Wednesday, February 13, 2019

An outing

R was doing his volunteer job today collecting up oldies in a mini bus and taking them to a venue for a meal and play on the poker machines, this time to Milanos in Brighton. It is harder than it sounds. He has to catch the tram to St Kilda, pick up the mini bus, collect all the oldies from different addresses, eight of them, including their walking frames. After lunch and some social time, the process reverses and this time he had to leave the mini bus at his volunteer work place, which means a tram into the city and another tram home. He left home at 9.30 and returned at 4.30.

I am alone. What to do? I did such a nerdy thing, taking a train ride for no other reason than I could and wanted to see how the train went over the new bridge over Kororoit Creek Road in our west after seeing the bridge from the road last Sunday.

But first lunch in Centre Place in the city and then a haircut. Mamasan at the tiny cafe greeted me warmly. Where is your friend? Light rain was falling, so unusually, I sat inside. Normally I don't really want to talk too much to hairdressers when my hair is being cut. The man who cut my hair did so the last time. I suspect he is gay, a bit younger than me and is garrulous. I used to feel terror that one day this chatty bloke would cut my hair, but he is just so nice and we have great conversations about everything and anything.

Off to Flinders Street Station. Wow, these new passenger information screens are amazing, including the animated display indicating the direction of travel of trains in the City Loop. They change direction and anyone who has full knowledge of this has my admiration. It is to your benefit if you know which coloured line you need to use.

Sometimes something really interesting happens on trains, or there are some really hot guys interesting people travelling, but not really this day. My only people observation was that you can never look elegant when lifting a heavy suitcase from a train to the platform, even if at almost equal height. You will always look like a tourist, unsure of themselves and struggling.

The train was crawling along before the bridge crossing. But after the oncoming train passed by at the passing loop, suddenly the train accelerated, and while going over the bridge was not quite a Big Dipper experience, it was good zoom over by the train. For the first time travelling on the train in that area, I did not see a rabbit. I caught the ex Werribee express train back to town, faster, not as interesting, and I had enough sitting on hard Comeng train seats. I saw so many train lines, minor, major and closed branching off. Marcus Wong's websites are the go to place to find out.

The screen was not really pink. Camera error. It is just brilliant.





You can see the dotted City Loop moving image, well not moving in a photo, but that is how it is displayed.


Everyone one of these wagons (is that what we call them in Australia?) was tagged.


They probably look better with tags than without.


Here I go, over the double track Kororoit Creek Road bridge.


On the way back to town this is the Neo200 building in Spencer Street. Like the Docklands Lacrosse highrise apartment building, the cladding is flammable, and while it didn't quite go up like a Hindu widow, in the dark line of the building, you can see some boarded up areas where the fire was, travelling upward, conducted by the flammable cladding. Residents are still locked out two weeks later. Just like with other combustible cladding fires, you could see the molten metal falling to the ground. How on earth combustible cladding was ever allowed to put on the exterior of highrise buildings is beyond me. No apartment owner should have to pay for rectification. This is a result of  Federal, State and Local government undoing of 'red tape' and letting developers run rampant, just as was the terrible cladding fire at Grenfell Tower in London, which without a sprinkler system and compromised fire suppression systems , led to the deaths of tens of people. Fortunately, so far as I know, any building of any sort of height in Australia must have a sprinkler system, and as long as they are maintained, work very well at preventing the spread of fire. If it is not law yet, sprinklers really need to be installed on balconies. 


Neo200 looks like it is a rather cheaply constructed building, perhaps with some very small apartments. I have been into a couple of 'one bedroom' apartments in similar apartment blocks. There are only lounge room windows and the bedroom is a room but without a normal door, just a sliding screen, no windows. The bathrooms are good.  The lounge room is tiny, with a couch just a metre or so away from the tv screen. Property developers were allowed to include the kitchen space as living space, which led to such tiny lounge areas, but from what I know, this has or will be stopped in Victoria and the minimum lounge area cannot include the kitchen area.

32 comments:

  1. Applauds to R for his volunteer driving, he is evidently a patient and giving guy. I can imagine how happy the 8 oldies were to have a fun excursion. I am an oldie myself and volunteer at a retirement home.

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    1. Terra, he uses up his patience quota when doing volunteer work, and has little at home. Good on you for your volunteer work.

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  2. Red tape is often there for very good reasons. Slacking off on building inspections (and giving more power to the builders) has seen quite a number of apartment dwellers living in distinctly flawed buildings here. Flaws which the developers are slow and reluctant to rectify.
    That sounds like an excellent use of your 'home alone' time.

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    1. EC, frankly, it has been a disgrace. There are so many shoddy buildings now. Yeah, I did enjoy my day.

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  3. Many Moons Ago, Like Back In The 80's, My Buddy Tim & I Would Ride The Bus Around San Diego California Just Because. Wish We Had Camera Phones Back Then, Maybe Not. HHHeeee HHHEEEEE

    Cheers

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    1. Padre, no backtracking. I am sure you wish you had camera phones. Love ya.

