Friday, October 19, 2007

Dame M tale #44

It wasn't me who asked but it was interesting to hear all the same. One of the Mountain Women asked Dame M why they, Dame M and her late husband sold their holiday house at Newhaven, named WitsEnd.

Dame M's home business was just getting going. As well as her work and looking after her large house, on weekends she went down to the holiday house where her husband was living. She would take him down prepared food for the coming week and food for the weekend. She would water the garden, clean the house and do washing. Her husband had started to drink a lot at this time.

Her husband bought another house down the street and so she had to water there too. Water restrictions were put in place and she could only water after seven in the evening, at the exact time the mosquitoes started to descend.

One weekend she when she arrived on a Friday night, her husband was very drunk. They went off to a function at the local yacht club and it was 'ladies bring a plate'. She had prepared some great food and she was handing it around and thought to offer it to her husband first. He dismissed her with a wave of the hand as you would a servant. She walked over to the external balcony where some kids were playing. 'Here kids, eat up'. And they did in seconds.

She started to walk back to Newhaven but an acquaintance saw her and gave her a lift. She waited until her husband returned home and said only this. 'I am going home and I am not coming back'.

She went home to St Kilda at that very late hour and never returned to WitsEnd. Not long after her husband sold the two houses and returned home.

PS As per the link to Dame M's business, her embroidery machine is called a Cornelli. It is very specialised. When she gave us a demo, I could not believe the speed of the machine and with both hands, a foot and a leg working at the same time. Concentration level 100% plus and as mentioned, there was a six year apprenticeship.

Communication is resumed

My mobile was where the chap said it would be, at the reception of the Vibe Hotel in Little Collins Street. I was there before nine this morning and collected it from the pleasant reception chappie. No name, so cannot reward. I unblocked it with my phone company when I returned home and it worked immediately.

Before I unblocked it, I sent a text to R from a public phone box. I don't think it worked.

It was certainly different being in the city at that time of day. People moved together like a well oiled machine, unlike later in the day where shoppers, wanderers and people with purpose collide.

I am not out in the streets early very often but it is quite pleasant especially as the weather was so much nicer today.

An ode to the departed

This youtube clip from the ABC tv program The Chaser has upset both Federal political leaders, the Sydney radio shock jocks and those who like to inflict their morals on others. Therefore, it has got to be good. Although they are mostly Australians mentioned, the widely known Steve Irwin gets a gig, as does Princess Di and John Lennon.

PI 7

Last. On our way home we stopped off to look at where Dame M's holiday house was at Newhaven. It was a bit damp but a lovely quiet location with nice views over Western Port.

'Dame M', I said when I next saw her, 'you did not tell us that you had a private beach'. Just cross the road from her place and down some steps and you were on a small secluded beach. 'Yes', she said, 'we used to glare at anyone who came onto the beach until they went away. Once a group of school children arrived and a friend went up to the teacher and told him it was nudist gathering. They all left quickly'.

The motel is now on the site where Dame M's house was.

PI 6

Not finished my Phillip Island posts yet, two to go.

In the afternoon of the Monday after our morning we visited a fauna park. I cannot find the name of it but it is on Phillip Island Road, the main road on the island and quite close to Cowes.

To be honest, it looked a big dodgy and I was wondering whether we would get our $15 worth. It had a slightly neglected air about it with many of the animal quite old. I am happy to say it was marvellous. We spent about three hours there and if you have some overseas visitors, forget Melbourne Zoo and Healsville Sanctuary if you want to interact with Australian animals.

There were many different birds, lots of marsupials, all sorts of critters and you could feed a lot of them wheat. There were so many animals to see and we stayed quite late until an emu chased us. Some, or maybe many of the animals were not fit to be in the wild. The Tasmanian devil was particularly sad as it appeared to have arthritis and bumped into things, so possibly blind too.

I also, via my mother, believe Maru Koala and Fauna Park is very good, just off the island.

We dined that night on ok food at the local RSL (returned servicemen's league).

The sole kangaroo pictured has a joey in its pouch. You can see the legs sticking out. Pics are also blue tongue lizards, a monitor? (goanna), kangaroos and a wombat that ate out of our hands.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ben's cousin

Ben, you're always running here and there You feel you're not wanted anywhere If you ever look behind And don't like what you find There's one thing you should know You've got a place to go (you've got a place to go)

A smart apartment on St Kilda Road would not be so bad would it Ben? I'll look after you and keep you on the straight and narrow. Sorry, but I avoid the drugs a minority use and only use the ones the majority use because I know how good the minorities' drugs are. Hope that is ok with you.

