Friday, July 03, 2020

The old and the new

The old to begin with. I received a cheque today, something to do with demutalisation of our health fund. I'd like the money sooner rather than later. What do I do with a cheque? The bank was already closed so I went to the ATM, the Electric Bank. You used to have to deposit by putting cash or a cheque into an envelope that a drawer opened for you to take out and put your deposit into. Now, quicker than a slot machine, the ATM swallows your deposit and amazingly read the cheque and asked me to confirm the amount being deposited. I think the last cheque I received would have been about 15 years ago and the last time I wrote a cheque, about 30 years ago.

The new. I Zoomed for our building's AGM. It all worked pretty well. I was using the desktop so no one could see me or hear me, but I could type in comments. It was longer than the usual AGMs and quite informative.

I have no plans for future Zooming, but I learnt a lot about self presentation when Zooming. Even the most glamorous fell apart after an hour. And just keep your hands away from your face.

We are away for a few days. See you next week.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

ISO Walking

Gosh I have come across so many thing interesting to me during my ISO walks. Indulge me with more photos. Summer memories of aggies in bloom.

Not far away the Metro Tunnel construction was well underway.

OMG, after checking on Google maps street view, this place replaced a single story old house.

I sat and drank my ISO take away coffee at the MacRob Fountain.

Nearby Metro Tunnel Panels.I want to ask something about the premade tunnel lining concrete panels from one of the workers. But of course as a shallow gay man, I will wait until I see a cute worker.

The lorikeets were being fed.

This area is fenced off. Why? More will be revealed in the future.

A fail as an arty photo.

What do you think about these sculptures?

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Disaster east of the north Pacific

I like that Travel Penguin generally avoids the C word but even he is pushed to rant as he did yesterday, although not particularly about COVID.

What is happening in the US is extraordinary and of course it is coming from the very top down. I truly despair.

My greater city's COVID cases have sky rocketed over the past week, from a couple of days of one new infection to today's figure of the high 60s. On a world scale this is small but it makes us very worried. We are out of step with the rest of Australia and now some areas will be locked down. The figure of high 60s reflects what happened a week or more ago. Unlike Trump who wants to slow down testing to reduce the COVID numbers, yes go figure, it is being done door to door now in these Melbourne suburban break out areas, and yes, cases are being found.

You don't have to study anything much more than these simple graphs to see what is happening around the world. The small Australian rise reflects what is happening in Melbourne suburbs and seemingly mostly brought about by large family gatherings.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Restaurateur George Colombaris' restaurants went broke after he was convicted of underpaying staff, being made to repay the money and fined $200,000. But as his company (companies?) has no money, the government, that is we taxpayers, have had to stump up one million dollars to pay out staff entitlements. 

Meanwhile Colombaris lives in a house worth nearly five million dollars and has a property portfolio worth around seven million dollars. Of course his home is in the name of company owned by his wife.

While I wouldn't want it for small business people who have a try at business and fail, for these high flyers, bring back debtors prisons I say.

Crooks, thieves, liars and charlatans. We are surrounded by them.

What scum.

A little history

As I have mentioned Metro Tunnel is a huge Melbourne rail tunnel project under construction at the moment. On the construction hoardings in The (King's) Domain, are a series of interesting panels.

You will need to embiggen these to see properly. This one shows local areas now and also the blue at the bottom is our bay, while the dark line shows a much older line of the bay. The Yarra River is in bright blue.

West Melbourne Swamp went on to become a dock working area and is now a new office, sporting and residential area called Docklands. Although mostly drained by the 1930s depression it was also known as Dudley Flats, at the end of Dudley Street where mostly homeless men set up tents to live.The shape of Albert Park Lake is superimposed on what was South Melbourne Swamp. Batman's Hill was flattened and is the site of Southern Cross Station and what was the Victorian Railways head office. The Pond was known as the Turning Basin where ships once turned around in the 19th century. Yarra Falls was the edge of tidal salt water and river fresh water. It is a very interesting map for me.

While Melbourne did have some horse trams, in the 19th century cable trams were at the fore, like as still remains in San Francisco. Between the the tram tracks is a slot where a grip grabs hold of a moving underground cable and the tram was simply towed along. While motor cars and horses must travel each side of the tramway officers' box near what we now know as St Kilda Junction, cable trams ran on one side of the box.

Early 1920s it was decided to convert Melbourne's tram system to the new electric model. St Kilda Road undergoes conversion.

This photo is interesting. It was taken by an aviator who took many Melbourne photos from the air. At the top you can see the bay, a little below is  the bare looking Gunn Island in the middle of Albert Park Lake. The island is now overgrown and very important to the ecological lake environment.

