Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Chinese Terracotta Warriors

Perhaps the war between Australia and China is fake news?

I think the terracotta warriors were brought to Australia in the 1980s, but they have been back and we saw them a few weeks ago.

It was amazing to see such sculptures so old, with dates of...........well, I'll get to that. I forgot my camera but my phone did well enough. I liked this sculpture with the dog carrying its pup.

This piece is not original.

Somehow a murmuration of porcelain swallows was included.

I forget what these fake flowers were about.

They may look fierce with big heads, but they are quite 'armless. You can't really see it in my photo, but one warrior was 'superior' to the rest. As you know me, you can guess what I mean.

As we left we noted the Spiegeltent is back, a bordello type theatre performance space. Think of lots of velvet drapery and huge cushions. I think its origins are from Brussels.

Oh yes, the date thingie. Most sculptures are from around 220 BCE. Well, I know what BC is but what is BCE? And what is CE. Of course Guggle was my friend and how interesting. BC is of course Before Christ, year zero. BCE is Before Common Era and means the same thing. CE is Common Era, or as most of us know it, AD, Anno Domini. I am inclined to say if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but BC and AD is very much a Christian dating system and not all the world is Christian. Yes, not even me. I am one of those horrible Atheists. I don't believe in any greater power. 

So please, if you feel the need, send me your kind thoughts but not your prayers. Thoughts and Prayers is rather topical in Australia today as our Prime Minister has sent them to the people affected by bushfires and half the nation is pissed orf with his thoughts and prayers from his happy clapper religious bent and cartoonists are having a field day. Better that he acts on climate change in a Prime Ministerial manner.

Btw, if you want to see something really really old, check out Marie's post as she covers the areas around every London train station. One object she shows in a museum is The Dagenham Idol, and is 2250 BCE, preserved in marshes. That's seriously old.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday Mural

Simple, sweet and wonderful. And untagged. Until just a few years ago the tram depicted and built in the 1950s still ran in Chapel Street. Note the SS of the mural painter. He is well known. Pity I can't remember who he is and his other works. The route number, 427, is curious. In the last days of these trams they were route 78, earlier, route 78 or 79 and even earlier, route 77/78/79. Route 78 still runs in Chapel Street but operates with small boxy trams from the 1980s WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Don't worry. I am not really going to write about Bitcoin and Block and Chain. No matter how much I read and learn about both, I don't understand.

But if you are the person who keeps sending me emails stating that you have been depositing Bitcoin into my bank account, can you identify yourself and give me my account details please, so that I can convert it to AU$, a currency I do understand. Bitcoin is not showing in my banking app. If I add up how much Bitcoin I have been given, I think I am very rich indeed.

Sunday Selections

Joining in with Elephants Child others. This week, other people's photos. For a bunch of I assume all Australian comedians, they look decidedly humourless. I don't know them all and not the two in the middle. From bottom left clockwise, not sure but he looks interesting, Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, don't know, Tom Gleeson, don't know, Joel Creasey and Judith Lucy.

Joel appears to wearing the same suit when posing with Myf Warhurst. I think from 2017 on they have co hosted the presentation of Eurovision for Australian audiences. Joel, originally from Perth, has the most wicked sense of humour and I find him hilarious. Myf is an accomplished tv and radio presenter and knows music inside out.

A beautifully lit photo from Shorpy.com

Oh, he is nice looking I thought to myself when I stumbled across him. Any more photos of him kicking around?

Apparently yes. His name is Baptiste Giabiconi and is a French model and I expect very well known both in France and in male modelling circles. I do like a boy in heels.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Cold Snap

I suspect it is quite unusual for us to have such cold weather in early November, and cold it was yesterday and will be again today if the forecast is correct. Icy winds, a series of rain fronts with strong winds and snow on 'dem 'der hills.

The last four Thursdays when we have taken Mother out; week 1, hot and high 20s, week 2, cold, squally and wet mid teens, week 3 mid 30s and hot, week 4, cold, squally and wet mid teens. Nothing to do with climate change though. However, I think it must be record variations for November and I am convinced that our seasons are moving later. I  switched the air con from cooling to heating this evening.

I became bored by rainbow number seven yesterday. This one is the best of them.

Friday, November 08, 2019

How can this be?

Still in one of most first world countries in the world human excrement is still dropped onto train tracks. Yes, Great Britain. Imagine if you are a train track worker. Ghastly. The target set was the end of 2019 and will not be met. Date set for all British trains to have sewerage storage tanks? 2023. I would have thought that from about 1960 new trains would have stored sewerage and I think our trains do. I wouldn't be surprised if India isn't doing better.

The wog accent

The word wog is perhaps now pejorative but in my younger years it was just a word to describe immigrants of a certain origin. Of course if you called someone a filthy wog, that is different and offensive. Wog as a word on its own is ok. Those described below took it onboard and hence many years the tv show Wogs Out of Work.

