing their bells constantly. Once, just once, a cyclist came up behind me and there was just a dull click from some device on his bike, maybe a dampened bell or similar. It wasn't loud, but enough to let me know of his approach.

I thought this was a great idea and I wish more would do it.

Monday, April 25, 2005

No rising sun at dawn

No, the sun did not burst onto the scene, but instead the increasing light created a pink surround to the Shrine of Remembrance on this Anzac Day.

It was our first dawn ceremony and as expected, it was very beautiful and very moving.

For us it was just a fifteen minute walk to the shrine. For many it was a much more effort, but 30,000 made their way there.

Standing just a few feet in front of me was a teenager with his cap on backwards at a slight angle. I thought, 'Is this what the diggers fought for? So that you can imitate Americans and wear your cap like that?' It was a quick thought. That is exactly what they fought for. So that he could wear his cap any way he liked.

But I doubt that they had such high minded thoughts. Travel, adventure, excitement, the exotic, better pay. But no doubt mixed in with those thoughts was one about protecting their country and hence their way of life.

What did annoy me was the constant flashes from cameras and later in the parade, teenagers (and some older people) wearing tee shirts and the like in what is a fairly formal march. It is great that they want to participate, but they really need to make a dignified effort with their clothing. I like Jimmy Hendrix, but his portrait on a tee in a remembrance march? No, don't think so. And, I hated singing that ridiculous word 'girt' in our national anthem.

I don't know if I will ever go again, but if I do, I now know to get there by 5.30 and stand on the walkway as far forward as is comfortable. If you are there by 5.30, you won't be too far back. It started about 5.55 and finished about 6.25.

Do go everyone, at least once and take your kiddies if you have them.