Government House, where the Governor of the State of Victoria lived and still lives is on the far left. The flag is flying, so the Governor is at home. The Shrine of Remembrance  features upper centre with The Domain and Alexandra Gardens below. Very bottom is Yarra River and the Flinders Street railway yards.

St Kilda Road and Albert Road toward the beach dominate. The Shrine, our major war memorial. BP House is under construction, later to become the posh apartment block Domain, full of rich and famous and politicians. Go a bit further to the south, that is towards the upper part of the photo and there is an eight storey building, the Victorian (horse) Racing Centre, now where our monstrous building is and where we live. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Musical Monday

Thanks to all those who helped with an answer to the question about the name of the most wonderful English tv show Beautiful People. As I remember the lead character, I think gay Simon, had wonderfully accepting parents and you can see him performing a duet with his mother. Actually, I can't even remember if he and his black friend were gay, but they were certainly theatrical.

It wasn't generally heavy, just great fun, with a terrific cast including the blind South Asian/English lodger played by the brilliant Meera Syal who I have mentioned in the past. The acting was terrific and the writing very good.

Here is a music number from the series. Great fun.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Jo's Phone

Youngest niece Jo referred to her emergency phone as a banana, perhaps because of its shape. I never saw it. She carried it for emergencies and she never had emergencies to worry about, so it was not used. It was a dumb phone.

While I think I mentioned about her wanting a smart phone at nearly the age of 13 I don't think I showed you the Pro and Con Board.

She wrote the Pro side and could only find one Con item. Sister filled in the Con side for her. Jo now has Bone Doctor's old smart phone and Bone Doctor has a new one, but being iPhones, Jo's phone is terribly hard to disassociate from Bone Doctor iPhone account. Just another reason I like Android.

Jo stayed with us for two nights last week after visiting Hanging Rock and the Organ Pipes. Wednesday we took her to the city and bought her a book for her birthday, lunch at Mammasan's in Centre Place then after making a carrot cake for her visit to her nanny, Mother, the next day, we took her to visit Princes Pier and then a Port Melbourne bakery for cake and iced coffee. I think she may have been a little bored at times with the old aunties but she said not and naturally spent a lot of time on her not new smart phone.

Later in the night after Sister and Bone Doctor dropped Jo off here, Bone Doctor sent a text, 'Just to let you know, Jo knows how to look after herself but she does have her period happening'. I'm glad she did as I would have been puzzled the day after she left when I found a small piece of paper in the spare room with some witty sayings and marked Libra. Gee, she is not quite 13 yet.

Anyway, here are the Pros and Cons, and as I said, Sister added in the Cons bar one.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Got to feel sorry for Antony Hampel

The poor bloke lived just down the road from us in the upmarket apartment building Balencia. His heavily medicated partner Phoebe Handsjuk managed to commit suicide by inserting herself feet first into a bin chute and going all the way down the chute to where one of her feet were macerated by the grinder at the bottom and she died from blood loss. I can't imagine how I could get feet first into a bin chute, but there you go. I can certainly think of better ways to commit suicide.

Coinciding with Phoebe's death, the building's CCTV was wiped, along with the building entry and exit records but I am sure that is not really relevant. The police on the scene did not seize phones and computers. Do you think they should have? As the son of very high up legal people, maybe police exercised great caution.

Phoebe's grandfather, a former policeman, studied chute distances and angles and to say the least, he found it near impossible that she could have suicided in that manner.

I don't know much about legal stuffs, but in spite of Phoebe leaving no fingerprints on the bin chute and many other extraordinary matters, the coroner found her death was by misadventure, that is she climbed into the bin chute herself. I think the coroner erred in that it should have been an open case, not a decided case, but then I am not a legal person.

Poor Ant to lose his partner like that. It must have been a bad time for him, in spite of his wealth and being a son of Supreme Court Judge George Hampel and step son of Victoria's County Court Judge Felicity Hampel.

But even worse for poor Ant, his next girlfriend also seems to have committed suicide. Baillee Schneider was found with a cord around her neck and had presumably hung herself, although there weren't any hanging points where she was found. Her parents popped out for a short time for grocery shopping and returned to find their daughter they left chatting on her phone while lying on a couch to be dead. The coroner has yet to reach a verdict about Balliee.

You really have to feel sorry for all involved, especially Antony Hampel.

Friday, June 26, 2020

My Aspirations

While with a glass of wine in my hand before dinner, I came to a very satisfying conclusion about myself and my life.

