Saturday, December 31, 2011

Princes Pier

A couple of weeks ago I visited the newly renovated Princes Pier. I walked from the tram terminus at Port Melbourne and I had forgotten that is quite a distance. Not too far, just further than I thought.

The historic pier was threatened with demolition and although I am pleased it has been saved, I am not sure what it is going to be. I assume there will be a cafe within the buildings. There are public toilets, not yet open to the public. It is clearly not finished, but I think it has potential. At the moment, it seems to lack purpose.

Approaching from the east on the walk/cycle way from Station Pier.


There were at least half a dozen of these information boards detailing the history of the pier.


This curious structure houses a couple of interactive screens, with more pier history.


Not exactly weather tight.


It was a railway pier. The rails were removed for the renovation and placed back when the concrete was poured. The Port Melbourne train was the first significant railway built in Australia. While the train went directly onto Station Pier, it could also divert to run onto Princes Pier.


This area towards the end has not yet opened. Beyond remain the pylons for the full length of the pier, without the decking. They were kept for historical reasons. I approve.


Looking back towards land with the many apartments blocks that have arisen in the last fifteen years. The grass is fake.


The renovated pier office, almost identical to the operational one on nearby Station Pier.


Many migrants to Australia arrived by ship to Princes Pier. I like this representation.


The adjacent Station Pier, with the Spirit of Tasmania berthed and being made ready for its overnight voygage to the Australia island state of Tasmania.


The circular metal work has spikes to prevent people clambering around to the other side. In the distance you can see the Newport Power Station chimney. Unlike our coal fired power stations, it runs on natural gas and can be quickly fired up to supplement our power supply. When operating, mostly on very cold and very hot days, flame burns at the top of the chimney. Warm water is discharged from the power station into the Yarra River mouth, known to fishers as The Warmies, and apparently it is a good place to catch fish.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Today Tonight on a bus

Makes a change from 'I was on a tram today.....'

R despatched me to Prahran for some supplies while he snoozed away having his afternoon nap. A bus came before a tram. Two stops later a lad boarded. He has a loud conversation on his phone. He sounded a bit gay to me but probably just one of those private school educated lads. He was wearing a straw hat and spectacles and had decent beard growth without having a beard.

I pricked up my ears when I heard him saying he was going to the Prahran Markets. Odd, because there is only one market. It was the usual conversation you hear from people on phones. I went out last night but I left at midnight and was home by half past twelve and in bed by one. I missed some conversation as someone else started talking loudly on their phone. It is hard to listen to two conversations and read a book at the same time. I had to start work at six and... the next word I caught was hangover and a cure. I immediately thought of vitamin B, like Berrocca. Then he said something like, ok, see you Mum, cheers. Thanks Mum. This struck me as odd too, as earlier it did not sound like a son to mother conversation.

Still, just a phone conversation you hear when travelling on public transport, or was it???

Apparently not.

Channels 7's Today Tonight happened to stray onto the Highriser television set tonight and they had a brief segment on hangover cures. Who should I see, but the same straw hatted and bespectacled guy who was on the bus talking on his phone about his hang over cure. I didn't catch the name of the product. Clearly, given the very minuscule coverage on Channel 7 and him doing ads on a bus, the advertising budget for the product must be very small.

Vile

As if the bilious green is not bad enough, now we have a violent orange tram seats. Each on their own is bad enough, but then combining the two.....

Later addition: I took this photo a few weeks ago. A few days ago I was on the tram the Queen travelled on and it had the same seating. I was puzzled. Then I realised the orange seat was in the same location. It is a seat for the elderly and infirm, near the front tram door.

An electric message arrives

Dear reader, I need help. This most absolutely hottest young guy who reads my blog wants to meet me and another blog mate for coffee or a drink. He is in an a relationship, so he does not want me for hanky panky. His loss. He is edjacated, artistic, a high achiever, a professional and young. I am not edjacated, I am not artistic, I am not a high achiever, I am not a professional and at fifty blub blub, I am not young.

