Saturday, March 16, 2019


While we were very close to Christchurch on that terrible day yesterday, we are fine and now in Wellington.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ta ta

See you all in a couple of weeks, unless this happens.

In my absence you can read a little of what I have written in the past. Not all posts about New Zealand are here.

This first one is not really about New Zealand, but I really like what I wrote.

To Australia's shame when a young HIV+ girl was ostracised in her own country town.

A couple of great train journeys in New Zealand.

I had totally forgotten about this, the promiscuous NZ women.

New Zealand's capital city Wellington lost its electric trolley buses just a year or so ago.

Amusing bus destination in Dunedin, South Island.

The steepest street in the world, aka a fun roll of Jaffas.

A moving letter about renewal post the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

A strange NZ bird with a rather humorous Stephen Fry video clip.

A memory of our last visit to New Zealand perhaps in 1982 or 1983.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

When kangas attack

Our kangaroos who are in regular contact with people are cute and cuddly. Not so the wild kangaroos who are very territorial. I am not sure if this video will work, and if not, try this link.

Ok, found it on Youtube. They really dislike this 'big bird' flying in.

A Compact Royce

It is a nice thing to have a straight male reader who comments on my blog regularly. I wonder if Cro's Compact Royce has headlight washers and wipers as I saw on a not so compact Rolls Royce in Collins Street? Swish swish.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Friday Funnies

Just came across these photos somewhere on the net.

Photo of me cooking my most excellent famous fried rice, the only thing I cook. I have strong muscles from flipping the wok around. I am a bit cute, yes?

Strayer of Cat Eyes---A Cat Woman's Photos does unbelievable work by getting medical treatment for neglected cats along with a huge number of cats desexed. I takes me 'at orf to her for her tireless and quite physical work at times. I donate $US7 a month to her Happy Cat Club. It is an odd figure but it is about AU$10. If you have bought something on the internet it will be so easy to make a donation or a regular contribution. I am sure she won't appreciate this cartoon.

I wonder about the authenticity of this one.

I really don't like pigeons or doves, but it is we humans that have made them such a pest.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Something new

I haven't bought new clothing for ages.

I was badly in need of a new jacket, both for our sea cruise and the forthcoming winter when I don't need a heavy and tight jacket. My older still  jacket has become too casual to be be used as a casual jacket. Just shabby and lacking any kind of style, I would say.

I found one at Myer, FCUK (that was hard to type), reduced from $200 to about $150 with a further 25% off, it ended up being $112. It is really nice and will do for both more formal use (yeah, like when?) and casual use.

But the sleeves were too long. I thought about 2cm, just under an inch. No, said my tailor. 6cm too long and he got to work chopping off my sleeves. The sleeve length is now perfect but my bargain jacket is not such a bargain after adding the $50 cost of the tailor. There was a good bit of work in shortening the lined sleeve is expensive no matter where you go.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

New for some

What is this thing called, love? The very high balcony glass gives a clue. Don't want the skylarking youth falling over the edge.

Prahran High (secondary) School was closed by close everything down Premier Jeff Kennett in the 1990s. At least his mate Ted Baillieu, a future Premier but then a a real estate company boss didn't get to sell the land to developers. It was made public space. I can't count all the schools closed, but there was a lot of them. A list is here.

It was very short sighted. Our population has grown immensely and some schools are overcrowded and of course the taxpayer has to pay for new schools when there were so many closed. But the alternative to properly educated children is unthinkable. The standard of schools now is a subject for another day.

Prahran has a new high school, described as a vertical school. I don't think multi storey schools are new but how wonderful to have the new school, capable of educating  650 students. It really doesn't look like school, does it. Here is an artist's impression that makes it look more like a school.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019


Like my blog posts are so exciting that a teaser is required. Tomorrow's post will be about something new not far away from us. It is a good thing, and has had to built because of our absurd population explosion and that the old one was closed down.

I can never get past the irony of former Premier Jeff Kennett causing misery and hardship to so many people and then go on to be a front person for mental health organisation Beyond Blue, which was once rather homophobic, as I recall.

Here is a graphic of train stations and lines closed down by Liberal (conservative) governments in our state, most of them if not all by Kennett himself. Well, that is what the headline says, but I am not sure they were all closed byKennett.