I've always aspired to be a little fish in a big pond, and I think I have actually achieved my aim. I've worked pretty hard as a little fish to swim in big ponds from a young age and so while my life may not be exactly how I would like it to be, I think my life has been successful in that I have swam in many big ponds. Not so bad for un-confident and shy gay kid from the bush who was always seeking acceptance.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

R's ex workmate

I thought it was an overeaction when COVID broke out and R's former workmate pulled her parents out of their retirement village and into their own small unit. After a couple of months at their place the parents have moved into a nursing home. One has some dementia and the other quite frail.

Compared to the rest of Australia, our state is doing very badly with COVID at the moment. For consecutive days we have had new infections in the high teens and after weeks of no deaths, an 80 year old man has sadly died. It is mostly a result of laxness by guards at isolation hotels where returning travellers are quarantined and large family gatherings by foreign born who do not distance.

Older people are still keeping their distance here, but it has broken down among younger people. I constantly see building workers in too close contact. I see supermarket workers do the same. At times some places are too busy. Suddenly again in some areas it can be too crowded for comfort. Unbelievably I saw a news headline that people have started to panic buy again,  and not a bad thing, there are huge queues in suburban shopping centre carparks for COVID testing because they have some minor symptom.

What a nightmare, yet we are in a much better position than in many in the world. I cast my mind back to early March when we were in Tasmania on holidays and COVID suddenly became serious. R was worried we would not get home on the ferry and we returned to empty cupboards at home and empty supermarket shelves. I think 15th of March was our serious date.

Did you have a moment when you thought, oh, this is serious? Date?

The shire where mother lives has had some family outbreaks and is considered to be a hotspot. Youngest niece Jo has stayed with us for the last two nights. Sister will pick her up from Mother's tomorrow. Sister was concerned about us buying food at the bakery near Mother's so instead we will take homemade cheese and ham sandwiches. Ok, I was a little concerned too, for no good reason really. But it only takes one infected person........

And to go completely off topic, I just chipped Jo because she referred to her Nan, that is Mother, by her first name. It sounded so disrespectful and among her own children, we always call her Mum, Mother or Ma, or Our Mother if we are exasperated with her. Point made I think. I'm sure Jo heard. She did not argue back. No need for further discussion. I remain the grumpy uncle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Down Under

No, not Down Under Australia but our buildings basement level. There is some car parking, the recycling and rubbish area, a locked off storage area where mostly dumped furniture is placed until council collection (our old oven went there, but arranged with the building manager) and drainage and fire pumps. It is what is called a wet basement, that is it can get wet and the water drains to side gutters and if enough water builds up, it will be pumped away.

There is also the main bike storage room.

My Apollo on the far right. It was Sister's bike who gave it to Tradie Brother who gave it to me. I bought new tyres and tubes for it and rode it a few times, but now it sits forlornly in the bike room, probably with flat tyres and a chain that needs some oil.

There is another smaller bike storage area. An audit is conducted every so often to clear away unused and unclaimed bikes but as you can see, there is an awful lot of bikes and many are never ridden. The best of intentions.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Gotta Laugh

I haven't had anything like this for ages. I won't click publish for the post but it is a bit interesting as the person accuses me of histrionics when what he wrote is terribly histrionical. Such things would usually come from former male commenters with the initial C or R. It looks a bit like R's writing but he doesn't normally make such grammar and spelling mistakes.

None the less, how clever is Our gayBC instead of Our ABC. My commenter seems so well informed about the poof and dyke infested ABC. He is getting his moneys worth for the taxes he pays that funds our Our gayBC. I feel so sad for the invisible gay ABC broadcaster James O'Brien who was left out.

I must look up the word misandrists. It is a new word to me.

You would help your cause if you reported objectively. Histrionic attacks on police and other none supporters of your abnormality are as sad as they are laughable.Then again you've sought refuge the sheltered workshop of the gABC. Enjoy your echo chamber with hysterical Joe O'Brien, vicious lesbian misandrists, Kelly and Karvelis, big gay Nate the weatherman, Lezza Millar, the new hero of the gays, carrying on the pathetic left wing bias of Queer and Arse, Hamish. Why all the on air gay "talent" and I use the term loosely? It's your gayBC, you nasty little, hypocrite. Ironic you have become what you despised.An effeminate screaming poof.

Note to local governments

A very busy and social week so just a quickie this morning.

Local governments and private businesses, never place a recycling bin without a rubbish bin next to the recycling bin. It is a guaranteed fail for recycling.

Also local governments and private businesses, have you heard of goat tracks? Aside from the obvious, they are where people will walk regardless of paved paths. People will step off a right angled path and cut a corner when they walk if they can. I've seen it often enough where paths are are retrospectively made when people do what people do, take the shortest distance unless they are wearing stillies or the ground is very wet.

