Friday, February 10, 2006

City of Port Phillip f** up

Divercity was received at ********** **** St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

I am very concerned about everyone's email addresses showing. It should
have been blind, not displayed. While I don't really care who knows my email
address, I expect many people would and it is a breach of our privacy. Sadly
it may make people reluctant to participate in the future in similarly
useful community feedback.

Yours faithfully,
Andrew *******

Yep, my email address is there and I know quite a few people who's email addresses are there too. The reason they want feedback is that Australia Post was treating the City of Port Phillip magazine as junk mail and not delivering to many people, including us. Should I have republished their error here? Of course. Sue me. I hope she only gets severely chastised and not sacked.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Divercity"

Hi everyone

By now you should all have recieved the Februrary/March edition of
Divercity. Can you let me know if you did and any feedback is welcome.


Kelly Marshall
Divercity Editor
Marketing & Publications
P 9209 6525 F 9536 2746 M 0402 265 329

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bury your money

That was the thing to do when you did not trust banks and were afraid of the 'communists'.

A great Aunt died a week or so ago at the age of 94 and while I did not go the funeral, my mother passed on this anecdote told at the service. When Australia changed from pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents, Uncle Norm and Auntie Francis had rather a lot of pounds buried in tins in their garden in Oakleigh. They had to dig it up and take it to the bank and have it converted to dollars.

After the third visit, they were questioned by the bank manager as to where this mouldy and very old money was coming from. Must be a bit similar to now where banks have to report cash transactions over $10,ooo. The bank manager was suspicious.

I don't remember her very well. I can vaguely recall her complaining that the 'new' natural gas was not as good as that produced by the Oakleigh Gasometer. No heat in it she said. She was also worried that they would gas themselves as the smell was not as strong. I can recall visiting peoples houses who used gas for cooking and heating and the houses had a certain smell about them from the coal produced gas.

I am not telling you exactly where they lived as I need to go there and have a poke around in their garden.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Moving seats

It was supposed to be 35 degrees today but only reached 31. Still, warm enough. It was my day off so I planned to do home stuff later and go out early, an opposite to the way I usually do stuff.

I caught an almost empty tram to the city. Some business wanker talking way too loud on his mobile. Move to other end of tram.

Had some bacon, eggs, toast and coffee at an outdoor caf in Swanston Street. Passerby asks if he can borrow my spoon. I said no as I know what this is about (boil up your smack in something else, not my teaspoon). Walked back to Collins and Elizabeth and extracted the little that was in my bank account.

Caught tram in Collins Street towards Spencer Street. Vacant seat on a crowded tram. Hey, I will take that. Person sitting on seat next to where I sat stank of urine. Move away and found another seat by Queen St.

Get off tram and walk over Collins Street bridge and note Spencer Street Station is kinda open.

Visit Lindsey Fox Car Museum. Marvellous. Note colourful whirly gig thing at docklands is going crazy in the wind.

Walk back over bridge to Spencer Street and enter station. It is not a finished project yet, but all I can say is wow. I am impressed. Board train to Flinders Street Station. Sit near three generations, with the youngest having a very noisy pretend mobile phone. Move seat. Realise that I have never been on this model train before. Curvy and stylish, must be French.

Forget which platform Sandringham train goes from. Look around and find it. One minute to departure. Made it. Although air con is good, realise that I am sitting in the sun coming in through the tinted window. Move seat.

Arrive Richmond. Person with extreme B.O. sat near me after walking a long distance down the train past empty seats. Moved seat. Realise that I am on train of solid German engineering. Very nice and very square.

Alight Prahran, vaguely aware of two girls behind me who were together. "Excuse me", one called. I spun around. No, nothing to do with me. Who were they talking to? Then I heard the effing see words in their casual conversation. Shopped for essentials, caught bus home. I know full well how public transport driver's minds work. Rang the bell for my stop as we neared and there was a green light for the intersection before. Still, he was going past my stop until I called out. The next stop is a long way away, like two long tram stops, Dorcas Street. He stopped not too far away and was very apologetic.

All of that before noon. Home for loading dishwasher, loading washing machine and switching them on, water plants, check mail, pay bills online, sort out money, caught up with previous nights tv, talked on phone to Mum, sister in law and Dame M. Went out for coffee and muffin at cafe opposite, went for hair cut at local barber.

You have just read some of my day before 4pm when R gets home. Not terribly interesting really but I do urge you to support the Lukemia Foundation by visiting the Fox Car Museum. It is great.

