Saturday, January 04, 2020

The kindness

As we would expect, many Australians have offered accommodation to people who are displaced or have lost their homes to fires. Others have offered to agist livestock or take in pets.

Australian Bad Boy of tennis Nick Kyrgios has donated $200,000.

Kim Kardashian after retweeting sensible media articles about our fires then tweeted Climate change is real.

The fabulous Bette Midler tweeted,

Pity the poor , their country ablaze, and their rotten @ScottMorrisonMP saying, “This is not the time to talk about Climate Change. We have to grow our economy.” What an idiot. What good is an economy in an uninhabitable country? Lead, you fuckwit!!

Then the just as fabulous Pink came to the fore with a half million dollar donation to Australia's fire services, or fire appeal. I can't remember which.

The world, including R's relatives in the UK are talking about Australia. We are an example of what is to come from climate change.

Former blogger and now friend Victor spent a day in Melbourne last week to see a show and said how nice it was to see blue skies after all the smoke shrouding Sydney. The next day we were shrouded in smoke, visibility reduced to 2 km from our balcony

I felt compelled to say something on FB, to recognise what people overseas are saying and their concern, and while R usually criticises me for what I post on FB to the point where I rarely post, here is what I put up last night. He gave me a 'Like'.


If us city folk needed any reminder of the terrible fires happening here in Victoria and in southern New South Wales, today we are smothered in smoke. Former PM of New Zealand Ms Clarke mentioned that the ash from our fires is settling on south island glaciers and melting them. Climate change believer or denier, this situation is unprecedented. Our volunteer firefighters are exhausted, yet our Prime Minister says they want to be there. In nearly twenty years here we have never had visibility down to two kilometres. Climate change or not, Houston, we have a problem. Feeling deeply for those who have lost their lives or homes and all creatures great and small. Nevertheless, a happy 2020 to you all

Spamming

One wonders what technology will be like in the next decade. The last decade has been astonishing. I can barely keep up with social media, yet I love it.

One thing I can assure you of is that I will not tolerate advertising or spam in any form of my social media as far as I can prevent it or react to it. So you THE ONLY TRUE HACKER IN THE WORLD ®8:20 pm can just go and get buggered. Your spam lasts an hour at best. I have my phone when I am out. I see you, focus on you and delete your comments by phone, tablet or desktop whatever you are saying that no one would click on anyway.. I certainly haven't and I don't have a clue what you are about.

I don't know why you bother and why make more work for me?

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Not a great start to 2020

As was forecast the fire situation has been horrendous. Disastrous days merge in one's mind as the fire threat and disaster drags on and has for a couple of months or more. This simply has not happened before, no matter how the conservative press try list bad fires in Australia and say it is nothing new. Areas that have never been burnt, normally damp old growth forests have been burnt and are unlikely to recover.

It is unfair to blame our Prime Minister for the fires. It is very fair to blame especially his and previous governments on both sides over a lack of action on climate change. Australia is using smoke and mirror accounting to meet our climate emission targets and was complicit in the failed Madrid conference. While whatever we do in a country of 25 million won't make much of difference, it will enable us to take the moral high ground and pressure other countries. Our greenhouse emissions per person is very high. We can hardly lecture the climate change villains such as the US, India and China when we are not taking appropriate action ourselves, let alone tell smaller countries, don't do as we have but do as we say.

PM Morrison is being very mean spirited by paying New South Wales volunteer fight fighters some money if they are employed and not those from interstate, and not those who may have had social security payments cancelled as they fight fires and can't attend job interviews etc. I don't agree with volunteers fire firefighters being paid, but recompense for some of their expenses and of course they should have adequate equipment, accommodation and food.

Ensuring a food and water supply for fire affected towns is the job of government, not charities.

It seems like PM Morrison has used up any political capital he had, but then a week can a long time in politics.

What would you do if faced with this? At least the fire is visible. What about if it is complete darkness from smoke? Photo by Brett Dawson.


I have a question for you though. At what age do you stop falling over and instead take a fall? While I certainly wasn't sober New Year's Eve, I was quite sober when we had coffee in Swanston Street New Year's Day. As R went in to order our coffee, I went to claim the sole vacant table and tripped over. Fortunately I was holding R's newly bought mattress protector in front of me and it broke my fall, and  I only hit my head, so that is quite ok as R said. A nice young Asian student bloke helped me up and a woman at the adjacent table asked if I was ok, and offered to get a serviette when I discovered I was bleeding a little. R then offered comforting words; You need to effing well look where you are going. He did later ask if I was sure I was ok.