To me and I expect to you, this is basic common sense, yet how come highly paid designers and architects get it so wrong so often?

Monday, June 22, 2020

Gay TV Series

Normally I can find such things easily using Google. I have failed.

Reading in England is a little topical at the moment, for all the wrong reasons.

I'm trying to remember a tv series maybe 15 years old, or perhaps older whose main characters were a gay teenager with a gay Afro black friend and they dreamed of moving to London and escaping Reading. I think a blind Indian aunt lived in the white boy's home too. I thought it was called My Beautiful Life, but Beautiful Thing brings up something that seems similar but not quite right. Reading is hardly a London suburb.

Does anyone remember what the show was called?

Musical Monday

I expect some of you will hate this music and the video clip is way weird, but I quite like the music. This is one of the Danish electronic duo R√∂yksopp's more out there pieces.

What I like about electronic music is in the manner that much classical music brings in a out different instruments, so too does electronic music bring in and out different sounds. This piece is called Skulls. Give it up at three minutes when the music really stops, though sounds and the visuals go on.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Selections

Joining in with Elephant's Child and maybe others for Sunday Selections.

A few photos mostly taken during my lonely ISO walks. R and I walk separately as it gives us a break from each other.

A parked car in Commercial Road Prahran seen while shopping. It was just a short walk from the footpath. I looked at the far side of the car and it was very close to having its mirror taken off by a passing tram.

Hello to you, little bear.

We met with a friend for coffee and cake in Yarraville a week or so ago. The sun on the The Sun art deco picture theatre can just be seen. This was once a busy and congested street. It is now a nice and calm mall but of course quieter than usual because of you know what.

Attention grabbing display where we had our coffee and cake, I think called The Naked Egg. It was nice enough.

Poor teddy, nailed to a tree and exposed to the elements.

Millswyn Street in South Yarra is lined with very expensive mostly Victorian era housing, interspersed with sympathetic modern dwellings. I've always walked in the opposite direction along Millswyn Street and I hadn't noticed this sign on the side of an old but very modernised building. Retail in Millswyn Street! How odd, but then I remember Maples Furniture warehouse was accessed from Millswyn Street. You can read what I wrote about Maples warehouse when I discovered the building in about 2007 here with a follow up here.

But blow me down. It doesn't matter which direction you walk, but I have never noticed this building. It is a bit hard to read. It says Wimmera Bakery, Wimmera being a wheat growing region in north western Victoria. The building is smart housing now.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Killing Horses

The poet Banjo Paterson who wrote Mulga Bill's Bicycle was in part responsible for the culture of the free spirited mountain brumbies and how people still embrace the culture and want to protect the wild horses. They have been in Victoria's and New South Wales' high country since the 19th century.

The brumbies in New South Wales have protection which is totally political. Save our heritage of the horses, they say. It is part of our culture, they say. The Man from Snowy River, another Paterson poem, and all that.

Meanwhile in Victoria they are are not protected and the high plains span both states. Until white man arrived, Australia did not have any animals with hard hooves. The high plain horses, the brumbies, are doing terrible damage to our ecology, right where our rivers start on the high plains in the peat and moss bogs, springs and then creeks.

Cull is one of those softening words for killing. As Parks Victoria planned to cull the pest species brumbies by humane methods on our side of the border at least, someone has delayed the cull in the courts. He won't win. Later edit: He didn't win. The law is clear. Victoria can cull. New South Wales can't.

The brumbies don't respect borders, so it will have to be done again after the prolific breeding New South Wales horses come across the border again. Hmmm, I have a vague recent memory of a wall being built to keep out the unwelcome somewhere.

Job creation for Australians and foreign workers post COVID? Get rid of all wild hooved animals like wild horses, deer, camels, pigs and buffalo. Then we can start on the smaller invasive species.

PS Since I wrote that a while ago, it seems a wild deer cull will happen in my state too. They have become an increasing problem pest.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson

He was a great Australian poet. He wrote poems about inner city and country life.

Mulga Bill's Bicycle was my favourite as a child, simply because it is funny.

I know this well enough to recite, as I did read Australian poetry to my father and step mother and quickly sent them to sleep in their lounge chairs.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything, as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above the Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver streak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; It's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

To alleviate the heavier stuff from this morning

It has started. Each time we see the three year twin great nieces, we ask their mother or grandmother which one is which and try to remember their names by what they are wearing. But at times we forget which is which, and the reply is, I am H not W, which is fine. They will at least have a school lifetime of that.

