Friday, February 23, 2007

The Sums

Highriser has been doing some sums and has realised that he is in a perilous financial situation..........well, the inheritors are. He'll be dead and gone when the bailiffs arrive. Some deck chairs have been moved and he perhaps now has a more comfortable seat.

Don't people his age usually fly around to different countries on holidays? Aren't they shown smiling to their loved one on a sunny beach?

He should be. Instead he spends time trying to juggle money.

It is all the fault of the plasma.

Let me see. I could whack 30,000 on credit cards. That would supply a few nice holidays but only buy one smart car.

I have seen people older than me act like there is no tomorrow and end in very sticky situations.

Self criticism over. I haven't done great, but I could have done worse. I just need to remember there is an early bit, a middle bit and an end bit. When you are in the early bit and the early part of the middle bit, it does not matter. But once you enter the middle bit of the middle bit, it starts to get a bit scary. In the early bit, you did not have to look ahead. In the middle, you do have to look ahead, and it is hard to imagine what the future will be like.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dame M tale #32

It must be a strange thing to patronize the same restaurant for over thirty years but Dame M has.

Just around the corner from her is the Shanghai restaurant, but it is not spelt like that and I can't be bothered checking. Since the host, we will call her Jane, took over thirty odd years ago, Dame M has been a regular customer for both eating in and takeaway. She does not eat in much these days as Jane makes her stand outside with the rubbish bins to smoke.

Jane's sixtieth birthday co-incided with Chinese New Year, so Dame M was invited to the restaurant for a feast fit for the Last Emperor. Now Dame M does not eat much. It inteferes with her wine drinking, but she waxed lyrically about the splendid food. I am imagining by her description it was a bit like Babettes Feast.

The weather was warm and at some point the chefs left the kitchen to join the large crowd there celebrating. Dame M said she had never seen anyone so wet from sweat as the chefs. They had worked for hours.

As friends of Dame Ms, whenever we eat there, which is not very often recently as we find her Chinese food a little bland, Jane makes a great fuss of us. In fact Jane makes a great fuss, full stop. But behind her slightly dizzy self and her broken English, lies the mind and business head of a steel trap.

One time when we et there at Chinese New Year, I gave oranges to Jane, as is the CNY custom, and another time I gave her a printed out a picture of her establishment when it was a hotel. There was also some text info. She said she would get her niece to translate it later. She was very pleased to learn its history.

So Happy Birthday to Jane. Hope you have many more.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stolen Blog Post

I was going to write something about the two big ships visiting Sydney, the QE 2 and the Queen Mary 2. I had my lines all worked out, including of course a reference to Sydney queens. But other people have done it already and used my best lines.

So instead, I will just bag NSW, Premier Dilemma and Sydney.

You can read about the chaos caused by the two big queens in the Morning Herald but here are some snips.

Headline: Sydney in meltdown as hordes crowd to see giant ships

poor planning and a 200,000-strong crowd threw Sydney's infrastructure into chaos following the arrival

left thousands of Sydneysiders stranded for hours

People were fainting in the ferry queues

Sydney Buses staff that drivers stuck in traffic had been ordered to go home to avoid incurring overtime.

Cross City Tunnel was closed at 10.35pm and it took him 35 minutes to drive from William Street to Balmain

He acknowledged that the "city almost came to a standstill" and he acknowledged that attempts to disperse pedestrians and vehicle traffic had been "problematic".

Last night's chaotic traffic and transport delays were an embarrassment for the Premier,

State Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal apologised................................summoned senior Roads and Traffic Authority managers to explain the traffic chaos

We could have done it better

The Government should have been on notice from dawn yesterday when thousands lined the harbour

Royal Botanic Gardens about 9.10pm after thousands of people were locked in when its gates shut at its regular closing time of 8.30pm.

Botanic Garden's staff were clearly confounded by the crowd and blamed police for giving the public access.

husband helped a smartly dressed woman in her 80s over the wall

but the firemen could do nothing until someone from the gardens came with a key.

we were met with a very arrogant attitude that implied that we, the public, were a nuisance."

left Circular Quay early because it was full, he said.

attempted to organise replacement buses, but

Back a few years ago when the QE2 called at Melbourne, there was traffic chaos, in a few streets around Station Pier. It seems Sydneysiders just love the large and the ostentatious..........well I know they love large.

Greetings Koalas

Can't think of anything or anyone to whinge about today, so I will just say hi to my readers in more exotic climes. Cambodia, India and United Arab Emirates. Greetings to you.

And here is a picture I took of the animated rootin' koalas at Midsumma Carnival.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


You vill get rid of this obsolete technology and embrace the new. Excuses such as you don't like the light from fluorescent lighting, they won't fit your light fittings, it will spoil your chandelier, they don't alvays last longer, they can be over five times the price or you have a present stockpile of the old type will not be accepted. Vhy? The government says so.

Along with my criminally water wasting shower head, I am going to break the law further by buying a supply of incandescent bulbs. We use very few overhead incandescent lights. I have not had to replace an overhead light globe in the lounge or the bedrooms since we moved here nearly five years ago. We do have one energy saving bulb for a light that is left on a lot as it is linked to exhaust fans. The first lasted about nine months and had to be replaced. So much for long life, and it was not a cheapie.