Funny Money

I will soon disappear from the blogosphere for a couple of weeks as we sail off to New Zealand and then back. I will be relying on free wifi and my huge Aldi phone data credit, and if that runs out, I will use R's.

We are wait listed for the only ship tour we have booked, a scenic train trip. Otherwise we will do as we did when we cruised the Mediterranean, rely on touts offering tours when you get off the ship at each port. These tours are much much cheaper than the ship tours and in our experience, quite good.

Our dollar pretty well equals New Zealand's dollar, but I am not sure of New Zealand prices. When we were last in NZ, about 1982, we received NZ$1.30 for our dollar.

We decided not to have a travel bank card with credit as we will mostly be on the ship. We did buy NZ$500 in notes. Clearly New Zealand is transitioning (what an ugly word) to a new bank note.

I didn't take a photo of the no doubt worthy people on the other side, Her Maj being one on one of the notes. Of course I should tell you about the birds featured on the notes but it is getting late and I am tired.

New Zealand is a terrific country and when we were last there many decades ago, there were white people and Maori. Now it is very multicultural. Do they all get along together? I expect it is much like Australia. It takes a generation or two for integration. Our photos of New Zealand in about 1982 were a disaster, taken with 'a superior' camera given to us by a friend. They all have green hue. 

Monday, March 04, 2019

Monday Mural

While I like this mural, I do not like the Richmond footballer in the mural, well the artwork not the person. I have no idea who he is. Nor can I find any information about the work online, with the only fact being it was painted after February 2017.

What it does do successfully is represent Richmond icons. From the left is animated neon Audrey the skipping girl sign, Richmond Town Hall, a reference to Richmond Hill where the richer people of lived and at the top of the hill is the well known St Ignatius Catholic Church. 

I don't know if this applies in other parts of Australia or overseas, but the top of a hill is often a chosen location to build a Catholic Church, with Protestant churches lower down the hill.    

Moving on, there is a musician, and Richmond has many famous and not so famous and the iconic Corner Hotel. We have the sign post of the nearby intersection, Church Street and Bridge Road, the Pelaco, a shirt manufacturer, sign. I am unsure of the 'looking over the bridge' reference, but along Bridge Road is a significant an old bridge over the Yarra River.

Then there are the Richmond Silos, with a stalled redevelopment plan and topped by the Nylex Clock, seen from so many places, including our balcony but it has not worked for years after I believe the Nylex company was wound up. Then of course the world famous Melbourne Cricket Ground.

While the musician is a good work in my opinion, am I wrong in thinking the footballer is just a really bad piece of artistic work?

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Stan and Ollie

What a nice little movie about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Their relationship was so complex as they toured England after the peak of their US career and as Ollie's health deteriorated. When I was young, I saw their tv shows and I laughed a lot at their antics, without knowing what skilled performers they were. The first half an hour I found boring but suddenly the movie all came together for me. A truly amazing relationship that had at times had me thinking they were almost a couple but they both had wives and there was no hint of anything that might have been. They had a very close relationship, but purely as friends and workmates.

Speaking of close male relationships, what about Australia's second most famous bushranger (that is robber of stage coaches etc) after Ned Kelly. I must say when I hear or read about Captain Moonlight and the suspicions that he may have been gay, I do bone up, feel a frisson of excitement. Like many woman and some men, I feel an attraction to bad boys who 'treat 'em mean and keep them keen'. Read what James has to say about Captain Moonlight here. Is that a gun you are putting into my mouth Captain Moonlight?

Ah well, I amused myself.

Sunday Selections

I have been neglecting photos of late. When I download photos from the camera and phone to the desktop computer, they are automatically filed into a folder named with the date taken. I had rather a lot of folders and I still haven't finished sorting them out.

Here are a heap of cloud photos.

Pretty and benign.

This cloud did come to become something.

Is it detergent in car oil that makes this road froth?

Building fires last December.

Friday night's dinner is ready to cook. What a pity the salmon colour is dye. Very nice, nevertheless.

This from yesterday. Fingers crossed that there won't be loss of homes and or lives. Already there must be terrible loss of wildlife. I spoke to Mother yesterday when these photos were taken and she lives nearby. She is safe but she mentioned a bright red sun, and is now smothered in smoke.

A tweet from the weather bureau.

