Saturday, October 31, 2020

Dan the Man

 This is Victoria's State Premier, Daniel Andrews. He leads Victoria's Labor Party and was somewhat of an unknown outsider when he was elected. He seems like a decent bloke but of course he is a politician and carries everything that comes with that. He is not extreme about anything, in fact quite conservative generally.

I'll get back to Dan, but do have you any knowledge of the English Hillsborough football disaster in 1989? The match was played in Liverpool and due to poor crowd control measures and close to if not criminal negligence and behaviour by the police, 96 football fans died after being crushed to death by overcrowding. No one would say English soccer fans back then were well behaved, but it was not the case this time. It was a matter of fans wanting to see a football match and trying to enter the arena.

The Sun is a widely read tabloid Rupert Murdoch newspaper in England and only a few years ago it dropped its daily bare breasted page three girl. The headlines about Hillsborough on its front page and one some time later from the free London publication Metro.


 Liverpudlians were rightly appalled by the lies told by The Sun and boycotted the paper, and they still boycott the Murdoch rag to this day decades later. A case of power of the people over the press.

Rupert Murdoch also publishes our local state wide tabloid rag, the Herald Sun. It wasn't always as bad as it has become. While the government of Premier Daniel Andrews did preside over a failed returning overseas traveller quarantine system where infected travellers infected hotel guards who then infected family and friends and led to our second wave of infections mid this year, we will wait for the result of the formal enquiry. The Herald Sun went all out with accusations of sex being traded for favours between guards and those quarantined and all sorts of other baseless accusations. The job of the guards was to observe and report. I am not an apologist for the disaster that happened and the government under Andrews must take responsibility. Already significant heads have rolled.

However, the relentless campaign by Murdoch media via The Herald Sun against Dastardly/Disaster/Deadly/Dreadful/Dan has been awful. Andrews is taking a day off today, after fronting the media to update us and answer reporters questions for around two hours for 120 consecutive days. He locked us down as was necessary and only suffered a little push back from our Prime Minister of an opposing political party. I can't find an anti Andrews Herald Sun front page so this one from Sydney's sister Murdoch publication. 

The thing is, no one really knew what they were dealing with and it did take time for governments, bureaucracies and the public to get a grip on what was happening.
If you politics are opposite to mine and yours aren't extreme, as mine aren't, we can still be friends. I will respect your point of view, listen to your argument and probably still disagree with you, or even may be influenced by your argument. While I do not and never will vote for our conservative party, the Liberal Party, I have respect for a number of them for being decent people and not always going for the cheap shot in politics. 

I respected local Victorian Federal Liberal Party politician Josh Frydenberg until his intemperate outbursts at our Premier Andrews. "Killing Victorians". "Killing the Victorian economy with his lock down". "Open up, Andrews". "Killing the Australian economy with the powerhouse of Victoria under lockdown".  Yet for 120 days Andrews has comforted us, warned us, told us what to do, given us the statistics, pressed the message hard and I even think conservative Victorian voters might be impressed by the stalwart Premier Andrews.  Respect I had for you Frydenberg has gone. Criticise the Premier of Victoria who has gotten us through this second wave of COVID to nearly zero daily infections as harshly as you have, you are criticising me. Go fuck yourself Frydenberg.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Blooming

 I love to write but I must punctuate writing with photos. I am not sure when I took these photos of our perhaps cheesy Melbourne Floral Clock, donated by watchmakers of Switzerland in 1966. Something like 10,000 bedding plants are planted twice a year.

It looks a little dull this year.

More recently how good are these kangaroo paw flowers at Prahran Square! Paw is somewhat of misnomer as kangaroos have claws that can rip you stomach open and your guts will fall out. While I am not sure if that has happened, certainly kangaroos have attacked people. Kangaroo Paw is the floral emblem of Western Australia. It is an interesting native plant.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

We are free

 At their harshest our lockdown laws prevented us from visiting anyone, travelling more than five kilometres and then only for medical, personal care, food or exercise. Otherwise, we must stay at home. This has now changed to 25 km and you can leave home for any reason.

All retail shops were closed aside from essential shops. Supermarkets, liquour outlets, newsagents, pharmacies and some food outlets were pretty well all that were open.

All cafe food was takeaway or home delivery. 

Delivery people could not enter our building. 

Only two people were allowed in the lift at one time unless from the same apartment.

Outside your front door you had to wear a mask, unless you had a medical exemption or were jogging or cycling. This is still the case.

Almost all office buildings were closed and if people could work from home, they must work from home. Also still in force.

If you had any symptoms at all of a cold, you must get COVID tested and self isolate at home until you received your test result. If you were a household or close contact of someone with COVID, you must get tested and isolate until you receive a result. Hundreds of thousands did, maybe even over one million. This was very harsh on some people and there were government payments to those who needed it. To encourage people who may have had symptoms but thought they couldn't afford to take time off work, there were also payments for them.

