Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mater at Docklands

There was a message on our answering machine. Edited version. Hi Andrew and R. Just wondering if you are working on Sunday Andrew. It is Fathers Day, and none of L's, your stepfather, eight children have made any effort. Just wondering if you Andrew are working on Sunday. If not, I would like to see Docklands before I die.

Ok Mum. See what we can work out.

Sunday time line.

9.30am, travel to new South Melbourne Coles Supermarket in car. Park one hour for free in underground carpark. Buy lots of food to put on an afternoon spread. Already troubled by the cost of a visit from Ma.

10.10am Buy three Sunday Saver tickets from newsagent in Clarendon Street.

11.00am Home and groceries unpacked. Place tidied.

1.30 Mother, step father and brain damaged brother arrive. Brother some how missed out on lunch and so R made him a nice sandwich. Board city bound old Z tram. Bad tram driver. Very rough. Seats comfortable. Validate Sunday Saver tickets by four and realise my transport travel ticket has expired. Must fix that up in the next week. Although hard work, mother managed to haul herself onto and off the steps of the tram.

2.30 Arrive Docklands via W class City Circle tram. Very busy, but not too crowded. Note silly old German tourist woman who did not hang on and fell up the minor tram step. Many hands reached out to drag her upwards when I think she would have happily got up in her own time. Point out places of interest along the way to Mother and step father.

"That is an ugly building", commented Ma. I said it is quite a nice building. It has some environmental award and our old building manager's wife worked there for a time and there is a totally hot guy who lives there who grew up where you live Ma.

Walk along past Shed 9 and Shed 14 where there used to be the most wonderful dance parties. I told Ma that we used to go to huge 6,000 people dance parties here. I did not add that we consumed huge amounts of alcohol, dabbled with drugs and fornicated shamelessly in the boat shed at the end of the wharf.

Eventually after walking past almost all the Docklands buildings, the almost 80 year old step father suggested we stop for a sit down and coffee. I took no note of the name of the place, but we all had coffee and chips and wedges. Food places at Docklands go broke on a weekly basis, so no point in bothering about names. Note, old crippled men have been dragged to Docklands for Father's Day.

Caught Bourke Street B Class tram back to city. Pointed out significant places along the way to Ma. Ma strung off all the shops that used be along Bourke Street. The last time she went to the city, about ten years ago, and she used to go often, she was stalked from the Pakenham station when she was walking home. She lost confidence and has never been on public transport or out alone since. It was a big deal at the time and police were involved.

After such a long time, she was very interested to see the changes in Melbourne City. Step Father doesn't say much, but I think he enjoyed himself.

We were home at the St Kilda Road smart apartment by four thirty and then sister, the bone doctor and little Joanna arrived. R had set up a fine spread of food. Dips, biscuits, party pies, sausage rolls, nibbles, cheese, cabana, cakes, biscuits, endless cups of teas and coffee.

'Ma, if you need to smoke, go out onto the balcony or in my en suit bathroom and switch the lights on so the exhaust fan is on. No smoking around Little Joanna, Joanna, little Jo, Joey, Skippy, Goanna.

The bone doctor bashed orf back to Wangaratta, sis back to Geelong, Ma, Step Father and brain damaged brother back to Pakenham and suddenly all was peaceful and back to normal at the highrise.

Most of my mother's friends are probably dead now, but I think that there must be one or two left who she can tell about her visit to Docklands. Like her son, she does like the bragging rights.


  1. Good for yo for taking them to the Docklands. I am with you, I don't like the place much, but we had some nice coffee, served by a hot waiter earlier this year. Like you said, the place is probably gone now.
    Little Goanna, hehe, I love that.
    I spent the day in the garden, it was lovely. We walked our little was nice.
    I called my Pop, he lives in Bendigo..I miss him.

  2. That sounds like a nice day - especially on those wonderful value Sunday Saver metcards. I'm glad you're enforcing the no-smoking around the baby law. It irks me when I go to a cafe with bubs for a coffee and people smoke on the balcony. I thought you weren't allowed to smoke under balconies anymore?

    Docklands is awful, but it may get better... (fingers crossed)

  3. Hi Andrew. The incident that happened to your mum sounds horrible. It is sad that her fear has kept her from going out alone.

    I'm curious to know why you say "brain damaged brother". As a person who doesn't know any of the circumstances it comes across as cold and unloving. Just letting you know how it reads.

    "...and suddenly all was peaceful and back to normal at the highrise." A visit by your ma seems to bring up uncomfortable feelings for you. I understand. I sometimes needed a nap after visiting mine although it got easier once I let go of all those feelings and accepted her. She died 9 months ago.

  4. So there's a new Coles in Clarendon Street? The old place was a cramped depressing little dump.
    I haven't actually seen Docklands, but noticed a few palm trees near there and figured they were trying to build Florida.

    Is your brother actually brain-damaged, or is it just an insult because you don't like him?

  5. Yes Cazzie, we found the 'scenery' very nice.

    Not so bad on a weekend Rosanna when there are a few people around, but weekday it feels like a ghost city.

    Cold unloving bitch is me Denys. Brother has an acquired brain injury as a result of a collision between his bicycle and motor car. He over a year in rehab and is not too bad now, just a bit vague at times and has to concentrate hard. It was endless visiting trips to hospital and then later rehab. Mother just makes me tired as she talks so much. No issues with her or my brother.

    I hated the old Coles too RH. The new one is great. Docklands is worth one visit at least, just so that you say how you don't like it.

  6. Good. Well there's serious retardation in my family.
    -Not accidental, and no one's fault.

  7. Sorry. Ignore that.

  8. Good on ya Andrew thats really nice of u to take em there.

    **, served by a hot waiter earlier this year.

    LOL u go girl Caz!


  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Andrew, do you still call your mother 'mater' for real?

    All throughout year twelve, when I was practicing for a play I was in, I called my parents 'mater' and 'pater'.


  11. Very cryptic RH.

    Keshi, what is that Caz like!!!

    No Rosanna, she is Mum or Ma.

  12. What? Why have you switched comments around? "Best I can do" was in answer to "Very cryptic."

  13. Not really sure how I managed to do that RH. Sorry. Can't fix it now. You are on the record now.

  14. The only record I worry about is this:

    Magistrate: "I find the charges proven. Anything known?"

    Police Prosecutor: "Yes, Your Worship. 9/4/2007, Indecent exposure."

    Magistrate: "Correct?"

    RH: "No."

    Police Prosecuter: "6/12/2006, Sexual harrassment."

    Magistrate: "Correct?"

    RH: "No."

    Police Prosecuter: "It goes on, Your Worship..."

  15. But you are not telling RH.

  16. I thought it was VERY telling.

  17. I don't wear down easily RH. No indecent assault, not sexual harrassment. So what?

  18. I'm not sure what you're talking about but the above exchange is based on a funny thing I saw in court. An old wino had just been found guilty of something. And so the beak asked the prosecutor if this bloke had prior convictions ("Anything Known."), and he sure did, but as they were read out he denied every one with an emphatic "NO!". Finally the prosecutor just ended by saying: "It goes on, Your Worship." meaning there were lots more.
    I just thought it was funny, that's all: hopeless, the whole thing.

  19. Anyway I've never flashed my doodle but I have played Peeping Tom, and even then it wasn't my fault.

  20. I understand now RH.

  21. Thanks, and my fault, I made the old mistake of not being clear.