Meeting men unknown to me for a hook up, I have no problem with. But this is different. Can I say I am shy? Well, maybe not. Can I get away with I am extremely self concious? Perhaps. I would primp and preen, pluck and shave, colour and highlight, change clothes umpteen times, but at the end of the day, I am still an old man. It is a futile effort. Yet, I don't think he wants to meet an unnatural version of me. He probably wants to meet the real me, the one who has all the confidence in the world on the internet, but not always in real life.

Lordy, it was hard enough meeting blog mates older or around the same age as myself. I just don't think I can do it with a young and vibrant person.

I just checked a nice photo of him from his blog that I saved. Hot dude for sure. How can I tell him that I don't want to meet him, but it is not about him, but my own insecurities?

While I will assemble some kind of reply to him and try to do it so both he and I are left with some self respect, I am just so not sure what to say. Given he has probably already read this and now hates me, perhaps it matters little.

Truth be told, I am not on holidays. R is, and at home. I like to include R in things. Work is difficult at the moment with bad working times. R's Sister is to arrive soon and we are preparing. Sister et al are going to stay for a bit. I just don't see how I could fit any more in.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Emergency

I forgot to mention about the Bellarine Peninsula christmas eve emergency. Emails were sent, favours called in, contact networks activated and telephone wires and waves ran hot, and at the very last minute a hairdresser was found who could even up Little Jo's self administered haircut to one side of her head.

"She didn't do a bad job considering she used craft scissors," was the hairdressers comment.

Share the cloth

When I was a kid, a towel was towel. It hung on the bathroom rail and after bathing, you used it. People had used it before you and people would use it after you. This includes drying their hands after washing them. I suppose Mother looked after the towel changing business. I can't remember.

This persisted until I met R. Even in my teen years when living with my father and stepmother, it was as above. You just always looked for a dryish towel, not whether it was used.

I don't know exactly when or why it happened, but very early in my and R's relationship, we started having our own towels.

Over the years we have become more and more fussy about our towels. No one else is allowed to use them. (I can see you V, nodding away)

With two bathrooms now, it is pretty easy to manage. If we are travelling, my towel goes in place on the rack/rail, and R's goes in the other and we remember which is which. R being left handed and me being right handed helps. His goes left, mine right. I am not telling you about top or bottom if it is vertical stacking, as you will read things into that.

When bathing at Sister's, she always yells out as you about to get into the shower, there is a clean towel in the ....

At home I make sure a house guest has a towel in their room to use when the attend the bathroom. They get our very old towels, washed of course.

I have you absolutely fascinated and drawn in now, I am sure.

We have three sets of towels for our personal use, one brown, one red, one green. Each set comprises a towel and bath mat for me, and a towel, bath mat and hand towel for R's bathroom, his being a public one, so the hand towel is for the use of visitors. We don't use face washers, although we have some assorted face washers for the use of guests. Little Jo seems to require the use of a few of them when she visits.

In the past I used to change the towels once a week, always on Friday but here in the Highrise, they don't seem to air or dry as well, so R requested a more frequent change. I now change them every sixth day, which does require some thought as to when to change the towels, rather than every Friday. I did work out that to rotate the towels evenly, it must be brown, green then red. The alphabet is useful.

I have just had to think why we have three sets when two would be enough. We bought our towel sets at Boxing Day sales just before R's sister and husband to be visited. We bought an extra set for them to use. This was perhaps in 2008, so the towels are four years old and getting thinner. We are to have new house guests in a couple of weeks, R's sister, a different one, and her friend, and we need new towels, so Boxing Day sales it will be. Funny that Boxing Day sales have started already, three days before Boxing Day.

I'll just keep you hanging on the edge before telling you in another post about how I launder the towels. But if you would like to tell me about your towels, feel free. I don't expect any of you can top my fussiness, unless you live alone.

(obviously this was written before Boxing Day, but no new towels yet)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That Day Summary

Christmas eve was spent at Sister's with Mother and ABI Brother arriving for an evening meal. Earlier we took a decent walk and visited Point Lonsdale Lighthouse. I'll make separate post about that. Later we took her dog for a walk and swim to the dog beach. Then dinner, exchanging of gifts, a visit to the local community christmas tree and home, a one hour and twenty minute drive, arriving home at 10.45 when I have to get up for work at 5.30.