For the mental sanity of those who lived alone, they could form a bubble with someone who they could visit, as long as they were within the five kilometre limit.

Federal social security for those without jobs or who couldn't work was increased substantially from an absurdly low payment for the unemployed. Almost everyone agreed even before COVID, the unemployment benefit was very much too low.

There are probably other rules that don't jump to my mind. These were harsh rules and very hard on many people's mental health. Fines for rule breaches varied from $1500 to $5000 and although only something like 5% of those fined have paid, the normal government fine process will proceed.

Less than two weeks ago our hairdressers reopened. 

But after a slight delay because of an outbreak, this Wednesday retail fully opened and we could once again sit down at a cafe to have a meal and you could go to a pub for drink or food. There are still strict distance and number of patron rules in place but how good is that. 

I think in June, midwinter for us, we had an explosion of COVID cases in my state to over 700 new cases on one day at least and that was when we were harshly locked down. After a week of single digit new infections, on Sunday for the first time since March, we had zero new cases and again Monday zero cases. Sadly Tuesday was two cases but it is fairly clear it is well under control and contact tracing is now first class. 

We've been wanting to catch up with our Hairdresser Friend for outdoor takeaway coffee for more than a week but the weather wasn't great last week. Yesterday I asked if she wanted to meet for coffee at Sandbar on the beach front, expecting to just buy take away coffee and find someone public to sit, but there were a few vacant tables on the beach deck and it was such a beautiful warm and sunny day. R and I decided to have poached eggs on toast and we drank two cups of coffee. Hmmm, maybe too much caffeine is not good for the heart. Hair Dresser friend just had one cup of coffee and no food.

You have no idea how nice it was to sit outside at the beach and have food on a plate at a table, sitting on a chair and drink proper coffee from a china cup.

There are still many restrictions in place and we won't be unmasked until at the earliest, 2021.


Australia had two quarters of negative growth, that is recession, but it is now back in the black. Our Federal and State governments have borrowed vast sums of money to prop up Australia and it will have to be repaid but the money will have been borrowed at around zero interest rate.

Of course as Ponzi schemes do, our booming economy on the back of building cheap and nasty housing on the outskirts of our cities and often poor quality shoebox city apartments fuelled by high immigration numbers has collapsed. I can't guess how this will pan out. Overseas students, maybe with a two week quarantine period, will probably return next year, bringing in the money and vitality to our cities.

I conclude with stating with strong government action to restrict what citizens do in the absence of a vaccine, COVID can be killed off. It was done in New Zealand and Australia is getting very close to doing the same. That our respective countries are islands helps with being able to close external borders except for two week quarantined returning citizens. But I can think of a small important island that has only a few countries. Why didn't the same happen there? Pain is suffered but the end result is so good.

So what does a girl do when the retail stores are open after months of being closed? She goes shopping for new shoes, and that is what I will do today. Alas at my age, sensible walking shoes and not stilies. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Missing in Action

 Aside from there not being a post on Tuesday, who would have known I have had a heart attack and spent some time in hospital. I queried one of my many junior and senior cardiologists who treated me and he said, well yes you did really have a heart attack.

We watched the AFL grand final football match on tv Saturday night after dinner. I had a couple of drinks and at 11 I was ready for bed, but there was a slight pain in the centre of my chest. I didn't remember that I had stretched to reach somewhere so it is not a sprain. What is this about? R, don't go to bed for a bit. I just want to make sure this pain goes away. It didn't, and became worse, to the point of being very painful. R said lift you arm, and I did and I thought nothing was wrong but he thought there was. He was worried, alert and alarmed.

Memories are hazy now. Maybe forty five minutes later I said, sorry for the embarrassment hon, but I think you need to call 000. The paramedics arrived within ten minutes and they were terrific. They treated me as best they could but I wasn't coming good. They told me they had to take me to hospital and I said, is it really serious? Yes was the reply. They had given me drugs and they weren't working. Apparently at some point I was flat on the floor being injected by goodness knows what.

It is a twenty minute walk to The Alfred hospital, so the ambulance trip was quick. I was in the Emergency Department while cool and calm medical people fought to get by heart beats per minute down from 230 to something like my normal 90, while my blood pressure had fallen to alarmingly low levels. Eventually they sought my approval to give me heart shocko and that fixed my heart rate and then they worked on my blood pressure. I had a CT scan at some point.