It is a strange thing that the first generation of people born here of Mediterranean and Middle East parents often have this cross accent. I rather like it and where I worked a number had such an accent. Can I even confess I find it arousing? It comes with so much promise.

Watch as much or as little of this video by Superwog as you are up to. I particularly like his put down of the passenger who asks about free range chickens. The video is the perfect illustration of the Australian 1st generation wog accent and manner of speaking, and probably attitudes too.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Growing Pains

Via my blog I have heard many of you mention how large world cities are growing at a frenetic pace, and without the infrastructure to support the population, and therefore reducing our quality of life.

Auckland, New Zealand is no exception. It is so worth your while to click on this link to see a luscious photo taken of Auckland from a plane or drone and published by The Guardian.

Well there is no turning back to scenes like this looking up Queen Street, Auckland, from the port side of Customs Street with trams going in all directions, providing part of a very good public transport system. Photo from Getty Images.

Good to see the old buildings are still there in a photo taken by me earlier this year. The old distant and dominating building is behind the crane arm. The closer one was the General Post Office.

What no city wants to end up is like this. This was retweeted on Twitter, so I am unsure who to credit. Duh, ABC broadcaster in the US, as the mark in the video said. The video is of a Los Angeles freeway and was captioned:

1970: One more lane will fix it
1980: One more lane will fix it
1990: One more lane will fix it
2000: One more lane will fix it
2010: One more lane will fix it

Do you think in 2020, one more lane will fix it?

It never did and was futile. While our freeways are just as congested, as is London's M25 ring road we don't have quite as many lanes, but as you can see, the more lanes, the more traffic. Better public transport in our big cities is what we need.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Off and Racing

After a discussion with R about the morality of horse racing because of the shocking exposure of Queensland abattoir workers treating horses about to be killed very cruelly, along with the fact that horses are whipped while racing and often have to destroyed after falls, and being tortured with electric shocks, we were doubtful about having our annual bets on Melbourne Cup Day. It is probably not viewable overseas but here is a link. It is only for the strong hearted to watch.

I can't say I've thought much about it in the past. I had no idea of the huge numbers of horses being bred for racing purposes and fail to ever run a race. I suppose I thought there was a rather limited number of race horses and it wouldn't be hard to retire them to life on a property somewhere.

Not so. Many many horses are killed after their racing careers have ended and most who don't succeed in racing at all are too. It seems such a waste.

I don't have a problem with animals being humanely killed for meat consumption and so my argument is that if this is to continue, there must never be scenes again as was shown. I can't see any real distinction between a winning horse or one that is useless at racing, but perhaps it is like being attached to pet. God knows what happens in some countries where race horses are bred.

This is purely anecdotal and just a feeling I have. Something has changed in Melbourne on this Cup Day holiday. We did end up placing bets and when I collected the blank tickets to mark, there was one person in the TAB (betting shop). We returned with our tickets to lodge our bets and there was one person in the TAB. This is unheard of. One more arrived as we left.

I wanted to go to town to absorb some of the atmosphere such as I have photographed in years past but R wanted to go to Prahran to pick up his new contact lenses. I decided to go with R. I remember years past our foyer would have people dressed up and waiting around for others, so many at the tram stop heading into the city to catch the train to the races, trams full of women with beautiful hats and outfits and some very well groomed and nicely dressed men. This year I saw one race day dressed man leave a taxi and head to the tram stop and we saw three women in South Yarra dressed for the races. Not one person on the tram on the way home heading for the races. I suggest it is a rather subdued Melbourne Cup this year.

Here are a few photos from years past. Two are from Oaks (Ladies) Day on a Thursday, while Cup Day and Oaks Day are all about colour, Derby Day before the Cup is all about black and white, but there often some rebels or ignorant who attend in colour. They won't be in the posh areas if they are in colour.

Oaks Day punters heading to Flinders Street Station.

Waiting for friends.

Waiting for the train.

Ready to surge on board. Cup Day attendances are usually around 100,000 people and the majority travel by train, perhaps for the only time each year.

Centre Place.

So the enjoyable experience of putting the bets on went ahead and watching some races but neither of us has contributed to the coffers of the racing industry as even before the cup has been run, we are ahead, in my case substantially. Ok, it is not moral, but at least we have taken money from the industry. Now we will just await The Cup attendance figures and hear all the reasons why numbers were down, ignoring the bloody obvious. It was a wonderful day weather wise, coolish and sunny.

$2 for the win and place on each horse for each race, and an extra horse in The Cup. Total $44. Check back a few hours later and I will up date with a brag or lament about my winnings.