But now, one will say that then the other will say no, I am W not H. No you're not, I am W. Would it be child abuse to brand or tattoo their foreheads with the initial of their first names? Perhaps I could buy some stickers with H and W on them and surreptitiously stick them to their backs.

While even their own mother gets them wrong at times, their grandmother never does and she is the only one who doesn't.

We live our own Patty Duke Show.


I don't believe that old tv shows and films displaying racism should be removed from public gaze. While the Don't Mention the War episode of Fawlty Towers was taken down by the BBC and then reinstated, it was nothing compared to Love Thy Neighbour or Alf Garnett.

Where does it all end? People are defacing or destroying historical statues and I don't like the destruction of our history.

I expect Hels might know about it as in Moscow there is a park full of statues of those who have fallen out of favour with the public or the Russian government for whatever reason.

Maybe that could be a solution to contentious statues in the western world, or as my preference would be, add a plaque to contentious statues to give some context.

Let's face it. You and I as people of certain ages would have been with the status quo 50 years ago, 100 years ago and 500 years ago. None of us would have marching in the streets about Black Lives Matter or even slavery. Our perhaps forgetful Prime Minister Morrison never learnt about black and Kanaka slavery in Australia?  But that is no reason to not stand up for what is right now. Black, white or brindle, we are all humans and entitled to the same lives we all live.

PS I forgot about writing this and saving it for the future. It is relevant to today's post so I will post it at the same time.

Bits and pieces

R had an appointment in Richmond to see if he could have laser surgery for his eyes so that he no longer had to wear contact lenses or glasses. For a couple of reasons he decided to not proceed. We were both going to go on trams but when I learnt his appointment would be over two hours, I said you catch the tram and I will pick you up afterwards. Because of drops in his eyes, he had to be collected. I wasn't particularly busy, so I ended up taking him there too in the car.

We left early with the intention of going to Richmond Plaza, a small shopping centre, for a couple of things. It had been pulled down, about to become a few hundred apartments. City of Yarra I think, gave approval for nine storeys when the developer wanted twelve. The developer went to its friend the Evil VCat and had eleven storeys approved.

He made an optometrist appointment for yesterday but then at the last minute cancelled. I am really not sure why he cancelled. We still ended up going to where we were going to go for brunch in the city but we needed to buy nothing else. We had a decent walk in the city.

It is kind of boring week with an empty calendar. You know it must be boring when we are looking forward to visiting Mother on Thursday. An offer has been made for her house, $100,000 less than the price suggested by the real estate agent, which we always knew was absurd. It seems to me that the offer is getting close to a fair price. But she is no rush to sell and will do what she wants about the house.

I am quite content with my life, reading, internet, blogging, online chats, excessively long hot showers. After a lifetime of of quick showers before work or in the earlier days two showers a day, with an evening shower when I thought I might get lucky, it is luxury and I indulge myself. I am waiting for R to query my long showers and I will respond with 'I am a very dirty boi and I need lots of washing to clean me'. R will roll his eyes. All so predictable.

My Prahran Town Hall post yesterday turned out to be more interesting than I thought, thanks to Lee.

COVID is still a problem here but apparently it is slipping into Trump white voting territory in North America. So blacks being dirty and not washing their hands often enough is not really the reason blacks are over represented in the death toll.

Black Lives Matter! Or course they do. All animal life matters and we human animals come in different colours. George Floyd was certain no angel but did he deserve to be killed by the police? I can't imagine kneeling for eight plus minutes as a mark of respect and being able to get up again easily. What must it be like to have your neck knelt on for for that period of time until you took your last breath.

I don't think it was reported here, but I saw today such a sad video clip of light coloured black (yes, not relevant) people bystanders at a peaceful march with an angelic six year old son and saw their son pepper sprayed by police in a US city. Maybe it was accidental but it sure was not pretty to see.

Statues, tv shows, movies that exhibit racist attitudes are all being queried. I don't want our history destroyed but I do want it to put into context and with some input from those affected, I think it can be done.

I never expect 2020 to be year of nightmares, but so it has turned out to be.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Town Hall Tuesday

COVID brought an abrupt end to Town Hall Tuesday, but then when in Prahran last week, ok, here is the Prahran Town Hall and I see it so often I forgot about it. I haven't taken a camera photo since lockdown. All have been phone photos and these are too. It is a ten minute tram trip from here, plus a short walk, or maybe a forty minute walk. The area is strip street shopping but there is Pran (sic) Central. The comments on my 2008 post are fascinating to reread.

The once City of Prahran is now covered by the City of Stonnington after council amalgamation. Prahran Town Hall and Malvern Town Hall are the only town halls within the amalgamated area...I think.