I was all night in ED and about 7am was moved to a bed in a four bed ward. All of Sunday there was constant monitoring of me and drips of various things going into me. Without Saturday night sleep, I was looking forward to a a Sunday night sleep, but no. At 2am a nurse woke me and put me two one hour drips of something Chloride and it was causing me great pain as it entered my arm. I told her how painful it was when she came to change the bottle and she said I can slow it down, but it will take longer. Get it over and done with and then maybe I can sleep and I did for a couple of hours until I was woken to be taken for an angiogram where if required, stents would be inserted but they weren't required, then later for ultra sound.

Still I was constantly monitored and checked all day Monday. Even Sunday morning I felt like there was nothing wrong with me I wanted to go home. More cardiologists visited and told me they weren't yet happy with my heart rhythms. Monday night I slept the deepest sleep, only woken once for a blood pressure check and I was quickly back to sleep. I slept from 11 to 7.30 and then had to be woken. Unheard of for me. 

Monday I should have going home and R had cooked a nice Shepherds Pie. Tuesday was bureaucracy at its best. I could have gone home by late morning after the last cardiologist visit and I expect I would have if the bed was needed. But it was late afternoon when R came to collect me. We came home on an unexpectedly busy tram.

So nice to be home but poor R and the stress I put him through. I always thought it would be me who saw him carted off in an ambulance.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Musical Monday Flash Mob

 It's been a long time since I've posted a flash mob video. I happened across one that looked ok, a light classical piece, but the sound quality wasn't good and it lacked excitement.

This one is is great fun, even if in German, with a key change about three quarters through which gives it an extra lift. If a suggested video shows suggesting the same group performing the same song at a stunning crater lake location have a look. Or you can click here

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Entrepreneurism

 I walked along Domain Road, past Melbourne Grammar, housing and businesses, mostly food related,to my right, parkland with picnickers within their socially distant chalk circle to my left. Oh, there is sight in the park. A table with a draping table cloth and diners sitting on chairs. And there is another one. What is going on? The rich and posh are bringing their own tables, chairs and tablecloths? 



Comrades, while I may well be a communist, my principles are weak and I thoroughly approve of restaurant Entrecote setting up this chair and table hire business. While it was rain, wind, storm and tempest in Melbourne today, very soon Entrecote will also need to hire out shade umbrellas. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Blogkeeping

 Today I tidied up a blog few links, added some, moved some, corrected some. You may have noticed that I have a list of Dead, resting and infrequently updated blogs. I like keeping the list to remember who in the past I interacted with and how I missed so many of them when they ceased to blog.

Do you think I should change my header photo? It is a panoramic photo and was a devil to get right and I only managed with the help of former blogger Fen. I've since been a bit scared of changing it but I would like to give my page a bit of a lift. Some of change your header photos quite often, so it can't be that difficult. 

Lastly an etiquette question. If someone writes a post and you have written about the same thing or there is some other connection to what they have written, is is ok to put a link to your blog post in a comment on their blog? I may have done it in total half a dozen times and I always feel it may not be the right thing to do.

Later: I forgot the whole point of this post. That was to say if you have a Yahoo email address, Grace, River and another I think, then for some reason I do not receive an email notification that you have commented. This is not normally a problem if you comment before I start replying to comments, usually about 12 hours after posting. Because of the time difference and Grace normally reads blogs in the evening and leaves a comment, by the time I see it, it will be the next day and already I have a new blog post up. I try to remember to check on posts a couple of days old, but if you do have a Yahoo eddress and I miss your comment, that is probably why, sorry......or maybe I just hate you.

Friday, October 23, 2020

We're getting brown rot

 Oh dear. I don't know what brown rot is but it doesn't sound nice so I will stay inside out of the weather in case I should be affected by or catch it. And I thought COVID was a problem. 

Expensive Farmland

 For how many decades have I heard about an airport on the absolute outskirts of Greater Sydney at Badgerys Creek? Planning is in process and I've heard that for years too.

The Federal Government recently bought the farmland required for a second runway for $30 million when it was valued it at $3 million. It is not a good look that the farming brother land owners are donors to the ruling Liberals (conservative party) of around $180,000. The Federal Police are now investigating the sale.

You might expect me to be outraged, but while I am not happy nor am I outraged or surprised. As I said the site has been earmarked for a very long time and once the decision was finally made, of course it was a seller's market. The millionaire farming brothers could ask a premium price.

Well forget all that. I have rethought the matter. The real outrage is negotiations should have been entered into in good faith by both parties and a fair price agreed and paid. What had slipped my mind about it being a sellers market is that if the government is building a brand new road or train line and your home is in the way, it can compulsorily acquire your home and pay a fair price suggested by a disinterested third party valuer. Why couldn't this happen with the Badgerys Creek land purchase if price negotiations fell down? It is now being suggested that the government paid the extraordinary price because it would be cheaper than the legal action of a compulsory acquisition. Is that a pig I just saw fly by?

Now I am feeling outraged. It is not as if the country has money to waste on paying off political donors at the moment.

