Saturday, May 01, 2010

Little Jo'isms

When did you see Nanny Little Jo? 'Last day', meaning any time in her memory. When are you going see Nanny? 'Next day', any time in the future.

Broccoli is referred to as trees, and she readily eats trees.

Potato is on her non eating list, unless it Shepherds Pie, known as Cheesy Pie, not Potato Pie.

Watered down juice must be in a bottle, not a cup. I was victorious and she drank from the cup, but the war was horrendous. Not worth the effort.

She can read the electronic floor number displayed in the lift. It was rote, but now it is not.

Her colouring in skills are rubbish. I am a bit surprised. Drawing ability, not bad.

She makes a nice bowl of jelly with building blocks.

Nanna gave her a bowl and a masher and she brewed up a wonderful batch of lilli pilli berry soup, the berries having been gathered from under the tree. Yuk.

While playing imaginary skittles, I said her bowling wasn't bad. She retorted, copied straight from her mother I expect, 'What do you mean not bad? It was brilliant'.

I have noticed her listening very intently to adult conversations. We have to now watch we say in front of her. She has already dobbed Nanna in to her mother for something.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cherry Blossom

I wrote this yesterday. I think today when it is published you can pretty well call that the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.

What a pity when we are in Hirosaki, the blooms will be long gone. There is a great manipulable web cam here.


It is always good to slip in a personal connection before a rant. The Federal Government insulation scheme mess up has constantly been niggling at me. Fen has prompted me to have a rant, so there is the personal.

At least the money spent on schools as part of the economic stimulus, often unwisely it seems, is not life threatening. I wonder what Melbourne Grammar will spend theirs on. How could they possibly find anything else to spend money on? Gold linings for their swimming pools perhaps?

No, it is the life threatening home insulation that really troubles me. I have been around long enough to not be too surprised by things governments do. Maybe in the past governments led us towards a light shining on a hill, but not now. They are very reactive. From the moment Garrett was elected by the people as a Labor Party member, you could see where he was going to go.

What really troubles me is the rip off of people by the people. Bosses concerned for their workers welfare, zilch. They electrically fry them in roofs and care not. Peoples houses burning down, sometime with the people in them, the overlords of the installers care not. None could even say to their workers, who they probably paid a very minimal amount, take care to not staple through electric wires. Take care not to cover downlights. It was only about getting their greasy hands on poorly overseen government expenditure. Government expenditure is our money.

You insulation overlords are a disgrace to Australia and you make me feel very ashamed. With my money you have ripped people off and put many in danger. If you are foreign born, then I would ship you back to where you came from and if you are Australian born, I would ship you off to where you don't come from.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

1890 Motor Works

Izett Street runs southwards from Commercial Road in Prahran. It is a street we are very familiar with and have been so for many years. We can often be seen walking along Izett Street from Commercial Road to the car park or vice versa.

The motor car panel repair business A. W. Hinton has been there for as long as I can recall, in fact signage tells me it has been there since 1890. Obviously it would not have been a sustainable car repair business in 1890. It began its life as a carriage and coach building and repair business and graduated to motor cars as carriages disappeared. There would not be too many small businesses which have survived so long.

While looking for information, I came across this notice from The Argus, 1915. He would be the son of the original owner, and possibly his grandchildren now work in the business.

HINTON-McCONNELL-On the 12th December, 1914, at Commercial road Methodist Church, South Yarra, by the Rev. J. Stafford, Arthur (incomplete)
Tracey, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Hinton,
carriage builders, Prahran, to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. O'Connell, South (incomplete).

Here is a photo I recently took.

I think it is a fair call on my part to suggest that the original building, below, has not been demolished, only altered. On the right hand side of the above photo older areas can be seen.

You can see another photo here at Picture Victoria.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Intolerant Highriser

(If I was a prudent type, I would not publish this. I am in a mood, so publish and be damned)

I am seeing more and more of them. They are like a spreading virus. I am talking about women who cover their faces with veils. This is nothing to do with being Muslim. I see and at times interact with Muslim women. I have no hunger to see their hair or ears. I can see their face. I see another person. I can communicate with them. I interact with them as would anyone else. Why would I not?

But there are those who cover their faces so that only their eyes are seen, or sometimes not even their eyes. Their eyes are behind gauze. They are rejecting me personally, they are rejecting me as an Australian, they are rejecting me as a male, they are rejecting interaction with their fellow humans. They do not wish to have facial communication with me. I take it very personally.