No favours of any kind are required, apart form an occasional presentation as a handbag. You don't have to come across. I will teach you to love the boredom of a drug free life. This may well help you rid yourself of that supercilious smirk. R is a good cook and will happily serve you his meat and two veg to you.

You are fortunate to be so nice looking Ben and thus attract the attention a shallow queen like moi. Now, what is it that you do for a job? Footyball or something like that? You would have good ball skills then. Hide Nakata has good ball skills too, but if it is a competition, I reckon you give him a good run for the label boi style guy.

Da Ipod

In spite of a reno of the computer, the usb ports are old and weren't happy to recognise my new Ipod Shuttle. I persist. It seems the order of plug in matters. It took me a while but eventually I worked it out and the program had scanned my computer and picked up all my music and then I loaded it onto my Ipod.

I look at this weird little thing, no more than 3cm by 2cm and wonder how it can produce such a good sound at volume. I would guess that all my pc music only took up about a tenth of its capacity. I need more music. I quickly got bored.

For young people, this is all probably second nature. For me it is very new.

I am impressed with my Ipod Shuttle. Love Shack never sounded so good.

Call me now

Call me, call me now, so goes the slogan on late night tv for sex hookup phone lines. Well don't call me as I have lost my phone.

My day started very badly and went downhill from there. I am not normally a person of extreme emotions. We had a nice meal out last night and came home and watched some tv. I did not stay up too late, but I woke in an absolutely foul mood. No sooner had I sat at the pc and I was ready to kick its mother to blithereens.

Need to go out for a few things. I also need decent coffee. I need to take recyclables downstairs. Decide to go out for coffee and return, then take recyclables down and go off to shops.

I get to ground floor and realise I had forgotten a newspaper to read with coffee across the road. Return back upstairs. Decide I will just combine all. Take recyclables down, keep plastic bags as we are short and have coffee across road. One table left outside, spilt coffee on chair and table. Swap chair and sit at dirty table. Roadworks nearby and table is covered in grit. A nasty strong wind is blowing, carrying grit, pollen, seeds, tiny flowers. Horrible.

Go to bus stop with newspaper, wallet, phone and a scrunched up plastic bag in the one I am carrying. Just missed a bus. It was warm and I did not feel like getting on the approaching hot old tram. The wind was gusting even more strongly. The plastic bag I was holding filled with wind and the one inside whipped out and took off in a southerly direction. Another tram arrived but I could see a bus in the distance.

Caught bus, did what I had to do in Prahran without hanging around but as I was walking back to the bus stop...............where is my phone? Stomach sinks, feeling of panic. Walk back to supermarket but it was not there.

Bus home and I suddenly thought, ring my phone when I get home. Duh, how long did it take me to think of that.

The third time I tried, it was answered. It was not convenient for the finder for me to pick up my phone now. He is staying a city hotel and will leave it at reception when he returns to the hotel late tonight. I was hardly in a position to argue.

R assures me young people lose their phones all the time. In maybe fourteen years, I have never lost my phone. It is open a vein stuff for me. I thought I probably dropped in Prahran, but after more thought, I think I dropped it at the bus stop at home and if fell in gravel and I did not hear it fall. Bloody wind. And it makes more sense that the person found it in St Kilda Road since he is saying at an expensive city hotel. Unlikely that he would be in a Prahran side street.

Wish me luck when I front up at hotel reception early in the morning to collect it. I am not convinced it will be there.

Btw, I have put a temporary bar on the phone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

PC Reno

Clearly the pc reno worked as I am back online. In spite of tele I like to watch last night, I missed being online terribly.

It matters less when I am away. Different environment, I don't miss it too much. But at home I am very used to being online constantly. It is like a part of me missing.

eg I cut back the geranium on the balcony. The stems that were producing leaves and flowers that died quickly were black. There were some healthy looking new growth that was green. I needed to find out about black stem geraniums, but no computer to find out.

The old computer was XP Pro, as is the new one. Why does it look so different? Maybe I switched back last time to classic, or something like that. I will be modern person this time and not switch back, for a week or so, to see if I can bear these bright colours and things not working like I am used to them working. Everything looks so big now. I like smaller.

The quote was for $300 to get the pc sorted. I wanted a new hard drive because this one is so old. How about 1gb of ram instead of 512 or whaterver. What about the mother boarder thingy? Replace that? CPU? I need a dvd burner.