The old phrase comes back to mind. Crooks, thieves, liars and charlatans. Read a little here

Thursday, October 22, 2020

One minute of fame

 ABC morning broadcaster Virginia Trioli asked listeners to email her if they had not received their local council ballot papers, posted out 6th to 8th of October. I emailed her that I had not and also pointed out that I had called the appropriate number on 19th to request another set to be sent out. 

The first ballot papers still haven't arrived but the second set postmarked the 20th did arrive today on the 22nd. Tomorrow evening is the deadline, so I filled my vote in straight away and posted it. It will be interesting to see if the original ever arrive.

R was out on the balcony when Trioli read my email out on air to the Electoral Commissioner. Below is what I sent. The Electoral Commissioner tried to fudge it by saying it was people who had not notified authorities of their change of address. I should have added to the email below that we haven't changed our address for 18 years. 

I am reminded of the line of 'ask a busy person to do something and it will be done' and Ms Trioli even took the time to reply to my email, pointing out that she read my email out on air to the Electoral Commissioner. She read my first para out on air. I'm enveloped by intelligent and interesting sensible middle aged and older women online and how good is that.

"I have not received my ballot papers. I called on Monday and another set was sent but that hasn't arrived either. I've never missed voting in any election (for) 45 years. I am furious. 

Best wishes and congrats VT on your first year back at ABC Melbourne. 

Andrew."

Superb Art Deco

 Our Friend in Japan spent some of her childhood years in this flat block in St Kilda Road. It is not a terribly good photo but here is one of the central lawn dividing the two sides with the central path lined with birch trees. It was given a huge renovation in I think the mid 1980s or a little later and I think then strata titled into own your own apartments. It is suggested it was built in 1936, about when our friend moved in 😉 and the even geometric proportions are wonderful. 

Here are some recent close ups .



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sixties Pop

 You may remember R bought me the David Bowie biography ebook for my birthday. I am about 20% through the book and it is a bit hard going as so far it just anecdotes from various people about Bowie's early life and the beginning of his ascent to fame and fortune. While not quite in competition there were similarities between Bowie and Marc Bolan of T Rex fame. 

While checking out hot men of the time researching, I came across this irresistible click bait headline and a fascinating tale; https://www.thejc.com/lifestyle/family/my-brother-chased-marc-bolan-down-the-road-with-a-dustbin-lid-1.444291

I had no idea Bolan was half Jewish although I did know his son Rolan is coloured. This photo of Bolan has him with a rather different look to his tight curls.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sneezing

 R has developed some kind of allergy. At times at home he sneezes and or coughs. I for a short time made a joke by saying 'Coronavirus'. It wore thin after a couple of weeks. 

I walked past him tonight heading to the balcony and he sneezed, coughed and spluttered. As I opened the balcony door he said, I am allergic to something. 

He laughed when I said, probably me. I still have my schtick. 

The typewriter cleaning brush

 So now you know. The brush is for cleaning the striking parts of the typewriter that hit the inked ribbon. The other brush was for general dusting of the typewriter. Be assured, while the plastic does have a nice patina it is not cold enough to be ivory and it does flex.

As a young teenager I asked my father to buy me a typewriter and the daughter of a friend of his no longer used her portable typewriter. It probably cost quite a lot of money as it was very robust and came in a beautiful carry case. I can't find a photo of the case but this identical typewriter is on sale online at Gumtree with an offer of only AU$45, which seems rather cheap to me. 

While it wasn't as good to use as a proper full sized typewriter and it keys would tangle when I got up to a good speed, it served me well for many years. It was made in Japan and branded Hanimex which was an Australian company that imported mostly cameras but other products from around the world and branded them Hanimex. The company was founded by Australian Jack Hannes. Han+im+ex. First three letters of his name plus im for import and ex for export.

He was born in Berlin, educated in Derbyshire, England and his family fled Germany around the outbreak of WWII. He received further education at the University of Sydney and founded the company in his mid twenties. He received a Queen's Medal and died in 2005 while on holiday in Zurich. You can read more about what seems to be a very interesting man here at a newspaper obituary. 

I am still  amazed a plastic brush can last so long and stay in good condition. Well done Hannes and well done the Japanese manufacturer. 

A Hard One

 I don't mind a hard one. I hope you don't either.

I was cleaning the inside of our stick vacuum cleaner and I needed a brush to get where my fingers couldn't. I know, this old brush will do the trick, and it did. I thought about the brush.

The brush was made in Japan some 55 years ago and accompanied by a soft camel hair brush with hairs about 2cm long and 4cm handle. That the plastic hasn't disintegrated nor the bristles fallen out is amazing. While a little discoloured, it is truly amazing that it works as well as it did when new.