Sister gave us a nice calendar featuring Victorian lighthouses, but I had already bought my own, Bush Babe calendar. Conflict.

We gave ABI Brother a BB calendar and Sister gave him a lighthouse one too. ABI Brother's calendar cost $22. He gave R and myself a gift voucher for $50. I feel cheap. I will make it up next christmas.

When I saw Little Jo, I said, Little Jo, I heard you were very naughty and hosed Nanny? She just grinned very widely. She taught me a card game I had never played before, and it had no winnner. Odd but fun.

Mother has a habit of picking up a banana when visiting and sticking in in her bag. 'I've protected your banana, Sister'.


Sister made a lovely christmas dinner and she had to do it all again on christmas day. Mother no longer makes the christmas pudding. It is Sister's job now and she uses Mother's recipe once she metricated it. It was the best plum pudding I have ever eaten.


My last clock was one that had digitally marked drop down flaps. It was old and each time a flap dropped, it made a noise, that is once a minute. R bought me this new one about twenty five years ago. It was a fine clock and still works well except the volume control is dirty and makes the volume so hard to adjust, the radio is nearly unusable. Well, the whole clock is dirty. In fact filthy. It is a while since I attempted to clean it, unsuccessfully.


Regardless of my obvious need for a new clock radio, I was not suspecting a new one for christmas, but that it what I got. It has a digital and FM radio. Boxing Day, I could not get the alarm to switch off and had to consult the manual. It is very complicated beast, but I am now mastering it. The alarm starts very softly and slowly increases its volume. The digital and FM radio reception is excellent. I am ever so pleased with it.


After work on christmas day, I joined R and friends at a friend's house and they kept me a christmas nosh up. Boxing evening, with friends at another friend's house, another christmas binge. No more food, please. Three christmas dinners in three days is too much.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Late Bruce

Homophobic, racist, misogynist, blunt. No not me you fool. The late Bruce Ruxton, retired president of the Returned Serviceman's League.

I only went once to Partner's Tavern I think. It must have been the original location of the Lotus Club. Wednesday night comes to mind. I think it was in Port Melbourne. It was known as a gay hotel and run by a guy, his wife and his boyfriend. Hey, it worked for them.

One evening in came Mr Ruxton for a meal, accidentally I suppose . He may have been homophobic, but it didn't stop him having a fine old time in the company of gay men.

For all his faults, I understand he helped many many returned service men. Few people are all bad.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Phew

Lucky I pre-prepared christmas posts. I am absolutely whacked with family, social stuff and work. Better post something. I was going to delete this photo but instead I will share the pleasure I felt when twice in the week I have woken in the morning, having turned the fan off overnight, and found the blades had stopped at 90 degrees to the walls. It has never happened before, then twice in a week. Stars aligning?

The proof is not in the photo as it doesn't look quite straight, but it was.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I see the lights

T'was the night before christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

I say that to myself quite a few times around christmas, very much so should R and I be home on christmas eve. It is part of something longer in a book I read. We won't be home this christmas eve but I will be saying it mentally at times.

Cities are lit up all over the world to celebrate christmas. Even in non christian countries where christmas is not celebrated, still they celebrate it. Big business is all powerful.

I have been quite aware of Budapest for some time because it is a tram city. I was aware of it earlier because of unpleasant events nearly seventy years ago. Then Victor embarked on a river boat in Budapest. And then along came the marvellous Jane and Lance who live there part time. Budapest appears to be a beautiful city and who better to show you than Hamster with his You Tube videos of public transport. Sad ass Australia, you are not even in the running in the lighting department.

I am the least religious person you could know, so whatever religion you are or aren't, I still have no hesitation in saying to you, Merry Christmas.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ginger Bread

Melbourne Town Hall has a small gallery off Swanston Street and exhibitions are regularly changed. It is free and takes only a few minutes to check out. At the moment it has ginger bread christmas sculptures. The photos are at odd angles as standing distance was limited and brats kept getting in the way. Nice effort City of Melbourne. So what does gingerbread sculptures have to do with christmas? I have no idea.