While we did not buy our first computer from him, he has been a faithful servant for many years. He helped me many times when computers were less reliable and he has steered me well today. I put a couple of customers in his direction and he did ok. I was thanked with discounts for zip disks. Lordy, who remembers zip disks.

We were prepared to spend $300 but when pc was delivered he had a plan for $460. Essentially a totally new pc. But that is getting close to $750 he quoted a wee while ago for a new pc.

I baulked. I left it in his hands. Prepared to spend $300 but no more.

The pc was returned with a dvd burner, a dvd player (already there), a new cpu and a windows reload of the non legal kind. Just don't go for Microsoft updates. $200 and the advice was not to spend anymore money on this old computer.

If you know what you are doing with computers and can put some bits together, I am sure you are ok. Novice buy your computer from a 'large' place, I would worry. Get it from your local pc Asian street front shop that has been there for a while and build a good relationship, you cannot go wrong.

Meanwhile, after the six years of fine tuning of our computer has been lost, I am struggling to get it back to something like I know.

H Tek in St Kilda Road, St Kilda is good. Highly recommended.

Old Barmaid Blogger

There is a blogger in Woy Woy, what a ridiculous place name, who is 108 years old. She has help with her blog of course, but I am sure it is an interesting blog. So interesting, I have not looked at it.

She posted a youtube vid today to celebrate her birthday. Good on her. She only looks late eighties.

She retired from being a barmaid at the age of 72. She looked to be an old style barmaid.

I like barmaids. Bring 'em back, I say. Down to earth, often somewhat common, extremely street smart and savvy, flirtatious but not too free and easy. They would listen to crap that men talk after they have had a drink or two and vaguely became honest, and then forget it all tomorrow if that was appropriate. Their hair was always well done, their makeup a bit heavy but fashionable according to their age. They knew how to deal with drunks, far better than any police or guards may nowadays.

Did they ever find love in the pub from a customer? One did, my stepmother, who I am still fond of and keep kind of in touch with.

After dining at the Palmerston Hotel tonight, I came across a lass who is a born barmaid. I hope she sticks at bar work. She will be remembered very fondly by many at her funeral. But she was probably a student doing part time work.

Pc reno

In preparation for the pc upgrade, I have been desperately burning cds for three days. I have over thirty burnt as back up. I think I have everything now. How much easier it would be if there was a dvd recorder. I will have one soon.

Like I am not just doing my own stuff, there is R's to back up too. I don't want to waste money on cds and so when 1templatinvids is 1.91 gb, how do you divide it to .7? Multiply that by many and you can see why it has taken time. I can only burn two cds an hour or the burner seems to overheat and each cd burnt seems to require a pc restart or I make drink coasters. I did save this for when I have work leave.

Post Script

I did not post this when I wrote it. The revitalised pc has returned and I am back.

Monday, October 15, 2007


You think I am gonna write about evolution v. god made man and chicks? No.

Evolution is night club for straight people in Prahran and it is opposite a gay night club. It is a large place and maybe opens at midnight and closes at 10 or 11 in the morning.

In the local paper for the area which I often skim through there has been an ongoing discussion of night clubs in the area and their impact on local residents.

It does not sound great for them and I have sympathy. Being confronted by drugged people leaving venues when you are out morning shopping is not nice. But we go there shopping in the morning and I have never seen worse than Miss Candy outside a cafe using a very loud voice.

I cannot find a direct url link to Club Evolution. I will look them up in the phone book and give them a call. But tomorrow I will send emails to City of Stonnington and the Liquor Licensing Commision. It will be along the lines of below.

While going to Prahran Market for brunch this morning with two friends, my sister and her three month old baby, it was very disturbing to see a man yelling loudly at a taxi cab outside Club Evolution.

My sister lives in a regional area of Victoria and her opinion at the time was that there were good reasons why she wanted to bring up her daughter in the country.

The situation worsened when the man started kicking the side of the taxi and let out a stream of abuse. The taxi driver stopped and blocked all traffic and confronted the man and there was some pushing and shoving and much more abuse.

The guard outside the Market Hotel intervened to a point but when he started to receive blame from passers by, he backed off and clearly said that the troublesome man was a patron of Evolution and not the Market Hotel. This was already quite clear to me.

While I do appreciate that Prahran/South Yarra is an entertainment precinct, I do not like to see these things when I am at my local shops at 10.30 on a Sunday morning.

There is clearly a serious problem here.

Why weren't there guards from Evolution dealing with the situation?

In my opinion, once someone starts kicking a vehicle it is a police matter. Why weren't they called?