So, what was the purpose of the brush and the second one for that matter? I now use the second one for cleaning my electric razor. You do have to be of a certain age. 

Clue at 16.00 if no one has the answer by then.

Later edit: Cro of Magnon's Meanderings correctly suggested it is a brush for cleaning typewriter striking parts that hit the inked ribbon and print onto the paper. I suppose they used to get a build up of gunk from the type writer ribbon plus some dust. Oh yes, if you are late to this post, do comment if you knew what it was, hey Grace.

ISO Coffee

For me alone:

Moody Brew. St Kilda Road. Good coffee, nice staff and owner. $3.50. Small long black. Not too much water added.

Domain Brasserie. Domain Road. Good coffee but coffee topped with water to the cup brim. Pleasant staff. Small long black, $4.00 plus 6 cent card surcharge.

Entrecote. Domain Road. Very good coffee. Professional and pleasant staff. Not too much top up water. $4.00 plus 6 cent card surcharge, which it did not have a month or so ago.

Cafe Medusa. St Kilda Road. Sadly a fail on the coffee front and I won't revisit after my third time. The staff are so nice and it has a donate and take table but the coffee is not up to scratch. $4.00.

Slater Street Bench. St Kilda Road. Very good coffee and professional staff. $4.00  

Occasional jointly or on my own:

The Kettle Black. Albert Road. Excellent coffee. Little hot water added. Very nice staff. $4.20.

Southside Cafe. St Kilda Road. Ok coffee. $4.00. Perfunctory service.

Together:

PM Cafe. Bay Street Port Melbourne. Lovely owner who serves you. Good coffee. $3.50

Melbourne Bakery. Bay Street, Port Melbourne. Nice owner. Competent staff.  Just drinkable coffee. $3.50

Sandbar. Beaconsfield Parade, Middle Park. R always orders so I can't comment but he has never said anything negative about staff. Not too much added water and quite good coffee. $4.00

N Tran Bakery. Chapel Street, Prahran. Terrific food. Best and the best and crispiest baguettes you can find in Melbourne. Competent and very efficient staff. Lousy coffee. How come? We had great coffee in Vietnam. The coffee standard led to are argument between us. You and your coffee, said R. But he never suggested we buy coffee there again. Probably $3.50 but should be $1.50. 

Sugar Bowl. Pran(sic) Central. Chapel Street, Prahran. Variable, rather depending on who makes your coffee. Staff are friendly. We've had great coffee and rather ordinary coffee. With old man 25 cent discount, $3.50 and a loyalty card, 8th cup free. 

Brazil. Cecil Street, South Melbourne. Perfect coffee. By Mondays we are thinking about a cup of coffee at Brazil on food shopping day, Friday. Perfect amount of hot water added. We make ahh sounds when we have our first sip. $4.00 and the bonus is if the staff are male, they are hot. Loyalty card too, meaning occasional free coffee but R, mesmerised by the young blond staff member nearly always in blue shorts, forgets to use the card when he orders. The more mercenary me never forgets a loyalty card.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Musical Monday

 If you listen to ABC Local Radio on Sunday mornings I expect you will have heard this fun song. I think there is a bit in it for everyone, and how high can the voice of Pete Danahy rise!


I hope you foreign types can understand his fairly broad accent but his diction is good. R loves cooking shows but with one tv channel dedicated to cooking shows, enough is enough. Thankfully he has left experimental cooking to a minimum. If some of these strike a chord with you, you won't be alone. If they all strike a chord as with me, you are my soul mate.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Enough is enough

 I am going to start challenging people who do the wrong thing. I am seeing so many people not wearing masks when they should be, or with their mask lowered under their nose. If we at our ages can properly wear masks when out, then so can other people. I've had enough and if get a punch to my hooter for speaking out, so be it.

I will use the most posh clipped voice I possibly can and say to them, "You may very well reply with 'Fuck off old faggot cunt', but you need to wear a mask to protect me and you. We are. Why can't you?".

I've really had enough of deniers and people who don't follow the rules that we have suffered for over 100 days. 

In truth I will probably say, "Hey man/lady. Mask up!" Or "Wear your mask!" Whatever, I am now determined to speak up.

On the good news front, hairdressers can open here tomorrow. We'll make a beeline in the morning to town, and if that is a fail, we have a nearby backstop. 


An Albert Park Lake Amble

It was a a very nice afternoon so I took a stroll to Albert Park Lake. I have cheated a bit. I took the first two photos on another day. A very nice walkway under perhaps Ficus trees to Hallmark Apartments.

