Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Another Sunday

Let me begin by thanking my fellow motorists who generally behaved extremely well under very trying circumstances. I hope FruitCake only ventured south today, or more sensibly, just stayed at home.

There was a Frankston based Iron Man competition today, correctly Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship. Thanks to FruitCake I checked the disruption details before we journeyed to the swamps of Langwarrin. OK, Eastlink (toll highway) was closed north bound until 6pm. No big deal. We are going south to get there and will use the Hastings Highway to return home. When I was a kid, it was said I had a good imagination. Perhaps that was a euphemism for something else. Surely I did tell untruths? I should have used my imagination a bit today to work the repercussions of closing one highway that has light usage.

Well, to be fair, I did not know that the Frankston Freeway northbound would also be closed. Of course it makes sense. How do you get from Frankston to southerly start of Eastlink? I should have thought about what happens to all the northbound traffic that can't use the Frankston Freeway. The traffic was diverted into the Frankston to Cranbourne Road, the road we needed to use to get to Tradie Brother's for his barbecue for Mother's and R's birthday. The traffic was banked up on the freeway to Frankston North, but that is not so unusual, but it was slower than normal as police had taken control of the Frankston Freeway and Frankston Cranbourne Road to get more north bound traffic around into F & C Road. I turned off the freeway at the F North exit but made an error and went straight back onto the freeway. Actually, it was a good if unintentional move, as I skipped ahead of some of the banked up traffic we were behind. The traffic along the FC Road was heavy but moving slowly.

Tradie Brother has an extra special method for barbecuing. The less said about it the better. But he did go to great effort for the day.

Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo arrived the same time as we did, having been to the Oakleigh Market in the morning. ABI Brother and Mother shortly after. Tradie Brother's eighty year old neighbour came in too. Tradie Brother has lived in the house for twenty five years, the neighbour twenty years. The neighbour and her late husband moved from their house in Hampton to the back street swamps of Langwarrin. I am much puzzled by this. Dreaded Nephew arrived and is now very clean cut without dreads. He is a very handsome looking lad now. Oldest Niece and her beau arrived with a two birthday cakes. Ok, I might have have something to do with it. As I have always thought, she will come into her own as she gets older and she has started to. She even gave us a greeting kiss.

As we were eating, Mother told all about her medical problems, including her food allergies and the bowel effect of them. Charming.

R looked after Little Jo the day before and I think they may have done a bit too much. She was exhausted and whingey. She did give us a couple stage performances though, and distributed the easter stencilled easter eggs and cup cakes she and R had made the day before.

Non Dreaded Nephew poured some water into his van's radiator and left towing a trailer with some of his mother's furniture to deliver to to their new general store venture in Gippsland. Well that was after he crawled into the neighbour's house to unlock her door after she had locked herself out. Tradie Brother picked up a hammer and struck a large cow bell three times to summon another neighbour to come over for a drink. Time for us to leave.

I won't describe the trip home in detail, but it took us about thirty minutes longer to get home than it should have.

I don't have huge issues with St Kilda Road, the street where we live, being closed off to traffic and trams at times. If there is to be a ceremonial event, then St Kilda Road and Swanston Street are the streets to do it in.

What I do object to is the Iron Man event closing down a pay road and a public freeway for the whole day. It is an absolute disgrace. We drove home via the Hastings Highway. We spent about half an hour in stop start traffic after leaving Tradie Brother's place. It was misery. I always maintain control when I can't actually punch the person responsible on the nose, but R in the passenger seat was covering his face with his hands, and then clenching and un-clenching his hands as we inched forward. Effectively, two freeways were diverted, and some local roads too, into one already very busy road. Parties complicit? Eastlink. Frankston Council. Vic Roads. Victoria Police and surely State Government. Clearly Premier Teddy wasn't bashing off to Portsea this weekend.

On the way home I noticed via flashing signs that the Domain Tunnel is to be closed next weekend. Why is that? Ah, a kids fun run. Another weekend when public roads will be shut down for leisure activity. I just can't believe that our state government allows these events. They may be feel good for many, but many more so are massively inconvenienced and not in a small way.

Damn a big Australia. Our cities are overpopulated already. I'd bet that there are already peak hour traffic jams in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong so don't talk to me about expanding regional. It is a misery to try and get anywhere now. I'll just stay home and possibly vote for any party that promises a small Australia and an infrastructure catch up and no population expansion.

Ok, end of rant. Here are some photos I took

Dreaded Nephew's vege garden. He divides his time between the swamps of Langwarrin and his Carlton garret. Tradie Brother put stepping stones between the house and the bungalow. Funny, they all say 'Electricity'.

Ever so politically incorrect, but one chook is called Spaz and the other Spazzer. Tradie Brother knows them apart.

This was funny. One chook was was walking up and the other down.