Saturday, March 02, 2019


Last Sunday we had the choice of Japanese celebrations at Federation Square or the Greek Festival in Lonsdale Street. We did neither. It was just too damn hot.

Tomorrow we have the choice of the ever so white and middle class Anglo Saxon in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn festival  or the the inaugural Sydney Road Brunswick street party, where there will a lot of foreign born people, or children of foreign born people. Yes, I am inclined to the latter.

But again, it is just too damn hot, I think in advance.

We went to Prahran today to get a few bits and pieces, and the heat nearly killed me, and it wasn't at that point much above 30.

I am loving the snow photos from Maribeth, Padre and Cat Woman.

When to put it away

Cro's post yesterday about students using mobile phones was thought provoking. It is one of those hot button topics for many people. My comment on Cro's post was as follows:

It is mixed here. The latest thinking is that children need to learn to control their use of phones and so not use them in the classroom but still be able to use them for quick research. Yes, I know, go to the library and do the research there, but that is unlikely. They can have quick answers to questions with their phones and I think it is good thing for them to learn when it is appropriate to pull their phones out and when it is not.

I think screen staring is worse in Australia than any other country, although I haven't been to England for nearly five years and the North America for four, but even at the time I didn't think it was so bad. Of course I must preface this with everyone else's phone use is a problem, not mine.

Some argue how unsafe it is to be screen staring when crossing roads and to a lesser extent when walking in the street, but I can't say I have particularly noticed that. People do look up from the phones before crossing a street. There may be an issue about them not being aware of someone else doing the wrong thing once they are back screen staring, but anecdotally I've not heard of that being a problem either.

But what drives me mad is the slowness and lack of awareness of people when screen staring. In days past when out on foot, people would be watching the lights to cross the road, and as soon as the walk signal turned green, they would move. Not so now. They jump up at the last minute on trams and buses, not realising they are at their stop. I've seen many miss their stop. I even did it once myself a few years ago. But even when they are getting off and on public transport, they still can't stop screen staring and get on and off ever so slowly.

Then there is the matter of using mobile phones when in someone else's social company. Even our friend who died in his seventies last year could be a rude mobile phone user, totally distracted by it, R once mentioning when he took him home from hospital once, that R became quite annoyed at the person's devotion  to his phone screen. Again, I have been guilty, when talking to Mother on the phone and using the computer and not really listening to her. But then with Mother, I can put the phone down, go and do something and go back to the phone and she will still be talking about her bowel problems. Please someone shoot me if in my old age I write blog posts about bowel problems.

One unwritten rule we do both follow is that it ok when out for lunch or an evening meal to use your phone before your food arrives, but once your meal is served, phones down.

I am interested to hear your views on mobile phone or cell phone use, and when you have breached what you may think is polite behaviour.

A photo taken a couple of days ago, people standing in the heat, waiting for their appropriate tram, staring at their screens. I would be among them if I was down there.

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Cool Tram

I don't do Sudoku so I must do things to prevent atrophy of my brain when I am not working. Let's have a look at trams that are pleasantly cool on a hot day as we are in a week of generally above 30 degree temperatures. Around sixty per cent of our trams have aircon. The lifespan of an electric tram is much longer than a bus, around thirty years, yet some of our normal trams date back to the late 1970s, which make them far older to still be in service than they should be. But they still work well enough and are quite comfortable, unless it is hot.

Here is a photo of our oldest normal trams, the Z3 tram, built between 1979 and 1983. That makes the oldest tram 40 years old. They have new destination equipment and the original conductor's seat and console has been removed, poles to contact the overhead wires replaced by pantographs but are otherwise pretty well original,  and stinking hot in the heat.

Route 1, South Melbourne Beach to East Coburg via city. Probably about a 50% chance of an aircon B class.

Route 3, East Malvern to the city, a better than 50% chance of catching an aircon B class.

Route 5, Malvern to the city, a low chance of catching a D class, which has lousy air con anyway.

Route 6, Glen Iris to Moreland, a good chance of getting an aircon tram, B or the lousy D. The longer five part D trams are better with two aircon units. Here is the appalling D class tram. It has inadequate aircon, ridiculously cramped seat and foot space, is as rough riding as a panicking horse and pretty well ruined the German company Siemens name for public transport for years. I expect the evil Premier Kennett of our state who went for the cheapest price is ashamed of himself. It is modern, it will do, and it is cheap.