I really dislike the light that comes from fluro lights, except in a work area such as a kitchen. I don't like the way they flicker from the corner of your eyes. I don't like the slowness of them to light up. I don't like the coldness of them. I don't like the hue that they give skin. I don't like their harshness.

I consider we are quite energy conscious, but I am saying no to this one.

Monday, February 19, 2007


I don't mind chocolate but I never really hunt it out and I only ever have a small amount at one time.

But after eating this chocolate, I never going back to cheap chocolate again. It is divine. I still don't eat much at once though.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I can't believe my brother hasn't taken to my nephew's hair with a buzz saw. For mine, it looks ok, but of course dreads never look clean.

We met his girlfriend tonight. Nice enough lass from Beacon Cove. He comes across as very innocent and niave but given he works a couple of nights a week in a bar in Fitzroy Street, is a regular at the Espy, lives part time with his girlfriend and on Friday night jumped off Princes Bridge into the Yarra, I guess he isn't innocent nor niave. God knows what nasties his hair picked up in from the Yarra.

I cannot recommend the newly renovated Langwarrin Hotel. It is quite nice inside but the air con was very deficient. Sweat was forming on everyone's brows. The cooling was fine in all areas except the dining area. The food was average. The service was ok. R ordered something and salad and paid extra for the salad. No salad came and when he queried it, they said they had run out and offered him a refund but then they managed to find some salad, as we suggested possibly gathered from other peoples leftovers.

It has a very nice deck area, overlooking the local open drain. There were the ubiquitous pokie machines, but not very many.

Enlightment entered my brother's eyes when I told him he would be an uncle for the first time, on our family side that is, when dyke sister has her donor baby. He later said he would have to think more about it. The haze of alchohol was hanging heavily on him by this time.

Older niece was her usual forced almost friendly self. Younger niece, gorgeous and charming as ever. Sis in law is off on a cruise in so many more sleeps. Her friend who we know too is working at a 'foxy' transport company, but it is going to move from Hueghsdale? to Essendon in the future. Too far for her to travel. Seventy eight year old step father was struggling with his phone to manage an sms. Mother had us in fits retelling the tale of when the Pizza hut soft serve ice cream dispensing machine would not turn off after she filled her cone. We were there at the time and it was very funny. Only my mother can have a whole restaurant involved in her getting an icecream.

Good to catch up with family, but not too often.

Punishment Glutton

Mad dogs and Englishmen and stupid Aussies go out in the heat by choice. We went to South Melbourne Market this morning. Too hot for dim sims. Just had a sandwhich and appalling coffee. Not the weather for coffee anyway. The renovated market is looking stunning. The fresh food displays are excellent and forced me to buy some oysters for my lunch. Smoky Bay in South Australia they came from. Where on earth that is I don't know.

I was passing the stall of a nice young Aussie/Chinese man and just thought I would ask if he had an earpiece set for my phone. I know I would never pay price for the genuine ones. He did have a few sets of varying prices. I bought the cheap ones of course. Twenty dollars. This afternoon I have been busy on Kazaa getting some bits and pieces of music. I use the pay version of course.

Ah well, time to get gussied up for the journey to Langwarrin. Wonder if nephew will have any cute mates at his birthday celebration?


I have options. Last night I could have stayed home, watched some tv, played on the pc, had a drink, maybe played some backgammon with R and it would all be in the lovely cool of our apartment. It was what I felt like after a hard day at work in the heat.

No, instead we went to our friends in South Oakleigh for a barbeque. Although they have evaporative cooling, it is just not cool enough for me. Anyway, most of the time we were semi outdoors. It was a fine feast of course and the company pleasant. The mother from Fiji is still staying with them. She said hello and when we went outside to where she was sitting, she went inside. She really doesn't try hard to be sociable. We have given up trying. She ate seperately and then watched a Hindi dvd inside the house. Her son said she is getting through about two a day. I really don't know why she wants to stay so long with them, away from her home and grandchildren.

A friend of our ex politician friend was staying with him. He was from Darwin but is now travelling Australia with his large 4WD and motor home. He was in Melbourne for a Chinese friend's wedding today. Poor bride's makeup will be running.

Our ex pollie friend is just back from Queensland and got caught in the heavy rain they have had there. He did get to see the Barron Falls near Kuranda in flood. The photos were spectacular.

Our brother friends were there too and as always lowering the tone of the conversation to gutter level. Oh, how we laugh. They were off to a poolside brunch today with an old workmate. Bring your togs, she said. They said no, you don't want to see our old bodies. Ah, my husband and I normally don't worry about swimming costumes anyway. They may have an interesting time!

There were some lovely new chickens in residence. Some of the more mature chooks seem to have disappeared. Chicken curry? I believe the Fiji mother is a mean hand with an axe. I didn't ask.

By eleven both R and I were getting heat headaches, so off home to the greenhouse effect creating air con. Bliss. Thrown some more lovely brown coal on the generators. Manana.