Yeah, nah, not a great start to 2020. I have face planted before when I tripped over wires, just as Strayer did.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Person of the year

Well, it certainly won't be our happy clapper Pentecostal Prime Minister Morrison who is trying to ram religion down our throats, who bashes off on holidays to Hawaii when a national bushfire disaster is unfolding and he is even worse than staunchly Catholic former PM Tony Abbott, who actually went out and fought the fires, as another former PM Rudd once waded through flood waters. The proportion of Pentecostal religious people in his government as against the the percentage of Pentecostal followers in Australia is alarming.

These Change.org petitions flow thick and fast into my email inbox, and once you have signed one, you are bothered to sign more. No matter the cause, I have only signed seven. I did recently sign this one though, https://www.change.org/p/federal-minister-for-education-hillsong-church-is-trying-to-proselytise-their-religion-in-australian-schools-we-say-no

I don't seem to remember Pat Cash acting badly on the tennis court. Patrick Rafter was a good sportsman but then lost my respect when he moved his money to the Cayman Islands to avoid tax. Lleyton Hewitt was argumentative. Mark Philippoussis, spoilt brat.

But oh my god, how bad behaving are our current male tennis players Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. I won't mention rugby player Israel Folau beyond a possible petition I saw which I expect was in jest, Gays raising money to fuck Israel Folau. Everyone has their price.

Or the cricket cheat sandpaper bloke., which I think may have been the year before.

The shining beacon among sports people this year have been former Aboriginal footballer Adam Goodes, a person who made me cry when he recounted the racism he had suffered when he was an Australian Rules football player.

The other is tennis player Ashley Barty, who is a winner at tennis, a good sportsperson, who does not get herself onto the front page of newspapers for bad behaviour and just seems like a thoroughly nice person who is really good at tennis. Go Ashley.

But person of the year for me must go to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. I've heard she won't be re-elected and I don't know why. I have little understanding of NZ politics and its system. To remind you, we were half an hour away from Christchurch on a ship cruise back in March when an Australian gunman allegedly shot up umpteen worshipers in a mosque. While non New Zealanders may have seen a good bit on tv, on New Zealand tv itself as she addressed the nation, Ardern was just magnificent, explaining, comforting, informing and visiting. Kiwis do perhaps expect earthquakes and other disasters, but none expected such a  massacre to happen on their soil. She gave great comfort to the country, and to visitors like ourselves.

Yet again, she was there at the frontline after the recent volcano eruption and the loss of mostly Australian cruise ship lives.

This may have to be corrected, but while forty homes were burnt in NSW yesterday as I write this, our PM Morrison flew off on holiday to Hawaii. I don't begrudge politicians holidays but they have to be around when disasters are happening to offer support, comfort and solace .

This very politically cynical old gay bloke asks you as Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, to take a bow as my person of the year. You were magnificent at a time of a national disaster and wrote a script for politicians all over the world.


But it could also be our Australian firefighters.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Our NYE

I have the most terrible flea in my ear, from a song now being used in a tv commercial.

We won't be partying like it is 1994 but isn't this a great song. Sing along on New Year's Eve. You can be raucous and raise your voice. Tune it up loud and belt out the chorus. Your endorphins will come to life.


Ex Sis in Law wished us a happy new year via text while we were dining. Here is my reply to her.

Across the road having Saigon food. We'll have a Scotch or two. Fall asleep in chairs watching Sydney fireworks. Maybe wake up before midnight and stagger across the the road and sit in the Toorak Rd gutter and watch the fireworks. You? And happy 2020 to you both.



My Worst Habit

No doubt R would give you a long list of my annoying habits and of course I don't think I have any. I can give you an even longer list of his annoying habits.

Funny memories have just come to my mind of when R did criticise me when we was younger. If I stood with my hand on my hip, he would ask if I was carrying a roll of lino (floor covering). I often used to rub the top of my back over my shoulder. R told me to stop continually adjusting my bra strap. All history now. I no longer carry a roll of lino or adjust my bra strap.

One annoying habit I do have is making comments when the news is on tv. I rarely do it now as I know it drives R crazy. I just do it silently. Firstly I will comment on the clothes, hair, make up, whatever of the presenter, male or female.

Please Minister, can you just answer the question the reporter asked of you and not obfuscate?

That's our money they're wasting.

Outrageous.

Duh, what did they expect.

Own goal.

When a crystal clear cctv image of someone who has allegedly committed a crime is shown, I remark, well, he/she is gone.

That's criminal (sometimes with the addition of neglect).

On and on I will go if I am left un-scolded with my comments about each news item.

Is there a possibility that I am a smart arsed opinionated person? Nah, never.

At least once a week my eyes will fill when watching a tv news story, as they did today when The Guardian (Australia) reported that our federal environment minister said that on New South Wales mid north coast up to 30% of the koala population has been killed. While I think koalas can put on brief spurts of speed, they are generally slow moving creatures and cannot outrun a fast moving bush fire. There will be volunteers out in the burnt areas looking for injured koalas. While they look cute and cuddly, they can be quite fierce and have very large claws for tree climbing and some knowledge is needed to know how to catch an injured koala.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Wandering the inner suburb Albert Park

These are a mix of photos I have taken when visiting Albert Park, with one lot taken with the old camera and one with the new.