It is not definitive, but Pur-ra-ran was an local Aboriginal tribal name for 'land partially surrounded by water'. It is an odd name to pronounce for those who don't know. Close is Pruran but often the first r is dropped.

Prahran Town Hall was built no doubt with gold boom money in 1861 to a design by architects Crouch and Wilson. Oddly, and I know nothing about this, the Wikipedia entry says the clock tower was truncated in the 1960s. Very strange. Why?

It is located on the corner of Chapel and Greville Streets and is now a community space, with some council offices and a library. It is right on the street without a setback which in my opinion detracts from its grandeur.

A photo with the non truncated clock tower, and in my opinion it looks better. I note the windows below the clock are quite different too. Ok, I am getting out of this rabbit burrow before hours disappear.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Musical Monday

Dedicated to the autistic teenage boy William Callaghan who became lost in bushland early last week and was found after three days and two nights in near freezing night temperature, and also dedicated those volunteers and emergency service workers who tirelessly searched for Will. It was a great outcome, as was the case detailed in the song below by Johnny Ashcroft You can read about Will here.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The birds but no bees

Inspired by a school teacher I became a non financial member of the Gould League of Bird Lovers. I pledged something like to protect Australia's birds and to never collect native bird eggs. I received a nice certificate and a very colourful badge or lapel pin. I can't remember now. It is now known as the Gould League and it has a chequered past back to 1909. It now focuses more on the environment.

During the clean out of Mother's house, we came across Sister's certificate of membership, so she must have taken the pledge too. Who knows what happened to mine. Sister went on to the current times as a protector of the hooded plover on our beaches, as did EC who I came across in the group some time ago.

Sister and myself must have both been interested in birds as we both had these albums whereby we would stick in colourful bird cards collected from packets of Tuckfields' Tiny Tips Tea. The albums were marked out as to where each card would be placed. Note the second album has doesn't have the plural apostrophe. While it seems obvious that the album marked 1 to 96 would be mine, it was the other way around as in that one Sister had noted a couple of bird sightings. Neither albums had publication dates and neither got past being half full in spite of me urging my parents to buy more tea.

Some rekindled memories anyone?

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday Supplement

Niece Jo turns 13 next month, legal age for Face Book, but as she told me, FB is for old people. Yes, I know Jo, you like Insta, Snapchat and TiK Tok and perhaps sites your old Aunty Andrew doesn't know about.

She wants a smart phone for her birthday, no doubt an iPhone as that is probably what her peers use. Given she has been deprived of tech devices, her tech skills are quite good. Her mums told her to argue her case and she did on a white board. The Pro list was rather long and the Con list terribly short. She does have a very old dumb phone for emergency purposes.

I think Sister is being mean, as for her birthday Jo will get Bone Doctor's very old smart phone and Bone Doctor will buy a new phone.

Jo's mums are a part time teacher and a doctor. They are not poor. I will argue Jo's case for at least the last model of iPhone for Jo. I am not an iPhone person, so I would be grateful if you could tell what the current phone is and the previous model was.

Catch Phrase

"How did I find time to go to work?" It is very much like that. Thursday was Mother Day. Friday, a seated brunch out, so nice and novel, shopping, and then a dinner cafe meal out using trams to get to and fro. It was a quick dinner and we were home by eight.

We are feeling a little more relaxed but still being very cautious. We still constantly sanitise our hands and wash them once home. We try to keep social distance, but that seems to be an older persons thing. Young people don't seem to care so much. They should until we have zero COVID cases in Australia.

Well, that's you bloomin' lot for today. Hopefully I will have a better post for Sunday.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Lost Friend

We had known our friend who died two years ago since we attended his fiftieth birthday with our friends who invited us along. He lived until the age of 75. At the age 55 he brought a younger Indian man to Australia from Fiji and they eventually had their relationship recognised for immigration purposes and the partner became an Australian citizen.

The partner could be difficult at times but we tolerated his at times poor behaviour for the sake of our friend. We did keep in touch with him after our friend died. At one stage it was almostly fortnightly for a meal. We still have friends in common and although it is a decent hike, three times in two years we went to the cemetery where our friend is interred. Here is snip from a post I wrote before our friend died. It is quite telling to reread for me.

Christmas for our friend and his partner and the various visiting relatives of his partner from Fiji and New Zealand did not turn out as planned. Our friend asked if we had some free time, could we take his partner's brothers out somewhere once his partner went back to work.

Many people I have come to know on the internet have been so kind to us. It is time to return the credit for no immediate reward.