Another Victorian house saved, but look how! It is part of the next door cafe where I have been known to buy coffee. While we are used to paying $3.50 to $4 for a decent cup of coffee, it is $4.20 here. However it is very good and a well made coffee and the staff are very nice. I will give The Kettle Black a plug. I may buy coffee there twice a week and one young staff man has tried to remember my name twice (they write you name on the coffee cup) and failed. I think this day he went for Jeff. As an apology for his mistake, he offered me a large free biscuit, but as I was out for a walk and didn't want to eat a biscuit or carry it with me, I declined his kind offer. Later the cynical me thought, well it was half an hour before closing and perhaps the biscuits were to reach their use by date.

I remember when these trees were quite young and I thought they were rubber trees, but it is obvious now that they are Moreton Bay Figs. It is lovely to walk under them. They are going to grow a whole lot larger yet.



While our black swans partner for life, to the surprise of those who know about such things, DNA testing of cygnets has proved that partnered swans behave no better than humans and stray for some fun with another bird. The weed in the water is good and filters stormwater drain runoff as it enters the lake, making for much better water quality. This is a messy arrangement of swans and cygnets.


This appeal to me as a better sense of order. The water craft is for some kind of lake maintenance.  Behind the boat is Gunn island which I thought was a natural mound in what was a swamp, but the internet tells me it was built. I've seen photos of it without vegetation, I assume soon after it was constructed.


This crab apple was past its flowering prime and it is not a great photo as I didn't hang around to check. While school had ended at MacRob Girls School, a male my age taking a photo with a camera lens pointed into a school ground is not a good look.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Oh dear

 I'm sure it was Cathy who recently mentioned having porridge for breakfast. I decided the next morning I would have porridge. I knew we had some but Houston, we have a problem.

I bought a new box and I have eaten porridge only twice in a couple of months. I expect the new box will go the way of the old.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Too Early

 It is too early to get excited but with just two new cases in Victoria yesterday and six the day before, we can be very hopeful, along with a couple of single digit new numbers last week. But this COVID is nasty. After weeks of no infections yesterday New South Wales had about twelve new infections, three or four of them isolated returning travellers.

Otherwise aside from quarantined returning overseas travellers, as far as I know there aren't any infections in other Australian states.

Our State Premier will make announcements about easing of restrictions on Sunday. It is not expected that retail services will reopen nor being able to sit down in or outside a food outlet. It sounds like our five kilometre travel limit will be extended to twenty kilometres, but that is media speculation. 

It doesn't sound like personal services will reopen. It has been a very long time since my hair has been so long and I hate all the horrible hair on the back of my neck. It is interesting to see people become very shaggy haired, although so many young people seem to know someone who can cut hair. Our Hairdresser Friend would of course cut our hair if we asked, but we wear our bad looking hair as a badge of pride at following the rules. Young men look particularly interesting without a stylish hair cut.

We are still car driving everywhere we go, although R had a medical appointment at a large private hospital and chose to catch the tram. There were maybe six people on the tram in each direction as passengers boarded and left. 

River made a comment that she didn't quite feel safe about getting out about yet, although there hasn't been any infections in her state South Australia for a very long time. I feel the same. If the numbers stay in single digits for a week or so, we may return return to public transport and I might just start to roam the city again.

But COVID can get out of control so quickly as we saw in my state with one July day with 700 new infections The rest of Australia who had controlled COVID watched on in horror and in my opinion, European, British and United States governments have been very negligent and their citizens are paying the price. Pacific island governments who locked down their countries have done well. Third world Asian countries have done well. Compare the population of India to the United States and in spite of a huge difference, a poverty stricken country like India has done better on raw numbers with death rates and infection rates. I feel quite distressed for you if you live in some of the aforesaid countries, especially if you are in a big city in the US and UK. Mask up, sanitise your hands constantly and don't mix with people and you will have a good chance of being a survivor. 

Roundin' them up

 The photos didn't come out so well. I think they were taken some time ago, perhaps with my last camera. I think I have kept the coins, probably along with tens of thousands of other people. Don't I think so many things. I should make notes.

A jackeroo is somewhat like an American cowboy. Jillaroo is the female equivalent. I don't know the origins of the names. Of course as we have been dropping the nouns waitress and actress unless it is particularly relevant, so should jillaroo be dropped, but it's a nice bit of history. 

A jackeroo worked on a cattle or sheep station, normally huge properties but with low stocking rates as the food was poor and droughts frequent. Many of our Aboriginal people were jackeroos and in early days worked for accommodation, 'tucker' and 'baccy'. Do your research about Wave Hill, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and our late friend David Pollock. Aboriginal stockmen and jackeroos began to be paid proper wages.

Something just occurred to me. The suave Jaguar driving family accountant of my youth had a daughter who went into inland Australia to work as a jillaroo. Remembering, she was most certainly a wearer of sensible shoes.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Vote twice, frequently and often

 While where we live is called Melbourne and it is our postal address for all cheques you may wish to send me as reward for my most excellent blogging efforts, it is increasingly becoming known as St Kilda Road Central. That's a bit of side story.

