Saturday, May 20, 2006


I'd like to tell you about the response I received from the DOI and Metlink about the timetables in St Kilda Road, but I can't show you the email. I must say, what I found out surprised me. Later.

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

Friday, May 19, 2006

One step back, two forward

Sadly I have deleted a fellow blogger from my list. It was a hard call as his blog has interesting, useful and relevant writing, but no post since last year? I don't feel that I can recommend a lapsed poster to my small audience. Out with old and in with the new. I will add two more to replace it. One is Lord Sedgwick at There Aint No Sanity Clause and the other is a woman no less, Jahteh at Copperwitch recommended by the afore mentioned blogger. His is cutting and hers is homespun. I like them both.

This weeks stud

Better do an Aussie one. How about Daniel McPherson? Don't forget str8 bois, no tracking at my weekly studs, you can look and I won't know.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pic from Anzac Day

I hope the parachutist is not on fire. He'll survive. He is headed straight for the Yarra. Well, survive the fire, but maybe not the ecoli in the Yarra.

The train, tram and bus

In spite of my cynical nature, I had a glimmer of hope that we were going to hear something wonderful from our Victorian state government today. I hoped they were going to provide a vision for Melbourne's future transport needs.

Nah, a couple of new roads here, a bit of extra railway track there, a couple of new railway stations and a few alterations to traffic lights for trams. Call me stupid, but I cannot imagine how the West Gate Bridge can have altered direction lanes to cater for peak flow. Besides that, whichever peak it is, it is congested in both directions.

With the political capital and funds that the state government has, they could have gone extreme. Railways everywhere, buses to get passengers to railway stations, clear cars from tram routes, county trains are the only way to get to town or the burbs. Turn public transport into a viable option in all circumstances and not just for city workers commuting from the burbs.

Very disappointing. They created an opportunity to stimulate and excite people and they have the wherewithall to do it and they failed. Don't expect much in the papers tomorrow, apart from a few critcal letters.

The Miners

Oh hasn't it all got a little bit tacky. I don't begrudge them earning some significant dollars for their pain and suffering, but hey guys, a little bit of style perhaps? Holding out for so long while one commercial tv station bid against another? Bad form. It all seems a little bit sour. Of course I will watch the interview and in the unlikely event I have a ratings monitor present, I would make sure it did not register.

For a start, they are survivors, not heroes. They helped no one. They weren't in a position to help anyone. Once they were found alive, it must have become bearable for them. The period before they were found must have terrible, truly terrible. Unimaginable even.

How could they have done it better so that a percentage don't feel like I do.? Wrap the dealing up quickly, state that you are sharing some of the proceeds with the widow and the town. Yes, bargain about tv rights, but make sure they come with an ABC feed or ABC radio interview. Don't play along with the Footy Show and the obviously rehearsed cheque book joke.

Two ordinary blokes in a extraordinary situation. They should have hired a public relations person, much as I despise them, to make sure that maybe 1/4 or a 1/3 of the population did not feel as I do.

Not sure what the people of Beaconsfield are feeling, but I expect the rescued miners won't hang around too long in the town. The people of Beaconsfield are going to feel very used and abused.

Ah, good luck to the rescued miners. They may not be respected but they are now quite comfortable. I would do the same, I think.

The world around us

New Zealand seems ok, but what about these other countries around us?

East Timor, slowly sliding into disorder to the point where we have war ships ready to evacuate Aussies.

Papua, dreadful situation of being a country no one knows about except those who exploit and pollute it.

New Guinea, lawless and tribal and corrupt and we pump millions of dollars into it with little effect.

Solomon Islands, again tribal and will always be an unsettled place. China and Taiwan are using it as a propaganda tool. Again we are propping it up with Aussie dollars.

Fiji. The only industrious people there are the Indians and most of them have left to live in either NZ or OZ. Between coups at the moment.

Naru. They wasted all the money we paid them when we exploited them. Totally broke now. Lucky we have put jails for foreigners there.