Not sure why Dreaded Nephew, Oldest Niece and Chainsaw Niece bought their dad a a full on weather machine complete with an in house display. Must have been a significant birthday. I must have missed it. Tradie Brother did have a wee rant about the evils of Twitter and Facebook, yet he has barely ever touched a computer. However, apparently he is a social media expert, even though he has never used such a thing. Mother agreed with him whole heartedly. At 78, she who cannot push a button on a remote control to turn a tv on, is also knowledgeable about internet social media. On the weather station post is a wire to from the bungalow to the house. It is a fly wire and there is a cord with a hat hanging. When the wind blows, the hat flies back an forth across the fly cable.

Originally the eagle was suspended and flew across the guy wire with the wind, but it was sleep disturbing as it slammed from bungalow to the house and back again.

Back in the good old days when Sis in Law and Tradie Brother were still together, they thought their driveway needed cleaning. It was never finished but their bit of Peace and Love was immortalised.


  1. I love chooks and veggie gardens.

    Loathe privately-foreign-owned roads which do not pay state tax because they come under guise of 'for the public good'.
    Yes Ballarat has gridlock on Fridays and I can warn everyone to avoid Stud Road on Fridays as well. Took me 2 hours once to get from Cheltenham to Mt.Dandenong.
    Dreadlocks are always just a phase, so congrats on handsome 'new' nephew.
    I know another blogger whose aged mother is bowel obsessed and we get TMI. way TMI.
    Ironman entrants should be euthanased. 2. NutriGrain isn't. It has 54% SUGAR.
    Everything is commerce these days, including government. I despair.

  2. I got caught on St Kilda Road but avoided the east link closures. It's tough when roads are blocked but I enjoyed watching people dressed up for fun all over the city. I also wonder how they managed to get there, public transport being as it is, Chooks and fake eagles and owls are more fun. The message in concrete seems paradoxical now given the split up of your brother and his wife but good that the message at least remains. We need it in trying times, such as when roads are closed.

  3. I think all those events that need lots of space should be held out of the city spaces in the wide open unsetteld country areas. With free buses laid on for spectators. Imagine-no road closures ever again!

    I'd like to know Tradie brother's barbecue secret.

  4. Mod, I suppose it is the nature of people of our age to become disillusioned with many things in society. But I am still furious!

    Christine, at least it was a reasonably amicable split. You were caught on St Kilda Road on Sunday? Why?

    River, too right. They are just too disruptive.

  5. I sense from the length of this post that Sunday was not fun?

    Found it all rather irritating myself because there were things to do and instead I opted for staying home - even tho' my fixed term job is about to expire and I am doing all the hours I can while I can, and Sunday would have been the only day for yonks when I could have done stuff that needed doing.

    The thought of people swimming off franger pier at 7 am in such a choppy slop is frightening. First it was Mr Rabbit in his budgie smugglers, then Ted in his pub to pier gear, all topped off by a spiffing day of tossers tossing about in the fishing boat bobbing sea, then hopping on cycles [as if in sympathy with Mr Rabbit who is cycling around the country telling people Margaret Whitlam was somehow responsible for the decline of Australia], hogging the freeways [no tolls or speeding tickets one supposes] and finally clogging up the Nepean Hwy [ha, take that you lycra cyclers, you Barclay's Bankers who think that particular road is yours and yours alone]...
    where was I?

    Gosh, Andrew, can't think why you would have a problem?

    The Other - who enjoys the barbaric "sport" of fishing - had to move some plastic bollards the other day so she could park near the pier - and that was just while 'they' were setting up.
    There is something inspiring about someone so constantly cheerful and upbeat who is waging her own war of passive resistance against the nanny state - not consciously mind, just because life is too short to worry about stupid rules. [whereas I have ulcers for two].

    PS what happened to spazzier and spazziest?

  6. River, meant to answer about the barbe. His barbe is a lid up type barbe, yet he cooked the meat very slowly with the lid down. He then put it into the oven for about twenty minutes. It was not appetising and his 'wonderful' and cheap meat from a wholesaler was not good either. He is 47 and only really had to learn to cook at the age of 40 plus. He is not a natural cook and eats far too much meat with few vegetables. But bless him, he tries.

    FruitCake, talk back radio today was full of people complaining about it. Someone said that the new freeway will be finished by next year so it won't be a problem. Will it be finished? It is still going to be a big problem for locals though. Good on your Other who moved the bollards. What a rebel. You are right about he length of the post. I had a bit of a spaz attack, one could say. I had little sympathy when I heard on the evening news of broken bones and exhaustion. I have some sympathy with Mod's opinion.

  7. Excuse my lack of concern for your traffic problems, Andrew. We're always hearing how Melbourne is the sporting capital of the world and that it turns out in its hundreds of thousands for the obscurest of sporting events. A closed motorway or two is a small price to pay to maintain your zealously held reputation.

    Only joking!


  8. No you're not Victor. I can see you smirking from here.