We don't live in the municipal local government area of City of Melbourne but in the City or Port Phillip. The other side of the boulevard is City of Melbourne.

While we can't vote for her, I was very cynical about Melbourne's current Lord Mayor Sally Capp when she took office. And I think I was wrong. She has done a good job in very trying times and deserves another term. She is very passionate about Melbourne.

City of Port Phillip sent out ballot papers for a mail only election between the 6th and 8th of October. R received his a few days ago. I haven't received mine. I heard the deadline for the receipt of ballot papers back to the electoral office was late October and I was concerned that my vote might be too late given the disaster that is our current postal service. It wasn't because I would be fined for not voting as I can hardly do that if I hadn't received the papers in time. I just wanted my vote to count.

I looked at R's ballot paper information and as long as you have posted your vote in by the evening of the 23rd of October, it will be valid, so I still have time and I am not panicking Captain Mainwaring

Rotating Days

 Each day to preserve our sanity we go to one of three place in rotation, Prahran, South Melbourne and Port Melbourne, all within our five kilometre travel limit. A couple of times we did go half a kilometre further than allowed to visit the bakery in Elwood, well Google maps told me that, but the car odometer said five km.

There is a nice little area with benches to sit in at Port Melbourne. Here are a few photos. 

The nearby old fire station before trucks became too big to fit through the door.


The grassed square surrounded by bench seats. One face of the concrete pillars pays tribute to the late Senator for the area, Olive Zakharov


I've observed this little library over the past few months and it has been good to see books come and books go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A bit personal

 Our neighbour on this floor moved out to a house, much more suitable for a young family. They had a really hard time during lockdown with toddlers. The daddy was so hot, but now the replacement daddy in the same apartment is even hotter, as far as I can tell when he is masked but only with a baby.

As he told me while waiting for a lift today his father was a fit and exercised man the same age as me, 63 and I am not so well exercised nor fit. He was chief executive at a large corporation.  He was living the good life but after contracting COVID and a six week stay in hospital, the neighbour's father died three weeks ago.

A vital man killed by COVID. R would be horrified, but I slipped a note under his door tonight, So sorry to hear about your father. You must be grieving. My very best wishes, Andrew @ 1** 

Educating the kiddies

 Only at a bookshop in Prahran. Mrs Thatcher and Mary Whitehouse will be turning in their graves.


And what age are you?

 This photo of Bourke Street in Melbourne was taken about two months after I was born. For Melburnians familiar with our city there is quite a lot of interesting detail. 

This video was recently taken by a tram driver when he had the opportunity. It is sad to see our once vibrant city so deserted. 


How I used to complain about crowded public transport, traffic congestion and too many people on the streets. How could I have imagined when I had my last birthday how different my 2020 birthday would be. 
R has bought me the David Bowie biography ebook and an expensive bottle of Scotch. I thought of getting the hard copy of the book for the photos that will no doubt be within, but then aren't there enough photos of Bowie on the net to satisfy anyone?  Mother said on the phone yesterday you should have an expensive takeaway meal to celebrate. As our last Dominos pizza took longer than half an hour to deliver, we can have one free and delivered, so that is what we will do. Our last had a soggy crust so we will crisp this one up in the oven. Not keen on Domino Pizza. 
We know how to live the high life. Happy bloody birthday to me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Pope and Pell

 While Australian Cardinal George Pell was found guilty by our courts of sexually molesting a boy, on appeal the guilty verdict was dropped. In his latter years he was a resident of The Vatican brought in to sort out the financial mess and corruption within the Vatican. He returned to Australia to face our legal system and is now a free man.

How sickening to see him try to kiss the Pope's ring upon his recent return to the Vatican. More sickening is that Pope Francis welcomed him.

Sue me if you wish Catholic Church but if Pell wasn't guilty of child abuse, he was certainly guilty of covering up child abuse by other priests. Both Cardinal Pell and Pope Francis make me sick. I suppose 'duty of care' was not a phrase bandied about back then. 


Oy Vey

 Merde, don't you just hate when people mix in foreign words with English!

Entrecote is a fine dining (read expensive) French restaurant in Domain Road, South Yarra. For nearly 30 years it was known as Lynch's and was somewhat controversial as it did not allow people to bring babies and I think young children.

An Eff Word

 I think, only think the blog Separated by a Common Language blog is written by an American woman who has lived in England. Was it Churchill who said two countries separated by a common language in reference to the difference between American English and English English? 

Little Aussie Down Under gets confused and takes some bits of English from Britain and some from the Americas as well as having our own language too.

I've been gobsmacked twice in a couple of days by northern American English. Funny that while I dislike in the extreme what #45 says, and his bumbling speech, his actual speech does not trouble me. He doesn't pronounce things strangely.  