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  4. The Neo200 does look cheap and the one bedroom apartment sounds similar to my place in size at least. I have 1.1metres between my chair and television and behind the chair is 80cm to the table which is up against the wall right beneath the one front window. My bedroom does have a window, but it also has three doors, one to the lounge room, one to the bathroom and one to the back porch, so that makes about a 1 meter walkway where I can't place furniture and the fourth wall is taken up with the built in wardrobe, so there is even less places to put bedroom furniture.
    The flammable cladding should be banned immediately and forever and replaced at builders costs wherever it was installed.
    I agree those freight wagons look much better with paint than without.

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    1. River, the description of your abode is interesting. I expect you use the space cleverly. Do you have to go through your bedroom to the back porch, which sounds weird, or is there another door to your back porch?

      I agree, at builders' cost.

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  5. Agreed those new passenger information screens are truly amazing... especially since I am no computer nerd!! As long as the clocks out the front stay in place and no council moron is allowed to have them pulled down.

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    1. Hels, yes, the clocks will remain and it PTV that own them, not the council.

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  6. Yesterday this "oldie" took herself off down to Beaudesert and back up again. It was pretty hot down there...and up here!

    I was glad to get back home again to let the fans blast on me...pedestal fans, that is.

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    1. Well Lee, I simply had to look where such a place is. Still hot for you? At least nice and cool in the car, I guess.

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  7. The name of the building sounds ultra modern, not cheap, to me.

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    1. Strayer, modern name, but still el cheapo.

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  8. The idea of those screen must be ever so handy.

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    1. Margaret, I learnt about the development of the screens today, and were they customer tested to the nth degree.

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  9. When I lived in London, I often bought a tube ticket to the next station, then rode to the end of the line (by which time it was above ground), had a picnic lunch, then returned and got off where my ticket said I should. Great fun on a wet Sunday.

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    1. Cro, sounds pretty nerdy to me. I guess the rain stopped for your picnic, or you found shelter.

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  10. I do not think this is nerdy at all.. I think it is an awesome thing to do. :)

    In fact if I had access to your train and tram network I'd be catching trains and trams to all kinds of awesome walking. And you might even have inspired me to do that on Fri-yay. :)

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    1. Snoskred, that is a point. You can easily catch public transport to a place for a walk, somewhere you have not seen or been to before.

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  11. Pretty interesting, actually. It's funny, but when Jack was in the hospital a year ago, I spent all my time there. I felt quite lost without him around. The start of 2019 finds me branching out on my own. Always a good thing.

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    1. Maribeth, yes, I think it is a good thing to have some time apart to do what interests you.

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  12. So nice of R to drive the oldies around.
    I thought after the Grenfell Tower fire, the whole world would be checking their own buildings cladding to make sure all was ok and not fire prone stuff.
    I would hate to live in a tiny apartment in such a huge building.

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    1. Sami, well Melbourne buildings have been checked, but we not allowed to know which buildings are at risk, some 350 of them, as it could encourage an arson attack. Many of the occupants would be overseas students or people travelling with cheap accommodation in mind.

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  13. Kudos to R for taking those elderly people out. I know from when my dad was in the nursing home how much he enjoyed outings, and they were few and far between due to problems with the bus for part of his stay there.

    I actually very much like to see the tags on train cars. There is a rail line that goes through our town, and if I have to wait for it, I just look at all the artwork (for that is what I believe it is, a form of artwork).

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    1. Jenny, yes the logistics of such an outing are huge. The volunteer organisation he works for is hopelessly administrated, but the volunteers make it work.

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  14. Gosh R is such a lovely man, so kind. I wondered how long it would be before you took a train ride 'just because you can' 😉 Ruthless developers who put people's lives at risk should be horse-whipped!

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    1. Grace, it took about ten days. It gets even worse about that building. I might post about it.

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  15. I don't like the new screens. I think it will take me a while to get used to them. The first station that shows up is the station that the train is at (i.e. Flinders street). I find that redundant. AS I am always going to Southern Cross on my way home, I'd prefer to be able to see at a glance, when I duck my head out of the train door, which station the train is heading to next. The words also seem smaller than the old screen. I think I'm just getting old and inflexible.

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    1. Old man befuddled by new technology. You are the first I have heard of saying that you don't like the new screens. At least you point out the failings. Subsequently I have read how much work went into the displays, using existing screens but different software etc. There were some constraints on what could be done, but there was constant public testing as the development went ahead.

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  16. Bravo to R helping the oldies ! Your post made me think of Marie in London who did a lot of tube stations ! You could walk or accompany us through Melbourne ! Now you have the typical symptoms of a newly retired, lol !

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    1. Marie does good works. Love to have you and Mr G to show around here. Yes, typical retiree symptoms.

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