I can cope with loud mouths on phones on public transport. I can cope with noisy kids. I cannot cope with people who stink!!! Why??? What I want to say to them is, 'Hey mate, you need a bit of a wash'. Wonder if anyone ever tells them?

Little Project

In mid January I bought myself a belated christmas present. It was a model to make up and it was discounted at a large chain of electronic stores. I keep them for a while, then chuck them out. My last was a sports car and the previous one, The Eiffel Tower. This one has a motor in it and you can alter the gearing by changing the rubber bands to different pulleys. The o/s rels watched me assemble it with some bemusment. I can by so immature at times. It can go very fast on a smooth floor, until it smashes into a wall, but I can't get it to hit hard enough to break it up.

140 on a tram

I don't think it is a bad advertsing campaign by Melbourne's tram operator. There is a picture of a very sleek tram with a caption 140 commuters and a picture of many cars in a traffic jam and a caption of 140 commuters.

To non Melbournians it must be impressive and perhaps they wonder why all these people would sit in a traffic jam when there is a nice modern tram to catch.

While I am a strong supporter of public transport, the ad is somewhat less than true for a few reasons.

1/ Much of the time a tram is right in the thick of the traffic jam. Sometimes they even cause them. 140 motorists are not going anywhere fast and neither are the 140 tram passengers.

2/ You may get one of these very smart trams, but you may also get a thirty year old one in which you will bake on a hot day and freeze in the winter or you may get a sixty year old tram that is limited to a certain speed for safety reasons. That is confidence building.

3/ There is one variety of tram that may take 140 comfortably, but there are only twenty one of them.The one in the picture is not one of them. How does it feel to be in a tram with 140 people? Very unpleasant I can assure you. Yet I just hear on the radio a commentator saying 140 to 160 passengers should not be delayed by one motorist in a car. Of course cars should not delay public transport, but 160 people? How often?

I suppose it is too much to expect truth in advertising. Still, it is not a bad ad.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bit more on Pride March

I have been published elsewhere, here is a copy. If you look at one of the crowd photos in my last post, you can clearly see who the person was who made the comment. The photo was taken before he made the comment. I stand by what I say below. I did feel uncomfortable. We come in all shapes, sizes and styles. But we are not a freak show. Straights are welcome but they need to use a bit of sensitivity. Dame M and the ha ha girls (her miserable Jewish lunch friends as she calls them) came one year and they were great. FYI, Nan McGregor was instrumental in setting up P Flag in Melbourne and has done so much for gay rights over many years. Of course she has a gay son and he sometimes does drag, aka Miss Glenda Waverley. Nan is a treasure.

Nice to see Nan M march, although I will always associate her with P

I was not sure that it was the best idea to stand behind some
screaming young dykes, but they were not a problem. I felt
uncomfortable when a straight guy with a wife and child in pusher
standing next to us said 'See that person over there in the leopard
skin, that is a man, not a woman'. The guy was in jeans and had a cut
off tight printed top. He did not look to be the most masculine guy
there, but was far from looking feminine. Quite attractive actually.
But I have to agree with Adamm Stobbs about seeming like a freak show,
and even our comparatively modest little Pride March can feel like
that if you are standing next to the wrong person.

Next year I will make sure we stand in the midst of bunch of screaming

Original Post was

One of the reasons I don't go to Mardi Gras is because the march is regarded as a freak show by most heterosexuals, and more fool us for feeding them the fodder to reinforce their stereotypical imagery.
I was in the Mardi gras march once, and 1/2 way through, I realised this was not an event for gay and lesbian people, it was an event for the straights who mostly enjoyed the spectacle, but none the less were watching because it was a grotesque and vulgar display of the diversity of human sexuality.
I felt quite uncomfortable at times during Mardi Gras march (1997 I think it was) and have not been back since - it was literally a "look at the poofters" event. Granted that a lot of tolerance and acceptance has come from this event but at what price? Personally I cannot prostitute my dignity to put on a freak show for the leering straights, be they middle class Mums who think it's all a bit of raunchy fun, to the feral westies who came to see a bit of "lesbian tit action" (quote from the year I was standing in the crowd next to a group of nasties). Look at Oxford street at 1am after the march, when all the good gay and lesbian people have gone home or off to the party. It is a sea of bottles and cans - ankle deep, fist-fighting straight boys, and the general debasement and degeneration that dogs massive events where the booze flows and ends up as a tsunami of vomit.
Pride march is the diametric opposite, the is not the glitz, shock, and vulgarity or piss-up, that is mardi gras, it is far more civilised and it has a unifying effect on the community. It is the one day that all of the community groups, businesses and members of the community, come together and show each other support, respect and share a sense of belonging.
I am far to cynical to believe that any mainstream newspaper cares who or what we are, they want to sell more papers, (and make more money) and they are more likely to do this is they show tits, bums and people generally behaving badly, or something that will scare the children. Any nice thing the print about us, is to lure into a false sense of security so they can cash in at the next event when we think they have learned to accept our diversity.
Addam Stobbs