A tree with lots of dangling ginger bread men, or women. Sex was indeterminable.


Melbourne Cricket Ground of course.


The Arts Centre, complete with spire and a train circling it.


Typical Melbourne scene.


Castles, snow and frozen lakes are often to be seen in Melbourne's streets.


Think we must be somewhere else now.


This building looks familiar, but I can't place it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Heading north from London


Dour old lady is about to step off a train at King's Lynne Station to go to her country cottage for christmas celebrations. I think most of England's trains that head north leaved from Kings Cross in London, so that is probably where she boarded. One doesn't like to show off, but we caught a train from Kings Cross and headed north too. Our accommodation was a little more modest than her country cottage though.

While she does have her own train, she prefers to save the expense and travel with the low life, still first class though of course. At her age, she really does need to mind the gap. Mind, the gap is nothing compared to the steps on a Melbourne tram. I understand why trams have steps, but I really don't understand why there are huge gaps between train carriages and platforms.


I like the cheers from the common folk as she departs King's Lynne Station.

Nigella Pouts

I have never really watched Nigella Lawson cooking on tv before. I knew what she looked like and heard some things about her. One of her shows is being shown on tv at the moment and I've caught a couple of episodes. I can't believe how sexual she is when she is cooking. It is quite deliberate of course and perhaps a bit too obvious, but still quite amazing. She also seems to be a quite down to earth cook. Not too much Creme Fraiche used, unlike a Brit cook from the past. Still, no body beats Jennifer and Clarissa, but sexy they weren't. How I loved seeing Jennifer's scarlet nails plunge into a bowl full of double cream, lard and salt.

On theme, I have also seen a cooking show by Gordon Ramsay. What a lovely and pleasant bloke he is. I have heard tales of course, but none of that is in this show. He is a perfectly nice fun loving father.

Those of us old enough may also remember Ken Hom. A very young Emily Dean who can be heard on UK's Absolute Radio was in a BBC studio with Ken Hom as her father worked for the BBC. Apparently his fruity off camera language created quite an impression on the young Emily.

I am on a tv cook roll here now.

A lust object of R's is Eddie, who is a cook on I think on Better Homes and Gardens. He picnicked next to us at Jells Park once. He is quite nice looking.

Personally I adore Poh, from Poh's Kitchen. She is just fabulous and a gay icon if ever I saw one. Anyone with a mouth that can open as wide as hers, has to be a gay icon.

One from the past is springing up in my mind, Jaffery or something. An Anglo Indian? Or Indian in England? I learned about my tumerics and saffrons from her.

I suppose the show had run its course, but Simon with the studded leather wrist bands and Maggie of the verjuice fame were great.

I also rather like the fat chick who likes being a fat chick who won a tv cooking show contest. I don't even know her name. Wait, Julie something. She is a good and honest cook.

Last one, a woman, perhaps from Burke's Backyard. She had a slightly cracked voice. I saw her not so long ago on SBS. Maeve or something like that.

I am just so not going back to Graham Kerr or Bernard King or that pretentious cook from Perth. Suck it up Lord Sedgwick. I gave you a nice photo of Nigella.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I wish

Last weekend Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo went to Bone Doctor's parents for an early christmas dinner. They called in to see Mother on their way home.

Little Jo was very naughty and did something we all wish we could do at times. She turned the hose on her Nanny full pressure while Nanny was taking her dry washing in from the clothes line. Hahahahahahahaha. Little Jo was sternly reprimanded as Sister and Bone Doctor tried to stifle their laughter. She has wet Nanny before and Nanny thinks it is a joke and plays up to her. I don't think Nanny will do that again.

The Mailman Commeth

Various things ordered both locally and overseas have turned up at the Highrise over the last month or so. I made myself very happy and R approves of them all too.

First up was the advent calendar ordered from Richard Sellmer in Germany. The company has been producing them for over sixty years. I am very pleased with it. I took it down one day when Little Jo was here so that she could find and open the appropriate window and with daylight behind it, I realised the windows are translucent, so we placed it in front of a lamp. I will take it to the Bellarine on christmas eve so that Little Jo can open the last window, the 24th, and then perhaps cut it up for craft. It doesn't really show in the photo, but it has lots of glitter, which has found itself spread around the Highrise.