Such a serious matter. Let me end with something I found rather funny. We were about to watch the fourth race when R asked me to check which horse he had put his money on. Ah, I said, we both chose the same horse, Accrued Value. He replied that he was sure he didn't choose that horse. I rechecked. Have you worked it out? Accrued Value was the progressive total moment amount as the bets were put through the machine that takes the slips at the TAB. I is idiot.

Later edit: Profit for me $27 Profit for R, about $20

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Daily Mail AU

That is Daily Mail, I think a UK publication which has a presence in Australia, rather like The Guardian has. I contribute financially towards The Guardian in a modest manner. It calls out the crooks, high flyers, thieves, cheats and charlatans. Its reporting on the awful London Grenfell Tower fire has been brilliantly relentless, without fear or favour.

On Twitter I have just began following the openly gay Australian Gary Nunn who is reporter for The Guardian. I found his story about wives left behind as older men suddenly come out as gay to applause and approbation quite interesting. I do feel empathy with the woman who do not understand what their husbands have been up to during their marriage. I've seen it too often and it has happened in our extended family.

If Twitter is to be believed, the Daily Mail openly stole part of Gary Nunn's Guardian writing. I've never liked the sound of the AU Daily Mail and I feel no compunction to read it if the best it can do about a serious matter is to steal someone else's writing.

Shame, shame, shame.

Andrew, the benevolent world dictator

1. Severely restrict the arms industry which sells to both the goodies and baddies and those who we cannot decide are which.

2. Take away guns from every American with the exception of licenced pest species control shooters. If the citizens don't have guns, there is no need for the police to have guns.

3. Develop a world health care model probably based on a European system that really works. Care from cradle to the grave, and money sensibly spent on viable outcomes.

4. Stop the Earth's population growth which is at the expense of all other animals on this planet. How? Education, the enemy of despotic governments whose citizens have many children to secure their own future.

5. I am thinking of a line from the tv show I think The Six Million Dollar Man. We have the technology. We have the technology to have environmentally sustainable lives. Sit back and wait to see what happens in the next ten years. We have the knowledge.

6. People driving around in huge personal metal boxes and taking up huge amounts of public space must end and become a luxury. All countries will put huge investment into public transport.

7. Stop forcing your 'correct' religious beliefs on others.

8. Correct the huge imbalance of inadequate food for some in the world and more than enough with huge wastage for others.

9. World wide effort to stop the extinction of any species.

10. Cease to pretend to not see corruption in governments because it is politically or economically convenient.

I could go on, but am I not just writing motherhood statements?

Ok, one more. More lovin' and less fightin'.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Monday Mural

I had spotted a mural as I passed by on a tram and when going to photograph it, I found this one, along with another for the future.

The noses are a bit strange, but otherwise it is such a joyful scene.

I misread "homes" the first time, substituting an o for an e. Just off Chapel Street, Balaclava.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Up for sale

While the salesperson talked wankery about tendering out our old car to various buyers of second hand cars, the dealership has obviously decided to sell it itself. It is a five year old car with only 67,000 km on the clock. It is a good car. It will go off at that price like a new groom's jocks.  Trust what car sales people say? No way.


Late Sunday Selections

A small offering today. We have just returned from seeing Judy, the movie about Judy Garland. To my surprise for me it was only a three tissue movie, and I remembered to take a packet. I think it was a good movie rather than a great one. Renee Zellweger was brilliant in the role of Judy, and it was very well cast.

Well, this is supposed to be about photos. There was sumo rapper in Bourke Street Mall. The weather was cool but I think his style of dress should be copied by other performers.

This man seemed quite fascinated by the performance, or the performer.

Probably my favourite city building, the Manchester Unity Building.

Characters on the terrace of an apartment in Chapel Street, South Yarra.

We bought our cheap Aldi rashies yesterday so there is no excuse for us not being down in the pool. Tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday. We can check if anyone is down there by looking at the reflections in the building next door. We are happy to share the pool but we like the spa to ourselves.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Zooming in

Been very busy with car pick up Wednesday, Mother Day Thursday, shopping Friday, out Friday night for dinner. Should be a quieter (and wet weekend) with only a trip to Aldi to buy rashies on special on Saturday.  Of course there has been a lot of car and associated phone tech time taken.

A little Motherism from Thursday: I was so cold this last winter I don't think I will complain about the heat at all this year. It's so nice being warm. Arrive at her home to pick up some things, Andrew, can you turn the cooling on. Arrive back at ABI's Brother where she lives, Andrew, can you turn the cooling on and your brother has it set too warm. Turn it lower please.

So not much time to post, but I don't think I showed you these photos.

Driving from here to the tv towers on Mount Dandenong is 50 km, say 31 miles. It's a fairly direct route with only some twisting and turning as you climb the mountain and I would estimate that to be less than 5 km extra, so say Mount Dandenong tv towers are 45 km away. I was pretty impressed by the zoom on my new camera.