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pride March

Yeah, that time of the year again. It was quite different for us this year. I have not missed a Pride March. Just co-incidently, I have never been working on this day.

This year instead of hooking up with male friends we went for the dyke option. Actually there was no option as our male friends weren't going.

We travelled by tram to St Kilda Junction, along with many others going to the march. We walked down Fitzroy Steet and got quite thirsty. There is 'The Saint', a gorgeous little hotel that used to be 'The State Savings Bank' on the corner of Canterbury Road and Fitzroy Street. We slaked our thirst there and then at quarter to five realized we need to get a position to watch the march. The last couple of years we have watched from the Junction end of Fitzroy Street and then followed the crowd down to Catani Gardens.

This year we watched from opposite The Prince and we left half way through the march and met up with dyke friends at Street Cafe. How trendy. I really don't like the Fitzroy St cafs, but we had a lovely time alternating drinks, chips, dips and bread. It cost a bomb though.

We went over to Catani Gardens for a little while. Ran into nobody. Why don't we know anyone anymore?

We ended up at a place next to Street Cafe for dinner (just remembered, it is called Superbo), for some overpriced food and an owner with attitude. I did not mind the high cost of the day, around $80 each for food and drinks because we had such fun, but really, Fitzroy Street is truly wanky.

Pics are a couple of crowd shots, the balcony of The Prince of Wales and the courtyard of The Saint.


Everyone seems to writing about coffee. The coffee I enjoy most is a short black after a bottle of red. I could drink a few of them but try to string one out by slow sips. Red wine and strong black coffee go so well together.

My usual daytime coffee is a strong latte or a long black. I used to quite like a macchiato but it is so hard to get one properly made, I have pretty well given up.

Hot or cold chocalate leaves me cold. I do have the occasional cup of Indian tea and went through a stage of drinking different Twinings teas. I like Chinese green tea (oolong). Japanese green tea is vile and all traces of it should have been destroyed in 1945. Iced coffee with whole coffee beans sitting on the icecream is a delight. I love crunching into the coffee beans.

As for coffee at home, well it is mostly instant, but I don't drink many cups at home. We have had various coffee machines over the years. We started with a drip coffee machine. Not so good really. We had an electric percolater which I think blew up. When I was a trainer at work, in a moment of bludging, I bought a pressure coffee making machine at Footscray Market. It was a bit tricky, but if you got it right, it was a wonderful cup of coffee. At some point there was a glass percolater which sat on the stove. I suppose it was mid 1990s when we bought a plunger. I think we broke it and we bought another which we still use. After our trip to Vietnam, we were inspired to buy these, I assume French, simple coffee making implements. It just sits over a glass or cup and takes forever to drip through the slightly pressured coffee. I believe many deals are done in Vietnam while the waiting for the coffee to drip through. It normally drips through onto sweetened condensed milk, but it does make a mean black.

Now, while not a coffee conesur? (it's just too hard), I do like a nice cup of coffee. So why don't we have a proper machine at home? Well, I am very much an at home person. We both are. Needing a decent cup of coffee gets us out, it gives meaning to things, it is the antidote to exercise, that is, knock off the benefits of a good walk with a cup of coffee with fat laden milk and too conclude, I don't think I would appreciate it if it was so readily available at home.......but then there are times......

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I do like old Willie Town. We visited last Sunday and I just realised that you could live there and never need to go to Nelson Place. All the local shops for local people are quite separate. But I like Nelson Place. It was supposed to be for lunch, but were weren't hungry and had a Crownie instead. We watched and waited for the sea plane to take off. Eventually it did, right behind the big grey boat and out of sight.

Five mins of fun

It was the last night of some swimming races at the new aquatic centre pool at Albert Park and so the spectators and participants were treated to a bit of firework show.