How can this venue continue to operate when they clearly cannot control their patrons? What next? A multiple night club murder as happened a few years ago, maybe this time in the middle of Commercial Road?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tech overwhelm

When I arose this morning there were three bits of new technology for me to learn. I like technology. It is new and different and something to learn and then get pleasure from.....well sometimes.

I tackled the easiest first, the new electric toothbrush that does not have rechargeable AA batteries but charges by osmosis. I actually plugged it in last night and when I woke this morning and saw a blue light flash in my bathroom, for split second I thought my bathroom was on fire. Toothbrush was pretty easy.

Tackle the camera. Same brand, Canon, as the old one but half the size, but twice the display screen size. The controls are different but similar, so I found my way around that ok. R bought a 1gb card to go with it. I wonder how long the battery will last before needing a charge? Less than four AA's I reckon.

But the Ipod Shuffle, well I plugged it into the USB port to charge up, but then today I read that it won't charge when the hard drive is asleep. Contrary to popular belief, my hard drive does spend some time asleep.

I know this Ipod Shuttley thing going to be a troublesome critter. So as the pc is going to be upgraded this week, I have decided that there is not much point going online to get the Ipod software until we have the renovated pc. I hate white earpieces, oh, the modern lingo is 'buds'?, wonder if my black walkman ones will work.

That was the night that was, and the day too

Sometimes I try to see myself as those who know me see me. Generally I am not particularly enamoured by what I see. S'pose I have my good points but I wonder if they are outweighed by the bad. But after last night when so many people made an effort and were so nice and generous, and then it continued this morning, perhaps I am better than I think.

4.45 Collect sister and Little Jo for train at Southern Cross Station. Bring them home and chat and play with little Jo and concentrate on sister's face as she talks while feeding Little Jo.

6.30 Bone doctor arrives and they all troop off to dyke doctors national dinner at the zoo. But at...

6.00 Leave home for Dame M's. People arrive at Dame M's in dribs and drabs. The boarder was there of course. The brother friends arrived. The dyke friend and her girlfriend. The ex NT politician/policeman and his Fijian Indian boyfriend and his boyfriend. The Brighton Antique Dealer and her toy boy. The mountain women from The Patch. Talk, laugh, joke, receive cards and gifts.

7.45 All walk a couple of minutes to Shanghai restaurant. I wrote about it back here and I did not realise we did the same two years ago.

8.00 Tuck into a fine banquet. Jane's service was extra good. She gave me a small Buddha as a gift when we were leaving at 11.00.

11.20 Home and sister, Little Jo and the bone doctor are sitting waiting for us. Chat till 1ish and then sleep for a few hours but awake by 6.00

10.00 We all set off on foot to Mojitos in Commercial Road for brunch. Plenty of space for a pram in the Prahran Market courtyard. Eat brunch and return home and see off sister, bone doctor and Little Jo.

Gifts received, and I feel guilty as some were expensive. From dyke friend and her girlfriend, an Ipod shuffle and a bottle of wine. (I am worried about the Ipod as I just wanted a cheap mp3 player. I think Ipod restricts with mp3 files) Three other bottles of wine from various people. Sister and bone doctor a bottle of wine, gee wizz electric toothbrush and they paid for brunch. The mountain women, a bottle of wine and a bunch of waratah from their garden. (the dark red ones in the pics). Dame M paid for the cake and organised it including pre dinner nibbles.

R really went over the top with a city balloon ride for us both, valid for a year and a new pocket sized camera.

I suppose apart from my 21st ever so many years ago, this is a significant birthday. But oh, everyone has been so nice.

As Dame M's birthday was so close, we celebrated that a bit too, but really it was all about me.

The other flowers are Pincushion Banksia from Prahran Market. Sister forgot to bring toys for Little Jo and I had to rapidly think what was a good toy for her. I figured the spoon was safe. She whacked her mother in the knee with it. Simple things are good aren't they?

I am so so tired.

Significant Day

Today is my birthday. Lots of good wishes please and make them lavish. It is also the 32nd birthday of my electric razor which I wrote about two years ago. He is still with me, and it is a he. His name is Phillip something. No Lady Remington near my face with your girl leg hairs or worse stuck in the blades.

He still works well and he was given to me on my eighteenth birthday.......oh god, that makes me, (clunking noise as the cogs turn in my head) wow and damnation, forty years old. I am going to suicide. Pass me the Wiltshire Stay Sharp, the moggas and the Kalishnakov please, and your arithmetic skills are clearly seriously deficient.