Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bat, ball and homeward bound

While I still consider the proposed development for the St Kilda triangle quite inappropriate, I give up. I hate St Kilda anyway. It is not a place for me. Although I am clearly a south side person, I rather like the north side of town where there is no desire to build such huge 'community assets', well yes there is one proposal.

I shall send a complimentary email to the two councillors who voted against the massive development. I shall only deal will my local ward member, who voted in favour, in a cursory and demanding manner. Duplicitous cunt bad person.

Should I happen to be forced to visit the new development, and I have no doubt it will be popular, bringing the outer burbs to the inner burbs, it is not the St Kilda that I liked and remember.

I need to focus back to subsidising my council rates. Parking fees, parking fines, chairs on street costs, rates for such a huge development.

I was on a tram today going around St Kilda Upper Esplanade and I looked and I could see why people are protesting about views.

Later update. I just learnt today that come next election, St Kilda Road and Queens Road will have their own council ward, imaginatively named, Junction Ward. So my local councillor will not be dependant on my vote next election.

Am I feeling impressed by local democracy in action? You can guess.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year

C'mon, I know there are at least three of you Chinese heritage people reading this. Happy New Year to ya.

I have received three Chinese Happy New Year email greetings and one sms. I have just realised that I will probably live to be old enough to see Australia generally, celebrate Chinese New Year. This is good. Any excuse for a bit of binge drinking.

Now to get you up to speed on the protocols, here is the dirt on how to celebrate Chinese NY with a Chinese friend. You stuff an orange with your left hand into a red envelope and throw it at your loved friend with both hands. They then return fire with a deafening fire cracker. With them bruised and you burnt, you both go and get under a Chinese dragon and dance. The appreciative crowd gives you gold money.

I think that is how it goes. I should probably check the finer details.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Nice work

I must admit, my local councillor is always very responsive if I send him an email. One hour after sending him an email about the St Kilda Triangle/Palais redevelopment, he replied in brief.

Can I pick up a clear indication of what will happen at tonight's council meeting where there is expected to be upwards of one thousand protesters against the development?

We are considering further drastic cuts to retail, on top of the 35% cut in live music/nightclub patrons, together with improved viewlines and more open space but we're not there yet and it's decision night tonight.

Unchain St Kilda is the action group formed to oppose the development.

Donne


I vaguely recall from my childhood the word Donne written on some toilets in Oakleigh. Is it Italian for female? Not sure how many Italian women shopped in Oakleigh. Many Greek women did and according to my grandmother, 'stood around in groups blocking the footpaths and yabbering away in Greek'.

So I suppose it is quite legitimate to have the word Donne on these Port Melbourne Beach toilets where many Italians once lived. But I would expect the gender indication would be faded and almost illegible, but no, it must regularly get repainted. How many non English reading Italian women would now frequent the beach?

Never mind, as a toilet block, it is quite attractive and the sign keeps a bit history alive. There is a matching block for the blokes.

VCAT strikes again

Our state government, well actually VCAT, but it is virtually the same thing, has approved the construction of this building at Camberwell Junction.

As is often the case, it blends in beautifully with its surrounds.

Even though this is just an artist's impression, which I have learnt to always distrust, it still looks hideous.

Note the lack of cars in the picture. It must 4.30 am Tuesday morning.

Normally cars and trams are banked up in all directions as far as the eye can see. Camberwell Junction has been declared an area for population growth. I cannot understand why such a congested area needs more people.

Story here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Decline of Dame M

None of us realised how bad Dame M was. Does that sound familiar in reference to an ageing relative or friend? At 83, she ought not to expect to be a picture of health, but really the decline has happened quite quickly, over the period of a year or so. Her frequent non appearances at social events, even though she arranged them, ought have sent our bells ringing. Instead we got slightly miffed at her standing us up.

Although she had very bad eyesight, she was never the same after her cataract operations that were to help her. Her sight continued to deteriorate because of macular degeneration, a prime cause being smoking. She was told that unless she gave up smoking, she would soon go blind.

She gave up both smoking and drinking. I would advise anyone of her age to not take such drastic action. It was clear that she had no intention of going out anywhere soon. R and I visited her a month ago for a chat and to see her new aircon unit she had installed.

She rang last week, ostensibly to ask us to investigate some fit over sunglasses, but she said that she had stomach ulcers and complained that she had not seen our mutual dyke friend, T.

R rang T's girlfriend, as T was in Sydney on business and expressed some concern. Word got back and last night T rang us to say that she had been to see Dame M and she was very unwell. The boarder has been trying to get her to eat, but clearly her deteriorating physical condition was beyond him to deal with. Dame M was skin and bones and she has barely arisen from her bed. She just lies there listening to talking books supplied by the marvellous Low Vision Clinic. She barely eats a crumb of food nor drinks anything except for one glass of wine at night. Because of lying so much in bed, she has developed bed sores.

T rang Dame M's doctor to find out that he has moved on elsewhere. T made an appointment with her own female doctor and tomorrow night R and T were going to visit Dame M to convince her to see the doctor. Circumstances have changed and Dame M is quite willing to go to the doctor. She admitted to being frightened and sometimes disoriented.