One, through her tiny eye slits, stared at me with hostility as if was wrong for me to stare at her with hostility. Don't worry. No matter how many of you cover your faces, I will stare at you because you either freaks or perhaps you are very downtrodden by men. If it is the latter, no need to be downtrodden in Australia. Just knee him in the nads and tell him to go back to where he came from. Then call Channel 7 or 9 and they will pay you for your story about how your husband forced you to wear the face covering veil. That money, along with the single mother pension will set you up.

Good on France for banning overt religious symbols. The very thought of women driving while looking through tiny slits or gauze is dangerous and good on the Paris cops who booked one.

Religion has caused enough trouble in the world and continues to do so. I won't even begin to talk about Rome and their soft treatment of pedo priests.

For every Muslim woman who chooses to cover her face entirely, I reckon there would be a dozen who are forced to. It is wrong. It is spooky. It is not human. Humans need to see faces to read. Even our predecessors, apes, needed to read faces. Before any English smart ass says something about blind people, well, they develop other sensory perceptions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anzac 3

It was worth the $5 fee to have a look around the car museum in Gembrook.

I think this is a Daimler. It appears to be automatic but still has three pedals. I have seen one like it many years ago and I wrote to the Daimler Car Club for an explanation of the gear system and I received an informative reply. The letter is filed away....somewhere, and the explanation is filed away in my memory.....somewhere.

No need to guess the make of this one. Very nice.

This is a Studebaker. I recall the sixties models that were nice enough, but nothing really special. You will agree, this one is special.

I have never noticed such special car lights before. So pretty.

I am not old enough to have used such a petrol pump. Anyone know how they worked? Fill the glass tank with a hand pump, set the slide to the quantity required, then let it drain into the tank?

One pound, two and six. Ka ching. I have operated cash registers like this. They were fun and often beautifully made. This one may not have been. It looks a bit on the cheap side. You could kind of preselect the keys before you fully pushed them down. They did not add up. You had to do that in your head. I think that is the inside of a petrol pump next to the register.

I did not get time to look at this properly. It appeared to be bound copies of the Sydney Morning Herald. It was huge, spanning over one metre.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Three prong Jap absurdity

Lordy, how hard is this? Laptop charger has a three pin plug. Japan uses two pins. Plug adaptors are available for Oz to Jap but not with any space for the earth plug. A multi country adaptor will work, but such a cost. Oz to Euro and Euro to Japan will work too, but how messy. It seems the adaptors are readily available in Japan and hotels lend you one for free. But I like to be prepared.

What do Australians who like to be prepared do? They hacksaw off the earth pin from their laptop charger or drill a hole in the standard Aus to Jap conversion plug to accommodate the earth prong. I think we will do the latter.

Anzac 2

It was a nice drive to Gembrook but it was quite chilly when we arrived. Mother had been before and wanted to have Devonshire Tea at a place called Pandoras Box. New owners had just taken over the day we visited and the Dev Tea had finished. Still we had a nice cake each and some tea from Yorkshire. The antique and collectables shop had closed while we having afternoon tea, but while waiting for our food, I paid to have a look at the car museum. More on that in another post.

We walked to the railway station. What funny little train tracks. It is a narrow gauge railway only used by Puffing Billy.

Sadly the sweet shop has closed down. The murals are kinda cute.

Tea rooms, collectables and a car museum. Yep, that is a London taxi, a quite modern model.

When visiting a country town, there should always be a rotunda. I do like a good rotunda.

This is a very round oak tree. I know it is an oak as I nearly went a over t on acorns at the base of the tree. It is also a very large tree, perhaps the largest oak I have seen.

Rosellas feeding in the grass.

I don't know who Andrew Richie was but he died at a young age. The plaque is on the water tank stand, the tank water being used to fill Puffing Billy's boiler.

Anzac Day 1

Mother needed her windows cleaned, inside and out. I learnt a lesson last time I cleaned her windows. Take my own cleaning stuff. I cleaned away with bursts of sunshine and showers. Last Sunday Tradie Brother had pulled down all her curtains and scrim and Mother washed them during the week and we were to put them back up. 'Where does this one go Mother?' 'Lounge room.' R and I fitted the scrim and added the light weight side drapes. R fiddled for ages getting them to sit nicely. 'Ok Mother, next. Where does this one go?' 'Dining room'. We fitted that one and it dragged on the floor. Mother burst into laughter. 'Oh, that is the lounge room one. The one you put up in the lounge room is the dining room one.' 'I am not laughing Mother.' We adjourned for lunch and tackled them again after lunch and got them right. Mother kept apologising, rendered worthless because she also kept giggling about the mistake.