Unrelated, retired blogger Ann O'Dyne but fervent Twitterer identified the first distant tower to go up at Box Hill. There is now a forest of them growing. The closer tower just seemed to appear one day. Of course that can't happen but maybe it was finished and exposed when we were overseas. I am not sure where it is. I can identify the water storage tower in Surrey Hills. Perhaps the highrise building is in Burwood and part of Deakin University.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Wheels

While we had planned the old car clear out well, it occurred to me only last night to clear the sat nav of favourite addresses, address history and favourite radio stations. R thanked me profusely for thinking of that.

We were to collect our new car at 11.30 yesterday. I wanted a couple of things at the shops and so we decided to go early to Bay Street, Port Melbourne, have brunch (I was good with a ham, tomato and onion sandwich. R was bad with pastie. Our goodness alternates). I pulled out a supermarket bag from my backpack to put into what I had bought and then it started. You are not going into that new car showroom to collect our new car carrying a supermarket shopping bag. I could have put what I bought into my backpack I suppose but as R said, as we are way too early, so we went home and out again to pick up the new car without a shopping bag, or my backpack loaded.

Gee, I thought I cared about what people thought of me, well I did when I was younger, but R is worse than me.

Everyone was so nice at the car dealership. Our hand over person was openly gay, to us at least, and is about to marry his partner and next year they will have two babies. Yes, it is complicated. The hand over took about an hour.

He explained how many things in the car work, which went in one ear and out the other. Then it was time for the photo shoot. This is how you are presented with your new car. You can take photos and upload them to the dealership FB or Insta. It was all quite a nice experience. The new bow tying person, although straight, is quite good at putting the ribbon on and does it with style, as we were told. The last person was hopeless, so the hand over person told us, and he used to fix up the ribbon himself.

On the way we stopped off to take photos of our soon to be no longer our car. Some cars we have named, like the one of our Mazdas we called Masada and my Humber Super Snipe was called Archie, R's VW Beetle was Bluey because it was blue, but we never named this one. Goodbye One Credit and Six General Practitioners.

However the new car has already been named Letitia as the number plate begins with 1QL, 1 Queen Letitia. Was she an Islander Queen or something? Maybe a Spanish Queen? I came up with something quite vulgar for the last letter and numbers. But it is an easy way to remember your car registration number. More to come about the new car, I suppose.

We drove along the beach to Elwood, parked and bought an ice cream and then drove back home with a couple of stops along to way to check and adjust things and change drivers. The two cars don't look so different in photos but the CX5 is somewhat bigger.

Oh damn, out of focus and I should have taken the photo from higher up. He was hot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Behind my love of maps is my liking of graphs.

The first is certainly a traditional graph. Where do your electricity prices sit? Darwin and Perth apparently don't exist, but Perthites Grace and Sami are used to that. Country folk? Bad luck. You may have to click on the graph to enlarge it.

There is a Melbourne station with the name Croxton and the Croxton Park Hotel, but really it is Northcote, a suburb once a favourite of female wearers of sensible shoes, but not as much now as it has become gentrified. 

Shopkeepers and retailers always scream blue murder if any on street parking is removed, citing how many of their customers drive cars to get to their business, when if fact they grossly overestimate the numbers, certainly in inner areas of Melbourne. This pictograph? is brilliant. If you don't know, the green is by tram. Many more travel by tram and walk than local traders thought, and even the cyclists were well underestimated. Making road space for public transport, walking and cycling at the expense of cars is a no brainer.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Construction Blitz

Thanks god our trams are back to running normally. To get to the city we had catch a bus and then a tram. Even worse was going to Prahran, whereby I would catch a bus that waited I assume to the correct departure time and arrive at the transfer point at the Alfred Hospital just as the tram left. I had a brain fade, forgetting I could catch the number 6 tram replacement bus. Anyway, all is back to normal now.

Our local underground Metro Station is to be called Anzac Station, ANZAC standing  for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. Awful station name. Why not just The Domain, as the local park and road is known and the former Domain Interchange was called? Originally the King's Domain. It will be large as it will need to accommodate seven carriage trains. It is a huge project. There is a northern box and a southern box. The southern box roof has been completed and now the road and trams run above it. The northern box is where the serious work will happen and a 'small' shed has been built to kill the noise of the works.

Metro Tunnel is a massive multi billion dollar project and will open in 2025, hopefully earlier but I don't think work is ahead of schedule. Sometimes I really wish I wasn't so old. Of course I expect I will get to use it, but not for too many years. Depending where the entrances are located, we could be in the city in at best five minutes including walking time instead of 15 minutes if a tram is if there as we cross the road to the tram stop. The actual train journey would be about two minutes or less.

I was appalled at the way the replacement bus drivers blocked the intersection below. They are supposedly professional drivers, and sit up higher than most traffic. There was no excuse.

Here is the 'small' acoustic shed which is under construction and somewhat larger now than when I took this photo.