I decided to buy one of the lovely Bush Babe's calendars this year for ourselves. Then I thought, instead of buying Weather Bureau calendars as gifts, I will buy three more of BB's calendars. They arrived beautifully packaged with a nice note and a personal message on one addressed to us. How sweet. I am looking forward to the 1st of January when ours can go up.


And then my spur of the moment late night purchase of the Underground Diary arrived. It is a gorgeous diary, with a page a day and the pictures are copies of posters designed for London's Underground in the 1930s. Some of the pictures are truly great art. Here are a few I scanned.

The cover. For some reason it reminded me of the artist Bracks' painting, Collins Street, 5pm. I checked on the net and it looks nothing like the Bracks' painting.


Trooping the Colour. There are just so many fantastic posters.


For you cricket fans out there or you Underground facts fans.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family - bah

Just when we thought we finished with family stuffs, Mother's garage sale, Little Jo decorating the tree and Sis in Law's wedding, along comes Maria.

Her name used to be pronounced Marry, then it went to how we would normally say Maria, but now it is Mariah. Somewhere in the distant past of my blog you can read about her when she visited us with her daughter and then husband. She is R's youngest sister and lives in the north of England. I take a charitable view of my own Sister when she disappoints us. I am fighting for R to do the same for his sister.

Another of R's sister's mentioned about, pephaps I should give Maria the privacy I give other people and call her M, that she was coming to Australia to see us. This would have been about mid year.

We rolled our eyes and doubted that the twice divorced M would visit us. R had left countless messages on her phone with no return call. He was getting very annoyed.

While we were off selling Mother's junk one Saturday morning, M left four messages on our answering machine. It was clearly Friday night drinks time in the UK and the last message was incomprehensible. However, the first confirmed she is coming and gave us a date in mid January. Oh, and she is bringing a friend. We guessed who the friend is. She was about ten years old when she waved R off from a window when he left home to come to Australia in about 1970. We caught up with her when we visited England in 2008 and she is full on, over the top, gushing and quite glamourous. This is rather the opposite to us at our age. I suppose it all be ok. They don't want us to organise anything and they may go to Sydney for a couple of days. I expect there will be a lot of sunbaking at St Kilda Beach.

Just to ensure we are onside, this nice bunch of flowers arrived for christmas and later an expensive card.


Northside

A black man, a red head, an Asian and a fair haired guy with dreadlocks walked into a bar together. That's all.

We dined at Mezza in East Brunswick, so they actually entered a restaurant rather than a bar.

'Arrgh, modern Australia', I remarked to R. 'Indeed', he replied.

Now for some odd reason, Mezza has a licensed bar, but only available to you if you dine inside. If you sit outside, like we did, it is bring your own only. I despatched R to the Quarry Hotel for a chilled bottle. In the meantime, many phones came out to take photos of the baby Fiat parked outside. The Bolter had a baby blue one and she and Step Grand Father Charlie drove it from Sydney over the high plains to our farm in Gippsland. The seats don't look very comfortable.

Whilst R was buying said chilled bottle, a gathering was happening at the restaurant next door. A man arrived, shook a couple of blokes hands and kissed a couple of other blokes on the cheeks in the Mediterranean manner.

Yes, the modern Australia. Many colours, many creeds and many cultures. Blended they make up our country. On individual paths, they do not. We observed a lot of blending while we were dining.

It was on about the seventh crowed tram I caught today that R remarked, wouldn't you like to turn the clock back to when the city wasn't crowded at 9pm on a Tuesday and you could get a seat on a tram? Possibly, I replied, but you remember the good about the old days and forget the bad.

We do enjoy being older and observing ourselves behaving like older people.