The plan was to go to Gembrook for afternoon tea. My plan was to see the 2.45 steam train depart from Gembrook. Mother was in a go slow mode and then decided she need to go to a shop in Pakenham. There goes seeing the train depart. Then I saw a notice on a shop window. Steam shuttle train operating between Pakenham and Berwick. Damn, times are all wrong to see it pass by. I did actually hear the train whistle earlier from Mother's.

Mother's back yard, canna lilies and geranium.

The back of the house. The very back part is an extra bedroom added after Mother's father bought the house for her. At one point it was partitioned into two, meaning all three children had their own space. I never lived in this house. The partition has since been removed and the room is full of junk.

It is a long time since you could burn your rubbish in an incinerator, but the incinerator remains.

Late Step Father's bird aviaries. He bred prize winning budgerigars. He was very clever with animals. He could get a wild animal to behave like a tame dog or cat and wild birds eating from his hand.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day of the Anzacs

Well, that will learn me to sleep with the window open on Anzac Day. We never hear any noise from the Shrine as a rule. But at precisely 6.23 this morning I was woken by a very loud rendition of Advance Australia Fair coming from the Shrine. Slightly hungover, I still appreciated the beautiful moment. Bagpipes followed, but I could only just hear them.

God Save the Queen has been dropped from something today. Was it the Dawn Service? I have never been woken by renditions of God Save the Queen. Was our National Anthem sung with more gusto than God Save the Queen ever has been? Don't get me wrong. I love our queen. I spent nearly a decade when I was young promising to love, honour and obey her. But I also recall when we attended the Dawn Service in 2005 and took a rel of R's from Jersey to the service and wondering what he thought of everyone singing God Save the Queen. I may have even felt a little embarrassed.

Hot off the press, James has an observation about God Saving the Sydney Queens, no, hang on, the real Queen, at Sydney services.

And then fifteen odd minutes later, some of the 40,000 attendees to the service started making their way home.

Post the Vietnam war, returning vets from that great South East Asian country where we did a big bad, were treated very badly. I recognise that, but it does not excuse them from roaring around on their ear splitting motorbikes at seven o'clock on Anzac morning. People talk in hushed tones as they return to their cars, tram drivers don't ring their bells. No one beeps their horn, and the nightclubs are shut down at three a.m. to get revellers off the street before the service. Bad form Anzac Day motor cyclists.

Later an unfortunate incident happened with a motor vehicle travelling behind a group of marchers. It may have been poor driving or a Camry type problem with a snagged accelerator cable. No matter, a few people were mowed down and a person fell out of the back of the vehicle.

But can this be true? The market along St Kilda Road at the Arts Centre was operating as the Anzac Day March passed by? Surely not.

Simon Warren said he was serving a customer at his art stall on St Kilda Road when he heard "screaming and revving’’.

Digger's Day

The Shrine of Remembrance, not long after completion I think. I know nothing of the pool of water. Australia and New Zealand commemorate ANZAC Day with ceremonies around the two countries and in other countries too. Melbourne's major ceremony is held at the Shrine, with a dawn service and later a veterans march.

Mother on your right at the Shrine of Remembrance on, I assume, Anzac Day and with her best friend who died two years ago. I would guess it would be the early 1950s. Not sure that a newspaper under your arm is a great look Mother. Rest assured, as a good Presbyterian lass, she was not carrying the racing form guide. More likely for the City movie guide.

Note the lack of trees around the Shrine, unlike now, with just one distant gum tree to be seen. The path to the Shrine was only gravel then.

As flippant as I can be at time, I can't bring myself to say happy Digger's Day. For me it is a day to remember the hideous happenings of war and the millions of people around the world killed in the name of war, more often than not at the bidding of the rich and powerful. Lest we forget that the young of Australia and their parents will ever be so naive again. Make that the world.

Later Edit: I asked Mother about the photo today, and she confirmed it was Anzac Day. I asked who took the picture and she did not know. She guessed a stranger. She told me she thought it was a horrible photo of her and not to use it at her funeral.