Route 12, St Kilda to Victoria Gardens, no chance at all. Almost always an old A class.

Route 16, Kew to the city via St Kilda, less than a 50% chance and it will be lousy D class aircon.

Route 19, North Coburg to the city, mostly operated by long D class trams. So not too bad with two air con units for the whole tram.

Route 30, St Vincent's Plaza to Docklands Stadium, almost no chance. All A class.

Route 35, our historical W class trams, dating back to the 1940s and 50s. Route 35, the City Circle, is free to travel on and tourists are its prime users. Tourists are much more tolerant of heat than we in Melbourne. Of course there isn't aircon, but big windows to open. Tourists and even some locals just love these noisy and rattly old trams. Photo from Wikipedia.


Route 48, North Balwyn to the city, mostly C class. They are cool enough in my experience.

Route 57, West Maribyrnong to the city, no chance, all old Z trams.

Route 58, Toorak to West Coburg via city, mostly operated by B and D class. A very good chance of aircon. B class good aircon. D class bad aircon.

Route 59, Airport West to the city. Bit of a guess here but probably over a 50% chance of catching a B tram, less likely a Z tram, B with, Z without.

Route 64, a more than 50% chance of catching an East Brighton to the city tram being a nice cool B class.

Route 67, Carnegie to the city, see above.

Route 70, Wattle Park to Docklands via city, no chance of aircon. Almost always A class, unless the Australian Open tennis is happening and larger B class trams are used.

Route 72, Camberwell to city, some D class, with lousy aircon.

Route 75, Vermont South to city, a very good chance of a B class with great aircon.

Route 78, Balaclava to Richmond, no chance, all A class trams. But if it is really hot, aircon buses replace the trams so that there are spare trams if any break down in the heat.

Route 82, Footscray to Moonee Ponds, all Z class. No aircon. See above.

Route 86, Latrobe University to Docklands via city, E class. How frozen do you want to be on a hot day?

Route 96, East Brunswick to St Kilda, all E class, great aircon.

Route 109, Box Hill to Port Melbourne via city, mostly C class. Ok aircon.

Melburnians both love and hate their trams but we would never want to be without them. Old and young, rich and poor, able and feeble, trams travel the spines of our city and get us to where we want to go. Like London's Tube and New York's Subway, the rich and famous don't feel it is below them to catch a tram, and I have seem quite a number in my years, lest of all Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with HRH Prince Philip and latterly Prince Harry and Meghan.

So, in conclusion, some people are at the mercy of what tram route they have to use, but sometimes you do have choices, and using apps and Passenger Information Displays at stops, if you have a choice, you might have to wait a minute or more longer for an air con tram. I usually choose and wait for the right tram.

NB I just know I have left out one tram route. Which one?

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Metro Tunnel Madness

A couple of buildings up from us, I am not sure if the streets are under the control of Metro Tunnel or VicRoads. I think one may be and the other not. Nevertheless, it is rather stupid that two roads at right angles show Give Way signs. Who gives way to whom? Who knows. In both photos you can see the opposing Give Way signs.

This is what is happening outside the front of The Botanica apartment building.

I really feel for the residents of The Botanica, where an underground train station is being built right outside their front door. Access to car park of Botanica has been maintained, but it is problematic. Imagine trying to get to your car park in The Botanica while these tossers who completely ignored large flashing Botanica Car Park arrow signs and had to sort themselves out after ending  up in a predicament at the entrance to the Botanica car park. It is a bit like watching paint dry, but I loved the sheer driving incompetence. Like lambs to the slaughter.... Video is 2.42

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Sandy Docklands

On Saturday we caught trams to Docklands. The Bourke Street 86 tram was running terribly late. Why didn't I check my tram apps on the way to town? We could have caught a tram in Flinders Street much sooner.

Docklands remains a soulless place, devoid of any kind of atmosphere, no matter what is tried to attract people to the area. I wonder about the occupancy rate of the many highrise apartments. We went to look at some rather underwhelming sand sculptures. Unlike the fun we had when we went to Frankston Beach to see sand sculptures and had to pay an entrance fee, these just seemed blah and attracted little attention. There was little of photo interest that I haven't posted before. This was our last visit. We also took a ride on the big wheel.