Tonight on tv an American woman said the word trauma. Wow! That is nothing like how we pronounce the word. We pronounce the word as trorma. I can't even work out how to spell how she said the word. Perhaps trarmer but I am not sure that is right.

Jackie of Toronto usually gives us a round up of her invariably interesting week and she recounted one day when she made filo pastry. Except she wrote phyllo pastry. Jackie is no fool, so straight away I knew it was a spelling difference. Before I got around to Googling it, Jackie as ignorant as I was of an alternative spelling Googled and discovered the different spellings. 

Which spelling surprises you to learn? Or are you smart and knew already there were two spellings? US, UK and people in France tell me how you spell the word? Did you know there were two spellings?

PS I don't want to know about you making phyllo/filo pastry. Not my job.



Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Mural

 Sami in Perth is the one who really keeps Monday Mural going. Have a look at what she has posted today. 

I could just say this is a nice enough mural I came across in South Melbourne, but that doesn't make for much outrage, discomfort or interest.

This City of Port Phillip approved the cheap and nasty fairly ordinary flat development is at a prime location on the corner of Cecil and Dorcas Streets n South Melbourne. Is that flammable cladding on the exterior? 

No doubt CoPP told the developer that it must spend 0.001% of the cost of the development on public art displayed to the street to receive approval. Maybe CoPP did not approve the development and the developer appealed to the developer's evil friend, the higher body VCAT.

Nevertheless, I quite like the mural. Facing Cecil Street depicted is the Park Street public housing tower and it looks like the grand former house Finn Barr. More on that building later. 


Facing Dorcas Street, South Melbourne Town Hall and the route 12 electric tram is travelling along nearby Clarendon Street.


And did I check for the artist's name? Nope! I forgot.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Royce Hotel

 Some of you, well maybe one of you seemed interested in the Royce Hotel when I posted a couple of photos. Here are a few more. It is worth having a look at the hotel's website to see one really nice interior photo. Well, don't bother. It is a nice hotel and I am sure they won't mind me using the interior photo.

It was designed and built in the 1920s as a prestige motor car Kellow Falkiner showroom and I remember it as that. It was the car sales place to visit if you were seriously rich. I also remember it being used by the Australian Army after it ceased to be a car showroom but Google is not being helpful





I expect I've posted photos of the hotel before but people come and go. How good is this weather vane!

Of course with wealth comes scandal, and this was a little interesting. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Ridding yourself of chattels

 I am really laughing at my stray thoughts. Now someone leads a bride down the aisle to meet her prospective husband but there was a time not so long ago when the bride was 'given away', usually by her father to her about to be husband who then took over ownership. Well, that is what it sounds like to me.

How extraordinary! Were you a possession who was given away by your father to a man who you would love, honour and obey?

Actually, it is not very funny at all and that I can remember it happening in my lifetime is just extraordinary.

Cop Out

 When it becomes too late at night to properly compose a blog post for the next day, there is always glorious Wisteria seen during ISO walking to fall back on. 

Friday, October 09, 2020

Gunfire circa 1996

 It didn't sound like normal gunfire that I knew but quite alarming to be woken by in the early hours of the morning when we lived in our Balaclava house.

I called 000.

Police, Fire or Ambulance.

Police please.

Police: What are you calling about?

A series of what sound like gunshots.

What area Sir and your name, address and phone number?

I replied.

We will send a patrol car to the area Sir. Thank you for informing us.

I had a cord phone in my bedroom. 

About ten minutes later the phone rang. R snored on in his bedroom quite oblivious that I was about to be shot dead in my bed.

Ring, ring.

Hello again Sir, said the honey sweet voice of the female cop.

We believe it was youths setting off gas guns but thank you for your report. Good night Sir.

But, but, but, I stuttered impotently in the phone handset. What is a gas gun? Too late. She had hung up.

In COVID time there are so few people on the street but neither a couple of strollers nor a jogger ducked for cover tonight as 24 years later as I heard the same sound but perhaps louder while sitting on the balcony. Birds were alarmed and all species rose to heights in the sky.

In '96 it was the early days of the internet and I dialled in (insert dial in modem sound) to find out what gas guns are. Early it may have been but I found the answer.

Gas guns are put in orchards to set off loud explosions to scare away birds that may destroy the fruit crop. 

The youf of 2020 are not so different to their dad youf of 1996.

Friday Facebook

 I think these all came from Facebook. This first one could be useful to some people......even me.

A Sammy J take on my State of Victoria with coffee cups and showing the driving paths of our hook turns.


Very American but the government taking half our money in taxes turned out to be quite untrue.


This one may be English or even Australian.

One to go with patting your head and circular rubbing your stomach at the same time.


I conclude with some twee feel good stuff.