He was a friend of a friend. I think I was about 21 and he was mid 30s and of Mediterranean heritage. One of these shops was his florist shop. We had a fantastic night together in his abode above. He liked the skinny young me and I liked his hairy masculine nicely built body and his experience. But everything comes at a price. He gave me the second worst 'flu I have ever had. Ah, I've just remembered his name. I guess he would be dead now.


The late Sheila Scotter, a doyen of style and deportment and former editor of Vogue Australia lived at The Biltmore. Her Wikipedia entry is a very brief read and she had an interesting personal life.


The Biltmore entrance, built as a coffee palace. In 1928 it became a boarding house. In 1950 it became a residence for Royal Melbourne Hospital nurses. The again back to being a boarding house in 1966. In the mid 1990s it was converted to private apartments, rather grand ones I think.


Ah, also quarters for American army officers during WWII.


I can never understand how workers cottages were built next door around the same time in the late 1890s to much grander two storey terrace houses in a number of Melbourne suburbs.



My, what a large extension to your two storey Victorian era house you have, and is that a swimming pool reflection?


I walked through St Vincents Place South, St VP North is similar, and it was so pleasant. The parkland was designed in the 1850s but hard to believe, it was also once a horse racing track.






Amazingly beautiful bark.


St Vincents Place is surrounded by grand and very expensive housing.



At the bottom of Victoria Avenue there is a view of Station Pier with a cruise ship in port along with the Spirit of Tasmania, a ferry to our island state Tasmania. If our plans come to fruition, we will be on the ferry in March 2020.


The tram route number 1 terminus, confusingly called South Melbourne Beach by Yarra Trams. The sails shade the Sand Park playground where we took Little Jo a number of times.


Just wandering along.



I think this is a government primary school but Guggle is not being helpful.



Trust Lancashire Insurance? I would hope their policies are more clear than the Lancashire accent.


I think this is a proper 1960s Mustang, not a modern new one. Amazingly powerful beasts but so awful to drive.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fire Perspective

About five million hectares, close to twelve and half million acres of Australia has been burnt in bushfires in the past few months. Sorry it is only a European focus but these maps I came across on Facebook give you an idea of the size of the area burnt. We still have our traditionally worst two months to come.







Bits

Well, yesterday was I think the first time I have reposted a post with more information and it all seemed to go quite wrong. I don't understand but I guess it will become clear in the fullness of time.

After Thursday's fortnightly bill paying day and finances looked at, I am living beyond my income. I know why and I will must address that.

Two of my summer shirts need to be thrown out and I bought replacement shirts at Myer today, heavily discounted but still quite expensive. Even at my age I am learning that expensive clothing can be better.

Hippie Niece bought us this for Christmas. I think we like it. I think.


Later edit: It was a bit far away to see properly.


Kind of works with this other metal piece we found on the roadside, had the broken mirror replaced and hung it.


This used to hang in the same place, now above R's bed. It works better with the sand coloured backdrop.


Christmas Eve meal across the road at Cafe Rosco, my suggestion to give Chef a night off but then after large lunchtime meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we had baked beans on toast one night and soup and a toasted sandwich on the next, so Chef hasn't been working too hard.


Our laundry cupboard is dark. I bought two of the lamps on the right to light it. One was above the washing machine and I thought they were ok but then at the big green hardware shed, I spied this newer model, now above the washing machine for $4. It is brilliant and no more scrabbling around in the bottom of the washing tub for an odd sock. I can see inside the washing tub.


Discounted Christmas cards bought today for the use next year. This amused me. You calling me fat you arsehole?


R is not what you would describe as a gentle person if you are talking about things. He closes doors too hard. He puts things down roughly. He throws things rather than places them. I think it is internalised homophobia, where to be gentle with things is unmanly. I told him off about slamming the balcony door last night. I had been building up to it for weeks, choosing my words carefully and World War III did not start and now the door is being closed quietly.

Yet, he creates great art, be it in cooking, actual art, gift wrapping, whatever. We are totally opposite. I am a quiet person but not artistic at all. He broke the whisk on the stick blender and admitted he was too rough with it. I found a new one on Ebay and he has clearly learnt a lesson and not broken the new one. But he has broken the gears of the chopper of the stick blender, perhaps by chopping whole onions when he should have been chopped them up a little in advance. From a spare parts site, the new gear mechanism was cheaper than I could see anywhere else and in spite of it being Christmas, it arrived in a couple of days after ordering, unlike Maribeth's Christmas Card to us which I think is sitting somewhere in the bowels of Australia Post.