Vanuatu.........ah, sorry, wrong on that one, it is a French colony and is quite a civilised, albeit expensive place.

See where I am coming from kiddies? If we feel such responsibility to them in that we pump so much money into looking after them and it is not working anyway, we may as well take them over and they can become part of Australia. But without mainland Australia residency rights.

We will build a railway in every country with a lovely central railway station and a really grand Post Office. All residents will be too busy with the new bureaucracy to bother with revolutions and protests. We could even guarantee a seat in our Federal Parliament to represent youse all.

If not, then cut them loose and fortify our borders. Then we will only have the abos and kanakas to worry about.

Ah, perhaps this is where my argument falls down. We ain't done a great job there, have we? We can't look after our own even.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Day off

Sorry about the weirdness large orange block letters in the last post. It seems to happen when something is cut and pasted into a post. Short of retyping, it seems unfixable.

Day off today. As I had three days off at the weekend, I was well caught up on things and had to think of something to do that would excite me. It was a lovely day, so where better than Docklands. While I would not want to live there, I do quite like it to visit. I like the wide open uncluttered grass and the wide open cluttered grass. I can smell sea water there, always a lift for me. Saw a couple of people fishing. S'pose they wouldn't bother fishing if they never caught anything. Perhaps they are paid by the Docklands developers?

I just walked from New Quay down to Flinders Street along the park. I looked carefully in all the smelly stagnant water but saw no signs of life. I am sure there are eels in the water though.

I did a circuit of Shed 14 and looked at the panels that talk about the area's history. I remembered the dance parties we attended that used to be held in Shed 14 and Shed 9. It seems so long ago. Truly magical memories. Although the area is totally altered and there is nothing left that is in my memory, the sheds themselves are the same, although the piers on which they stand have been shortened.

I did check out the whirly gig sculpture close up. It is marvellous, as is the kiddies playground below. There were even some mid teen schoolboys playing there. Must have wagged school.

I then caught a tram to Birrarung Marr and walked along the river to Prince's Bridge. Ah, Transport Bar and I am hot and thirsty. I asked for a schooner and received a pint and was probably charged the full price for it. Didn't care, I was very happy and very relaxed. I sat watching the river, watching the trams coming across Prince's Bridge, watching the inactive lass selling tickets for a river cruise, sized up the best angle to photograph the autumn foliage of the trees and wondering about the muslim couple, her with only her eyes showing, with two young children, the older in a scarf, the younger exposed. Her husband ran down the stairs to the riverbank and then came back up. They then set off across Prince's Bridge. What will Australia be like for you two kiddies when you are brought up to wear full cover dress? Will you be accepted as a normal Aussie or will people think, like I do of your mother, scary. Can't say your father in a full white gown looked much better. Couldn't you just make a bit of an effort to fit in better? For your children's sake hey?

It was a nice three hours and apart from the cost of one beer, free.

A walk in the garden

When walking around public gardens or in someone's private garden, I often say to a plant, "I used to know your name, but alas I have forgotten it".

I should carry with me the list I compiled in 1987 of almost all plants in our garden in our semi-detached in East Malvern. I came across it the other day. Some of it is accurate, some of it is not. I might add, it was a quite nice garden.


Acer Palmatum, Japanese Maple

Azalea Mollis

Betula Dalecarlica, Cut Leaf or Lace Leaf Birch

Betula Pendula, Silver Birch

Chaenomles Lagenaria, Flowering Quince or Japonica

Fraxinus Excelsior, Golden Ash

Fraxinus Raywoodii, Claret Ash

Hydrangea Macrophylla

Jacaranda Acutifolia

Liquidamber Styraciflua

Magnolia Soulangeana

Malus Floribunda, Flowering Crab Apple

Prunus Elvins, Flowering Cherry

Prunus Salicina, Flowering Plum

Rose Black Boy (climbing)

