Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Real heroes

This may become a regular post, or maybe not. A hero is not a great sportsperson, or someone who raises a huge amount of money for a charity. Nor is someone who survived some terrible situation, with or without injury. No, they may have been very brave but that is not heroism.

Let me tell you of a real hero, and history has many of them. I really like shows like Air Crash Investigations and Train Crash Investigations.

In the 1980s there was a terrible train crash in Paris, with 56 people killed. In the face of a runaway incoming train, train driver Andre Tanguy stayed in his train cabin facing the rapidly approaching train and making public announcements over the trains speaker system for passengers to flee the train. Many did and his action saved many lives. He remained at his position urging people to leave his train as the incoming train slammed into his facing driver's cabin and he was killed instantly.

So, the next time you hear of a hero, compare the person to Parisian train driver Andre Tanguy.

Monday, December 10, 2018


All being well we will have picked Step Mother up from the front of So Cross Station on Monday early afternoon. She has troubles with her ankles and so via Travelers Aid I have booked her a buggy ride from the platform she arrives on to the front of the station for us to pick her up (it was not as simple as it sounds). I realised that 3 hours on a coach/train and then 1.30 hours in the car might be a bit too much for her in one day and so invited her to come down the night before. We will have gone out for dinner (we didn't. I didn't realise I wouldn't get home until 7.35. R cooked), probably to The Dick Whittington Tavern and the next day we will check into our cottage in Queenscliff to attend Sister's and Bone Doctor's wedding.

Tradie Brother will take her home in his car and stay a couple of nights.

While Mother is 84, Step Mother is only 80. Step Mother said, don't worry about the time. I can find a seat and read my book until you are ready. The contrast between the two is great.

Sister is paying for Mother and ABI brother to stay in caravan park cabin, with sea views, right at the edge of the beach. 

Although Sister and Bone Doctor constantly bicker, they love each other dearly and are well suited. It will be five years to the day that they as same sex couple were allowed to and did marry in Canberra, legal for a week or so before the nasty then Prime Minister John Howard closed the loophole and annulled such marriages.

I am really excited about the wedding. Sister has insisted that Mother makes a brief speech and Mother will give away Sister, I hope without her walking frame. It is a church wedding, and while neither brides are religious, they are involved with the church as the minister is a really good bloke. He clearly has no problem with same sex marriage, supported the same sex marriage vote and flies the rainbow flag . He accepts pet animals into his church, so Tradie Brother's beloved dog Cobber can attend the wedding. Until you cross a certain road to a new housing estate built on drained wetlands, which were ugly to the human eye but good for animals and birds, Sister lives in a very civilised place.

Our cottage is within walking distance of the venue, maybe that will be staggering distance, and it's downhill back to the cottage.

This Monday night I sent a quite soppy text message to Sister. I became a bit teary. She probably won't answer and will only skim read it, but that is ok. She will understand.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Sunday Selections

It has been a while. This Sunday I am joining in with River and EC for Sunday Selections, which I now describe as photos not good enough to make it for a post of their own.

This figure must have been in a most horrible accident. No bulge between the legs, so as well as the horrendous injuries, he may have lost his genitalia too.

How pretentious, Upper West Side indeed. But it is kind of upper west in Melbourne City.

Melbourne Cup Day was celebrated in our building with drinkies and nibbles, but I am not sure which night. We did not attend.

Many trams pass The Highrise, and these pointer signs are great to direct people unfamiliar with the tram system.

The balloon was quite close by.

The developer of this historic building in the inner eastern suburb of Collingwood was considerably reigned in from the company's first proposal to demolish the lot. Not a bad outcome.

Playing a piano is not like riding a bicycle. I have lost any vague competence I may have had. I can still handle an organ pretty well. Smith Street, Collingwood.

The water starts up here at the National Gallery of Victoria. 

Flows down here.

To become a huge moat outside the quite brutalist design Gallery.