Both blokes are actually our friend's partner's cousins, but as their mother died young and they were reared by his mother, they are considered brothers to him.

One is a retired Fijian policeman and the other a motor mechanic of the old school variety, both of Indian heritage.

They were nice, but the small talk was a bit hard at times. Gabbling away is useful at times, as is silence. We took them to Altona for lunch, had a wander on the pier and the streets, some lunch, and then to Williamstown, with a visit to the shop that stinks of patchouli and another pier walk. We watched tourist boats arrive and depart. It was quite a nice outing. We then took them to see their brother's partner in hospital, who was not at all well back then.

Our friend's partner, never said a word of the thanks. A few days later, we dined at a pub with him and the brothers.  He was pleasant then. I ignore his moods etc, but R gets rather hurt by his behaviour because R cares. I don't.

We caught up with him in February for a pub meal and all seemed well. We invited him for a meal a week or so later with our Hairdresser Friend and received a very formal and curt decline. He did not return an unanswered call from R, nor my text message whereby I said to him, I don't care about myself if you want to ignore me, but I do care about you showing disrespect towards R.

We've not heard from him since and I really don't care and I have no idea what is his problem with us. We do have mutual friends but no way will I ask any of them why we were dumped as friends. It's actually a relief. He was hard work, moody and had such a chip on his shoulder about who knows what.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Moon

Well, none of you seemed to understand the moon when I last posted about it and nor did I. So let us get the straight.

The Earth rotates on its uneven axis every twenty four hours in a day. The moon rotates around Earth which is why it is seen in different directions, maybe a northern sky, maybe a southern sky etc.

The moon reflects sunlight but Planet Earth shadows the moon and blocks the sunlight, so we only see part of the moon or the moon not at all.

This cycle is 28 days?

Does a full moon bring on cycles of mental illness for some people? I think so. What about you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

My faux pas

We have started using trams again rather than driving everywhere. We trammed to Prahran today. The tram we caught has three drop down seats in the middle of the tram on each side. There was a lass sitting on one seat and I sat next to her, expecting R to sit next to me. He didn't, so I moved to the next seat along where I could lean against the glass.

I didn't even think about keeping distance from other passengers. R said the lass turned away from me. Constantly trying to remember to social distance and to sanitise hands is hard. I do it well in shops and when I am in the streets or parks, but I really screwed up on the tram yesterday. Normal tram behaviour just kicked in.

R went into a shop to put our Lotto tickets on and as he went to scan check last weeks tickets, a woman who was more than the 1.5 metres away, stepped out of the shop and then reentered after he left.

I had my first massage since February. It was so good and I was surprised how busy the massage place was.

I caught a bus to the Alfred Hospital and walked home through Fawkner Park, stopping at Slater Street for coffee to drink in the park. The bearded former senator's ex father in law was on the bus, so I had a bit of distanced chat to him. The ex father in law lived here, as did his glam daughter, the former senator's ex wife. For some reason she really seemed to like us old gay faggots. I asked him to pass on our best wishes to her.

Four days ago was a day of no new COVID infections in my state Victoria. Monday was another day of zero infections. Most cases of the latest infections are returning travellers from overseas. Most states haven't seen any new cases for weeks, so what have we done right?

Our very bad Prime Minister was forced to act by State Premiers of all political persuasions. To quote a former Premier who was beyond doubt corrupt, our PM said Don't you worry about that, and then said he was going to the football on the next Saturday. He didn't and our country began to be locked down. Aside from the border between Victoria and New South Wales, all state borders were locked down. Anyone returning or a visiting traveller were put up in empty hotels for two weeks to see if they had any symptoms. This wasn't voluntary isolation. It was law. Our border to the world was locked down.

If you had any symptoms, you were urged to be tested and there was mass testing, hundreds of thousands of people in my state alone. Shopping centre car parks were turned into drive through testing zones. Until the results of the test was known, you had to self isolate. Sister, Bone Doctor and Jo self isolated for nearly two weeks. Fire Fighting Nephew self isolated with his pregnant wife until they received test results. Because of his wife being pregnant and having other health issues, he was not allowed to have anyone else in his fire truck.

We socially distanced. We did not visit people and they did not visit us. It wasn't easy. Late March to say mid May were the worst months of my life I can remember. We were very fearful. We did have a an overnight stay by our great niece and I questioned her mother hard about the visit.

Australia is an island country. Once the Federal government began to take things seriously, I think the almost elimination of COVID here was predictable.

Another island country New Zealand has rid it self completely of COVID through extreme lock down. It is now completely back to normal aside from no international visitors.

