Wednesday, December 21, 2011


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.


  1. At your age you should have been at home and in bed by 9pm.

    My guess is that Silberhause in the example you gave is the name either of a person or an organisation hence the apparently redundant Hause/house.

  2. The baby Fiat is a classic car and looks in mint condition must have been well looked after or fully restored by the owner :-).

  3. I am a historian. I LIVE in the past, and get paid for it. Even in non-working hours, I love wallowing in the past.

    But Australia was a very narrow society until WW2, except for the lonely and oppressed Chinese miners etc. So it is an absolute delight that the population now is very diverse.

    One thing however. Right wing politicians and radio jocks are still angry that "foreigners" are getting in, especially boat people. When I hear Abbott railing against the criminal people smugglers and the unwashed hordes from the north, I feel we haven't learned anything since the Evian Conference, France, 1938.

    Have a brilliant holiday season, Andrew!

  4. Your opening paragraph should be in one of those books telling writers how to write a great opening.
    Love it.

  5. Victor, we were home by nine thirty and plonked in front of the tele. Ok, I get about the Silberhause, but still waiting for a fuller explanation.

    Fully restored Windsmoke. Not a mark on it and the chrome bumper was unmarked. Very nice.

    Hels, surely much later the WWII. I recall hearing conversations in the sixties, and they weren't nice. As you will picked up no doubt, I am quite anti immigration, for two reasons. We are overpopulating our country and we take too many from one part of the world at once and so social cohesion goes out the window. Usually I know a little about everything, but I know nothing of the Evian Conference. I'd better educate myself. I've heard christmas day can be boring for the non participants. You can spend the time wallowing in nostalgia while I will just wish I could. :)

    FruitCake, most modestly, I thought the first para could have been a post in itself. But it did need some context. Thanks.

  6. What a shame the Baby Fiat won't tow a camper trailer! Or will it??!!

  7. I doubt it Red. The engine is 500cc, smaller than many motor bikes.

  8. What a gorgeous little car.