Rose Blue Moon (tea)

Rose Lady X (bush)

Rose Red Planet (bush)

Salix Pussy Willow

Tamarix Juniperina

Toxicondendron Succedanea, Rhus

Viburnum Opulus Sterile, Snowball Tree or Guelder Rose

Weigela Florida

Wisteria Sinensis


Agapanthus Umnrellatus

Azalea Indica

Azalea Kurume

Bambusa, Bamboo

Bougainvillea Magnifica Traillii

Camellia Japonica

Camellia Sasanqua


Daphne Odora

Datura Cornigera, Angel’s Trumpet

Euphorbia Pulcherrima, Poinsettia

Ficus Pimula, Creeping Fig

Fortunella Japonica, Cumquat

Gardenia Jasminoides Plena

Garrya Elliptica, Catkin Shrub

Herdera, Helix English Ivy

Helleborus, Christmas Rose or Winter Rose

Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis

Hoya Carnosa

Jasminum Mesnyi, Yellow Jasmine

Ligustrum Lucidum, Green Tree Privet


Photinia Robusta

Pieris Japonica, Pearl Bush

Raphiolepes, Indian Hawthorn


Wisteria Summer Wisteria

Zantedeschia Aethiopica Arum Lily

Wall decoration

We had a friend who lived in the very short Union Street between Queens and St Kilda Rd. We went to pick him up and take him out somewhere a few years ago and as usual, he was not ready. While we waiting for him, we noticed this metal thing leaning up against a tree. It had the remains of a smashed mirror inside it. We looked at it and thought it was interesting and maybe we considered picking it up and putting it in the car. Friend finally arrived and we forgot about it. But when we returned him to his abode later in the evening, it was still there. We put it in the car and took it home. We shoved it under the spare room bed and every so often we would be reminded of it by stubbing our toes on it's sharp edges. It is heavy grade tin.

Eventually we dragged it out and had a good look at it. Hmm, it could work. We had a mirror cut for it and put it up and we liked it. In the overall context, it does not grab your eye, it is just there, but people do notice it and comment on it. Found it on a nature strip, we answer. We don't tell how much work we put into it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mum's Day

The Brighton Antique dealer managed to get together a group of 17 to meet for lunch today to celebrate Mother's Day. My mother was among the three mothers present. The youngest person there was twenty two and the oldest ninety four. But to top that on the table next to us was youngest ten and oldest ninety seven.

It is a weird sort of day and I can't say I am very keen on it but you gotta do what you gotta do. Of course I am for a day to appreciate mothers, but I am not sure that we go about it in the right way. No matter. All enjoyed themselves.

Coming to a tram stop near you soon

First it was the Punt Road bus, now 'service interval' timetables are spreading along St Kilda Road, instead of time specific. You can't say the tram is late if you don't know what time it is supposed to arrive. It is a clever thing invented by someone who wants to reduce their level of complaints about unpunctuallity.

But it is not much consolation when you arrive at the tram stop on a Sunday night and read that the service interval is thirty minutes. Have you just missed one? Make alternative arrangements, like go home and get the car, which is probably what I would do? Perpaps you may be lucky and it has been a while since there has been a tram. It won't be too long, will it? Who knows?

Yes, I will complain to the appropriate area. But it will be pointless.

It is not always the big things about public transport that annoy people and put them off using it. It can be very small things.

I get so tired of the propaganda and spin that spews from everywhere. Ok, some don't even have public transport on a Sunday night. But hey, I pay a lot to live where I live. Well over $20,000 in stamp duty for a flat, never mind the council rates that we pay. Mr Batchelor, if you want me to not use my limited resource using and polluting vehicle, do better. Tell Yarra Trams to revert to the old style timetables.

New vase, vayze, varse, voize

R sprung this one on me without me having a say. He did not expect me to pay half but I willing did as I really like it. It just presents gerberas perfectly. The red and orange coloured areas are fired enamel.