Another example. Across the road at our local cafe that serves us fine coffee for $2.70 a cup, an electric banking machine has been installed next door. It is some odd bank, Metway or something like that. While we sat and had coffee, there was a constant beeping from the electric bank as people pushed buttons and received cash. Now, if you use an electric bank that is not your bank's, there is normally a fee. $2 comes to mind. All these young people are Metway bank customers, I mentioned? No you stupid old man, it is only people like us that would worry about $2 to use a foreign electric bank. Young people don't care. And it seems it is thus.

Here is a couple of photos of the Fiat. It was stunning.



Belly dancer performing every night for the month of December. She was quite slim. I like a belly dancer with a belly. The best belly dancer I have seen was an Indian lad at the long gone Jocks in Peel Street, Collingwood.


The library has projections on it for christmas. We were underwhelmed. At the top is says Merry Christmas Melbourne and below, Christmas in the Silberhaus Home. I am sure one of you will tell me what Silberhaus means. Haus means home doesn't it? Was the Home at the end unnecessary?


Once I had a crack at Sister along the lines of, well you could actually stay home. She bided her time and somewhat later came back at an appropriate moment with, well, you could actually go out.

We do go out occasionally to somewhere unfamiliar and while we enjoy it, once home, it is reinforced why we like staying home. A bit like returning from a holiday really.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ABC or SBC?

The Sydney Broadcasting Corporation, occasionally known as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, is at it again. The more I whinge, the more they do it.

I was listening to the ABC local radio 7pm news on digital. The programme was being broadcast nationally and the delightful Libby Gore was to follow. So what was the 7pm news problem? Once again, I started to hear the names of Sydney suburbs in the bulletin. The news was NSW news, not national news.

The days of a fifteen minute news, ten of national and five of local, at 7pm have long past. The gong to separate the two went missing long before the move to Ultimo. I am not a dinosaur. I cope with change and recognise that the past often SEEMS better.

But what disrespect is dished out all to all the other parts of the country when NSW news is broadcast nationally. It is so frequent now that I am starting to recognise the Sydney news readers' voices.

This time I emailed my ABC the SBC.

Unto ye a child was born

The bigots and homophobes seem to have pulled their heads in and shut their gobs, to perhaps mix things up. The silence is deafening. Senator Wong, Australian Minister for Finance, and her partner have produced a baby, and a fine head of hair Alexandra has too. Who could deny that this will be a much loved child. Makes me a little bit proud to be Australian, in spite of me disagreeing with much of Senator Wong's rhetoric.


Later thought. Ian Molly Meldrum is an openly gay man. Where are the homophobic haters? I've heard nothing but good wishes for Molly's health from all directions after his fall from a ladder. This is good.

Photo by the marvellous William Yang.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chewing the leg

It stretched to two meals, one sandwich and a gnaw on the bone. I love a leg of lamb and although expensive, if you can do the above, it does bring the cost down. As you can see, there is not much left for a pooch. Can you guess what the skewer is for?

'Tis some funny things

She must have been seventy years old at least. She put her Myki card in the resting place on the machine, inserted twenty dollars into a slot, pressed a few things on a screen and collected a receipt and her now credit topped up public transport Myki card. She boarded a tram and was off. At 77 Mother says she can't use public transport.

I learn so much about the world by listening to the BBC world service, Deutsche Wella and Radio Netherlands. I was surprised to hear about the local Victorian town Strathewen which was nearly burnt to the ground in the 2009 bushfires and its resurgence on Radio Netherland's Earth Beat.

Sister has taught Little Jo about Jesus and nativity scenes. I think they even made a nativity scene together. There are now two things that Sister does not answer back to me about. One long ongoing one is about public funding of private schools and now, the newest, when I asked why isn't Little Jo leaning about a more entertaining fairy tale than the one about Jesus being born. At least Little Jo is officially a heathen and hasn't been baptised. Much to Sister's chagrin, her three brothers were baptised and she wasn't.

The christmas socialisation has well and truly started. I've had enough already. We've done three, must catch up before christmas, dinners. I am rather pleased to be working on christmas day. We will spend christmas eve with the immediate family on the Bellarine, christmas evening with friends in Caulfield and Boxing night with friends in Box Hill. I know it is wrong of me, because so many don't have anything happening for christmas, but for me, what a luxury it would be to be alone on christmas day and not having to bother about the lead up, the day, and the following.