But peering into the water is not really a great thing to do. The thrown coins go to a charity, well, no, the Gallery itself, I think. Yes, people have become wet while trying to take the money, but the moat is well covered now by CCTV. A guard will be out to bop on the head such thieves very quickly.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

It's just too damn hot

Yesterday, Thursday as I write, was Mother Day. She is back at ABI Brother's as of a week and a half ago. I took her out last Thursday. This Thursday both R and myself went. This makes it awkward as her walker has to go on the back seat of the car, which makes it very cramped for the person who sits in the back, which was me.

She was a quaking, shaking quivering mess when we arrived and could barely walk. She does the theatrics really well. As the day went on she became better and better and after lunch and shopping, we called in at her house on the way back to ABI Brother's place. She needed some jewellery for Sister's wedding and wanted to check on things. For someone who could barely stay upright when we arrived in the morning, by the afternoon she spent 15 minutes in her garden in 35 degree heat, bending over and pulling out weeds, in spite of me urging her not to be so silly.

Hippie Niece called while we were having lunch and she was nearby and joined us and she was pretty good. Big highs and big lows for her. We are always hopeful.

I lost my sunglasses when leaving Mother's House. ABI Brother was there to take her back to his place. I reversed out of the driveway and Brother moved his car in the driveway. As I was about to zoom away, I saw my sunglasses sitting on the concrete driveway path. How they were not crushed by either car, I do now know.

Today, Friday, we bought summer pyjamas for Christmas for the twin babies who have a tall and solid Maori heritage father. They are 18 months old. I was doubtful enough about size four fitting them to buy size five, the size for a five year olds. They are very solid lasses, not fat, just solid. If the jim jams are too big this year, they will be fine next year.

It was 38° here today, about 100 in the old money. As I said, we went into the city today, and there were so many hot men exposing their flesh, I felt quite faint. The building has a core temperature, that any heating and cooling must fight against. Our cooling fought against the heat very nicely today and the core temperature of the building after two days of heat is not that high. Of course you keep the place closed up to the heat outside. Well, we do, but there are some tossers who don't and have their windows open in such heat. I do not understand their thought processes.

Two open looking upwards at the side. Good luck sleeping tonight.

A bit ajar in front of our balcony.

Nope, I do not understand why you would want to let air at a temperature of 38 degrees into your bedroom.

Friday, December 07, 2018

I'm Clean

It is with some pride and some luck that I have never been given a ticket by police. I have never been caught driving too fast. I have never been caught driving through a red light. I have never been caught tailgating. I have never been caught driving over the .05 alcohol limit. Note, each time I said I have never been caught. I expect I have done all of the above at times but pretty rarely. My two brothers and my sister have all lost their licences for driving over .05 and someone close to me lost his licence for travelling at 80km/h in a 40km/h zone. Smile at the portable roadside camera hon. I did keep telling him would be caught for speeding and would lose his licence.

But in my youthful years, I did receive some parking tickets. The first was at the Alfred Hospital where I had taken a friend for emergency treatment. She paid the fine. The second time was in the city. I would not now dream of driving into the city, but I did when I was young. Quiet laneway, I parked a too far forward when there wasn't really a space and I received a ticket.

The last time was at a bank in Balaclava and by this time I was 21 years old. I parked illegally because I was only going to be a minute, and I was about two minutes.

As is said perhaps in England, Fair cop Gov. I deserved to be caught.

No more Missy, and ever since, I have pretty well always parked legally.

But it struck me watching tv tonight that people in New South Wales call their parking officers something different.

Here police can book you for illegal parking, but they would never bother checking on overstayers. Normally it would be a parking officer, a council officer, parking inspector or bylaws officer who would book you. All the same person, just referred to with different names.

So what is the person who could book you for overstaying in a parking space in your part of the country or the world? If you have recently received a parking infringement ticket, you may be tempted to use a bad name for them, but I want the proper name.