It is much harder for countries such as the US with its porous borders in spite of Trump's wall, and the the infections and deaths there have been hideous to read.

Our South Pacific islands have done well.

Europe not so well, with many infections and deaths. Infections in Africa and South and Central America are exploding.

What other island countries are there in the world with large populations? Ah, well that would be Great Britain and Ireland and Northern Ireland. Also with horrendous numbers of infections and deaths. Why didn't the UK lock down its borders? Isolate returning travellers to empty hotels for two weeks? It seems it is only thinking about doing this now. Extraordinary! The governments of the UK have an awful lot to answer for.

New Zealand deaths from COVID, 22.
Australian deaths from COVID, 102.
Canadian deaths from COVID, 7,835.
UK deaths from COVID, 40,957.
US deaths from COVID, 113,000.

Figures and numbers, blah blah, but these were people, living their lives and they have gone. Dead. And some governments are responsible.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Gongs from Her Maj

Once the valves warmed up and the wireless began broadcasting Monday morning it was the usual whining and whinging about people receiving Queens Birthday awards who have just done their paid job. For over forty years I did my job conscientiously and rarely causing bother, yet I didn't receive an award.

Generally I am with the whiners and whingers about people receiving an award for just doing their jobs,  but for one case I will make an exception.

Some of you will remember Brenda who works at Coles supermarket near where I worked. I posted about her in 2013. She is now 88 and still working at Coles and has received a gong in the Queens Birthday awards. Good on 'er I reckon and I don't have a problem with a supermarket worker receiving an award even if it is just for her paid employment. Double standards by me? Yep.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Monday Mention

Lol, a statue of a white man who traded black slaves was still standing in Bristol, England and was chucked into the river by angry Black Lives Matter protesters!

While I am not one for covering up or removing history why wasn't  the statue of a black slave trader not removed a couple of decades ago and put into a museum as an historical exhibit is beyond my comprehension?

Extraordinary! This is your memory of the statue. It now is in the depths of the Avon River in Bristol, probably never to be seen again.

Monday Mural

As usual I can't remember where I took this photo of what I think is a fantastic mural .Maybe appropriate for Black Lives Matter.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Sunday Supplement

For a long time Strayer has put in long and hard yards into saving cats and getting stray cats desexed and housed, even if just as barn cats.

She runs a non profit organisation that funds some of what she does. An awful lot comes out of her own pockets. The State of Oregon now wants to slap a fee on her help for cats. This is outrageous.While I have pretty well stopped signing the innumerable worthy petitions, I did sign this one and I urge you to do the same.

Sunday Selections

Joining with Elephant's Child and maybe some others for Sunday Selections. Some are my photos. Most are not. If bad language offends you, avoid the last couple of photos.

This photo of a boy at appealed to me. He looks so tough, defiant and resilient. I wonder what kind of life he went on to lead. He would now be quite old if he is still living.

Does the guitar fplucking hippie look excite me? Oh yes, big time.

Dearest child, back in the olden days when international tourists visited Australia, this curious free tourist bus would pull up in Bay Street, Port Melbourne and there would be a good number of people boarding. It was free for passengers, but the driver worked for tips, just like many walking tourist guides in our city. I don't like it. It is so un-Australian. People who work should be paid a proper wage. I've always thought our friend in London Marie, should charge for her street walking services.

While the new truncated bus route timetables for the 603 and 604 at Prahran Market are shown, for some reason the old and now completely redundant and irrelevant 220 timetable was left there. "Putting up new timetables is my job. Taking down old timetables is not my job. I don't get paid to do that." Or it could be that the person putting up the timetables knows nothing about public transport and doesn't even know the 220 is history.

For a long time I have wanted to visit Fat Albert Cafe in Kerford Road, Albert Park. We did last week. I liked this poster on the wall and the coffee was good.

It was a bit chilly but there was a vacant bench outside to sit while we savoured our coffee. Dogs are catered for very well.

Spotted during an ISO walk. A strange sight in early June.

I wandered lonely as a cloud all alone in Prahran after a medical appointment. I sat next to these gently waving rushes and ate my salad roll as I reflected on the state of the world, and glanced up at any man under 40 walking past.

Shamelessly stolen from Jackie in Toronto who probably shamelessly stole if from someone else. Not being able to make travel plans is R's biggest COVID lament.

C'mon, it's just an experiment. Only the last child was harmed as the force built.

Auditioning for a US movie. May the most trainable black cat win and we all know how trainable cats are.

This actually offends me more than the last photo.

I've thought about this slogan really hard, for at least twenty seconds, and while I don't really get it aside from the obvious, I am sure it is super clever.