I just hope this doctor is good. It is time for a bit of reality. She really needs proper help. Dame has gone in a brief time from being a social, outgoing vibrant and amusing grande dame, to being a shrivelled old woman who can barely cope.

Centenary Bridge

All that remains of Port Melbourne's Centenary Bridge is this pylon, still in situ.

Even if you are only a thirty years old Melburnian, you probably can remember that bridge on the beach road at Port Melbourne.

In spite of the nice remaining pylon, it was ugly and dividing and I would go so far as calling it a monstrosity.

The area is so much nicer now, as is Flinders Street without the King Street overpass. Predictions of the end of Melbourne should it be demolished proved to not happen.

The second photo should be large enough for you to read of this history of the Centenary Bridge, should you so wish.

I just had a look at google images and it seems it was so ugly, no one ever took a photo of it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Kylie and Olivier

As I recently wrote on Mercboi's blog, I refuse to apologise for liking Kylie. In spite of Mr Martinez rooting around, so to speak, they are back together and have plans, including perhaps a little Kylie or Olivier. True love is hard work and never perfect, but I am happy that she is giving a good shot with someone she cares very deeply for.

Good on ya Coils.

Port Melbourne Plaques


Busy today looking for accommodation in Singapore, so here is a half prepared prepared post I made earlier.

These plaques are sprinkled along Beach Road in Port Melbourne. Quite moving in some ways. The first and last refer to overseas arrivals and departures to and from Station Pier and probably Princes Pier too.

It would have been a place of much sadness and tears, joy and laughter and nervousness at meeting strangers or arriving in a new land.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Caught on cam


Bloody 'eck. I can't even travel on a tram nowadays without someone snapping away and using me for commercial purposes. (Don't touch that Monsieur Sedgwick) Btw, I really am a natural blond. I was just experimenting with colours.

Gay Pride


Wow, what a good day. We bought a 21st birthday card for nephew at city post office and did not get charged for it. Also picked up at same an almost pocket size UBD Melbourne street directory for under $4. Found some stapler refills for less than $2, and then a Sony 3GB memory stick at OfficeWorks for less than $20 with a three year warranty. R made French toast for breakfast, certainly put a good lining on my stomach.

Bashed off to Gay Pride March in St Kilda and met up with friends of old and new variety.

Ha, in that medical marching group, that looks like the bone doctor. Hang on, there is sister. Wait, there is little Jo on her first march strapped onto the back of the bone doctor. Little Jo looked a bit perplexed by the crowds and attention.

Caught up with them briefly a bit later and little Jo smiled at all and sundry. They were off to Soul Mamas for dinner with their group and then sis was going onto our mother's for the night and the bone doctor to their new flat that did not get electric switched on Friday as it was supposed to.

Our friends were off for somewhere for dinner, but we did not feel like going, so we split up. I checked the time, 6.45 then the tram times I had noted down. Damn, 7.13. There was already a sizable number waiting for the tram, so we trudged back to St Kilda Junction and waited for another tram.

How come they can massively alter the tram service for next weekend's St Kilda Festival bacchanalia but not put a couple of extra trams on for Pride March?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Carey

I do keep an open mind when reading and listening to the media, but the more I hear, the more Wayne Carey sounds like a nasty piece of work.

Other footballer Ben Cousins never did anyone harm, but yeah he could have when driving. Cricketer Shane Warne probably hurt his wife deeply and could be described as a sex maniac, but he never got busy with his fists.

But Mr Carey is another case altogether. I detest violence, against animals or humans. Here is a salient clip from The Age.

It is one thing to be a "larrikin", as a compulsive philanderer like Shane Warne could at best be painted, or a drug-taking party boy like Cousins, but a wife-beater is quite another.

Victoria The Garden Desert State

Garden state? Ha!

THE State Government seems determined to leave as its legacy for Melbourne a city of dead trees and dying gardens (The Age, 29/1). After 10 years of drought, the garden state still has no strategy to water the street trees and gardens that make Melbourne a joy to live in.

Our gardens aren't just a matter of old-fashioned civic pride, they are integral to issues of liveability, social equity, environmental sustainability, tourism, brand awareness and economic wellbeing. The technology and resources exist to save our gardens, but the political will is sorely lacking.

Robert Buckingham, St Kilda



Unlike Mr Buckingham, I don't entirely hold our State Government responsible. Local councils, specifically City of Melbourne and City of Port Phillip are just as responsible. For years they have poured water onto lawns and trees and then suddenly they switch it all off citing rules as a reason. Yes, you can't water public lawns from the mains, unless an exception is made, but you can water trees. That some lawn may get watered in the process, tough.


A walk through Fawkner Park is depressing now. The trees are clearly suffering badly and many appear to be on the verge of giving up. I am sure the triangle near us at the corner of Toorak Road and St Kilda Road is going to be bereft of trees. One has died already and the others look very sick.

These trees have had a spoilt life for a long long time, then suddenly their water is cut off.

I am quite angry with the state government and our local councils for allowing this situation to arise. Why didn't they have a plan. What? Drought in Australia? Who would have thought!

The Garden State rapidly heading towards being the Desert State.

Anyway, good on Mr Buckingham for drawing attention to the matter.

PS Do you think I should polish the above a bit and send it to The Age?