In the past I have tried to help, to assist, but really it is better to leave R to himself to the cards, the decorations, the tree, the gifts. Christmas for me is a cultural thing, not a religious thing. I do stamps, printing, envelopes, labels.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

QV Gardens

I alighted from the tram, crossed the road and was almost run over by a speeding cyclist on a shared footpath/bike path. Ring, ring, went his bell. Hi Andrew, he called out. It was a neighbour. Who was in the wrong? I don't know.

Queen Victoria Gardens are part of the larger Domain area of parks close to the city. This is the hammer thrower, correctly called The Pathfinder. I used to see council workers put out the hammer in the mornings and take it in at about 3pm. They no longer bother. If it was left out, the youth would steal it. It is a rather good sculpture.


This photo is from about six weeks ago. The one that follows is the bed last week. Things have grown.


The Floral Clock, I assume the mechanism, was given to Melbourne by the Watchmakers of Switzerland in 1966. Do pass on our thanks personally Kath. On the green post to the left is a button to push to hear a rather too long recorded history of the clock and the area. Flowers there have grown in six weeks too.


Ah, the bloke on the horse is an Edward, VII perhaps. VII? Was there a seven?


This is the Walker Fountain. I remember it being built and I would have thought in the mid 1990s. The plaque tells me it was 1981. I scarcely believe that. Walker was a Lord Mayor of Melbourne in the 1970s. Now he head honcho of Grand Pricks car race org. The fountain was shut down during the drought, and then converted to recycled water. While it is a boringly conventional fountain, it is rather nice. It is now illuminated in blue at night. I don't go out at night to take photos. You can if you want.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lady D'Arbanville

Occasional joy was to be had in my youth when discovering a good 'b' side track on a single record that you bought for the 'a' side. I recall discovering the great David Bowie track Amsterdam on the b side of one of his records. I think the Cat Stevens clip below is another b side track I discovered on a single. I had forgotten about it until recently listening to eighties music. It is a great track and I was never aware that Cat Stevens was quite a hot cat. Well at my age now, he back then looks quite hot.

Friday, December 16, 2011

P En G

Yes, Papua New Guinea, a failed state. One of our old colonies. Perhaps we have some moral responsibility? We certainly don't have a legal one, no matter how much money we waste on propping up the country.

At some point last week, it had two competing but ruling governments, two Prime Ministers, two Governors General. What a mess.

Surely the point of having the Queen as your ultimate ruler means that she must take some responsibility and sort things out. She has stayed silent.

HRH, aka the Queen, needs to bang a few heads together and knock a few blokes out, and appoint some PNG women to sort things out. They couldn't do a worse job, and probably do a much better one. Romantic idealism? I don't think so. From what I know of PNG women, they would be up to the task. I am loath to include religion in the mix, but a few of the ever so sensible and practical missionary nuns might help too

Ian 'Molly' Meldrum

I was reminded the other day of something I had forgotten, when Mike Willisee opened his current affairs show somewhat tired and emotional and quite giggly. The following night his opposition on another commercial tv current affairs show opened his show with, 'I'm Derryn Hinch and I'm sober'.

Just thought I'd tell you that because I thought it was funny at the time. There really is no connection to Molly falling off a ladder. Yes, Molly likes a drink and I am the last person to criticize anyone for that, but I believe he is now somewhat of a fitness freak, who generally foresake alcohol. Molly is or was a regular at his local hotel in Richmond, DTs, one that we often visited too. While occasionally a drag queen would draw attention to Molly, he was generally left to own devices.

So without personal contact, but just what I have picked up by his behaviour, demeanour and quite often being in the same bar as him, he seemed like a thoroughly nice and decent bloke. What better compliment can you pay to an Australian male.

I think it would be fair to suggest that Molly is a Melbourne, if not Australian institution. It is said that once over fifty, men should not get up on ladders. I won't go that far, but you have got to be very careful and aware.

Get well soon Molly. Melbourne still needs you.

Molly pre hat days with some foreign bloke.


More like the Molly we know and love, with our Kyles.