We had some lunch and there was nothing to hang around for and so came home, via the city to pick up some bits and pieces.

There were two sculptures, and are post in order, with the second of the pair the reverse view. S'pose they are well done. Note the overwhelming numbers of people in the area.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Appalling Pell

Kiddie fiddler, no that sounds too mild, pedophile Cardinal George Pell, who held the third highest office in the Catholic Church has been found guilty as charged. As well as being a pedophile who abused boys, he has always come across to me as a nasty piece of work and a very disagreeable and arrogant person.

I can't read what the Herald Sun commentator Andrew Bolt wrote as the Herald Sun is a very tabloid newspaper and I would not pay for it but from Twitter, apparently Bolt argued Pell is innocent, ipso facto, the jury who listened to all the evidence and made a judgement were wrong. The first jury was discharged as only 10 of 12 agreed on his guilt. The second jury returned a 12 of 12 verdict.

The conviction from last December has been suppressed by our courts, lest the verdict jeopardises a future trial. As far as I know, there are now no charges against Pell. Insufficient evidence, unlikely conviction etc etc. That does not mean there are not more children abused by Pell. I certainly worked out at the time what it was about without the media being allowed to name him. Our mainstream media did not name him, yet the matter was reported in overseas newspaper and even Pell's Wikipedia entry made mention of his conviction, all by late last year.

The Crown Prosecutor has sent out about 50 pro forma letters to journalists and news organisations, not for naming Pell, but for reporting the matter of the suppression orders and perhaps left people correctly guessing. The CP is making dire threats to journalists.

Melbourne's Lawyer X, who also has a suppression order on naming her, in these times of global communication and few electronic boundaries, it is so easy to find out the name of Lawyer X. It was so easy to find out about Pell's conviction at the time if you wanted to know. International media reported it, his Wikipedia entry was updated and the Vatican mentioned the guilty finding.

Our judiciary really needs to get with the times regarding the lack of electronic frontiers. While I do believe in the essence of protecting the innocent until found guilty, and the suppression of reporting should it endanger future charges and trials, as things are, it is not practical and is not working.

If you are Catholic believer, you may be very disappointed by the trust you placed in the institution, but in my view, the Catholic Church is rotten from the top down, which is a rather sad judgement on the faithful, priests and nuns who do good things.

Rotten to its very core.

Do me Don

The teenage Andrew fell absolutely in love with Don in the tv show Number 96. While at the time I can't imagine what I may have done with him, he was so so hot. And, while he is straight, he played a homosexual a gay man in Number 96 and at times comments on the Number 96 Facebook group.

While I am not saying he made me gay, wasn't that my mother? he did have some input.

I don't have a type to lust after now,. I like young and older. Anglo and exoctic. Asian and Indian. Latin and Gypsy. Smooth and hairy. Very kinky Japanese and Germans. But how I loved the Lebanese heritage Joe Hasham in Number 96.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Random building photos

Headquarters of the behemoth BHP Billiton in Collins Street, Melbourne.

One of the Art Series Hotels, in Prahran. Bit weird really. Each is named after and features works by the named Australian twentieth century artists. Fingers crossed that I am correct about 20thC. If you search scaffolding, you might find my post where the construction scaffolding fell down.

Flinders Street Station at the bottom of Elizabeth Street after its paint job. It is not the main station entrance but does have the clock tower.

The Supreme Court of Victoria in William Street. William Street was once a desolate city street but an underground station opened in the 1980s and offices were built nearby and it is now very busy.

The creperie in Centre Place on the left, AIX, where we often have brunch. We are reluctant to eat there if we can't get the table where the two women are sitting. It is quite cramped inside.

Salon? Nah. Cheap cafe run by a lovely Asian mamasan, formerly Greek owned. The son used to work at his father's business at times......miss having him serve us, 'nuff said.

Where the tourists generally brunch, Degraves Street, just across Flinders Lane from Centre Place. On the expensive side and often crowded with tight seating, but people seem to love it. There is usually a busker to the left of the photo.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Block Clock

Melbourne's Block Arcade is absolutely fabulous and when we were buying Beechworth honey, I noticed a clock I had not noticed before. Now after looking at the photo, I see the ads for the play Peter Pan Goes Wrong, and the funny ad upside down. Little Jo with Sister have seen the show and enjoyed it.